Public Health

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wants President Donald Trump To Impose a Nationwide Face Mask Mandate

Whitmer's argument is short on facts and legal reasoning.


President Donald Trump, who for months has been sending mixed messages about the value of face masks in preventing transmission of the COVID-19 virus, this week unambiguously endorsed that precaution. "Many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can't socially distance," Trump said on Monday in a tweet accompanied by a photo of him wearing a black mask embossed with the presidential seal. "There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!"

Trump amplified that message at a press briefing yesterday. "We're asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask," he said. "Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They'll have an effect. And we need everything we can get."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, writing in The New York Times, argues that the president's new enthusiasm for face masks means he should issue an order requiring all Americans to wear them in indoor public places and outdoors when they are in close proximity to other people. Although that guidance is sensible, there are a few problems with Whitmer's argument for a nationwide mask mandate, including the numbers she cites to support it, the potential for counterproductive defiance, and the lack of a legal basis for such an order.

Given the extent to which mask wearing (like many other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic) has been politicized, Whitmer is not exactly an ideal bearer of this message. The problem is not just that she is a Democrat but also that the COVID-19 lockdown she imposed in Michigan was notoriously arbitrary. At various points, Whitmer decreed that residents could not travel between their primary residences and their vacation homes in Michigan; that people could use rowboats but not motorboats; that lawn care companies could not operate even if they followed social distancing guidelines; and that big-box retailers deemed essential could not sell nonessential products such as paint and plants.

Whitmer still believes the public health payoff from her lockdown outweighed the social and economic costs it imposed. Yet she undermines that argument in her eagerness to justify a national face mask mandate. "A study conducted by Goldman Sachs concluded that a federal mask mandate could substitute for lockdowns that could cause a 5 percent drop in G.D.P.," she writes. "And if Americans do not mask up in public, cases could rise and we could be forced to close down more of our businesses."

The implication is that virus transmission can be substantially reduced through measures far less onerous than the sweeping business closure and stay-at-home orders that Whitmer and most other governors imposed. The Goldman Sachs study that Whitmer cites makes that case.

Noting the outsized role that "superspreading" has played in the epidemic, the authors argue that restrictions on large public gatherings, combined with wide mask wearing, would curtail new cases while avoiding the disastrous economic impact of lockdowns. While that does not necessarily mean more narrowly targeted measures would be equally effective, the analysis drives home the importance of weighing the marginal benefit from lockdowns against the added costs they entail—something politicians like Whitmer conspicuously failed to do.

The rush to impose sweeping legal restrictions on social and economic activity not only resulted in costs that may not have been justified; it also provoked resentment that made many Americans—especially those who face a negligible risk of dying from  COVID-19 because they are relatively young and healthy—disinclined to comply even with much less burdensome demands. While some weariness with COVID-19 precautions was inevitable, edicts like Whitmer's compounded the problem by drawing distinctions between forbidden and permissible activities that made little or no sense. It is hardly surprising that people would be less receptive to advice about physical distancing and face masks, no matter how sound, when it comes from the same politicians who deprived them of their livelihoods and confined them to their homes.

Whitmer further undermines her credibility by relying on a factoid with no scientific basis. "Wearing a mask has been proven to reduce the chance of spreading Covid-19 by about 70 percent," she writes. Whitmer provides no source for that assertion, which is not surprising. As Kaiser Health News and PolitiFact noted earlier this month, the claim is featured in "a popular social media post that's been circulating on Instagram and Facebook since April." But infectious disease experts, one of whom called the number "bonkers," were mystified as to where it came from.

Kaiser Health News and PolitiFact asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the figure uncritically touted by Whitmer (and approved by New York Times editors who supposedly are keen to avoid unsubstantiated factual assertions). "We have not seen or compiled data that looks at probabilities like the ones represented in the visual you sent," CDC spokesman Jason McDonald replied. "Data are limited on the effectiveness of cloth face coverings in this respect and come primarily from laboratory studies." He "added that studies are needed to measure how much face coverings reduce transmission of COVID-19, especially from those who have the disease but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic."

You may be skeptical of the CDC's take on this issue, since the agency initially minimized or dismissed the value of general mask wearing and did not begin recommending it until early April. But McDonald's gloss is fair: The case for this precaution relies mainly on studies involving other viruses, a few laboratory experiments, and observational data that are open to interpretation, combined with the reasonable assumption that any barrier is better than none when it comes to reducing the spread of respiratory droplets. Estimates of how face masks affect COVID-19 cases and fatalities—including the Goldman Sachs study as well as projections by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which Whitmer also cites—are therefore highly uncertain.

Although direct evidence remains limited, it was a serious mistake to tell people that masks "are NOT effective in preventing [the] general public from catching Coronavirus," as Surgeon General Jerome Adams asserted early in the epidemic. It is also a serious mistake to imply that the science is more settled than it is in the other direction, especially when that message includes fake, easily debunked numbers that can only reinforce the skepticism of people who were already leery of masks.

The shift from urging people to wear masks to legally requiring that they do so also has the potential to backfire. I am persuaded by the evidence that it's a good idea to wear a mask whenever you are indoors with strangers or outdoors in a situation where maintaining a reasonable distance is impractical. That is what I've been doing for months. I also think it makes sense for businesses to require masks, which they certainly have a right to do, notwithstanding the objections of some especially obstreperous customers. Yet even I bridled when my cellphone was commandeered by the government to announce Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's new order requiring me to do what I was already doing. I suspect that Texans who already were disinclined to wear masks had a similar reaction.

