After two years of nonsense messaging on masks, some liberal politicians are ready to hang up their KN95s.
Numerous blue states such as California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Oregon have announced wind-down plans for their mask mandates this week.
All this comes on the tail of a spate of Democratic politicians being pictured unmasked with masked schoolchildren or workers. A complete coincidence, I am sure.
Some of the recent images seem tailored to piss voters off. Last week, Stacey Abrams tweeted out a photo with a group of masked school children in Georgia. The Democratic candidate for governor posed proudly without a mask. The image was so blatantly callous, it almost made you wonder if she was trying to rub her hypocrisy in people’s faces.
Abrams was hardly the only example. The Democrats’ two-tier system has been on constant display during the pandemic. Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from a swing district in Michigan, posted a selfie from a campaign stop this weekend. She is smiling from ear to ear, sans mask, while a few rows of sad masked people sit behind her, looking more like hostages than supporters.
New York’s governor Kathy Hochul proudly posed for photos with masked children while she herself had nothing to cover her Cheshire cat grin. She then said she would let the state’s mask mandate expire — but not in schools.
California governor Gavin Newsom and LA mayor Eric Garcetti recently came under fire after taking photos with the immunocompromised Magic Johnson at the Rams-49ers playoff game at SoFi Stadium. Garcetti’s defense was as breathtakingly dumb as you’d expect from a California politician: “I wore my mask the entire game. And when people ask for a photograph, I hold my breath.”
Award shows and movie sets feature actors going mask-free, while crew members are masked up like lepers.
Former president Barack Obama was recently photographed meeting with contractors for a new multi-million dollar home he is building in Hawaii. All of the workers surrounding Obama are masked; he, however, is not. Is Obama holding his breath?
On Monday night, Dr. Leana Wen appeared on CNN to explain why it is a good thing that certain blue states are setting a timeline for the end of school or statewide mandates.
“There was, and is, a time and place for pandemic restrictions,” she said. “But when they were put in, it was always with the understanding that they would be removed as soon as we can. And, in this case, circumstances have changed. Case counts are declining. Also, the science has changed.”
As many infuriated conservative and libertarian critics pointed out, the science had not changed at all. In fact, since early on in the pandemic, we knew that children were less vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 than…well everyone else. As Reason‘s Robby Soave put it, “You would think, from looking at US policies, that children are uniquely and disproportionally susceptible to Covid.”
The dam broke fast. Republicans seized on the left’s U-turn. Many argued that the cruel masking of children had lasted two years too long. The “I told you so” reaction from the right wasn’t merely about critics feeling vindicated. In fact, most people just felt angry. The Covid mitigation efforts and mandates did irreparable harm to America’s children. The worst part is that it didn’t have to be this way. Despite the efforts of Dr. Leana Wen and company, most people will not forget about this catastrophic injustice simply because CNN has decided to change their chyrons.
The most trusted name in news was not the only liberal bastion to perform a complete 180. Even the New York Times ran an op-ed by David Leonhardt titled, “The Mask Debate.” One key takeaway came at the end of the piece: “The evidence suggests that the benefits of mandated school masking are modest and that the costs are meaningful for some children, particularly after two years of pandemic life. This combination suggests that the removal of statewide mandates will probably do more good than harm, given that Covid cases are now plummeting.”
So…the cure is worse than the disease? Got it.
The science-followers in the mainstream media had no problem ignoring the science when it didn’t suit their stories. So why are we seeing this shift now? The science has not changed, but perhaps the internal polling has. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the liberal elites’ flagrant hypocrisy is having an effect on their popularity. The more Americans suffer from the effects of the pandemic’s pointless mandates, the more cruelly the beautiful people seem to flaunt their mask-free lifestyles.
The double standards and the mad methodology behind masking have undoubtedly ignited a fury in some voters. Perhaps for the ruling class the only thing that would be more terrifying than seeing children go to school without masks is the idea of losing elections. Whether or not this political science breakthrough for Democrats is occurring too late, we shall have to see.
Even with the conspicuous course corrections, there are some Democrats who are hedging their bets. DC mayor Muriel Bowser recently extended the district’s indoor mask mandate until the end of the month. It’s safe to say that Bowser — who was pictured unmasked at a wedding during her July mandate — thinks she has less to fear from voters than some of her Democratic colleagues: she won with 76 percent of the vote in 2018.
Progressive politicians are currently caught between two fears. On the one hand, the anger from their constituents has reached such a boiling point that many pols are throwing in the towel in the hopes of quieting the revolution.
On the other hand, some leaders may be staking their bets on the Karen constituency — particularly in ultra-progressive cities like DC and NYC. These politicians are depending on support from the Supermoms, the town criers who bought into the panic porn from day one and are now deathly afraid of their child being maskless at school.
The Democrats who are counting on said Karens will continue to partake in political posturing and rail against dangerous in-person mask-free learning. Their dedication to pandemic theater will undoubtedly keep a faction of their voters happy. Will that faction prove big enough to help them stay in power? Who knows.
The Democrats lack all nuance and subtlety. We know exactly which political leaders are staying the course with the forever pandemic and which are jumping ship as the “science changes.” Unfortunately for liberals, there is an increasing chance that — no matter what decision they make — at this point, sinking is inevitable.