By Eddie Scarry August 21, 2020
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said during his acceptance speech what he has said before: “We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask.”
He says that not because it makes any real sense as a policy but because he knows the national media love hearing it.
What is a “mask mandate”? He didn’t say in his speech what that would entail. His website doesn’t explain it on the page explaining his “plan to combat coronavirus.” He said recently that it would be required for at least three months, but that’s it.
The truth is it’s not a real thing. The president has no authority to require people to strap something to their face permanently. Biden has essentially admitted it, saying a week ago, “Every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing.” (Yes, he actually said “mandate mandatory” back to back.)
And what’s with Biden insisting people wear a mask outdoors? “You need to wear your mask outside. I don’t care if you’re just walking your dog,” he said in a video for the Washington Post in May. The safest place to be right now to avoid infection from the coronavirus is outdoors. Every scientist says that. Transmission outdoors, especially in sunlight, is effectively eliminated regardless of whether a person is wearing a mask.
Let’s not even get started on enforcement of a hypothetical mask mandate. Is Biden going to be the one to break up a bunch of Black Lives Matter protesters (or rioters) for not donning the Left’s new favorite fashion statement?
A lot of public officials, particularly black ones in minority-dense areas, have said they’ve had trouble enforcing social distancing measures for any number of reasons. What happens when we inevitably hear about how the police are “disproportionately targeting minorities” when it comes to the masks?
Biden no doubt knows this is a ridiculous proposal. But at least he gets an approving nod from the media.