Coronavirus

Department of Education Will Launch Investigations Targeting States That Banned Schools From Mandating Masks

Not everything potentially beneficial should be mandatory and not everything potentially harmful should be banned. And not every dispute about costs and benefits should be decided by the federal government.

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The debate over whether masks will be mandated or banned in public schools will apparently be settled—like a depressing number of issues these days—with the hammer of federal authority.

The Department of Education announced Monday that it would launch civil rights investigations into five states whose governors have banned school districts from imposing mask mandates on students and teachers. The department's Office for Civil Rights says those mandates might "discriminate against students with disabilities who are at heightened risk for severe illness from COVID-19 by preventing them from safely accessing in-person education." So the department sent letters to education officials in IowaOklahomaSouth CarolinaTennessee, and Utah, explaining that prohibiting mask mandates "may be preventing schools…from meeting their legal obligations not to discriminate based on disability."

That is quite a stretch—and yet another pandemic-induced opportunity for the federal government to extend its control over decision-making that has always been left to state and local governments.

In a statement, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona claimed that his department has the authority to launch these investigations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal funding. But, as Reason's Jacob Sullum explained last week, this interpretation of the Rehabilitation Act effectively upgrades the Center for Disease Control's "guidelines" for schools into mandates with the force of law. The legal argument at the basis of these new investigations presupposes that public health officials, working in conjunction with federal education officials, can override decisions made by the heads of America's 13,800-plus school districts.

That's not how Cardona frames it, of course. Because everything has to be rammed through a partisan filter, the Department of Education says it is trying to stop "state leaders" (in all five cases, Republicans) from preventing local schools from taking necessary protective action. But in reality, this is a giant expansion of federal authority over conduct in schools. If successful, Cardona would be paving the way for future education secretaries to mandate whatever policies its collection of experts believe are in the best interest of students, regardless of whether district and state officials agree.

And he would be taking that step over a policy that is a long way from being proven effective. Indeed, many other countries around the world—including the U.K., Ireland, all of Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy—do not require masks in classrooms and have not seen a higher rate of COVID outbreaks in schools.

After reviewing COVID data from Florida, New York, and Massachusetts during the 2020–21 school year, Brown University economist Emily Oster and four other researchers reported that "we do not find any correlations with mask mandates" and lower case rates.

While the benefits of in-school masking are thin, the costs rarely get much attention. For one, turning teachers into mask-enforcement officers won't help kids make up for lost classroom time.

"The benefits of masks in preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19 among children are infinitesimally small," argue Neeraj Sood, director of the COVID program at the University of Southern California's Center for Health Policy and Economics, and Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University. "At the same time they are disruptive to learning and communicating in classrooms."

The CDC's numbers suggest that mask mandates are associated with a 20 percent reduction in COVID-19 infection rates. But as Sood and Bhattacharya point out, about 5,000 children in California were diagnosed with COVID-19 during June 2021, which translates to 1,000 infections that could have been prevented with masks. "Given the survival rate among children, mask mandates might prevent one child death in the coming school year, a tiny fraction of the approximately 900 deaths of children 5 to 17 years old in 2019," they write. "If the aim is to save children's lives, other interventions—like enhanced pool safety—would be much more effective."

Ultimately, these cost-benefit decisions should be made by school district officials and, ultimately, by parents. There is little to be gained by letting these decisions be made by federal bureaucrats—or governors—eager to score points in a culture war.

The department's announcement notes that the decision to launch these investigations does not mean that any further actions will be taken. But given what Cardona and President Joe Biden have been saying for months about using federal authority to mandate masks in schools, this is probably best viewed as a beachhead rather than a trial balloon.

It's all incredibly frustrating because, even in states where governors have arguably overstepped their authority to ban schools from imposing mask mandates, there's nothing preventing individual students, teachers, and staff from choosing to wear a mask in school. And those conflicts between governors and school boards are already being worked out in the court system.

As with so much of the debate over masking, everyone seems to have lost sight of the vast space that exists between prohibiting a mandate and banning masks outright. Not everything potentially beneficial should be mandatory and not everything potentially harmful should be banned—yes, even during a pandemic. And not every dispute about costs and benefits should be decided by the federal government.

NEXT: L.A. Teachers Union Leader: 'There's No Such Thing As Learning Loss'

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  1. “even in states where governors have arguably overstepped their authority to ban schools from imposing mask mandates”

    That’s a joke. What about states who’s Governors overstepped their authority by shutting everything down?

