Blue States Are Not Ready to Give up on Their COVID Power Grab Just Because CDC Changed Their Outdoor Guidelines
As has been noted by many others, these are no longer guidelines as far as blue states are concerned. They are waging their own culture war against red states, with COVID-19 guidelines serving as the backdrop. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican, has seen fit to lift the outdoor mask mandates in his state.
He did not make the decision blindly and relied on CDC guidance. The new guidance is as follows: it is okay to take off your mask outside, as long as you are not coming into close contact with strangers. That seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Once Baker signed off, Brookline’s local leaders decided that they were going to stand in opposition to it.
“Out of an abundance of caution and in our residents’ best interests, the Town of Brookline will not follow suit with the state’s decision to lift the outdoor mask mandate today,” said Brookline’s top health official. “Our face-covering requirement has served as a protective layer that limits the possibility of spreading COVID-19 and we are reluctant to relax it at this time without further public input and review by the Advisory Council on Public Health.”
Why is public input part of this equation? We thought that we were going to be following the science at all times here. Meanwhile, DC (which is deeply blue) is taking the time to crack down on the worst nuisance of all: wedding dancing. DC stands as one of the most well-vaccinated states and their positive testing rates have dwindled to nearly 1 percent. Fox News has more about the dancing mandates:
“Seemingly ripped straight from the plot of “Footloose,” Washington, D.C.’s, new social distancing rules ban standing and dancing at weddings. The sudden announcement, made just as wedding season kicks off, has blindsided couples getting ready to tie the knot…
[Wedding planner Stephanie] Sadowski says couples are being forced to move their weddings outside of the nation’s capital with just one or two week’s notice…
In a statement to local affiliate Fox 5 DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said it has the dancing ban in place as an extra layer of safety to reduce the spread of COVID-19 because when people stand and dance their behavior changes. For example, people are more likely to get close and touch each other.”
.@JReinerMD: “Your patriotic duty now is really no longer to wear a mask if you, if you've already done your patriotic duty which is to get vaccinated.” #InsidePoliticsSunday pic.twitter.com/8zTwrS438q
— Inside Politics (@InsidePolitics) May 2, 2021
What is Bowser thinking? Does she not realize that people are going to drive over to Maryland and Virginia to have their weddings anyway? DC residents who planned on having weddings will bring their ceremonies to these states and their economies will reap the benefits. This is political theater at best and it is not going to do anything to keep anyone safe.
Bowser also rescinded another order that actually made a lot of sense. While the CDC is still asking vaccinated people to continue to mask up indoors, DC was initially willing to push back on that. Within 24 hours, the mayor caved in to the pressure and the order was gone for good. Michael Brendan Doughterty believes that it will take some time for Americans to stop feeling pressured to live a safety first lifestyle:
“It’s as if a circuit has been fused. While caution and restrictive behavior can be justified by a conscience informed by the risks, the human mind can also make calculations based on superstition. And one frighteningly common one is the equation of science with truth, fear with realism, and caution with virtue…
The association of danger with permissiveness has warped the “expert class” that is supposed to inform the public. Throughout the pandemic, public-health officials have betrayed their view that they do not trust the public with good news; they seem to fear that an inch given will be a mile taken. And so, even during one of the most successful vaccine rollouts in the world, CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned of “impending doom” just a month ago. But no doom was in the offing.
And the expert class has also corrupted itself. The short circuit of the pandemic has led to a dramatic tightening of groupthink among public-health pundits. One would normally expect that a variety of experts would come up with a variety of recommendations, precisely because, like everyone else, they value the risks differently. But instead, public-health pontificators have tried to guard their authority with an ersatz sheen of unanimity.”
In our opinion, you have done your duty once you have gotten your jabs. All the extra stuff is just that….extra.