Maybe I'm wrong about that. The Goldman Sachs study found a correlation between mask mandates and declines in COVID-19 cases and deaths, which may show that such orders have a meaningful impact on people's behavior. Then again, the same factors that encourage politicians to require masks—such as rising cases and deaths—may independently encourage people to wear them.

COVID-19 carriers, who frequently do not know they are infected because their symptoms are mild or nonexistent, pose a threat to other people, especially if those people have preexisting medical conditions that raise their risk of dying from the disease. Because of that threat, there is a plausible moral case for legally requiring masks in public places. But that does not necessarily mean it is a smart public health strategy.

According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in early June, 65 percent of Americans reported that they covered their faces inside businesses "all or most of the time," while another 15 percent said they did so "some of the time." Given the recent surge in new infections, those numbers are probably somewhat higher now.

The practical question is whether a legal mandate is the best way to reach the recalcitrant minority. Since mass enforcement is impractical, the government will still be relying mainly on voluntary compliance rather than fear of punishment. Will the young, healthy people who are especially likely to eschew masks change their minds when the government orders them to cover their faces? I have my doubts.

Nor is it clear where Trump would get the legal authority to impose a nationwide mask mandate even if he were inclined to do so—an issue Whitmer does not even mention. States have broad leeway to protect the public from communicable diseases, and many state legislatures have granted the executive branch wide authority in that area (although exactly how wide is a matter of dispute). But the federal government's disease control authority is based on the congressional power to regulate interstate and international commerce rather than a general "police power."

The Public Health Service Act, for example, empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services to "to make and enforce such regulations as in his judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession." More controversially, Congress could cite COVID-19's impact on interstate commerce as a rationale for enacting a mask mandate. But without new legislation, the president would be asserting unilateral public health powers with no apparent basis in the Constitution.

When it comes to deciding when COVID-19 lockdowns should be imposed or lifted, Whitmer surely would deny that the president has any such authority, notwithstanding his assertions to the contrary. But when it comes to imposing a mandate that she favors, she is urging the president to claim a power he does not seem to have. I think it is fair to say that Whitmer has not thoroughly considered the implications of such short-sighted, result-oriented legal reasoning.

NEXT: The Federal Government's Eviction Moratorium Expires This Week. Will an Eviction 'Tsunami' Be the Result?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. "there are a few problems with Whitmer's argument for a nationwide mask mandate, including the numbers she cites to support it, the potential for counterproductive defiance, and the lack of a legal basis for such an order."

    Also the fact that, if she is for it, then it's probably a horrible idea

    1. but luckily, thanks to the Supreme Court, you can't repeal an illegal order without going through a thorough and time-consuming review.

      1. Great Opportunitie Online Jobs ????ONLY USA????

        Corona is big threat of the century which effect physically, mentally and financially/CDF To over come these difficulties and make full use of this hostage period and make online earning.

        For more detail visit the given link............► Click here

    2. There is no state constitutional power to force Americans to wear masks.

      There is no state constitutional power to force Americans to stand 6+ feet from each other.

      There is no state constitutional power to force Americans to stay home.

      Trump is so Libertarian-ish and the best President in US History that he has not taken the bait nor fallen for an unconstitutional face mask wearing order.

  2. "A study conducted by Goldman Sachs concluded that a federal mask mandate could substitute for lockdowns that could cause a 5 percent drop in G.D.P.," she writes. "And if Americans do not mask up in public, cases could rise and we could be forced to close down more of our businesses."

    Fuck off you disgusting twat, you are not forced to do anything. You chose to tank your state's economy and if you do it again it will be because you chose to do so.

    1. She honestly deserves to be Mussolini-ed for such statements

      1. First maybe Trudeau Jr. can set up a Salo for her in the Upper Peninsula.

        1. Keep Trudeau in Canada. We don't want him here in Michigan, Upper OR Lower Peninsula. For that matter, many of us also don't want Gretchen in either ...

          1. Yes, Frau Whitler is a most undesirable individual.

            1. This is really an example of what happens when authoritarians centrally plan economies and mandate random shit that has no benefit...All without any concern for the consequences of their idiocy. Also known as Marxism/Communism.
              Yeah, the Wicked bitch of the Midwest is toast, come election time. All the blameshift, virtue signalling and smear campaigning (DARVO) won't help her or her cohorts now.

  3. Which states do not allow their governor to issue a statewide mandate that all people within the state must wear a mask?

    1. Wisconsin. After the state Supreme Court ruling in May, the governor can't do anything without the (currently Republican) legislature's approval. Other than a time-limited emergency period, IIRC.

      1. That's interesting. So you would indeed need a federal executive order (whether that's even possible is another matter, of course) to make all states compliant, instead of each state's governor doing this on their own. I wonder if this applies to any other states.

        1. I mean, I don't think anything is STOPPING the state of WI from requiring masks- it just can't come solely from the executive branch. Which, at this point, 4+ months in, there is no reason it should; there is and has been plenty of time for the legislature and governor/health secretary to figure something out if BOTH SIDES really wanted it. But apparently both sides don't, which is exactly the point- to prevent rules being put in place without the consent and input of the group who most directly represent the entire state (the legislature). The governor doesn't have to give a shit what I, or people like me, think in my small town in the northern part of the state- he can get enough votes in Milwaukee and Madison and places like that to win election. But my local assembly dude sure does.

        2. And I wonder if the states will have to police the mandate. They don't with immigration laws, so why would they with this?

          1. The federal government has no legal authority to compel states to enforce federal laws or mandates. That has been determined more than once on multiple subjects. Sheriffs fought federal mandates to complete firearms backgrounds checks and won, the same has been backed in cases of immigration enforcement.

            The federal government has no law enforcement agencies capable of enforcing a mask mandate.

