Mask Freedom At Long Last

And more pandemic protocols that won't be missed


In this Monday's Reason Roundtable,Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie celebrate the latest freedom from COVID-19 restrictions and condemn the disaster that is "public health."

Discussed in the show:

1:25: Mask freedom: the capricious Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the masking rules we won't miss

33:15: Listener Question of the Week: "Why is it that no one seems outraged by the fact that the new CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people creates two fundamentally different classes of citizens: the fully privileged vaccinated and the indefinitely rights-suspended unvaccinated? Is the cultural stratification created by the new CDC guidance not as anti-libertarian as public policy gets?"

53:24: Media recommendations for the week

This weeks links:

Send your questions to Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Assistant production by Regan Taylor.
Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve.

NEXT: John Samples: Facebook's Oversight Board Was Right To Uphold Trump Ban

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  1. Finally! The government may let us have our freedom privileges back if we ask nicely and do what the bureaucrat says!

    1. Isn’t this exactly what all the guns are for? What’s the use of you 2A pussies won’t even stand up for FREEDUM against TYRRUNAH?

      1. We’ve been ignoring them the whole time. Nobody getting arrested in Eastern WA.

        1. Western WA on the other hand…

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      2. Is that why you faggots were freaking out about armed demonstrations last year?

      3. Yes, supposedly, but guns are no threat to authority if the owner has been psychologically disabled, e.g., suffered thru 12 years of indoctrination, trained to respect & obey “law & order”, i.e., the initiation of force, threats, as if it led to order, ignoring the chaos, the irrational/immoral laws.
        Also, violent retailation against overwhelming force is suicidal, and self-defeating individually and politically. People are only shown the violence of the victim and self-defense is forgotten by the public. Non-violent resistance, on the other hand, exposes authority as the aggressor, the immoral actor.

  2. Watching the Padres sweep the Cardinals over the weekend, I couldn’t but notice the stadium filling up with fans who were not wearing masks–yes, in southern California.

    It’s starting to feel more and more normal by the day–except for the part about the Padres sweeping the Cardinals. I’m still expecting a disaster every game, but I’ll learn to live with winning.

    Never mind the Angels being in fourth place in the American West. They’ve been the second best team in Los Angeles for a long time, and they’re currently the fifth best team in California.

    Have you cancelled your subscription to the MLB app yet, Matt?

    1. I lost Tatis AND Corey Seager from my fantasy team. Was rolling in shortstops lol

      1. That’s a bummer.

        How’d you get both of them? I’d think top 10 shortstops would go off the board quick. Did you get screwed on starting pitchers?

        Playing Ha-seong Kim on a spot basis over the next few games against Colorado, until Tatis is back, might not be a bad idea. Kim knocked one out the day before yesterday, and he’s been heating up. His average isn’t great, but he’s been hitting a lot of sacrifice flies. He’s due. And Colorado has the second worst team ERA in the majors. The only team with a worse ERA is the Angels. How embarrassing for Matt!

        1. it’s an auto-draft league for bragging rights … they lined up perfect for my picks

          ya my pitchers aren’t great good call. 90% of the pitchers are disposable anyway

    2. The subscription is prepaid. But it will not be renewed.

    3. Otanhi leads the league in HR!

      1. dude literally flipped a ball over the Monster on Friday like I would flip one over shortstop … he’s an alien

    4. That’s nothing. On May 10, this happened. I’m surprised it didn’t get any coverage outside the boxing scene:
      The world title fight between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders was watched by 73,126 fans at AT&T Stadium in Texas, an all-time attendance record for an indoor boxing event held in the US.

      1. I don’t think UFC is very well liked by the leftfags, which is why it gets almost no media coverage to speak of outside of ESPN.

        1. This is BOXING, not UFC.

  3. Is the cultural stratification created by the new CDC guidance not as anti-libertarian as public policy gets?

    You mean aside from the previous policy where everyone, vaccinated or not, had to wear masks, right?

    1. Haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but it’s not quite the horror as the question posits. Vaccinated people may socially interact with other vaccinated people. So it’s basically extending the people you can socially interact with from just your household to your household plus the vaccinated.

      You are still NOT allowed to socially interact with the unvaccinated. Also, these are guidelines and not laws or regulations.

      Yes, it’s problematic. Very problematic. It’s just not the end of the world as some people make it out to be.

      1. Not allowed by who?

        Who is not allowing you to do this?

        No one has tried to stop me from doing so.

      2. No, it’s really not horrible at all. The bureaucratic agency that has given itself power to dictate your social interactions has decided you can socially interact with more people. But still stay away from the Unvaxed… They are untouchable.

