by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jim Geraghty of National Review Online explores the political implications of President-elect Joe Biden’s current approach to mandating COVID-19 face masks.
Biden constantly reassures us that when it comes to the coronavirus, he will only “follow the science.” It’s amazing how “the science” decided that the date masks will no longer be needed perfectly aligns with his symbolic 100th day in office. What a coincidence!
In the grand scheme of the national and international battle against SARS-CoV-2, the people who refuse to wear masks are only a small part of the problem. The folks who refuse to wear masks get a lot of attention, scrutiny, and criticism, but they represent a small slice of the country.
In late October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey that found self-reported use of face masks increased from 78 percent in April, to 83 percent in May, and reached 89 percent in June. Even if people are exaggerating how often or how well they wear a mask, only about ten percent of Americans were willing to say: “No, I don’t wear a mask.” …
… Most people who catch the virus did not take any particularly foolish or reckless actions. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the precautions they usually take weren’t in place in that particular circumstance. Remember, roughly 40 percent of people are asymptomatic — so they may well have interacted with someone who didn’t seem sick at all, and who was silently carrying and spreading the virus. There’s not much point in wagging our fingers at people who caught it; the priority is to make sure they pull through it okay.
One hundred days from Biden’s inauguration will be April 29, 2021. There is a good chance that by Saint Patrick’s Day, Biden’s mask edict will look heavy-handed and superfluous.