    Every damned article you write is spun to go along with the Libertarian viewpoint, until you really read it.

    1. You aren’t supposed to process things and think them through, let alone see if their logic holds true in other areas. If Eric Boehm doesn’t, neither should you. The author wouldn’t surmise that the governors “arguably overstepped their authority” if the governor was banning other unlegislated mandates.

      10A doesn’t really exist here at Reason. If the state wants to overrule the governor or legislatively impose its own mandate, then it should have the legislative courage to do that.

      Nevertheless, at least the author kinda understands [I think] that this isn’t a federal matter and that trying to make it a civil rights matter is just as much a stretch as universally applying the general welfare or commerce clauses. Of course, it’s Boehm, so I may well be overestimating his common sense and understanding of the US Constitution.

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    2. Aaah yes, because believing in the rule of law is so very anti-libertarian?

  2. These banning the ban banning bans are getting very confusing.

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  3. How do these things keep happening under Biden?!?!? Almost like choosing the candidate who promised top down enforcements would lead to these unforeseen things.

    1. Yes but it was WAY MORE important to stop MEAN TWEETING.

      I mean who cares about expanded federal authority when there is just nice tweeting! Its all that matters for Libertarians.

  4. Kids have a right to be forced to wear a mask?

    1. Brought to you by the same government that protects their right to be groped by child molesters in airports.

    2. The women of Afghanistan have the right to be forced into marriage.

      1. The gays of Afghanistan have the right to be thrown off buildings and hung by helicopter.

    3. No, very literally, kids have the right to have their school FORCE OTHER KIDS to wear masks to protect them. Because they are disabled. It is insane. The idea that public schools must accommodate the disabled by forcing kids into masks is insanity.

      1. Why? They force the smart kids to slow down so the dummies can catch up.

      2. How absolutely livid you people get over something so trivial is amazing.

        What next- pants need optional? Let our wangs out!

        1. Raspberry is a brainwashed dupe, but for the benefit of the thread, let’s really pick apart the evil of this statement.

          Set aside that Raspberry thinks forcing my kids to wear a mask 6 – 8 hours a day is “trivial”. My oldest has a near permanent tan line on their face because they had to wear a mask during their outdoor sports for the last year. Having started a new school last year, they don’t even know what some of their schoolmates look like because they only ever met with masks on. This, to Raspberry- someone who likely will never have kids- is “trivial”.

          In reality, trivial or not, it isn’t Raspberry’s choice to make. Indeed, the whole reason Raspberry argues the triviality is because they are too lazy to actually make a real argument. Sure, it may be morally evil, but its “trivial” so why worry about it? Of the various moral codes out there, this falls in the “Pragmatic” school of thought- where something can be morally good if you can show that it will result in a “net benefit” to more people.

          Pragmatic morality, as many probably know, is essentially the communist moral code that they used to justify tens of millions of deaths because their work was ushering in a utopia. If you must be sent to the gulag, that is trivial in the scheme of things, they insisted- billions of people who will in the future live without the yoke of capitalism. In addition to being insidiously evil, this moral code is all about short cuts and lazy thinking- never having to do what’s hard (respecting human rights) if you can cook up some benefit, or lie about the “triviality” of the cost of an action.

          That is why Raspberry parachutes into a nearly dead thread 12 hours later- lazy evilness. Like the DMV of totalitarians, Raspberry has nothing but indifference, negative value-add, and curt quips justifying the utter bankruptcy of their soul.

  5. Congratulations Reason, you got exactly what you wanted.

  6. Reason’s take that a ban on mask mandates is some sort of violation of libertarian principle seems…bizarre. I’d be curious if the Reason staff thought we should repeal the 14th Amendment. After all, it effectively means that the federal government, through the courts, can forbid state governments from imposing laws that violate any of the Bill of Rights. If you’re going to say that the feds have the authority to force the states not to violate what they (properly) regard as the rights of the individual, it’s seems pretty suspect to say that the several states can’t forbid localities from violating what they (again, properly) regard as the rights of the individual.

    1. Neither mask mandates nor banning government entities from mask mandates are “libertarian”.

      However, one leans slightly more in the direction of liberty– at least a basis or recognition of liberty. I’ll let the comments figure out which one is which.