        3. No, the state of Wisconsin can still require masks - it just has to issue the requirement pursuant to an act of the Legislature. It can't merely be an open-ended edict from the governor.

          And even in WI, the governor can issue emergency edicts just like in other states. WI merely time-limited what gets to be called an "emergency". Note that lots of other states also time-limit emergency powers. And most governors have figured out how to comply with those limits without turning it into a supreme court case.

          1. Regrettably, Michigan has two statutes, and the one enacted in 1945 has no time limits. So the Governor declares a state of emergency for a certain period of time and then, just before it expires declares a new state of emergency. I've lost track of how many times this has been repeated.

            This of course is the crux of a lot of criticism - in addition to the arbitrary and excessive nature of many of the provisions of these royal decrees - as the Legislature has had no voice whatsoever.

            1. The nice thing in the WI decision was not only did the court say that the law as written did not say what the governor claimed it did (which was essentially that he, or more accurately his health secretary, could maintain perpetual emergency powers, similar to what Whitmer is doing), but also that even if the law DID say that, it would then be an unconstitutional law and they would have thrown it out anyway.

  4. These mandates are actually intended to backfire. They make people who are already angry even angrier and more rebellious, and this makes them intentionally or carelessly spread the virus, thereby exacerbating the epidemic. Which the dems can exploit for political gain (and blame Trump for all their ills). Similarly these mandates encourage lawless behavior. For months people joked about how everyone going into a store 'looks like a bank robber'. Well except it wasn't really a joke and the result was weeks of rioting and looting under cover of semi-anonymity. Again - completely intentional from the beginning.

    1. It's to help cover up the fact that the mass protests were a super-spreader event.

    2. I must admit that I do get a tingle running up my leg from wearing a bandana over my face when I go to the bank.


  5. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wants President Donald Trump To Impose a Nationwide Face Mask Mandate is a fucking moron


    It's ironic that we have people like Whitmer, who I'm sure has claimed in the past that Trump is some kind of wannabe totalitarian dictator, now demand that Trump act like a totalitarian dictator. "It's O Henry and Alanis Morisette had a baby and named it this exact situation."

    1. Right On ...

      You are correct that essentially "Whitmer ... has claimed in the past that Trump is some kind of wannabe totalitarian dictator". Ironic, eh ...

      Wait, thinking about what we've had to put up w/ her, not really ...

  6. Well, (in Cali, at least) mask mandates are in place, business shut down, schools effectively closed, requiring SD'ing everywhere, all in the effort to "Beat COVID-19" (Yes, that's what's being advertised now). Yet, in spite of all this, the C-19 numbers keep going up.

    But, pointing out this is evidence that mask mandates don't work is just crazy-talk.

  7. I for one am glad to see Whitmer come around to advocating for Trump being a tyrant after she said so many nasty things about Trump being a tyrant. Has she actually switched her party affiliation or is she just a #DemocratsForTrump cheerleader?

    1. Found a page from "The Bill Weld Mike Pence VP Nomination Playbook" and is running with it.

  8. It is not as if having no legal or limited legal authority to issue an edict has stopped her from doing so.

    She is simply attacking Trump based on her own sense of sanctimony. Whether Trump has the power to do what she wants is irrelevant, that he may not have is a feature, because cheap political points scoring is the point, not actually implementing a policy.

  9. What she is afraid of is if people start wearing masks because they were asked and not ordered to then that makes all her mandates pointless and makes her look even more like the authoritarian she is. I somewhat concur with Dajjal that these mandates were never going to work and have been counterproductive. It is the natural response of humans to rebel against these types of orders where we would be more likely to have masked up if only given the evidence, recommendations and been allowed to make the decision.

    1. It is the natural response of humans to rebel against these types of orders

      And rightfully so because a grassroots mandate will phase out by the same blameless social gossamer by which it phased in while a mandate imposed from above will linger far after feasibilty and common sense stop justifying it (see AUMF, TSA, WOD, etc.)

  10. I keep thinking democrats, liberals, libertarians, left wingers, and progressives cannot get lower in their standards or their idiot ideologies. And they continue to surprise me. Whitmer defies all logic and reason and clearly aims to make up nonsense rules in the hope of national attention seeking. I would like to believe the citizens of Michigan will vote her fat dumb ass out of office but given the decline in both American intelligence on the left and subservience on the right it seems unlikely.

    1. okay, but why include libertarians with all the anti-science types?

    2. Good grief what stupid fucking comment. No libertarians have backed Whitmer, if you know otherwise please cite it.

      1. No we have not.

    3. Did you misspell "conservative" as "libertarian"? Because it's certainly those claiming the former label who have been pusillanimous on this particular point. Plenty to criticize (those who claim to be) "libertarians" on as a whole, but on this particular point they haven't been bad. And to say they've been worse as a whole than self-styled conservatives is ludicrous.

      1. Vote Jo for an actively anti-racist presidency!

        1. Actually... that wouldn't be a bad campaign slogan for her. From a marketing perspective. I'd bet on her getting more votes with it than anything else she's gonna go with.

          1. Sadly, an "actively anti racist campaign" is thoroughly incompatible with libertarianism. Libertarian principles require the state to be blind to race.

            1. Right.
              The furthest I got when trying to theorize a "libertarian fascism" was prohibiting the State from recognizing race.
              I thought it a good starting point, but it turned out to be an end point as well.

              Still, she'll get more votes by going with "vote for an anti racist presidency"

  11. It was clearly only a pandering political statement. The only kind she makes.

  12. Hold the phone. The NYTs published Witmer? Aren't the black writers worried for their lives since an evil whitey is once again getting to push their radical anti-POC agenda through their hallowed pages?

