Oregon Seeks Permanent Mask Mandate; Top Scientists Argue No Evidence Exists to Support Proposal

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This article comes from “thenewamerican.com

The latest example of “nice” people doing irreparable harm in the name of the “collective good” is Oregon’s preparing to enforce a “permanent” mask mandate upon the May 4 expiration of Democratic Governor Kate Brown’s temporary executive order, which requires face coverings in public spaces and businesses throughout the state.

The recommendation was first drafted in January 2021 and aims to “keep the rules in place until they are no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace,” reported the Associated Press. The decision comes after Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen announced in mid-March that “all adult residents will be eligible for the vaccine by May 1.”

Such a drastic measure is likely to set a precedent for adoption by neighboring deep-blue jurisdictions, such as Washington and California. Yet the Beaver State is reportedly the first to announce this type of legislation, which, according to the Oregon Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administrator Michael Wood, “is necessary to address a technicality in state law that requires a ‘permanent’ rule to keep current restrictions from expiring.”

In a summary of the proposal, the agency determined that “the public health emergency remains a substantial concern in Oregon…. The unique exposures created in the labor housing environment, particularly in working situations requiring large numbers of workers, make these rules necessary to reduce risk to individual workers.”

Yet many red states, such as Texas, Florida, Iowa, Montana, and Mississippi, have already lifted all COVID-19 restrictions.

At a March 18 coronavirus roundtable discussion commemorating the one-year anniversary of the COVID lockdowns, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, met with the world’s top medical scientists behind the Great Barrington Declaration to discuss state and federal policy responses to the virus outbreak. There, Dr. Jay Battacharya, director of Stanford University’s Center for Demography and Economics of Health and Aging, reported that “80 to 90 percent of the United States in these [policy] surveys report masking. I think it’s interesting because if you expected masks to be a panacea, you would have seen an enormous effect in cases all across the country.”

Dr. Scott Atlas, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, noted:

The empirical evidence from looking at places that used mask mandates, whether it’s Miami Dade, [which] had a mask mandate, LA County, many different States all over Europe, there was no evidence that a mask mandate was effective in stopping the cases from spreading.

Moreover, there’s a large study from Denmark that showed that there’s a small, if any, benefit on mask wearing. And that was really never shown for previous infections. For instance, the CDC published a study reviewing all the data on influenza virus, which is a virus that has similar size to this virus in May 2020. The CDC has that [study] posted where all the data on masks showed that it does not stop the spread of a viral infection. So there’s no evidence that a mask mandate has worked.

Moreover, commented Dr. Battacharya, “I think the masks not only have not been effective, but have been harmful. The mandates themselves have created social division in ways that are just really to be regretted. I mean, public health is supposed to create some sorts of unity, not the kinds of division and moralization of the behavior that it has created.”

Yet despite these credible opinions, just this past week, the nation’s top-paid White House advisor, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is not an elected official, refused to provide Congress with recommendations for when the country could fully reopen and Americans could stop wearing masks altogether.

At the congressional hearing, Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) pressed Fauci for an answer as to “when Americans get their freedom back?” “When we get the level of infection in this country low enough that it is not a really high threat,” said Fauci, denying Americans any more details.

Thus, the question persists: How does a health advisor such as Fauci determine the exercise of U.S. citizens’ unalienable rights? And why does his opinion carry so much weight in aiding Democratic officials who insist on enforcing such draconian measures, even for children as young as two years old? And now the mandates are to be permanent? Americans must remember that the advice of Fauci and other appointed health officials does not supersede our God-given right to freedom of choice as Americans.

According to the New York Post, a mere 60,000 Oregonians have expressed resistance to extending the mask order, signing a petition rejecting the proposal. Leading that effort is Jack Dresser, who wrote that “an unelected public agency should not be allowed ‘indefinite’ authority over any facet of public life,” reported the Epoch Times. “These rules would continue to impose intrusive, burdensome, and unnecessary reach of government into Oregon businesses, their employees, customer and client privacy, and customer freedoms to conduct commerce without government interference,” said Dresser.

Oregon State Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) demanded: “When will masks be unnecessary? What scientific studies do these mandates rely on, particularly now that the vaccine is days away from being available to everyone? Businesses have had to play ‘mask cop’ for the better part of a year now. They deserve some certainty on when they will no longer be threatened with fines.”

Oregon health officials, who appear to be in lock-step with Fauci, have provided only vague answers to constituents’ concerns. And by refusing to present scientific evidence that supports the continuation of strict COVID-19 measures, they successfully keep Oregonians in the dark, as the state remains among those with the harshest restrictions in the country.

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