      1. I’ll let the comments figure out which one is which.

        Without guidance from the CDC’s research? You monster!

      2. Neither mask mandates nor banning government entities from mask mandates are “libertarian”.

        How is not allowing a violation of individual rights (the mask mandate) a violation of liberty? Sorry, but that doesn’t make any sense. If a state passed a law that said you have to go to church every Sunday, there’d be no question that the federal government stepping in and saying to the state “No, you can’t do that” would be a “win” from a libertarian perspective. And I’d agree. Because making you go to church every Sunday is a violation of your rights. And so is making you wear a mask. And if the Feds stopping the states from violating your rights is a win for liberty, how is the state stepping in to tell localities they can’t violate your rights not a win for liberty?

        1. From the perspective of the government banning businesses from mandating masks on their premises, is not a “libertarian” idea at its core. It violates freedom of association.

          However, in the realm of unlibertarian things, if we have to choose between two concepts:

          1. Mandates a behavior of the general public,

          2. Bans said mandates on the general public.

          I’ll choose the ban on mask mandates as “leaning in the direction of liberty”. I’m not going to hyperventilate over the relatively benign use of the state that shields me from arbitrary muzzling.

          1. Mandates are freedom.

          2. But, when talking about public schools the perspective is never one of freedom of association. The schools are a state actor.

            Banning them from mandating masks IS libertarian because it recognizes the autonomy of the individual.

      3. Well stated.

    2. If you don’t like the way a state or an individual asserts their Constitutional rights, dream up a bizarre “investigation”, on the same order as “you will be given a fair trial before we shoot you”. It is literally firing a legal shot over the bow with an implied threat that you either comply or we will find you guilty in our kangaroo court of impartial political appointees.

      It’s like a game of Jenga. One by one, they invent ways to knock out the underpins of State and individual rights…. fairly of course, by having an “investigation”.

  7. Pretty amazing when literally all the real-world data shows that 1) Kids are not at risk and 2) Masks don’t work.

    They are tormenting the kids because they can — because they run the schools.

    1. Shhh, evidence is not allowed with regards to the cult of mask.

    2. The CDC’s recent data suggests that mask mandates might be responsible for a 0.5% reduction of COVID infections relative to places without mask mandates. Which is it say, if you might get 1000 infections without a mask mandate, you might get *only* 995 infections with a mandate in place.

      If you are concerned, get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands, socially distance. You don’t need a law or government order or even employer mandates to do that for yourself.

  8. What recourse do I, as a voting member of society, have against this?

    That’s what I want to know. Can I group up with other parents and prevent federal officers from investigating our state officials? I already voted. But apparently, the federal government can override my vote. It’s only important that those bitches have their feelings massaged by the state, but this bitch’s preferences are SOL?

    DeSantis needs to reinstate the state guard and defend his state from the feds. I’d sign up for boot camp and enlist to protect my state and my home from federal tyranny.

    1. And this is what conservatives and libertarians have warned of, that a federal power that has the power to tax and redistribute those funds [or choose not to], holds the power of financial tyranny. Where literally one man has the authority to deprive a state of its own resources for not doing as he demands, this is de facto dictatorship.

      1. Yup, for quite a while now (and real conservatives, not the RINOs that most politicians with an (R) by their name).

  9. Defund the Department of Education.

    1. That’s a step in the right direction.
      next: the DHS,TSA,IRS. FDA.CDC, BLM, DEA and so on and so forth.

      1. Note: Al the UN-Constitutional ones.

  10. Good, let’s have this fight. Let’s take it all the way and bring it to SCOTUS.
    Hopefully the people there will agree that the Federal government has no right to have a department of “edumacation” and force it to be abolished.

    We need to rein in the federal government.

    1. You better pray Roberts isn’t in Kavanaugh’s ear that week

    2. Isn’t another hope that these GOP states will respond to the investigation by reforming public education and go down a “funding students instead of schools” path?

      Although it may be too much to hope, I’d think that private institutions have a lot more ability to avoid this sort of investigation than the state-owned enterprise of public education.

  11. So here is what the CDC data says.

    If you are an adult under age 65 (I assume pretty much all K-12 teachers are) or a minor regardless of vaccination status you are more likely to die from a lightning strike than from COVID. That’s what the data says. That’s what science shows.

    Not only does the federal government not have the constitutional authority to do this, it also proves as the Framers understood, they don’t have the wisdom to make these choices for us.

