Biden Administration

Will Biden Use the Broad Pandemic-Fighting Powers Originally Claimed by Trump?

Trump claimed the power to issue a national eviction moratorium during COVID. Could that pave the way for the mask mandates Biden clearly wants?

|

President-elect Joe Biden's transition plan for combating the COVID-19 pandemic is heavy on government intervention, but he has backed off of his campaign claims about federal mask mandates and business closures. For the moment, that also represents a step back from President Donald Trump's claims about the scope of executive power during the pandemic.

In regulatory and legal filings justifying its controversial eviction moratorium, the Trump administration has argued that existing public health laws give the executive branch sweeping powers to impose whatever regulations it deems necessary to combat the pandemic.

Many legal commentators have pointed out that this executive power grab could also be used to impose federal mask mandates, lockdowns, and pretty much any other policies reasonably related to fighting coronavirus.

Biden, who has already flip-flopped on whether he has the power to issue a nationwide masking requirement, could glom onto those arguments should he grow tired of trying to convince governors and mayors to mandate masks and individuals to wear them.

"The question is whether I have the legal authority as president to sign an executive order [mandating masks]. We think we do," Biden said in September, before walking that statement back at a CNN town hall later that month. In late October, he said he would mandate that people wear masks when traveling interstate and when in federal buildings.

In an August interview with ABC, the Democratic candidate likewise endorsed federally ordered lockdowns in the face of a worsening pandemic, saying: "I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists."

The transition plan Biden released on Sunday, however, forgoes federal mandates on either subject.

In regards to masks, the president-elect says only that he would "call on" every American to wear them when around people outside their household. He also says he will try to persuade governors and local authorities to issue their own mask mandates.

It's a similar story with business closures.

"Social distancing is not a light switch. It is a dial," reads the transition website, which says the president-elect would have the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide "evidence-based guidance for how to turn the dial up or down relative to the level of risk and degree of viral spread in a community."

That guidance would include recommendations for when to shutter businesses, how big gatherings can be, and when to issue "stay-at-home" restrictions—i.e. lockdowns. But his plan still leaves it up to state and local governments to implement those recommendations.

That Biden still sees business closures, gathering limits, and mask mandates as tools to fight the pandemic means his COVID-19 response plan is far from libertarian. His reliance on state and local officials to implement these policies does make it at least federalist, though none of this prevents him from adopting a more centralist stance on masks and lockdowns later on.

Powers claimed by the Trump administration during the pandemic might pave the way for Biden to do just that.

There is currently no law that explicitly authorizes the president to issue a mask mandate or implement the kind of stay-at-home orders and reopening plans that states have adopted. But many people have been arguing that a broad reading of the Public Health Services Act (PHSA)—which gives federal public health officials the power to issue regulations "reasonably necessary" to combat the interstate spread of disease—empowers the president to issue such rules.

"Many people" includes the Trump CDC, which claims that the PHSA gives it the authority to issue an eviction moratorium to mitigate the interstate spread of COVID-19. Facing legal challenges to the moratorium, the administration has argued that the PHSA gives it "maximum flexibility" to adopt whatever policies it deems necessary to fight the pandemic.

"I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that if [the CDC's] interpretation is accepted, it means the CDC can issue any of the same orders at all that any of the governors across the country have done," Luke Wake, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, told Reason last month. "Business closures, micromanaging the economy, what we can do in our private circles. That would all be under their purview." Wake's group is currently suing the Trump administration to overturn its eviction moratorium.

"If Trump can use this authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium, Joe Biden (or some other future president) could use it to impose a nationwide mask mandate, a nationwide lockdown, or just about any other restriction of any activity that could potentially reduce the spread of the flu, the common cold, or any other disease," wrote George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy in September.

Trump ran, in part, as the candidate of business reopenings, and he has rarely been shy about suggesting masks are unnecessary and ineffective. His decision not to issue a federal mask mandate or business closure, while claiming the power to issue an eviction moratorium, thus represents a policy decision, not a recognition of the limits on the president's power.

Biden's decision not to call for a federal mask mandate, even though he clearly believes such mandates are good policy, can plausibly be read as a more restrained view of executive authority. But should he decide to change course, his predecessor has given him all the legal arguments he'll need.

NEXT: Dorothy Day: Personalist Hero 

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 Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Biden is an authoritarian who will efficiently use the federal government to enforce his agenda? Oh no! Maybe I should not have voted for Jo Jorgensen….

    Also, cut it out with these damned popups. I’m not donating today, tomorrow, or ever. Beg the remaining Koch brother for some more shekels if you want a raise.

