Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D-Portland) finally allowed the state’s largest county to move into Phase I reopening last week. When she did that, she also ordered seven counties to enforce mandatory mask wearing for all buildings open to the public. One county on the Oregon coast, Lincoln County, exempted people of color from the order. They did so to prevent racial profiling.
Once again, Oregon makes national news for all the wrong reasons. The New York Post reported:
The Oregon county of Lincoln has exempted non-white people from a new order that requires face coverings be worn in public — to prevent racial profiling.
Health officials announced last week residents must wear face coverings in public settings where they may come within six feet from another individual who is not from the same household.
But people of color do not have to follow the new rule if they have “heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment” over wearing the masks, officials said.
“No person shall intimidate or harass people who do not comply,” health officials said.
Evidently, the intersectionality of the response to the CCP coronavirus pandemic and the current racial strife after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police have created a new and improved meta-intersectionality.
The mask orders have appeared arbitrary, to begin with, what with the United States seeing a COVID-19 death rate that has dropped 90% since April. Now, however, health officials in at least one county have discovered that coronavirus can distinguish between ethnicities.
This race-specific mask order and exemptions did not come from the Oregon Health Authority, which issued mandatory mask orders for seven counties beginning (rather arbitrarily, frankly) on June 24:
Applicability: This guidance applies to:
•All businesses, as defined below, and to the general public when visiting these businesses, in Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk and Washington counties. Effective date: June 24, 2020
Customers and visitors of businesses are required to:
Wear a mask, face shield, or face covering when at a business unless the individual:
Is under 12 years of age.
Has a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe when wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering.
Has a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering.
The Lincoln County order differs from state guidance. One wonders how that county commission meeting went:
Order 6/17/2020 – Face Covering Directive (signed directive in Supporting Documents – below)
General directive: All individuals in Lincoln County are required to wear face coverings during any indoor public setting or outdoor public location where a person will be in within six feet of another individual, who does not share the same household.
- Persons with health/medical conditions that preclude or are exacerbated by wearing a face covering.
- Children under the age of 12. Children over the age of 2 but under the age of 12 are encouraged to wear face coverings but not required to do so.
- Persons with disabilities that prevents [sic] them from using the face covering as described in this Directive. These persons must be reasonably accommodated to allow them access to goods and services.
- People of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public.
Does not replace or eliminate existing regualtions.
Self executing: all individuals expected to adhere to directive terms.
No additional enforcement authority: no person shall intimidate or harass individuals who do not comply.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available now at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff.
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