        It’s really quite generous of them.

        1. They should give them a catchy name, like Dalit, Burakumin or Cagot. Maybe a bell to ring like a medieval leper, “Unclean, unclean”.

          1. Or a scarlet letter?

        2. I avoid anti-vaxxers as a rule. Been doing it for at least a decade before this pandemic was even a glimmer in some bat’s eye. They’re all idiots.

          Not everyone can get vaccinated, and the mass of rubbish stories about the vaccine has many other scared shitless, so I don’t treat vax-hesitancy as anti-vaxxing. But anyone actively promoting this rubbish are untouchable to me. Especially those of you pandering this stupid Bill Gates microchipping shit.

      3. I didn’t see any ‘guidance’ from the CDC that suggested that my fully vaccinated self should refrain or otherwise limit my interactions with other, potentially non-vaccinated, people.

        My local authorities have rescinded all of their previous Covid protocols and restrictions. There are none. My state hasn’t had any statewide measures for over a year.

        Where is this coming from? I have very few places near me where a mask is still required. There are a few businesses that ask you to consider masking up, but most of these places are making it optional as well.

  4. Well almost nobody where I live paid attention to the feds and the CDC, life just went on. Some did what they felt they needed to do to protect themselves, others not so much. It’s not an urban area so that helped. Once the initial fear passed last spring we just decided it wasn’t worth living by their rules and we were right.

    That Biden and Fauci and others are “allowing” you to take off your masks tells you what you need to know about them. Next election clean house and put responsible people in office who aren’t beholden to the twitter mob.

    1. Thank you for posting these. Reason went totalitarian when it mattered most.

      1. No they didn’t. They went totalitarian circa 2015 when it didn’t matter. When it mattered most, they doubled down.

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    1. Hope things pick up quickly for you.

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  6. Hope you recover and keep things fast for you.
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  7. 33:15: Listener Question of the Week: “Why is it that no one seems outraged by the fact that the new CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people creates two fundamentally different classes of citizens: the fully privileged vaccinated and the indefinitely rights-suspended unvaccinated?

    Didn’t they say this about the invention of the Apple desktop, that it creates two classes: those who have it and those who don’t?

    1. Libertarians (and to a lesser extent, some conservative) like tax cuts. But isn’t any tax cut that isn’t universal a tax cut that creates two classes? One that gets a tax cut and one that doesn’t?

      Lower the tax rate, we get people above and below the new rate. Cut taxes on the rich, two classes, cut taxes on the poor, two classes. Get rid of gas taxes and you get two classes, those who don’t have to pay that tax anymore and those that never did.

      At some level this is correct, special privileges ARE being passed around. It’s why we have this maze of write-offs, breaks, deductions, credits, etc. So contrary to Rothbard, not every tax cut is good. Uniformity of law/taxation is as much a goal as a general decrease in laws/taxations.

      Does this relaxation of the guidelines for some count as divisive? I say no, because the goal is to get everyone vaccinated. It’s a recognition that two vaccinated people are not dangerous to each other. It’s not even a law, so it doesn’t even rise to the level of requiring children to get vaccinated to attend school, something that has been standard for over fifty years.

  8. Maybe in this moment of freedom we can roll back some of these abortion restriction that Jeebus worshippers have foisted upon us. Fingers crossed for freedom!

    1. You’re saying unborn baby murders are down as a result of Covid or they are normal but you want more of them?

      1. Let us speak clearly on this matter. I have dos ninos. If my wife gets pregnant with the 3rd I want to use this freedom moment so that me and her can abort the shit out of that little fucker. Preferably at 8 months. You know… just because. It’s kind of like owning an assault rifle. The most compelling argument I’ve seen in favor of gun ownership is “just because”. It’s the same with abortion. There are scolds on the other side on each issue, but— you know— fuck ‘em.

        1. “Let us speak clearly on this matter. I have dos ninos. If my wife gets pregnant with the 3rd I want to use this freedom moment so that me and her can abort the shit out of that little fucker.”

          Indeed, let us. Some of us are adults and act responsibly; others are commie parasites who assume everyone else can pay for their irresponsibility.
          In this case, you could even offer the kid for adoption and have her/him raised by someone other than a fucking brain-dead piece of commie shit.

        2. Owning a gun =/ killing an unborn child.
          Last year in the US, there were about 375,000 deaths attributed to covid complications. The most recent year we have reliable data, 2018, there were about twice as many abortions.
          In 2017, a year for which data is available, about 450 murders were by “assault style” weapons.
          The only firearm I own that may have killed someone came from Yugoslavia.
          Abortion twice as deadly as covid. And three orders of magnitude more deadly than “assault style” weapons.