    1. You are correct about lack of federal constitutional authority, but you seem to be confusing the risk of dying from a vaccination with the risk of dying from a COVID-19 infection. Even if you were so careless as to live in Florida, the US lightning strike leader, there have only been 2 lightning strike fatalities in Florida so far in 2021 (as of 08/25/2021, US National Weather Service).
      So have you just confused vaccination deaths with infection deaths, or are you one of the majority in the US who are almost totally innumerate?

      1. Have to agree. 49 people died from lightning strikes last year.

  12. It is almost as if the President has scant regard for the principles of federalism and constitutional limits on federal executive authority.

  13. Civil rights cases? Fuck off. A child with health issues is not prevented from taking steps but, of course, these are the feds who view YOU not being forced to do something as somehow violating someone else’s rights.

    1. I get it now. They have a right to not be exposed to someone else’s face. Kind of like the requirement to wear pants. I have some unwritten right to not see someone else’s junk.

      1. You never go into a locker room?

        1. I’m a delicate flower. I shower at home.

  14. You wanna see how confusing this shit is getting:

    Washington State Employee Unikon sues Gov Jay Inslee to delay vaccine mandate.

    Washington’s state employee union is asking a court this week to delay implementation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, arguing it should not move forward until its full impacts have been adequately negotiated.

    1. Only until Inslee takes all three of the vaxxes and a booster every week.
      Then decide.

    2. Dueling collectives.

      1. It is kinda humorous when the special interests conflict. They’ll start carving out exceptions for the special interest folks.

        1. It is also wholly revealing to watch the reaction of others. People who often dismiss offhand the opinions or desires of the individual will at least pause, or remain silent when confronted with the voice of a special interest group.

          Those people are not your friend.

    3. Will someone tell all these stupid unionized Trump voters (especially all the ones in NYC) to just sit down, shut up. get the jab, and OBEY!
      ——————-
      A union representing emergency workers in New York also came out against the mandate, accusing the city of disregarding the “civil liberties of the workforce.”
      “Our members at FDNY EMS are highly trained medical professionals, yet they continue to be disrespected and disregarded by city leadership, which believes we can feed our families on poverty wages,” the Fire Department of New York EMS Local 2507 said in a statement last week.
      ————
      Top NYPD Union Promises Legal Action If City Imposes COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
      If NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) tries to impose a COVID vaccination mandate on on the city’s largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), it will sue to stop the requirement.
      “If the City attempts to impose a vaccine mandate on PBA members, we will take legal action to defend our members’ right to make such personal medical decisions,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in an email that was obtained by The New York Post.
      ——————-
      Nurses Warn of Staff Shortages Due to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
      A nationwide shortage of nurses and health care workers may soon worsen as thousands of medical staff face losing their jobs by refusing to obey new COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
      “Mandating vaccination is not, nor will it ever be, the answer,” said George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest health care union in the United States, which has rallied against the mandate imposed by New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
      [The people who are most likely to come in contact with those infected with the Delta variant don’t want to be required to get the vaccine to continue employment???? Why might that be? ]
      ———————-
      More than 100 staff members at Houston Methodist Hospital who were fired for refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19 appealed a judge’s ruling that sided with the hospital’s right to terminate their employment.
      “We are going to most likely go all the way up to the Supreme Court,” Jennifer Bridges, a registered nurse and the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by 117 former employees of the hospital, told Yahoo News.
      “I’m not anti-vax. I’ve had all my other vaccines, but this one was rushed and it didn’t have the proper research,” Bridges said, adding, “I would rather take my chances rather than get the shot.”
      ———————-
      New York state teacher’s union opposes staff vaccine mandates
      A union representing teachers in New York on Monday came out against the state’s vaccine mandate for public workers, saying while it does encourage teachers to get vaccinated, it will not support a requirement.
      “We have advocated since the beginning of the year that any educator who wants a vaccine should have easy access to one,” the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union said in a statement.
      “We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis. But it’s critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate,” NYSUT added.

  15. Congress does not “hide elephants in mouse holes.” [Scalia: Whitman v. American Trucking…]

    Which is to say, this is an administrative erection and appears to exceed any expressed or implied legislative authority ( from whatever Title) through lack of an intelligible principle, vis-a-vis the nondelegation doctrine.