    1. Also, cut it out with these damned popups. I’m not donating today, tomorrow, or ever. Beg the remaining Koch brother for some more shekels if you want a raise.
      +1 former print subscriber

      1. Google is by and by paying $27485 to $29658 consistently for taking a shot at the web from home. I have joined this action 2 moniths back and I have earned $31547 in my first month from this action.FEs I can say my life is improved completely! Take a gander at it

        what I do…………Click here

        1. Google is by and by paying $27485 to $29658 consistently for taking a shot at the web from home. I have joined this action 2 on months back and I have earned $31547 in my first month from this action. I can say my life is improved completely! Take a gander at it

          what I do………work92/7 online

          1. Want To Work From Home Without Sellings Anything? No Experience Needed, Weekly Payment… Join Exclusive Group Of People That Cracked The Code Of Financial Freedom!
            Check it out here…..WORK24HERE

    2. Chrome + AdBlockerPlus. Clean screen.

      1. Safari + ABP also works.

        1. I get paid more than $120 to $130 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily $15k from this without having ie online working skills. This is what I do….. WORK24HERE

          1. Google is by and by paying $27485 to $29658 consistently for taking a shot at the web from home. I have joined this action 2 months back and I have earned $31547 in my first month from this action. I can say my life is improved completely! Take a gander at it

            what I do………work92/7 online

      2. Brave with shields up works great as well.

      3. uBlock is better on the privacy front

        1. Google is by and by paying $27485 to $29658 consistently for taking a shot at the web from home. I have joined this accetion 2 months back and I have earned $31547 in my first month from this action. I can say my life is improved completely! Take a gander at it

          what I do………work92/7 online

      4. then Google can mess with you, cause they own Chrome. main reason I won’t use it.

      5. Google is by and by paying $27485 to $29658 consistently for taking a shot at the web from home. I have joined this action 2 months back and I have earned $31547 in my first month from this action. I can say my life is improved completely! Take a gander at it

        what I do………work92/7 online

    3. So your saying that people should have voted for the authoritarian who did use the federal government to enforce his Kungflu agenda over the guy who may (99% likely) do it? Not exactly the best case for differentiating the Republicans from the Democrats and arguing that people shouldn’t vote 3rd party.

      1. Nobody liked the moratorium but everyone in congress and the house also wanted it. But to pretend biden hasn’t projected even more authoritarianism is stupid. Trump for the most part hunkered federalism despite the cries of the media and democrats. The locjdowns were done by states. Biden is now threatening federal funds for not locking down. He has flatly stated no economic growth until covid is 100% eliminated. So jump into reality whenever you get over your TDS.

        1. Exactly how much authoritarianism is ok? Or does it depend on who the authoritarian is?

          1. Trump’s biggest crime was letting state authoritarians off the leash. A freedom loving federal government would have thrown Newsom, Cuomo, and Whitmer in prison.

          2. You mean there was no difference between, say, Mussolini and Hitler, or Hiter, Stalin, and Mao?

            Dead is dead, but more dead is less then fewer dead.

          3. Coming from a guy who has been shilling for Biden for 8 months. You’re fucking precious.

      2. Even more nuanced: the lesser authoritarian who did do it vs. the larger authoritarian who will be oppositionally reigned in to being a lesser authoritarian. Maybe.

      3. can you name ONE mandate Trump issued that bound Americans nationwide? He did issue some early travel restrictions, and good job he did.. but that’s under his specific authoirty to control who wnters the US and on what terms.
        HE never said everyone gotta slap their mug nappies on everywhere.. like Joltin’ Joe plans to. HE does not have authroity to do that. HE does not make laws. He can only EXECUTE those laws Congr3ss have enacted.. IF he actually wins.

    4. The pattern is being established. Whatever horrible things Biden does they will inevitably be Trump’s fault.

      It’s not that Biden is plain horrible from a libertarian perspective, it’s always and forever more that Trump was worse.

      Even, you know, when he really wasn’t.

      1. Exactly. As we saw for the last 4 years; Trump is the Reason why the President has a pen and a phone. Trump is the reason we have immigrant children in cages. DACA was grossly unconstitutional but Trump wasn’t being extra constitutional enough in trying to have it stricken down. The ACA was Trump’s fault.

        1. Well, Trump is the reason the president has a pen and phone (or twitter account in his case). Obama pussied out and gave up on his promise to communicate directly with the people.

          1. Obama’s “pen and phone” comment was not about communicating, in case you forgot. It was about acting unilaterally without Congress, through executive orders.

          2. Of course Obama would not communicate directly with the people. Someone might have disagreed with him.

    5. Unreason hasnt heard. Trump won AZ, Georgia, WI, and PA.

      See how long it takes them to do the story that Biden lost.