  13. Grating Gretchen needs to stick to MI politics. She is bush league on the national stage.

    1. She's also incompetent and tyrannical in Michigan affairs.

  14. The sad thing here is Sullum wasting so much time arguing with her point-for-point when we all know she's not arguing in good faith. She's a lying sack of shit authoritarian troll and nothing she says needs be taken seriously. By taking her seriously, you're giving her arguments credibility they don't deserve. A simple "Gwan home, ya fuckin' retard" is all the consideration her horseshit merits.

  15. "And if Americans do not mask up in public, cases could rise and we could be forced to close down more of our businesses."

    Yeah, nobody's forcing you, bitch.

    1. Californians are masked up, and cases went up here too.

  16. Whitmer further undermines her credibility by relying on a factoid with no scientific basis.

    Please provide evidence to support your assertion what Whitmer still has credibility.

  17. How about he just mandate duct tape over her piehole instead?

    1. And not her nose, too? You're trying to prolong the pandemic!

  18. Governor Karen.

    While wearing a mask is very important during this pandemic, it is NOT a Federal issue, but a state issue. That Governor Karen wants to impose her rule on other states is bullshit. Karen gets to be tyrant over Michigan, she does not get to be tyrant over Wisconsin or Alaska or Maine or any other state.

    Fuck Governor Karen. Karens are bad enough already but make them governor and they're insufferable.

    1. Believe me, Californians know, with Governor Karen Newsom showing up on TV every other week with some new arbitrary decision or concern.

      1. I'm surprised "Karen Newsom" hasn't taken hold. He will probably denounce it as homophobic, especially since I believe there were gay rumors back when it was obvious despite her protest-too-much protests that he was not seeing too much of his hot half Puerto Rican wife (who now I think is Trump's daughter in law).

        1. Why stop with Newsom?

          Henceforth: all protesters, progressives (including some Rs), liberaltarians, public health experts, activists, and other NPCs shall be known simply as "Karen"

          Further designation of the subject with the inclusion of a title or surname is optional

    2. +1 for "Governor Karen". 😀

  19. Yeah, because that would really make a big difference. Can't the idiot see that law enforcement across her own state are already flat-out saying that they won't enforce her own order? What makes her think that a Trump order would be any different? Are the feds going to send the FBI to make sure people are wearing facemasks? The military? Big businesses across the land are requiring them since it's the latest "compassionate" fad, as are virtue signaling small businesses. Sheeple who buy into the fear are already wearing them on their own. You're getting probably 95% of the compliance nationwide that would with a federal order anyway.

    This is the essential problem with mask mandates- they are unenforceable in any real sense that actually advances their purported purpose of stopping the spread of disease. Cops don't have the time or inclination to hassle people for not complying, especially given how any interaction these days has the possibility of going bad and, rightly or wrongly, make you this week's evil cop media villain. Why have unnecessary interactions with the public over a stupid law if you're a cop?

    And what constitutes compliance, anyway? What if it's not covering your nose, or even your mouth- are you expecting the cops to fine for that? Will they carry out inspections to ensure proper fit and seal around your nose and mouth? What if your mask has a hole in it? What if it's crocheted, or mesh? What if you pull it down to sneeze, or touch it? These are all ridiculous questions, but very real ones which have to be answered if these rules are meaningful at all.

    But they won't be, because the rules AREN'T meaningful- their only purpose is to force people to pretend that they care. Because seeing people not even attempting to wear a mask is a signal to progressives that they don't share their values, and that simply cannot be allowed. In the prog mind, every non-mask wearer they see is a potential Trump voter, and it simply melts their brains.

  20. (D) is operating at a third-grade level on this.

    1. Absolutely true! Though then what level is (R), losing the long game to them for decades and still largely clueless, operating on? Apparently (D) does not need a fourth grade education to succeed at this job description so why obtain one?

      1. Because establisment (R)s are a department of (D)s. They're the Skeletor to the Democrats' He-Man action figures. They exist to be a foil, to be defeated, and the establishment (R)s are happy in that role. They insist upon it! Like how McCain campaigned on repealing Obamacare, and then when he found out his vote actually could do that, he voted to keep it. Murkowski (R-AK) also. They fight like lions for conservative causes when they know it makes no difference, like the house voting all those times to repeal Obamacare when the Dems owned the senate and the presidency.

        Trump is the exception. All of the safeguards in place to prevent non-establishment candidates from getting anywhere failed when Trump declined to meekly apologize and go into turtle mode when the media started their steady drip... drip... drip of hit pieces. He counterpunched, as he does, and they were not prepared for it.

        The media should love Trump. They created him!

        1. Correct.

          But the media (MSM) are wholly integrated.

          Trump came along and presented a real challenge, and see how they reacted?

          These people need to be put down

  21. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to make national headlines so Joe Biden will consider her for Vice President.

    P.S. Can she carry the state for him? Is she still more popular than the coronavirus, and if so, why?

    1. We'll get a pretty good idea when the petition for recall starts getting passed around at the end of the month.

      1. It has already started getting passed around. I today retrieved from my mailbox four sets of the petition. I'm this Friday distributing two of them to others, and maybe another to a store owner.

        I've seen reports of polls that purportedly show she is supported by some number north of 60%. Though I admittedly live in a rural area of the State - which to date in my County has seen a total of 71 cases - I find such numbers hard to believe. She certainly ain't too popular up here. But then the Detroit newspapers (probably like much of the nationwide MSM) run endless stories on deaths from it; there is no question any death from anything is regrettable - though admittedly there probably are a few for which I would not shed too many tears - but we've had them since Abel.