    In short, the lefty bureaucrats are making shit up.

  16. How come no one is asking, “What did those students do before when an illness like H1N1 came up, of what about SARS”? There will always be an illness or disease that ravages mankind, how we live with it is what matters! You can’t keep mandating masks and keeping germs away from the entire population as that is a vital part of growing up for all children. Toddlers go out in the front, back yard, or parks and they stick their cute little hands in the dirt then immediately stick those dirty hands in their mouths, and none of them die instantly! Sure, some will get sick but it’s never serious, not like the government makes covid out to be. So the government is allowing blacks to tell whites they are racist and white privileged and thus need to change their ways and accept violence in the name of blacks but young children with already compromised immune systems, we now have to look out for all of them and change our lives for them only! Everything is one-sided now, there is no meeting in the middle. I read an article about a 44-year old woman ( I know it was in her 40’s don’t recall the true number) who has fibromyalgia, and she was so excited that the rest of the US had to now wear masks, BECAUSE she has had to wear a mask all her life, to prevent from getting sick if someone sneezes her way. Seriously!! Just how many people purposely sneezed on her to do her harm, and if she was already wearing a mask, that was her choice. WE can’t all live in a bubble, otherwise, why not change the workforce to ALL work from home, because you can’t, some jobs require your physical azz to be there and operate machines. It’s ludicrous to think we need to hide our faces for the rest of our lives to appease someone who was born with an illness and to become depressed and isolated, that it will cure the covid and get rid of it for good. People have been surviving all this time with the way we handle viruses, trying to play god and say who gets to live and who gets to die, or trying to attain living forever goes against nature whether you are religious or non-religious, it’s not going to happen!!!

    1. Safetyism. And people ARE asking but the usual response is to silence, deplatform, and ban them.

  17. Conservatives always talk about having local control over as much as possible. We see now that that goes to the wayside in order to score cheap political points in order to increase the spread of a virus.

    1. Individual control. Nobody is responsible for educating your children but you.

    2. We can see the talking points have been given.

      The individual is the ultimate locality. Leaving control with the individual whenever possible is indeed what we support.

      You, on the other hand, are all about authoritarianism.

    3. Libertarianism is all about individual liberty. Why the F are you even here?

    4. Municipalities are subsidiaries of the individual states, not soverign citystates like Athens you fucking moron.

  18. Well, there it is. The “discrimination against those with disabilities” argument can now be used ubiquitously.

    1. I would say that it already has been for some time.
      It’s hard to open a store or restaurant without putting a ton of money into the building to be accommodating.
      I recall that years ago, a study in New York indicated that the modifications to make busses handicapped accessible cost more than providing a car service to the handicapped riders.

  19. ????????????CHRISTrumpOwens and all their US TRUMPlican Lawmakers successfully US 2020-2036 Reelected Landslide
    Amen & Amen????❤️????

  20. CHRISTrumpOwens and all their US TRUMPlican Lawmakers successfully US 2020-2036 Reelected Landslide
    Amen & Amen

  21. These people are useless idiots.
    READ YOUR OWN GOVT DATA and STOP MASKING OUR KIDS!
    According to the CDC:
    (data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Deaths-Focus-on-Ages-0-18-Yea/nr4s-juj3)
    (this site does not like https links)
    From Jan 4, 2020 to August 21, 2021:
    0-4 years 141 deaths
    5-18 years 313 deaths

    You have to assume most, if not all of these deaths were immune compromised kids e.g. leukemia etc.

  22. Again if the GOP was serious the DOE would have been shut down in 1981 as it should have…the rational used by mr potato head at the DOE could be applied to any flu bug or cold bug. The Federal Govt at this point is just an extension of the DNC/Marxist rulers..it is sad..we expect when the GOP gets power to roll all this back (shut down every federal agency created after 1960 would be a good start) but no we get Bill Bennet..what bs

  23. The only answer is nullification and secession.
    Other than that, there is home schooling. Remove your children from those awful public miseducation /indoctrination centers who are attempting to ram CRT and socialism down children’s throats.
    Then sue the local school board for false advertising and fraud. Sue them for misappropriating funds. Sue them for miseducating people as they have for the past 120 years.
    Otherwise try to return control of your local school and see what happens. You won’t get very far. The teacher’s union and the Feds will swing into action. Certain people will get arrested and charged with terrorist activities. CNN will complain about a fascist attempt to take over education and blame Trump.
    Personally, I would remove my children from these awful excuses for education and home school them.