      Hahahahahahahaha.

  2. >he said he would mandate that people wear masks when traveling interstate

    Is traveling now considered a form of commerce by the federal government?

    1. Trump claimed the power to issue a national eviction moratorium during COVID.

      I’m sure renting is also interstate commerce.

      And if either actually is interstate commerce by some legal twisting of words, isn’t that a legislative power anyway? So many things wrong with both of these power grabs.

      1. “isn’t that a legislative power”

        So was setting the election deadline in PA – – – – – – – – – –

        1. Boom. Or…. not curing ballots by election officials in Wisconsin.

        2. The quicker we get back to Constitutionalism the…

          HAHA!! I almost got that out as if it could ever happen.

    2. Is traveling now considered a form of commerce by the federal government?

      Probably. And if not, you really shouldn’t give them any ideas.

    3. Not buying a product is considered a from of commerce by the federal government, so travel is not a far leap.

      1. Intrastate travel sure does affect interstate travel. Hell, not traveling to the corner store affects intrastate travel, thus affects interstate travel.

    4. I think it has been for a long time. That’s how they justify things like the Mann act.

    5. Sitting at home and watching TV is interstate commerce. What, that TV show was entirely shot and produced in your state with local residents?

  3. The problem with a national mandate, besides the Constitutional issues, is enforcement. If a jurisdiction decides not to play along, like ICE non-cooperation, the federal government is already not allowed to withhold money. In my county, the sheriff has already said multiple times he will not waste officer time on mask enforcement.
    Until there is a federal Karen Unit, we only need to fear the state efforts we already are afraid of.

    1. Biden does want a new, 100,000 strong Public Health Jobs Karen Corps.

      1. I’m guessing that a lot of the people who voted for Biden would cheerfully take on the mantle of Snitch For The State. Maybe they’ll make a social thing out of it with t-shirts and the like.

        1. Especially if they could turn in the racists, fascists, misogynists, etc. (Otherwise known as people who don’t agree with them 100%).

          1. I have actually seen progs posting memes to that effect on Facebook. One of them parodies Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride wondering what he will do now that he’s no longer in the “getting rid of Trump business” and Wesley suggesting to him that he could go after “white supremacy”.

        2. The left is already creating their lists. Using every trick from Mao and Stalin.

        3. I’m guessing that a lot of the people who voted for Biden would cheerfully take on the mantle of Snitch For The State.

          A lot probably already are snitches for the state. Think about every horror story you’ve read over the last few years here about someone getting the full force of the state’s jackboots brought down on them that included some variation of the phrase “…an anonymous informant reported them to the police…” Only difference is now they’ll be able to snitch on you to the feds for not wearing your stupid face diaper.

        4. I’m guessing that a lot of the people who voted for Biden would cheerfully take on the mantle of Snitch For The State.

          Certainly the entire Reason “trace and test” staff and most of the commentariat.

    2. How will it be enforced?

      They have recently made that clear as well.

      Enforcement will no longer be about employing the justice system, it will be about threatening your job.

    3. So, how fast can people go from #Resist to #Obey?

      1. Given that the #Resistance was never about resisting state power in general but about “orange man bad” they’ll turn on a dime. These people love them some AUTHORITAH and authoritarians so long as it’s the “right” authoritarian.

        1. It was always the opposite of resisting state power. It was always closer to resisting the reduction of state power.

      2. Especially easy, given that they were following orders to begin with.

  4. You know the rule about questions asked in headlines. No, Biden will not issue a bunch of executive orders about the coronavirus pandemic. There won’t be a coronavirus pandemic once Biden takes office. Just like Trump said, poof, one day the coronavirus is just going to disappear. They’re suddenly going to discover that they’ve been counting cases all wrong, that the coronavirus isn’t really any worse than the seasonal flu, that the virus has mutated so that it’s much less virulent, that despite all of Trump’s efforts to make the pandemic much worse than it had to be that somehow we have managed to dodge a bullet and the pandemic is over. Now let us never speak of this again except to speak retrospectively about how it is all Trumps fault that this country is now broken.

    1. Nah, they’ll keep up the charade until Biden takes office so that he can swoop in and save the day. Excelsior!

      Nevermind that by then there will likely be a vaccine which was produced by the private sector. Government will surely take credit for saving us.

      1. Is this where we pretend Pfeifer wasn’t in operation warp speed getting in essence billions for production and distribution? They already walked back their initial claims. Keep up.

        1. So what’s your point? The government contracts with private sector companies all the time. As I read it, Pfizer has a contract for $1.95B to deliver 100 million doses. That doesn’t mean that Pfizer isn’t still a private company.