        These stories, as well-intentioned as that may be, likely exacerbate (or maybe create) panic, w/ the result some people think she is doing an admirable job. Time, however, will tell ...

        1. It's pure gaslighting.

          Run scare stories, pitch her/experts' "solutions", and then run polls of picked (if not entirely invented) numbers that say she's popular.
          That most people, not your neighbors but your neighbors' neighbors, think she's doing a good job and agree with her edicts. That maybe you're assessment is incorrect. If most people think she's doing the right thing, maybe you're the crazy one.
          Then you submit.

          Only, the media has tanked it's credibility over the past decade, and especially the past 5. During that span 2 things happened: anthropogenic global warming (climate change if you prefer) gained cultural primacy, and social media gave everyone a public voice.

          AGW has been pushed so hard and became so widespread that everybody had to deal with it.
          But our experience of AGW is completely imaginary - we can't feel it, and wouldn't otherwise notice anything unusual. We can't really relate to what AGWworld is supposed to be, what it feels like. So we have to invent prospective sensations out of whole cloth.
          Some experience(d) AGW as terrifying and apocalyptic (because that's the moral of the AGW fantasy), others didn't much care (because they can't feel it).
          Then the story had to deal with billions of public voices, to one extent or another, talking about that fact. "Settled science" wasn't so settled anymore, and AGW's numbers were challenged out in the open.
          The prophecy isn't looking so promising these days.

          Trust was lost because the primary threat sold to the public never appeared.

          "You can lie to all the people some of the time, and some people all of the time, but you can't lie to all the people all of the time."

          But they will try.

          1. *Trust was lost because the primary threat sold to the public never appeared.

            And millions of people who noticed the lack of cataclysm now have a means to point this out publicly.

          2. Further:

            They seemed to have learned from their AGW push. They've upped their game with covid19.
            That's why the masks are such a big deal to the Faith.
            AGW doesn't have enough effect. How do you make someone feel it?
            Fortunately (for them) the virus gives them the opportunity to utilize special effects.
            We notice the closed stores, the lost job or working from home, and especially the masks.
            Why especially? Because they're ubiquitous and out of place. We remember to put them on before going into a store, or forget and have to go back to get it (reinforcing habituation through our instinct to correct error) - we are reminded that we must wear the mask.
            And we can feel it. Putting it on and taking it off, fogging our glasses, altering our breathing, and muffling our voices.
            We see, taste, hear, and touch the mask. I'm sure a lot of people smell it too.
            Unlike AGW, all 5 of our senses experience covid via the mask.
            Thus covid19 fantasy makes itself real, though a step removed.

            Does that make fighting the mask a hill to die on?

    2. You need to be at least as dark as a Fitzpatrick IV to qualify for Biden's VP slot, in addition to having female parts (real or artificial). Neither Gretchen Whitmer not Valerie Jarrett need apply.

  22. Whitmer still believes the public health payoff from her lockdown outweighed the social and economic costs it imposed.

    "If it might help save just one life, ...."

    Seriously, show me The Science behind "the public health payoff".

    1. And this article proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jacob Sullum doesn't have the common sense god gave a fucking pig.... try using logic, son...... it will serve you well from time to time.

      1. He actually believes masks work. He evidently has no BS detector, and I can't explain why he would write an article panning Whitmer like this and still believe the propaganda that she and others like her spread.

        As he said, most of the "studies" about masks have been lab studies, not real-world empirical studies. Lab studies that include things like taping a mask to a top of a hamster cage and giving it a lil spritz with SARS-CoV-2 virus-laced saline droplets, as if that has any relation at all to how people use masks (hint: airflow through the mask). Lab studies like those that test whether droplet-sized test media particles can be stopped by a mask, without considering at all that stopping a droplet doesn't make the virus particles that may be hidden inside go away. The study ends when the masks stop a certain percentage of the test media (or don't), but the virus doesn't end there.

        The 6 foot rule and the mask rule are based on the premise that droplets are the main mode of spread in COVID, in contrast to other respiratory diseases like the common cold (some varieties of which are caused by coronaviruses) and influenza, which spread quite readily by aerosol (aka airborne). Where they got this idea that SARS-CoV-2 does not do that too, I do not know, but it is now quite clear that there's nothing particularly special about it... it spreads by aerosol (airborne) just like the others, yet the supposedly science-driven CDC has yet to adapt its recommendations accordingly.

        The 6 foot rule and any mask short of a N95 respirator are useless against aerosols. Utterly and completely useless. If anything, masks actively convert droplet-borne virions (that would have fallen to the ground within 6 feet) into the aerosol variety by catching the droplets and holding them in the inhaled and exhaled airstream until the droplets evaporate, leaving the virus as an aerosol.

        Aerosols can float around in the room for hours if there is the slightest air current, from people moving around or from a HVAC system, for example. They can be drawn into the HVAC system where they easily penetrate the air filter and can be distributed to other rooms, even other floors. So much for 6 feet making any difference!

        Masks (that are not N95 or better) offer zero protection against aerosols. The oft-repeated statement about trying to stop a virus with a mask being like trying to stop mosquitoes with a chain-link fence is in reference to aerosol virus particles. It's an apt analogy.

        So, yes, the studies that show masks can stop droplets are correct; that much has been amply demonstrated. It's what happens after that point, after the study has ended and declared masks to be useful, that actually makes masks ineffective, if not outright counterproductive.

        1. Good post.

          "If anything, masks actively convert droplet-borne virions (that would have fallen to the ground within 6 feet) into the aerosol variety by catching the droplets and holding them in the inhaled and exhaled airstream until the droplets evaporate, leaving the virus as an aerosol."

