My cmnt: the homemade, or otherwise, cloth masks are entirely worthless in stopping viral transmission. The only moderately effective masks are N95 and they must be fitted and worn properly and they reduce oxygen flow and lower blood oxygen levels which is dangerous in the elderly and for anyone wearing one for long lengths of time. Mask wearing in public is now another form of Leftist Virtue Signaling and its primary purpose, even according to Dr. Fauci, is ‘to set an example’ (of conformity and obedience).
My cmnt 2: Another important side effect of mask wearing is that Antifa and other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban wear masks, as do bank robbers, to hide their identities while committing crimes. When anyone can walk into anywhere and have his or her face hid by a mask he can essentially commit any crime and walk away among a group of mask wearing citizens and basically disappear.
To those looking to benefit politically from emergencies, COVID presents an opportunity to advance plans targeted to transform American freedom and the American way of life.
by Molly McCann – for The Federalist – May 27, 2020
On May 26, Virginia’s Gov. Ralph Northam announced that wearing masks outside one’s home will be mandatory effective May 29. He first hinted he might issue a masking order a week ago, likely to test the water.
A new refrain in public discourse is growing in volume by the day: “Things will never be the same.” The certainty with which we are assured of this pre-determined future is perplexing. Whether or not “things” will ever be the same is not at all clear, but that some people hope things will never be the same is certain.
To those looking to benefit politically from emergencies, COVID presents an opportunity to advance plans targeted to transform American freedom and the American way of life. Mandatory-masking policies provide a valuable foundation to weaponize the virus against American liberty—now and in the future.
Demanding Freedoms Helps Ensure Them
Much of our freedom is maintained by the collective resistance of the American mood. When the Minnesota governor excluded churches from his Phase I reopening plan, Catholic and Lutheran leadership announced, through counsel, that their churches would reopen with or without the state’s blessing.
The governor’s resulting about-face was probably not due to a legal epiphany. Rather, he understood he’d pushed the envelope too far. Minnesotans wouldn’t put up with any further abuse of their religious freedoms.
Would Virginians, outside of the blue D.C. suburbs, be willing to accept a masking order? To take our freedom from us, people with anti-American agendas have to mobilize some initial quorum of consent from the population.
Masking Is Meant to Build an Opinion Cascade
Mandatory masking seeks to build that consent. In addition to extending the fiction that we are in an emergency sufficient to trigger the extra-constitutional authority of local and state executives, mandatory masking acts as a peer pressure-fueled signal that encourages conformity to our coming “new normal.”
An April 18 article in the Washington Post underscores the strategy, presenting the mask controversy as a left versus right debate. People resisting mandatory mask policies are, per usual, painted as unreasonable, headstrong, and backward—displaying ignorant American bravado while rejecting science and good sense. (That caricature is itself a tool to mock, marginalize, and silence dissent.)
The most telling passage of the article is this one:
For Trump’s supporters, declining to wear a mask is a visible way to demonstrate “that ‘I’m a Republican,’ or ‘I want businesses to start up again,’ or ‘I support the president,’ ” said Robert Kahn, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis who has studied Americans’ attitudes toward masks. ‘Masks will quickly become the new normal in blue states, but if social distancing continues through 2022, the mentality among Republicans could well change, too: If I can go to work and the cost of marginal improvement in my life is wearing a mask, maybe Americans of both parties do accommodate ourselves to it.’
And that’s the key. If we want to marginally improve our lives, we will submit. The masks aren’t the endgame. The point of the masks is to teach the American people that if we want to get some sense of normal, we have to accept abnormality.
If everyone is wearing a mask, it telegraphs a society-wide acceptance that the status quo has changed, and with that consensus other changes can come, too. Society will be primed to accept measures that most normal Americans would reject in any other time. Our new normal will include a permanent expansion of the bureaucracy and alarming new COVID-related regulations.
Masks Are of Limited Benefit
The truth is you aren’t irrational or obdurate if you are skeptical about masks. The “experts” have admitted that masks’ efficacy is usually negligible. Dr. Anthony Fauci himself, in a “60 Minutes” interview early in this pandemic, dismissed masks as essentially useless.
