The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spark strict mandates nationwide that many critics see as evidence of governmental overreach.
As one recent example, Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced this week that face masks will be required in various public settings — including outdoors — regardless of vaccination status.
“Spreading fast and wide”
According to the Washington Examiner, the new policy will go into effect on Friday. Brown’s order appears to lack compelling scientific justification and could serve to further disincentivize vaccinations by holding fully inoculated individuals to the same standard as those who have not received a shot.
In a statement on the matter, the governor defended her decision by declaring that the delta variant of COVID-19 “is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic.”
Of course, critics insist that Brown is staging her latest power grab by using the ongoing public health crisis to control the people of her state.
“Masks have proven to be effective at bringing case counts down, and are a necessary measure right now, even in some outdoor settings, to help fight COVID and protect one another,” the governor proclaimed.
The latest mandate is widely seen as another step by Democrats eager to prolong the pandemic — and the emergency powers they gained as a result. Nevertheless, state officials including Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger are defending Brown’s mandate.
“The most powerful way we can fight”
“It is much easier for people with the delta variant, compared to people who were sick last year, to infect others around them,” Sidelinger said. “This is because they have 1,000 times more virus in their nose — which means that those around them are much more likely to get sick because this variant behaves so differently.”
He failed to address concerns that cloth masks, which are not airtight, will serve as an effective barrier between infected individuals and those around them. Despite Oregon’s comparatively high rate of vaccination, Brown noted that the virus continues to spread far and wide within the state.
“Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” she declared. “The combination of vaccines and masks is the most powerful way we can fight this latest surge of COVID-19 and save lives.”
If her assessment is correct, some skeptics might interpret her remarks as a tacit admission that the available vaccines are not as effective as advertised.
The new mandate came on the heels of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to grant the Pfizer vaccine full approval, which means vaccine mandates are likely to become more common in various situations nationwide.