  24. The very first line of this article is a lie, “The debate over whether masks will be mandated or banned in public schools”, no one anywhere has “banned” masks in schools. Some states have banned mandates on mask wearing. That is not the same as banning masks.

    1. Reason fights hard for team blue.

      1. Boehm is a clueless idiot who may not understand such distinctions.

        But, as I’ve said before, whoever is feeding him these hot takes really should be charged with abusing the disabled.

  25. “not everything potentially harmful should be banned”

    I wasn’t aware that any state was trying to pass a law to keep children from wearing masks if they so choose. The same goes for vaccines. That comes down to rights of children vs rights of parents, which comes down to age of consent. Are we going to redefine age of consent? That could have major, rippling unintended side effects.

  26. I’m confused. Where does it say that these states disallow kids from wearing masks?

    1. It doesn’t, but the headline is misleading and sort of implies it.

      1. Sorry. Not the headline but the first sustenance.

  27. I’m getting really tired of these so called “disability rights” and “equity” claims. I suffered severe discrimination at UW on account of being a Veteran and non-traditional student with ADHD, at the hands of a highly liberal and “equitable” university. They didn’t care because I’m a white male. All of these so called equity programs are B.S. All they ever care about as far as ADA is concerned is adding more wheelchair ramps when they already have 500 per building. Its all about image, nothing else. I could see the argument about children with medical conditions that put them at greater risk from COVID if not for the fact that vaccines are available for them.

    1. In a few decades, if this continues, I anticipate more handicapped parking spaces than regular ones.

    2. See it’s the “white” part that was your problem. “Equitable” or the statement about caring about POC really only means caring about special rights for black people

  28. Promises made, promises kept. But no mean tweets!

  29. But as Sood and Bhattacharya point out, about 5,000 children in California were diagnosed with COVID-19 during June 2021, which translates to 1,000 infections that could have been prevented with masks.

    Would you Reason assholes stop using hopelessly out-of-date information in order to spin things an ideological way. There is not even a remotely valid comparison between the contagiousness of alpha/original (ie June – when many schools were also not even in session) v delta – now. Going forward – the only valid assumption is that every kid will be exposed to covid this year. eg – California may have had 5000 cases in schools in June – Tampa FL schools has 6000 cases now (3% of students) after one week of school.

    There is plenty of good reason to oppose mask mandates. Lying about the disease/risks is a particularly dishonest approach.

    1. Delta was already spreading through the US in June (share rose from 7% to 50% over that month), but OK.

      I really wish cases would stop being used in any sort of argument, though. It’s a junk stat. And the combination of widely available vaccination and COVID’s manner of spread makes it even junkier.

      1. Considering the PCR test is junk I agree

    2. Yea lying about masks reducing cases by 20% is a big whopper

    3. Fuck off and die, cowardly piece of lefty shit.

  30. How the “libertarians” here justify more state power over localities deciding what is best for them, in a pandemic no less, is beyond me.

    You’d think people here would be arguing that the people in their own communities should have the right to decide what is good for themselves. Not some bureaucrat in the capital.

    1. “How the “libertarians” here justify more state power over localities deciding what is best for them, in a pandemic no less, is beyond me.”

      Fuck off you lying hypocrite.

      1. “localities deciding what is best for them”

        Localities?

        And exactly who is “deciding,” and who is “them”?

        In a contest between petty tyrants and individual choice you have sided with tyranny.

        No surprise there.

        Now, fuck off slaver.

        1. “Now, fuck off slaver.”

          ^+1

    2. This one is just best left to the people, i.e. no government

      1. And the people will decide things how?

  31. LOL HaHaHa

    The CDC’s numbers? based on what?

  32. Ok questions for the pro-mandate folks:

    Masks- if you are scared wear a mask. You are free to do so. If you feel unsafe around unmasked folks were two masks. Which provides two layers of protection same as if each was wearing a mask. Problem solved without a mandate.

    Vaccines- We are told we must trust the vaccines. They are very (95%) effective and completely safe and if say otherwise we must censor you. Also even if vaccinated you van get the disease and transmit the disease.

    So if you’re vaccinated why do you care if others are? Don’t you trust the vaccine?