          Is Lockheed Martin any less private because they fill DOD contracts?

          1. $1.95B guaranteed contract greatly reduces their risk and boosts their stock price providing more R&D cash.

            I would imagine a bunch of FDA approval bullshit also got fast tracked.

            1. Don’t forget that they, like all vaccine manufacturers, also have blanket protection from any form of civil or criminal liability for their vaccine, which like the H1N1 vaccine will inevitably end up killing more people than the disease.

    2. You assume that Democrats will conclude that ending the pandemic provides the most political advantage. I can imagine other reasons they might want some level of permanent pandemic.

  5. Who is going to enforce a federal mask mandate? DHS? FBI? ICE?

    Good luck with that. There simply aren’t enough federal agents to effect localities. Local LEOs simply aren’t going to enforce a federal mandate, especially in red states.

    1. There simply aren’t enough federal agents to effect localities.
      Yet.
      How hard will it be to hire people to throw the deplorables in jail?

      1. How hard will it be to hire people to throw the deplorables in jail?

        I’m picturing the stereotypical noodle armed SJW “male feminist” attempting to arrest a stereotypical “proud boy” type for not wearing a face diaper. Yeah, that’s gonna work out so well for the twitter warrior soy boys.

    2. Is this a serious question? Biden already said how. He is going to withhold federal funds to make the states do it. He met with many governors already.

      1. The states will simply claim that they are doing whatever it takes to get the funds. How do you actually ensure that 350M Americans are wearing masks? It’s virtually impossible.

        The local police will be doing nothing but responding to all of the Karen’s worried about someone not wearing a mask. They’ll give up on it if they ever care in the first place.

      2. I remember recent screams of “Dictator” for another president planning to withhold federal funds to get state’s to comply. How quickly things change!

    3. More like the IRS.

    4. ” Local LEOs simply aren’t going to enforce”
      They could end the drug war, free up prison beds and funding to retrain cops to beat the shit out of “mask deniers”. Create a whole ‘nuther crisis.

    5. And a lot of local police want nothing to do with it, even in less red areas. A number if cities near where i live tried to pass mask mandates that were strongly opposed by the local police.

  6. “There simply aren’t enough federal agents to effect localities . . . ”

    YET

  7. Reason, of all sites, is blocking VPNs.

    1. Hey! I’ll have you know that Reason is a private company and has every right to censor, block and piss all over libertarian principles because something, something libertarian stuff.

    2. You do know that the middle letter, the “P” stands for ‘private’, right?
      Well, that is no longer allowed.
      Get with the program, or report to the camps.

    3. I’m on a VPN right now.

      1. Or are you?

        Bwahahaha (inhale) Bwahahahaha….

        1. Virtually Private Network

  8. Biden’s decision not to call for a federal mask mandate, even though he clearly believes such mandates are good policy, can plausibly be read as a more restrained view of executive authority.

    Highly doubtful

    1. Yeah, that’s a pretty favorable reading of “If he didn’t the voters might lynch him, he’d be a completely unchecked authoritarian.”

  9. What a fucking weasel Britschgi is.

    He’s basically arguing that any nutty, authoritarian ideas Biden pulls will actually be Trump’s fault, because Trump did a different thing.

    What we’re getting here is a preview of the next four years at Reason, as our favorite Democrat operatives handwave away outrages against freedom by pretending it was Trump, because convoluted reasons.

    1. I don’t really see much difference between a mask mandate and an eviction moratorium in the grand scheme of authoritarianism.

      But you’re right. Biden’s actions are his own authoritarian problem. Just like Trump’s actions were his own authoritarian problem. Just like Obama’s… and so on.

      1. To be fair, one running narrative at this publication – one that I find should be evident – is that every executive takes the powers accumulated by the previous administration and expands on them while collecting more of their own. This could be seen as falling into that category.

      2. Do you see any difference between things Trump talked about doing versus someone else actually doing them???

        Now do apportioning responsibility for said actions.

        1. You have it backwards. We’re talking about something Trump actually did, an eviction moratorium, vs a mask mandate that Biden is talking about.

          Both are bad. Both are authoritarian expansion of an ever-expanding executive branch. If Biden doesn’t follow through, then I guess that’s something. But it still shows that Biden is willing to talk about expanding his power just like Trump was willing to actually do.

          1. Can you name one case where a landlord was prevented from completing an eviction based upon the Federal standard? One where state law was not already in place and blocking the eviction?

          2. Issue is…the bureaucracy is completely on board with whatever Biden wants. Few things worse than a swamp dweller with all of his swamp friends nearby.

