After Joe Biden told states to stop reopening and put mask mandates back in place, Republican governor Mike Dunleavy had a blunt message for him: no thanks.
No thanks, @POTUS – you can keep your mask mandate.
— Governor Mike Dunleavy (@GovDunleavy) March 30, 2021
Dunleavy has consistently taken this approach. He has given businesses and local governments the freedom to make their own choices, but has refused to set up a one size fits all process for Alaska. There was a time when this would have been considered common sense in America, but common sense is not so common in 2021.
The reality is that the real-world evidence that masks actually do much to stop the transmission of the coronavirus is underwhelming. At one point, roughly 90% of Americans were wearing masks, so the benefits clearly can’t be that great if there are any. A recent CDC study found that mask mandates were associated with a miniscule 0.5 percentage point decrease in daily coronavirus case growth rates within the first 20 days. While the study did find a positive result (and there’s zero expectation they would’ve found a negative one under any circumstances), it’s a heck of a lot smaller than you’d expect given the “life or death” and “grandma killer” rhetoric from the left we’ve been inundated with for the past year.
And don’t forget, that we shouldn’t wear masks at all was the consensus of the “experts” as recently as early last year.
In light of all this, there is no good rationale for a mask mandate. If a person wants to wear a mask or a business wants to demand masks because they think it may help, that’s their choice and they certainly should be allowed to make it. On the other hand, people that don’t want to wear masks should have that choice as well. When people have these choices, some of them will make what other people think is the “wrong” choice.
At that point, it all comes down to what P.J. O’Rourke once memorably said, “There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.”
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