    1. Because we want the pandemic to end and it won’t until you morons stop spreading disease.

      1. You know vaccinated people are spreading the disease too right?

        1. And that makes your case stronger somehow?

          1. Yes, shitstain. Try to keep up.

          2. No, it just highlights the vaccine is weaker than the lie that it is more than 95%effective.

            1. So the disease is worse than we thought, and you think that means you deserve more freedom to cough it on people?

      2. “Because we want the pandemic to end and it won’t until you morons stop spreading disease.”

        The “pandemic” is over; shitstain and his compatriots want to use it as an excuse to continue to direct your life.
        Fuck off and die, shitstain.

    2. The people that live in constant fear are called liberals and want to force all of your life’s decisions upon you. Not sure what is “liberal” about that.

      lib·er·al
      1.
      willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas.

      Certainly doesn’t apply to the Politically “liberal”

  33. This pandemic has caused some truly feeble grasping at libertarian so-called principles in these pages. If you want to demonstrate the utility of your ideas, you’re going to have to do better than sticking by the god-given right to cough deadly germs on other people.

    Presumably the pandemic will end. If politicians keep capriciously insisting that people maintain unnecessary hygiene practices, maybe you’ll have a point. Until then the edifice of your belief system rests on convincing sane people that there is some benefit that outweighs the cost of individual freedom around pandemic conditions in a world of relentless misinformation and manufacturered outrage.

    There are plenty of perfectly viable alternatives to what you’re selling. I want to know why you insist that your higher body count than those alternatives benefits me in some way. There is no not weighing the costs and benefits. At least in the past you used to insist on personal responsibility in addition to maximum freedom. I suppose the “responsibility” bit was too hard.

    1. “This pandemic has caused some truly feeble grasping at libertarian so-called principles in these pages.”

      This minor medical issue has caused the knee-crawling boot-lickers to invent all sorts of bullshit rationales for knee -crawling and boot-licking, shitstain.

  34. Nothing will happen because constitution

  35. Also no one has banned masks. Either Boehm is signaling the tribe or he can’t be bothered with the truth.

  36. The definition of tyranny is not “I am forced to do something that annoys me.” Anti-mask zealots who watch way too much FOX News want explicitly to force teachers and students with compromised immune systems to risk their own lives in exchange for a meaningless benefit to the children of Trumpers.

    Trumpers who support the violent overthrow of the United States, I hasten to add.

    1. “The definition of tyranny is not “I am forced to do something that annoys me.””

      It’ll do until a better one comes along, shitstain.

    2. I have to the point where I don’t have any faith in the masks anyway. Any protection is so weak it is meaningless. This is more so when you talk about kids in a closed environment. A good ventilation system and sanitation probably helps more.

    3. Can you point out to me the part that says you may not wear a mask if you choose? I’m only having a problem with the “you will wear a mask whether you want to or not “ part.

      1. I don’t have a problem with a business doing that. It gets trickier when a school district does. I think it is a local decision and should not be decided on the state or federal level.

        What NYC is doing is absolutely wrong.

        At this point I don’t really care about people who could easily get a vaccine which at the least provides strong protection against serious disease.

      2. So same with seatbelts. Are seatbelts tyranny? What about the rule not to bring a bomb on a plane? Tyranny?

  37. The DOE should be eliminated. Decisions like this should be made locally, not on the state level.

    1. Under what logic? The very definition of a pandemic suggests a global solution rather than a bunch of local ones. Humanity will need to figure out more ways to cooperate, not fewer, if we’re even going to survive.

      There is obviously some expediency in local governments knowing their local environment better than a central authority, but if anything is a problem that needs to be dealt with in a collective and cooperative way, it’s a global pandemic.

      And it comes with the free rider issue, which we’re seeing play out now. Plenty of jurisdictions already have decided that they are willing to buy a little status quo freedom with other people’s lives.

  38. Israel is not requiring masks but Americans would never go for their plan.

    All grades 1-6 the kids will need to get a serology test. If they have antibodies they get a green pass.

    The rest will be required to get a home test before they start school.

    If someone gets a positive they are out for a week or something. The rest of the class gets tested for a week.

    In high risk areas all of the kids will need a weekly test.

    It is a better plan really because it actually does something but no way Americans would go for it.

    Pfizer expects the trial for two year olds and up to be done by February.

  39. Excellent Quote, “And not every dispute about costs and benefits should be decided by the federal government.”

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