      3. I don’t really see much difference between a mask mandate and an eviction moratorium in the grand scheme of authoritarianism.

        Really? Do you rent or own your property? Because one would/does just affect renters directly and only when the rent is past due while the other affects everyone, potentially every minute of every day.

        I don’t mean to say that Biden’s already the more authoritarian of the two of them (the 47 yrs., his crime bills, Title IX reforms, etc. all do that themselves), but acting like a nationwide mask mandate less invasive than an eviction moratorium is a pretty strong-handed equivocation.

        1. Leo isn’t intelligent, but he is devout believer in Both Sidez theory.
          Reality isn’t his thing.

    2. It’s laughable.

      When everyone at Reason is an editor, no one actually does any editing.

      1. Free Minds And Free Markets Tragedy Of The Commons

    3. Be fair. He is only reflecting the level of understanding of the average American fool. Everything good since Nov 3 is because of the election (not necessarily the results, just the act of voting the Right Way). And everything bad is indeed Trump’s fault, and will be for many months.

      1. Nov 4th.
        Trump won as of Nov 3rd

  10. “President-elect Joe Biden”

    STFU.
    Your ass is showing.

    1. Yea that was my first reaction.

      gggg a s l i g h t i n gggg

    2. His Fraudulency.

      Vero Possumlike

  11. Yes, when Biden pulls some horribly anti-libertarian awfulness, it’s actually Trump that’s to blame!

    Bullshit.

  12. …he has backed off of his campaign claims about federal mask mandates and business closures.

    Ha. It’s his economy now.

  13. Serious question:

    Is Covid-19 a pandemic?

    It’s about one year old.
    There are about 50 million confirmed “cases” (not deaths) out of a population of about 8 billion.

    Thus, about 0.6% of world population has “caught” it. (Again, according to “confirmed” cases, likely far less than actual infections).

    About 1.2 million deaths (likely inflated) out of 8 billion people.
    Thus, 0.015% of world population is dead from it (likely inflated).

    Warning. Some of this data came from Wikipedia.

    1. Is Covid-19 a pandemic?

      They changed the definition of pandemic so that Covid fits the criteria, but in actuality, you already know the answer.

      1. I actually don’t. I googled it and every result was from March and April of 2020.
        I do suspect (as you mentioned) that the definition is being stretched, but don’t have any details on the parameters and I’m too lazy to dig deeper.

        1. According to the ‘pre-covid’ definition of pandemic, Covid-19 does not fit the criteria for a pandemic.

        2. Trying to find a decent article outlining the change to the definition, according to this source the WHO changed the definition of pandemic during the swine flu ‘pandemic’.

          https://www.manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/318328/who-defines-pandemic-word-doesn-t-apply-to-covid-19-yet.html

        3. But that article is from Feb 27th, 2020 so there’s that. Imma try and find a better source later if I can.

          1. Information suppression is real.

      2. The definition of “pandemic” was always vague: ie – “infectious and wide spread”.
        Personally I like to respond to statements like “So & so has Covid” by asking “When’s the funeral?”

    2. Was the 2020 election the Most Important Ever? If so, then certainly other words can be coopted to serve a righteous purpose.

    3. Is Covid-19 a pandemic?

      Larger and more widespread than your average epidemic? Yes.
      Requiring a greater response than your average epidemic? No. Plenty of epidemics pass through being a pandemic on their way to being endemic. We don’t necessarily do anything about endemic diseases.

      The term ‘pandemic’ predates the WHO’s itself, let alone their definition by ~300 yrs. The stats and figures are a smokescreen. Nobody gives a shit if herd immunity is 20% or 80+%. They only care if they can implement or repel a mask mandate based on a vague defintion ‘made clear’ by a bullshit number.

      1. Might as well ask “Is COVID-19 a terror alert level red issue?”

        1. “Is COVID-19 a terror alert level red issue?”

          I like it! On a color wheel “red” is just a stage between “blue” and “yellow” or between “purple” and “orange” and explains nothing as it continues around the circle.

    4. I’m OK with saying it was a pandemic. A fairly mild pandemic, but a pandemic. It really hasn’t been since probably April or so. Once the big bump in the curve flattens out again, it’s no longer pandemic, but endemic. People seem to think now that this virus is and always will be “pandemic” as long as it exists. Which is totally ignorant and stupid.

  14. Well, for as long as Kween Kamala lets him, Basement Bunker Binden will rule by decree because everything he wants to do will improve the general welfare, as specifically allowed in that useless old piece of parchment.
    When she has paid the price of letting him be at the top of the ticket, she will drop the amendment 25 articles, and become president-for-life.