          I never thought about this.
          What you seem to be getting at, or building off of what you're saying, is that masks can act as a filter, containing the impure (droplets) and expelling the pure (virions) to circulate in the air.
          So masks could increase the communicablity of any airborne virus.
          Masks as super spreaders...

          Makes sense

    2. Except there was no public health payoff, it just delayed the inevitable a little. And the costs are almost totally unreported while the COVID deaths are trumpeted daily.

  23. Do these people not understand that the federal government does not have the authority to mandate anything like this, or even enforce it if they tried it? State governments can't even do this. Recommend people wear masks when appropriate, most people will do it anyway.

    1. Nice thought...... won't happen. Do you think that people where seatbelts because they voluntarily do so?

      1. Californians have been wearing masks and social distancing and staying home for 4 months. Cases are surging here too (even as the death rate continues to drop).

      2. So government coercion is the answer? Punishment for non-compliance? A system of Karen-style informers to call the authorities on you? Driving is a privilege licensed by the state, that's the system. They can implement some basic safety rules. Wearing a mask out in public? Like I said, most people will do it (they are where I live), and will do it way more than necessary (driving alone in your car? walking by yourself out in the open air?).

        1. This reminds me of the simpsons

          Lisa "dad you can't drive without a licence"

          Homer: turns key, car starts "woohoo!"

    2. They don't care. They assume, probably rightly, that most people don't appreciate these "subtle nuances" of what any government can or cannot do and what powers have not been granted to the Federal government.

      They also don't even pretend to expect they can enforce their orders. The latest Michigan ones purportedly allow suspension of business privileges for failing to confront customers. So, instead of public enforcement, they have assigned enforcement of public decrees to private entities.

      1. I posted this earlier on yesterday's article, but seems a good place to repeat it

        July.22.2020 at 8:18 pm
        Hospitals and nursing homes are places with high concentrations of vulnerable people who can’t really go anywhere else. They don’t have a choice but to be where they are, and the only precautions they can take to protect themselves are those prescribed by their caretakers.

        Those are isolated locations that don’t come to me, but I to them. As I’m visiting their domain, I don’t mind following the procedures they’ve set for themselves.

        This is juxtaposed to simply being out in public, and having governments exercise domain over all spaces. If a business of its own accord asks me to where a mask when I visit I may disagree with it, but their place their terms. That social dynamic is completely perverted when government orders all businesses to force their customers to wear masks, or face either fines or license revocation.
        Daddy Gov is now holding Mom & Pop hostage, threatening to execute them if they don’t kick me out of their store for not wearing a mask.
        That’s fucked up.

        Millions of lives and businesses have been destroyed because tyranny has been imposed upon them using bad models and manipulated data to stoke irrational fear of a virus that isn’t significantly, or any, greater a threat to the population than seasonal flu.
        Wearing a mask is acquiescence and a sign of approval for the tyrannical destruction wrought by Daddy Gov.

  24. As Under Pressure notes above, most county sheriffs announced they won’t even enforce her own statewide order. Yesterday I was in a township hall and nobody there was wearing masks.

    Meanwhile, she just today issued an executive order to cut funding for police and corrections. How the fuck does she justify her state of emergency for a virus as a legitimate reason to change the state budget without congress?

    1. I was unaware of the new EO to which you refer. I'll have to look at the Free Press and Detroit News sites.

      I realize your question is rhetorical but she figures the Legislature is toothless because of the 1945 statute, so she just keeps pushing the envelope. Ain't Monarchy grand ...

  25. People who have "preexisting medical conditions that raise their risk of dying" should take steps to protect themselves, not expect the government to do it for them or demand that everyone stay home, businesses close, people lose their jobs and livelihoods.

    1. staying at home, avoiding people, losing your business or your job also increases your risk of dying

      1. It certainly can't be good for most people, that's for sure. They tell you to stay healthy, but then take away those things you used to use to stay healthy. Hard to stay active when you're expected to sit at your home all day not working, not seeing people.

  26. Tyrant wants more tyranny. Film at 11.


    CDC did a Review study on the effectiveness of masks in stopping the spread of influenza. Found no data to support the use of a mask either on the infected person or the vulnerable person.
    Coronavirus wouldn’t be any different.

    1. That's why they initially said not to use masks. Before a political agenda had formed around mask mandates, they inadvertently told the truth. It was not controversial... the WHO agreed too, as did the Australian heath service, and probably tons of others. It was the conventional wisdom that masks don't impede respiratory viruses, like flu or cold. These viruses spread by aerosols, which can be either bare virions (virus particles) or droplets that are small enough to be suspended by minute air currents rather than falling to the ground. Aerosols are too small to be stopped by masks, full stop.

      From the start, there has been this assumption that COVID does not spread by aerosol, but there is now ample evidence that it does. The advice about masks for the flu is directly applicable to COVID, which is to say that masks are not effective, and when you consider that laypeople will not handle or wear them properly, they actually present a greater risk of infection than they would have had without them. That was why the CDC initially told us exactly that... it's the truth.

      1. Honestly, I've come to the conclusion that the Governments know that masks don't work but they want herd immunity. They don't want a shortage of N95 masks for healthcare workers either. What do you do? Tell people that social distancing and masks work, then let them spread the disease. Most of us realize, there really isn't any stopping this from spreading, just delaying the inevitable. But if people are TOO scared and stay in their homes entirely, you cannot get herd immunity.

  28. The president should have stuck with his original correct instincts on this.

    Face masks are for faggots, and it made me kind sad to see him give in to this bullshit.

