TPM, Georgia Governor Explicitly Bans Local Mask Mandates in New Executive Order:
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Wednesday explicitly banned cities and counties from adopting rules requiring masks or other face coverings.
The governor has called mandates to wear a mask “a bridge too far,” the Atlanta Journal- Constitution reported.
An earlier executive order, which was set to expire on Wednesday, had kept in place a months-long ban on local officials from taking more restrictive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But the new executive order Kemp issued on Wednesday “suspended” local requirements that require the use of masks or face coverings in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The news came after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced a statewide mask requirement to take effect on Thursday. Kemp’s move also falls out of step with decisions made by the likes of Walmart and Sam’s Club, who on Monday said they would require shoppers to begin wearing masks.
Dear President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Governors Hogan and Cuomo,
The medical evidence is clear: the wearing of masks or face coverings in public settings, especially when it is not possible to consistently maintain social distancing, is a critical element to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Regrettably, in recent weeks we have seen evidence that in some areas where there is growing community spread, issuing voluntary guidance on masks is insufficient to protect public health. Absent stronger measures to prevent transmission, communities across America risk another round of shutdowns, broad restrictions on non-essential activities, and irreparable economic harm.
Current local and state mandatory mask requirements vary widely in scope, application, and enforcement. For example, there is variation on whether the mandate applies to all businesses, to just employees or also customers, and exemptions for age or other health conditions (e.g. asthma). In addition, in some locations the mandate is imposed on businesses for them to enforce. Not only has this led to public confusion and lower levels of consumer confidence, but it has also contributed to confrontations between customers and employees and litigation from both directions — enforcing mask requirements and failing to enforce mask requirements.
For the sake of public health and our economy, we request that the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the National Governors Association work together to:
- Establish guidance on the appropriate metrics (e.g. positive tests, hospitalizations) for imposing location-based mandatory mask requirements in all public spaces;
- Develop model mandatory mask policies that are simple and do not impose the enforcement burden on organizations without such expertise, such as businesses and non-profits; and
- Make clear that businesses and non-profits will not be held liable for refusing entry or services to an individual who is not complying with face covering requirements.
To be clear, the decision to impose face covering requirements should remain at the state or local level but be informed by clear and consistent guidance based on data. We believe that a national mask standard, implemented locally, offers the surest way to protect public health and promote economic recovery.
Across the country, the business community is stepping up to not only manufacture masks, but also to distribute them free of charge, and to promote the wearing of face coverings. We stand ready to continue to work in partnership with government at all levels to combat this pandemic and support our economy.
Your Best Buds,
Only one day ago, I commented on a high school classmate’s Facebook post linking mask wearing to Islam. Only one day ago, I pointed out the Mike Pence, henceforth to be known as Mike ibn Hassan Pence, had undergone a religious conversion.
What a difference a day makes.
Now the whole Republican establishment—minus Trump—has declared that there is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is His Prophet. See WaPo, Republican leaders now say everyone should wear a mask—even as Trump refuses and has mocked some who do.
I understand that membership at the Islamic institute of Washington, depicted above, has grown exponentially.
Paul Waldman, Trump’s accidental culture war over wearing masks
As the headline says, Waldman argues that the culture war over masks is something that Trump accidentally started. He writes, “It’s as if he fell into a culture war he knows he’s losing and would like to withdraw from, but he can’t quite bring himself to do it. He’s a slave to his own character flaws.”
I really must insist on this: he is a slave, not so much to his character flaws, as to his delusions. In the sewer that constitutions his mind, the existence of the pandemic falls into the category of information that makes him look bad—and, therefore, information that is untrue.
First, he acted as if the pandemic threat was unreal—see preceding paragraph.
Next, for a few weeks, he pretended to believe in the reality of the threat—hoping to garner the glory that would follow from appearing to defeat a foe that was (in his delusional mind) non-existent. In short, he acted on the assumption that most everyone else was delusional.
But that did not work. The glory did not come. So, now he is back to the default position. No one is giving him credit for defeating the enemy, so he reverts to the delusion that the viral enemy does not exist and never existed, because if it does and did exist, then that would be information that would make him look bad, and that, by irrefutable Trumpian logic, is untrue information.
Folks, he does not wear a mask because he does not believe there is a pandemic.
Maureen Dowd writes,
The fact is that Donald Trump has been wearing a mask for a long time, like Eleanor Rigby “wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door.” He studied larger-than-life titans like George Steinbrenner and Lee Iacocca and invented a swaggering character called Donald Trump with a career marked by evasions, deceptions and disguises.
The young builder was intent, as T.S. Eliot wrote, to take the time “to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.” Early on, Donald locked in his costume for the masquerade, the look of a C.E.O. in the ’80s. His body armor was a dark suit, white shirt and monochromatic silk tie. His hair was a blond helmet, his war paint was orange.
“He is the most vaudevillian performance artist who ever inhabited the White House,” says his biographer Tim O’Brien. “He has a consuming desire to always be center stage, yet he never wants to reveal who he really is. He masks his finances, his taxes, his friendships, his ongoing family conflicts of interest, his ignorance and his inadequacies. He’s constantly making up areas of expertise he doesn’t have.
“He doesn’t read the Bible and he doesn’t live as a Christian and love thy neighbor. But he is demanding that the churches be reopened because his evangelical base will love that. Everything he’s doing right now is to stave off a loss in November.”