  15. Social distancing is not a light switch. It is a dial…

    Let’s see if Biden’s handlers’ goes up to 11.

    1. Talkin’ bout bum cakes, my VP’s got ’em.

    2. But most dials have been replaced by touch screens. How does Joe feel about touching?

      1. How does Joe feel about touching?

        About the same as he feels about sniffing. Make the touch screen also a scratch and sniff and he’ll be distracted by that thing for days.

  16. Will Biden Use the Broad Pandemic-Fighting Powers Originally Claimed by Trump?

    Yes, of course he will. That’s how the game is played: one party expands executive authority while the other side screams bloody murder, accusing of them being “fascists” or “communists” or “literlnazis” (all one word), or just plain old “authoritarians” and then the second that party gets a hold of the ring of power they proceed to use the expanded executive authority while coming up with all new ways to expand their power while it’s the other side’s turn to bitch, moan, and complain. How many times do we need to see this movie play out?

    1. Which would be appropriate commentary if Trump had actually done what he talked about doing.

      The situation we are really in is one where Biden defenders are seeking to manufacture consent for Biden to do something that even horrible OrangeManBad didn’t actually do.

      That is indeed how the game is being played.

      1. Biden’s not going to do anything. This was the endgame. Now he sits and stares at the horizon.

  17. By the way, Reason seems to be burying the lede on Biden’s COVID response.

    This is from Biden’s transition team–Biden’s own website–detailing their response to COVID. Right under the section about making masks mandatory, they’re promising to introduce a “public option” to deal with the pandemic. Read it for yourself:

    Once we succeed in getting beyond this pandemic, we must ensure that the millions of Americans who suffer long-term side effects from COVID don’t face higher premiums or denial of health insurance because of this new pre-existing condition. The Biden-Harris Administration will work to ensure that the protections for those with pre-existing conditions that were won with Obamacare are protected. And, they will work to lower health care costs and expand access to quality, affordable health care through a Medicare-like public option.

    —-Joe Biden

    https://buildbackbetter.com/priorities/covid-19/

    I’m as against mandatory masks as the next libertarian, but the story here is about the public option. Why are they ignoring this?

    1. I had measles and chicken pox as a child. Nobody ever tried to deny me health care because of it. Getting sick and recovering does not constitute a pre-existing condition or just about 300 million Americans would fall into that category.

      1. The public option should be rejected regardless of COVID-19.

        This is an example of, “never let a crisis go to waste”. They must be stopped.
        This must be stopped.

        If the Supreme Court declares all of ObamaCare unconstitutional, the Biden Administration will push for this, and the time to get that turned around isn’t after the presidential election of 2024. It’s to prevent it from happening in the first place.

        I might actually give money to the Republicans running in Georgia. We need to start targeting Democrats in red states with public pressure.

        1. Can I buy stock in Georgia ad based media companies?

    2. “Why are they ignoring this?”

      To ask the question is to answer, comrade.

      Meet the new Pravda, same as the old Pravda.

      1. I keep telling myself not to blame Reason for so many Libertarians voting for Jo. Their ridiculous anti-Trump coverage and ignoring the issues on which Trump was soooooooooo libertarian–that probably isn’t to blame, is it?

        How many independent hits does Reason get in a month?

  18. From July 15 to Nov 7, the US cumulative Covid mortality rate increased eight times more than Sweden’s mortality rate (298 per million compared to just 35 per million).

    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-03-01..latest&country=USA~SWE~FRA~AUT~POL~CZE~ITA~PRT~BEL~NLD~GBR~ESP&region=World&deathsMetric=true&interval=total&perCapita=true&smoothing=0&pickerMetric=population&pickerSort=desc

    And yet, Sweden hasn’t mandated masks (and never locked down any businesses or schools).

    Why didn’t/won’t Reason (or any other media outlets) reveal this very important public health information?

    I understand why Reason and other anti Trump media outlets didn’t report this fact before the election (because they were campaigning for Biden, and didn’t report any important news, including Hunter’s laptop, that would have hurt Biden’s campaign.

    1. The models clearly show that Sweden doesn’t exist.

    2. There is ZERO scientific or empirical evidence that masks prevent the spread of the China virus.

      Why won’t Reason’s scientifically literate writers (Sullum or Bailey) reveal this very important fact?

      Seems like Reason (and the rest of the anti Trump media) refuse to expose any important facts that exonerate Trump or that would expose Biden look like the senile liar he is.

      1. I presently wear as a chin protector an ultra-thin mask (that seems to satisfy Karens) that costs about 25 cents and was likely made in a Bangladesh sweatshop…. And I’ve never read any guidance that I should be doing differently.