    1. He correctly feels he looks way more aesthetic than Biden in a mask, so it didn't offend his vanity. Far more importantly, I believe his wearing one was just a simple compliance with the rules at Walter Reed. I thought it would stop there. This is a bit silly--even though he's been better as a whole since July 3. Hopefully he doesn't make too much of a big deal of this, or get spooked into muddling his message so he can take best advantage of the lockdown backlash as it grows.

      1. His mask will also remind everybody he's the president, because he can put the seal on it.

  29. What is the over and under that next week, now that Trump is touting wearing a mask, masks will be bad again and unscientific?

    1. I doubt it. The mask tyrants have won, even though there is no evidence that masks are effective in stopping the spread of the virus.

      1. No, the ability of Karen's and progressives to memory hole and gaslight knows no bounds. Besides, they'll say masks are a failure and we need to go full lockdown again.

        1. Unfortunately, I think you're 100% correct there

        2. Well, looks like most schools are NOT starting "in-person", normal meeting. They're either having no school until October or switching to online school.

          The masks are clearly NOT working. Even if the Karens figure that out, I'm not sure people will submit to full lockdown again.

  30. Could someone please explain to the Governor she is not going to be Joe's running mate no matter how much insane shit she says. She has a melanin issue.

  31. “And if Americans do not mask up in public, cases could rise and we could be forced to close down more of our businesses.”

    Where "we could be forced" is the same logic used by abusive spouses "Look what you made me do! Now go wipe the blood off your face and stop crying, or I'll be forced to beat you some more."

    1. This, exactly.

    2. Not that either side is very good. Kelly Anne Conway was in Fox (just heard it on the radio because I don't watch any cable news) saying "people need to mask up if they want their liberties back". Uhm fuck you. I don't need government permission to exercise my liberties.

      1. Notice the difference?

        “people need to mask up if they want their liberties back”.

        It's bad. But it's procedural, matter of fact. Patronizing, as in "you need to finish your chores before you can go out with your friends", but detached. Direct; you do it because that's what needs to be done to achieve your goal.

        Vs: “And if Americans do not mask up in public, cases could rise and we could be forced to close down more of our businesses.”

        Passive aggressive, the wording clearly conveys the lack of power for the public, and denies responsibility of the one wielding power. You are both impotent and to blame; Mother Gov is both omnipotent and blameless. It's an emotional statement, prioritizing guilt over action.

        mpercy characterizes it perfectly.

        And this abusive behavior is characteristic of leftism/leftists

        1. These same characteristics are found in sociopaths, narcissists and sexual predators.
          I know...Department of Redundancy Department

  32. So the Whitmer bitch wants "Trump's secret police" to enforce the mask order?

  33. ●US Dollar Rain Earns upto $550 to $750 per day by google fantastic job oppertunity provide for our community pepoles who,s already using facebook to earn money 85000$ every month and more through facebook and google new project to create money at home withen few hours.Everybody can get this job now and start earning online by just open this link and then go through instructions to get started… Click Here For Full Detail.

  34. Know a lot of people that will be voting GOP for the first time in November because of Whitmer.

    1. My dead parents are going to vote for 3 precincts.

  35. I earned $5000 ultimate month by using operating online only for 5 to 8 hours on my computer and this was so smooth that i personally couldn't accept as true with before working on this website. if you too need to earn this sort of huge cash then come and be part of us. do this internet-website online.********************ReadMore.

  36. I'll wear a face mask if I can also carry a gun, and also my whip, as I'm a dominatrix.

  37. Read that headline as, "Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wants President Donald Trump To Impose a Nationwide Black Face Mandate."

    I need coffee.

  38. I love how these governors are aghast when DHS sends federal officers into their states to arrest protesters, but in the next breath, they want a unilateral edict from D.C. for everyone to wear a mask. We are a federalist nation. The President is not a monarch. If Gov Whitmer wants a mask mandate, then she can issue one in her state, and test its constitutionality.

    1. Know what else?

      Do you think a cunt like that wears one?

      Already the 'Bad Boys' Legault up here and Dr. Doom Arruda have been caught not wearing one in public.

      Same with that punk Cuomo.

      For the love of God people. Have some dignity.

      Lockdowns and mask mandates. TWO attacks on civil liberties in one year and we took it good and hard.

      Reason should be fricken all kinds hardcore on their fucken asses.

  39. STAY HOME AND STARTING WORK AT HOME EASILY… MORE AND MORE EARNING DAILY BY JUST FOLLOW THESE STEPS, I am a student and i work daily on this site and earn money..HERE══════►►GoCash.Com 

  40. I'm immune suppressed. I've experienced how self centered Americans are when it comes to spreading germs. They're not at risk so they don't care. Whether it's by laws or individuals suing those who get them sick Americans need to learn to act responsibly about spreading disease. Personally I prefer the lawsuits but that's hard to prove when asymptomatic.

    As far as constitutionality of such mask laws:
    There's a 2nd Amendment protecting arms, yet you can't fire a .22" bullet into the air because it might hit someone's 8" noggin 127,000" away, in spite of the odds of that being astronomical.
    You have to wear a seatbelt that saves nobody but you and may even harm you.
    Typhoid Mary was locked up for life and lost a state supreme court case to get out.
    HIV patients have laws against them spreading disease in many states.
    Mask orders 1918-1920 were ran through courts countless times (many included jail time).
    You all crying freedom are wrong so far. Take it to court and prove it. I doubt if you win based on legal history.

    1. Stay home dude.

    2. Why do you not take it to court and prove it?

    3. If masks work, wear one. That's as far as you need concern yourself.
      In the meantime, imagine a world full of masked people, going around sticking their poopy fingers all over everything. True story!
      Remember that next time you answer an alert on your cell phone, while you're on the john.

