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People Need To Wear Masks

Michelle Malkin’s rant, ” Mask Mandates Are A Public Health Menace” (Sunday, July 18-19 ) presents a new low for The Post-Journal’s opinion page.

Not only is this piece by Malkin factually wrong, but it is also dangerous in that it tries to persuade people to go against all health experts’ advice.

Malkin quotes Dr. William Schaffer, an infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt University, who in March said that there is not much evidence that a face mask would be effective against the COVID-19. That was in March, before we knew much about this virus.

What Malkin conveniently leaves out is his updated report in April (Schaffner Report : #COVID-19 Face Masks ) in which he categorically states that people need to wear a face mask in public places. The main reason for his advice is the fact that we now know that asymptomatic transmission is a real danger. Surely Malkin must know about this? Asymptomatic means that people who have no symptoms may be carrying the virus and thus transmit it to others, Michelle.

Malkin also quotes Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams who in February said that masks are not effective against the virus. This was in February when we were just beginning to try to understand this virus. He has since changed his advice, based on new scientific evidence.

On July 20, 2020, Dr. Adams in his revised recommendation, said the following on Fox News:

” I’m pleading with your viewers, I’m begging you, please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering.

In public health, there are often no certain answers, just like in all of science. We now know from evidence that face coverings, particularly face masks prevent the spread of COVID-19. Other countries that have had real leadership , unlike the US, have been able to curtail the spread much better than we have.

Ross Mc Kinney Jr., chief scientific officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, has this to say :

“The confusion in this crisis seems much worse than in previous epidemics. When SARS hit in 2003 and the H1N1 flu virus erupted in 2009, we turned to the professionals and listened to the CDC, to people who have established reputations for being credible and straightforward.”

Unfortunately, the trust in scientific and medical leadership has been undermined by the Trump administration and even the world renowned director of the National Institute of Infectious diseases, Dr.Anthony S. Fauci , has been the target of attacks. Malkin in that same vein, calls him an “infection disease bureaucrat.” Malkin is known for her ” pitbull attacks.”

CDC Director Dr, Robert R. Redfield, MD, on July 17, 2020, says that the US is not defenseless against the spreading disease in this country, and that the most powerful tools to get the pandemic under control a good handwashing, physical distancing, and face covering.

Calling face masks a “health menace” as Malkin does, is the height of irresponsibility. The anti-maskers, citing freedom as their motto, have gone to ridiculous ends in protesting the wearing of masks, and in one case of utter lunatic protest, a woman pulled down her pants and urinated in a Verizon store in Roseville, Calif., because of mandated mask wearing in the store! Sure, that will teach Verizon not to mandate face coverings and tread on her liberty!

No, Michelle, wearing a mask is not taking away your freedom!

Wearing a mask in a public place is no more an infringement on your liberty than not being allowed to smoke in a public place. We know the virus is spread by airborne respiratory droplets that can travel for six feet or more, and as responsible citizens wearing one shows that we care for each other … Malkin doesn’t seem to understand that.

I wonder if she had to undergo surgery, would she advise her surgeon to be a “freethinker” or ” “ freebreather” as she puts it, and tell him not to wear a mask?

Renate Bob is a Jamestown resident.

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