        1. I wear the same gaiter that keeps the sun, wind, and cold off when I’m hiking/hunting/fishing/shoveling. I think I got it in my Xmas stocking 15 yrs. ago.

        2. I wear a bandanna. It’s so annoying to go the store then realize I forgot the #&^! mask.

      2. “Why won’t Reason’s scientifically literate writers (Sullum or Bailey) reveal this very important fact?”

        Lysenkoism, that’s why.

      3. On the scientific or empirical evidence that masks prevent the spread of the China virus.

        “The science supports using masks, with recent studies suggesting that they could save lives in different ways: research shows that they cut down the chances of both transmitting and catching the coronavirus, and some studies hint that masks might reduce the severity of infection if people do contract the disease.”

        You didn’t even google it before forming an opinion, did you?

        1. Tony once again why can’t you even consider he read it. Because it didn’t conform with your pre-google opinion too? You’re no better and probably worse to never question; anti science. It’s a paper filled with a bunch of assumptions, probably(s), cans, hints, suggests, not peer reviewed, anecdotal, assumptions and we believes. That’s fine you have this opinion on but that’s all it is like his. He’s absolutely right to question an article decision makers are using that’s filled with and conjecture wrapped in the blanket of “Science” . If you’re right great but get off your high horse and understand people can be skeptical.

        2. I read this and it confirms my belief.
          The synopsis at the end: … “laments the “lack of scientific rigour” that has so far been brought to the topic. “We criticize people all the time in the science world for making statements without any data,” he says. “We’re doing a lot of the same thing here.”

          Tony bases his belief on bullshit.

          1. So convince me why wearing a mask harms you in a way that I should care about more than the potential benefit?

  19. …the president-elect would have the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide “evidence-based guidance for how to turn the dial up or down relative to the level of risk and degree of viral spread in a community.”

    If you go to the CDC’s website they currently have 181 guidance documents covering everything from “Considerations for Public Beaches” to “Considerations for School Closure” and pretty much anything else you could possibly want or need “guidance” on. The problem isn’t a lack of “guidance” from our “betters” at the CDC, so how is what Biden is proposing here different from what’s already being done?

    In fact, how is anything Biden proposed different from what the Trump administration has already done/ is doing? Using the DPA to order the productions of PPE? Trump already did that for ventilators and the results should be exhibit A for “why centrally planned economies don’t work” (hospitals now have more ventilators than they can use). Oh, he’s gonna call up governors and mayors and harangue them about issuing mask mandates at the state/ local levels even though most places have already implemented the stupid mandates except maybe for more rural areas that don’t really need to. Is that the big new thing that Biden plans to bring to the table? Being a massive annoying scold? Yeah, thanks President Karen.

  20. At first glance, Biden does seem to have some token respect for constitutional limits on executive power, but we all know that he will not be the one who is actually governing, it will be his AG and DOJ who will take legal action against anyone who stands in the way of whatever edict the agencies impose.

  21. > Will Biden Use the Broad Pandemic-Fighting Powers Originally Claimed by Trump?

    Of course. The ratchet goes one way only.

    I know people here act like Trump was a saint, but he expanded presidential power significantly. Something his supporters don’t care about because they never cared much about limited government.

    1. Yeah, Trumpers want the government to not touch their guns, but want the police to have unlimited power, so long as it isn’t against them. Ditto for progs except they don’t want government to tell them they can’t have abortions or butt sex, or which bathroom they can use.

      1. As usual the liberals here are full of shit and their own self righteousness. You caucused with the hard left socialists, so you deserve what they give you now.

    2. Trump isn’t to blame for anything Joe Biden willfully chooses to do.

      Do you have any evidence that Biden wouldn’t inflict mandatory masks on us if only Trump hadn’t gone along with a moratorium on evictions, or are we supposed to believe this just because?

      Is Biden excused for everything he willfully chooses to do to us in the future because of Trump’s moratorium, or is it just for the mandatory masks that Biden gets a pass? When we get to the point where Biden is responsible for his own choices again, be sure to let us know.

    3. I know people here act like Trump was a saint,

      Point to the post(s). The overwhelming majority, from day one, acknowledged that he was merely the lesser evil. Arguing that he’s less Hitlerian than his detractors decry is hardly a nomination for sainthood. The closest you get to claiming he is/was a saint is the claim that he is/was more libertarian than the other options, to which, fair detractors admit that he did choose better judges than his predecessors (and likely his competitors), he didn’t *start* any wars (whether he continued others or escalated tensions or not), and that he didn’t, in fact, put anyone in cages or ship them anywhere in cattle cars.

