Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told reporters yesterday that he’s calling for a nationwide mask mandate for the next three months. “Every American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum,” Biden told reporters. “Every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing.”
What Biden is suggesting is a nationwide standard. A continent-sized nation with 340 million people from urban, suburban, ex-urban, rural, and wilderness areas all following one plan, one course of action, one standard.
Is he nuts? Trump thinks so.
On Thursday, Trump said states have unique differences, that governors need to have the freedom to make their own policies and also called on Biden to “stop playing politics with the virus.”
Public health officials agree that wearing masks in public slows the spread of the respiratory disease that has infected more than 5.2 million Americans.
“I hope we’ve learned our lesson. I hope the president has learned his lesson,” said Biden, the former vice president.
A president cannot order a nationwide “mandate” on anything. He can suggest to governors that they do so, he can cajole, he can threaten to cut off aid. But there’s no national authority granted a president to make that kind of call. Does Biden know that?
Biden added that “when I get occasionally confronted with a person in public about wearing a mask I say look, this is America, be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens. Protect your fellow citizens. Step up. Do the right thing. Do the right thing.”
First, the idea that anyone gets close enough to Biden to “confront” him about anything is ridiculous. If that were true, the Secret Service agents guarding him would have a lot to answer for.
So maybe in his fantasies, he tells off maskless Americans like that. But he’s right. This is America. And everyone has a choice. And like the state mandates, what’s right for some may not be right for others.
The mask mandate was showcased in a TV commercial that the Biden campaign quickly turned around on Thursday. In the 60 second spot, Biden also calls for increased coronavirus testing, personal protective equipment for all health care workers on the front lines in the battle against the pandemic and more support for schools and child care programs.
The former vice president also emphasized that “we need to protect the populations most at risk: our seniors – vulnerable populations with preexisting conditions. We need real plans, real guidelines with uniformed, nationwide, standards.”
There are real plans, real guidelines, but Democrats dismiss them as inadequate or too little too late. One standard for reopening schools? That should go over well. The same guidelines for a family in Minot, N.D., and a family in New York City? Bewildering.
There is no way to enforce a mask mandate unless you put the nation under martial law and arrest maskless people. Law enforcement departments around the country who have been told to “enforce” the mandates have told the politicians to take a hike. They have better things to do than harass innocent Americans.
Those governors who have instituted mask mandates will eventually answer to the people, which is exactly how it should be in our republic. Biden is grandstanding with this proposal, which should give us an idea about what kind of president he will be.