“There is no reason to be walking around wearing a mask. When you are in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel better, and might even block a droplet,” he said with almost an eyeroll, “but it’s not providing the perfect protection people think it is, and often there are unintended consequences…”
Fauci may have changed his tune, but plenty of sensible doctors are still speaking up. Last week, a doctor in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that cloth masks—the type worn by the overwhelming majority of the population—are not very effective, echoing Fauci’s earlier admission. The WSJ author noted that even the N95 masks fall short: “They’re considered effective at blocking coronavirus particles only when they’re form fitted and tested to make sure there isn’t any leakage.”
In short, cloth masks are largely symbolic. The science hasn’t changed, but the agenda has.
Implementing mandatory mask policies across a society of 300 million because it makes some people feel better is absurd on its face. But the policy makes a lot of sense if you understand its purpose and usefulness to shift the American mindset.
Mandatory masks are a critical predicate conditioning us to accept abuses of our liberty. Mandatory masking provides the foundation on which governments continue to justify emergency measures and rule by executive fiat, and it creates a national mood of consent that America will accept indefinite government expansion because we face a “new normal.”
Molly McCann is Of Counsel with Sidney Powell, P.C. and lives and works in the Washington, D.C. metro area. In her free time, Molly is active in conservative policy and directs the Phyllis Schlafly Virginia Constitution Center, organizing events for young professionals.
Welcome to the election of the mask, choose your side wisely.
MAY 26, 2020 By David Marcus for The Federalist
Now that most of America has begun opening back up without the predicted spikes in coronavirus and Joe Biden has left his basement bunker, Americans are remembering that there’s an election going on. As normalcy quickly returns some places, so to has the battle for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Chinese virus has left a symbolic mark on the race. The facemask has emerged not just as an issue on the trail, but also as a signal as to one’s likely political leanings.
Donald Trump has taken heat for mostly refusing to mask up while performing his duties. This left the Biden camp with a choice to make when Joe woke up from political hibernation, and they went all in. Now it’s Joe getting into a car in a mask, Joe at a monument in a mask, Joe being interviewed in a mask, and in many cases he is socially distancing while wearing it, which the CDC does not advise.
New York Gov. Cuomo chimed in on the ubiquitous chinstraps saying that they have become, “Almost a point of cultural communication. Wearing a mask now is cool.” He joked about signing an executive order making masks cool.
He’s been making a lot of jokes recently as the Empire State crumbles, but this one had a germ of truth in it. The mask, especially in socially distanced situations is not about science anymore, it’s about signaling that the virus is too dangerous for our lives to return to normal. It sends the message that the pliant wearer will do as they are told and entitles them to heap scorn on those who won’t. Not surprisingly this often breaks down on party lines.
To be clear, almost nobody, including the president thinks that masks have no role to play as we reopen the economy. It makes sense to wear one in close space where you can’t be six feet apart, here in Brooklyn, an epicenter of the virus most people, myself included usually do that. But when walking down the street, or sitting on a park bench there is little reason to believe masks have much efficacy.
For our friends on the Left, Trump’s refusal to wear a mask is irresponsible toxic masculinity that is sending the wrong message and getting people killed, even though Dr. Deborah Brix has explained it’s not much of a risk. Biden, meanwhile, to their minds is leading by example by wearing his mask even when there is no good reason he should.
When you set aside the names of the politicians and parties, the divide that is revealed has most to do with how much control people want the government to have over their lives. Progressives are clear that their answer is a whole lot. From the Green New Deal to “Medicare for All,” banning guns, and now even to surveillance in the case of things like contact tracing, they invite a state that leaves individuals with far less choice and freedom.
One way to describe societies that decide to scrub away individual liberty is faceless; people are identical cogs without unique features. Here we move from the symbolic to the literal as people hide their faces from the world. The most important thing about these people is now that piece of fabric and the compliance it indicates. There will be no smiling.
Joe Biden and the Democrats are the party of the mask, the party of government power and intervention. For them the Chinese virus is an opportunity to seize, as New York City mayor Bill de Blasio put it, to create a new New Deal. Ultimately this election may now come down to a fight between Americans who want to return almost fully to life as it was, and those who seek a less free “new normal.”
This point might be made as forcefully as the Democrats doing a Zoom convention where Nancy Pelosi gives a speech in front of her fancy fridge and a GOP that trips the light fantastic in a rock’em, sock’em in-person live rally event. Should that occur, the contrast could not help but frame the contest. This is the election of the mask, and its just about time to choose your side.
David Marcus is the Federalist’s New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.