  22. I wish we were in normal times when libertarians would be spectacularly unhelpful on an issue of such actual community concern. That would only be natural. Instead we have all this Trump worship on top of their usual uselessness, which amounts to uselessness squared plus actual malice.

    If your worldview doesn’t permit humanity to take simple measures to prevent hundreds of thousands or millions of deaths, it’s time to grow the fuck up and get a new worldview.

    1. dude feel free to wear seven masks and stay home. don’t feel free to cheer on governments destroying livelihoods. it’s not complicated.

      1. Option A: He chooses to ward off COVID however he sees fit as long as it doesn’t require me to take action or be responsible for preventing the spread.
        Option B: I zip tie a plastic bag over his head so that no one can say I didn’t do my best to prevent him from spreading COVID.

    2. Tony: “…permit humanity to take simple measures”

      this is a pretty stupid statement. also racist.

  23. He can try, but somehow I see Republican Governors claiming “Federalism” and calling Biden a “Dictator”.
    Where have I heard that before?
    Maybe Biden will send in Federal officers to arrest people not wearing masks? Of course Republican Mayors will just let them go without dropping all charges.

  24. hey hey! you succeeded at a headline-question ending in “yes”

  25. It’s amazing how trump has trained so many of you followers. Like a bunch or trained monkeys singing and dancing to the music he plays. What a joke. How does it feel to dance when told to.

    Look, here’s the deal. I wear a mask and wash my hands after I’m done with each of my clients. The only negative effect it has on me is that my hands are a little dry from the constant washing. But it’s no big deal when it comes to possibly washing covid germs off my hands and help prevent others from getting it from me if I catch it. I’ve been tested four times now and have been virus free since the beginning.

    I don’t really get why so many of you refuse to even wear a mask. Do you really care that much about giving it to someone, or worse yet someone you love? Maybe if you give it to your mother and she dies, you’ll just say “It was gods will.” Like he had something to do with it. Or maybe you’ll blame the Chinese or maybe Biden or some other liberal. But you surely won’t blame yourselves or Trump. I guess your freedoms are more important than helping protect your fellow human.

    I don’t think Biden should mandate wearing a mask. It wouldn’t help much anyway. Those who refuse to wear mask, still won’t wear one. And how would it even be enforceable. You gonna give those without a mask a ticket. That’s kind of a joke.

    But if everyone just takes a moment to think about others and wear a mask, that would help at least a little bit. But we all have to be willing to think of others instead of ourselves.

  26. Ol Bidan CANNOT make laws…. or regulations…. not even by Executive Order. HE is not a law-MAKER he is a law ENFORCER. Can’t drive both cars at the same time.
    He will have a fun time enforcing it if he DOES issue a mandate for everyone to wear mug nappies everywhere. It is well settled law that local law enforcement connot enforce federal laws. That’s why the border invaders get off with so much, cause local LE cannot touch them for invading without government permission. SO whatzeegonnadoo? Deploy military? Illegal to use them for lccal police duties. Fed agents? Again, can’t do local LE work. Will he arm and deploy Fauthcee’s minions to go prowling about looking for nappieless mugs to arrast? What about ADA exempt folks? All I need to do is tell them I have a medical exemption, they can NOT inquire as to what, nor ask for proof ADA rules. they are bound. Will he deputise and deply enough to make a difference? Maybe Sleepy needs to bestir himself from his deep slumber.. this AIN’T England, France, Australia, where some king or dictator can order folks about and fiorce them to do HIS will.

    Trump understands this Biden does not, nor does his sidekick.

  27. Sorry Josephine…no masks, no distancing, no more fake Covid. We have had 8 months of this nonsense and according to you bozos nothing has changed. Therefore, the answer is not more restrictions and shutdowns. But then again, you are not your own man and will become Mr. super puppet to do the bidding of the Commies. I don’t believe you could run a bubble gum machine without major assistance.

  28. Do you think they will blame Biden as you do Trump? The people that refuse to wear masks are not “trained by Trump” who has stated many times people should wear masks where and when appropriate. Do you think the people celebrating in the streets after the msm called the election for Biden who mostly were not wearing masks and certainly not social distancing were trained monkeys singing and dancing to music played by the President? What about all the protestors and rioters when out of sight of the cameras that eat together in tents and pass around joints with hardly a mask seen? Never saw those videos?
    You are singing and dancing like a monkey to what you have been told to think and are convinced it is all President Trump’s fault. Trying to turn it around on others is very unbecoming.

  29. I made 10k dollar a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Here’s what I’ve been doing Please visit this siteby follow detailsHere═❥❥  Read More  

  30. Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors.

Please to post comments