      1. I do, and have worn a mask for a long time. Odd how I never considered that my disease treatment was destroying my constitutional rights.
        I also consider those poopy fingers. How sad is it that Americans being told to wash their hands caused a shortage of soap and sanitizer. You people haven't been buying soap all this time and the supply was based on those (disgusting) habits???

    4. Stay home.

      Our mettle is weak.

      If the Mongerians were around they'd slice and hack us to bits in a matter of minutes.

    5. Why are other people responsible for YOUR health issues? Stay home, wear a mask, stop touching shit. You have no right to force others to behave how YOU want them to behave. Why are you on a Libertarian site when you are clearly an authoritarian. Go back to VOX or where you came from.

      1. What was it that made you angry? The facts of the laws and history? The threat that you may get sued into poverty being forced to take some personal responsibility? Aww, poor baby. Show us on this dolly where the internet hurt you.

        Where did I say you were responsible for my health? You are however responsible for your actions. If you do something that harms an unborn baby that you didn't know existed you can still be held financially and legally responsible. Ignorance is no excuse.

    6. Myk: Do you realize that you just cited a lot of _state_ laws? That has nothing to do with whether mandating masks is a _federal_ power.

      1. You might want to check your facts. What you have are a bunch of state mandates and laws. Just like before. There are no federal mask requirements, there may be guidelines for the states to follow but no federal laws requiring them.

  41. One size does not fit all. What is good for Michigan is not necessarily good for Wyoming. A nationwide mandate makes about as much sense and mandating parkas in the winter time in Arizona.

  42. Why would she not demand that Congress do that?

    They're the ones with the legislative power. The President only has direct power over the executive agencies, not the people.

    1. Because, like most of the fanatical, irrational and hate-filled Democrats of today, she believes in dictating directives with no regard that these be constitutional or not. Inept and rather stupid people have a tendency to think this way.

  43. Present EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE or FUCK OFF. I ain't wearing one because 'just in case'. I have no problem if you all want to voluntarily wear one. The science DOES NOT back up mandating it. Spin it all you want with all this 'you should' crap it's MY choice and I sure as hell won't jeopardize my daughter's health for it because there IS potential for negative trade-offs which you may want to consider.

    I've not worn one because the medical masks are USELESS and the cloth ones ARE limited.

    One week into our foolish mandates and my staff are irritated and want nothing to do with this indefinite social engineering experiment.

    I think I need crazy pills in 2020.

  44. "The practical question is whether a legal mandate is the best way to reach the recalcitrant minority."

    What the heck do you mean 'recalcitrant' Jacob?

    Either you prove to me I'm being uncooperative proving the masks work to the extent claimed or change the insipid language.

    That's how pissed I am. If you want to call me uncooperative so be it. I don't give a shit. I'm a misogynistic, racist anyway. What's another pejorative at this point? But you know how government can treat such people, right?

    I see fucking kids - KIDS - in masks when we KNOW by the science (and paediatricians across the continent say it) they're safe and that influenza is more dangerous. Nor are they super spreaders.

    So when I hear my clown jerk-offs up here STRONGLY suggest children over 3 to 17 wear them I want to wring their necks and the parents who follow blindly.

    Leave the fucken kids out of this. If the pussy adults want to pant shit let them. Just don't project their fears onto the kids. Then I gotta watch teacher's unions and parents destroy education for this virus. Follow the science my ass. Bunch of sheep fucking mid-wits.

    It's child abuse to me.

    Fucken cocksuckers.

    1. What an amazing coincidence that all your wrong theories about how the virus works happen to justify your hysteria.

      I've never seen such an outbreak of white people problems in my life. Mask wearing is child abuse? Don't hold back, why not join your brethren and just compare it to slavery?

      "I'm inconvenienced in the slightest imaginable way in order to solve a deadly global crisis! It's all about MEEE!"

      1. Check your meds Tony. You think people against masks are being hysterical? Wow, don't even know what to say to that.

        1. That’s because you’ve been convinced by someone that they are an apocalyptic threat to freedom instead of an easy hygiene precaution.

      2. Yes it is and the SCIENCE backs this up.

        Have you read it?

        Influenza is far more deadlier.

  45. It just depends on whether you want to solve the problem or not. We now have plenty of evidence for what works and what doesn't work. If all you care about is who to blame, be careful what you wish for, because Trump is to blame for the stuff that doesn't work.

    1. Nevermind if it's legal. LOL!

      You start a sentence chastising people for playing the blame game, then end the sentence blaming Trump. Seriously Tony, your lack of logic and reason are hard to fathom.

    2. And what works are:

      1) Social distancing and washing hands.. Masks are just a shot in the dark.

      2) Isolate the vulnerable.

      3) Children are safe. OPEN THE FUCKEN SCHOOLS. The Democrats are despicable human beings for playing politics with them. It's reprehensible and inexcusable.

      That's it. Good luck.

      Move on with your life.

  46. I'm so envious of Sweden. FF to 25m if you want to hear Dr. Tegnell's opinion on masks. It supports the CIDRAP article I posted on top. I'd listen to the whole interview.

    86% of Americans favor wearing masks. There you go. You got your 80% compliance. Us recalcitrant's will stand by and do what we do.

    Here I thought Reason should have a hard 'recalcitrant' edge. Oh well.

  47. Ra patut nggo masker su

  48. Whitmer no doubt intends to follow up with a schedule of approved mask designs with an additional listing of fines for using unapproved designs. Approved designs are all alike in having "Whitmer for Queen" across the face of the mask.

  49. I thought Reason was for free minds and free markets? Libertarian leaning? There should not be a mandate for masks. If you are risk protect yourself the rest of us need to get herd immunity, period!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.