Many Americans chafed under oppressive government-imposed mask mandates for the better part of the past two years, particularly as they were repeatedly told by politicians and bureaucrats that “science” made the mandates necessary and important.
Now, suddenly, mask mandates have been deemed no longer necessary in several jurisdictions, including Washington D.C. and the U.S. Capitol, and some critics can’t help but notice an apparent “political” aspect to the timing of those decisions, Fox News reported.
Indeed, seemingly within a matter of days and with no real explanation of the “science” — but coinciding with sinking poll numbers on the issue — the Center for Disease Control and Prevention altered its guidance on masking, after which D.C., Capitol Hill, and the White House all dropped or substantially relaxed the indoor mask mandates that had been in effect.
The sudden end of mask mandates looks “extremely political”
The Heritage Foundation on Wednesday hosted an event titled “Covid Madness: Meet the D.C. Business Owners Fighting for Freedom,” in which, as the name implies, several D.C. area business owners who have been opposed to government-imposed mask and vaccine mandates spoke up to share their views on everything that has occurred.
One of the guests was Noe Landini, who manages several restaurants in D.C., and he told Fox News, “At the beginning of this, if you remember, it was all about following the science. And then somewhere along the lines, we stopped talking about science.”
“So, the timing of the masks I think is extremely political,” Landini said. “I think it’s because it’s all part of the narrative … I think there was really a moment where whoever is driving the narrative, depending on whether it’s on the local leadership basis, regional or on the national level … I think you kind of have an, ‘Oh s–t moment’ when people are like, ‘OK, people are kind of over this.’”
The timing is certainly worth questioning, as the mask mandates were conveniently dropped just days before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, during which he all but declared victory over COVID-19 and suggested that the pandemic was, for all intents and purposes, now over.
“I think it’s trying to rally votes because it’s not a matter of right center, left center or the aisle … the majority of both sides are sick of it,” Landini said of the mask mandates being suddenly lifted. “They’re done. They want to get on with their lives. And I think that the administration has recognized that and because more people than not are over it, that was the safe call to make. Definitely a political call.”
The appearance of coordination in the lifting of mask mandates
Politico reported Sunday that, with no real explanation of the “science” behind the decision and seemingly based solely on the CDC’s inscrutable new modeling for community transmission levels, the Attending Physician of the Capitol complex changed the rules for the House of Representatives and made masking optional instead of mandatory.
Just one day later, Axios reported that the White House announced it was lifting its mask mandate, albeit only for the fully vaccinated, beginning on Tuesday, the day of Biden’s big address. Of course, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the timing was purely “coincidental” and had nothing at all to do with Biden’s speech or plummeting poll numbers.
That same day, local CBS affiliate WUSA reported that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s indoor mask mandate was set to be significantly scaled back on March 1, including in restaurants and bars and other private establishments where the public gathers, though it would remain in effect in places like schools and government buildings.
As D.C. restaurant manager Landini noted, a majority of Americans have been done with masking for quite some time, and while it is good that the politicians have finally taken note of where their constituents are at on this issue, the seemingly obvious coordination and sudden “political” nature of the relaxed mandates does look suspicious and deserves some measure of explanation.