        3. Yeah, the last thing the country needs is one more mortgage welsher.

        4. Is this a parody account or is someone really this vile?

          1. Someone is truly this vile.

          2. To be fair, any of AmSoc’s cloven-hoofed spawn would already be a horribly disfigured, genetic dead end, so abortion would be a kindness in this case.

            1. Likely most of us here have contributed to the welfare of humanity by being productive; I’m proud of my efforts and there are many who work for my (current) company or supply us, who would agree.
              Given the asshole commie-kid’s aversion to, well, paying what he had agreed to pay, it’s a pretty good bet that commie kid is a parasite and nothing more.
              We’d hope his offspring were raised by other than brain-dead commie assholes.

              1. Tell us about your “contributions” in Vietnam killing third world peasants, boot-clicker.

                1. Maybe if you weren’t a selfish, greedy caricature focused on only taking things from others so you can consume them, and instead have some concern for someone other than you, you’d have an opportunity to sit down and listen. Being lied to by one’s government and media as well as being forced to participate or go to jail is going to compel most people to join the team. If you sat and just listened, empathetically, it would be a conversation that you’d remember forever.

                2. Tell us about welshing on your mortgage, deadbeat.

          3. Mute worthy; I no longer see the bots or the trolls [but have no trouble recognizing them from just the responses they elicit].

    2. “Maybe in this moment of freedom we can roll back some of these abortion restriction that Jeebus worshippers have foisted upon us. Fingers crossed for freedom!”

      Maybe we could get lefty shit trolls with IQs somewhere near the mid-two-digits; so far, we haven’t.

    3. See, this is why as a Koch / Reason libertarian, I’m willing to ally with in-name-only “socialists” like you and AOC. You obviously care far more about protecting abortion access than you do about traditional socialist goals like promoting economic equality. Which makes you the kind of single-issue voter Democrats can count on — even as they evolve into an objectively pro-billionaire party.


      1. Sir, you deserve a tip jar.

      2. Jeebus Christ, there really is a problem with the mute button., please fix.

        1. Democrats have complete control in Washington. The minimum wage isn’t going up, Medicare for All isn’t getting passed — and the richest people on the planet are rapidly getting richer. Genuine socialists would find this alarming.

          But what are you most worried about? Abortion!

          That’s why your “socialism” poses no threat whatsoever to billionaires like’s benefactor Charles Koch.

          1. Puts a fiver in the jar.

      3. ++ for OBL; no one does it better, Baby you’re the best!

  9. There is no mask freedom. there was a shift of scientific guidance from the CDC. That’s it. Period. Everyone* is still wearing masks, they’re required everywhere and there’s no sign that’s changing in the foreseeable future.

    1. Masks are neither free on slave.
      Citizens, on the other hand, can choose the health risk they will tolerate.
      I evaluated the reliability of the CDC “guidelines”, and my personal health conditions, and determined a “cloth face covering” was an unnecessary impediment to breathing. I had to restrict my patronage of a few restaurants, and my hair is longer than it has been since the sixties, but I live without a “cloth face covering”.
      It helps that I live in one of the states of Free America, and a couple hours on the web found a grocery store which recognizes the CDC exemptions. It has taken over a year, but the rest of the world has come around to my way of thinking. Last week I was having breakfast at one of my favorite locally owned, family run diners, and none of the staff was masked. It was good to see smiles again. Now if people will just remember last year when voting next year, perhaps the fascists will be set back far enough I will die before they try again.

    2. I don’t think this is correct. There was an urgent need among certain heavily threatened, recall-vulnerable government officials to get some cover for pulling all the restraints. And they have been having urgent talks with the CDC for awhile to make sure that happens.

      1. More plausible than the science changing.

  10. “Send your questions to Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.”

    Are you creating two classes of citizens, those with social media accounts and those without?

    1. Yep: “Tell us what your idiot account name is; they sell for good money!”

    2. “Would you support a universal vaccine passport if it was created by a private business? What if that private business was The Trump Organization?”

      I’m pretty tempted…. But of course I’d have to go make a gab account and that just sounds like too much work

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        1. Oddly appropriate spam reply to a post mentioning social media…

  11. The officials lost all credibility on masks last fall when they decided that the magical piece of cloth, which supposedly prevented the virus in every other situation, suddenly wasn’t good enough to stop the spread at the polls. So they simply had to expand mail in voting to absurd levels that previously could never even be considered because of the potential for fraud. But they had no choice since the magical masks lost their power only while at the voting booth, but luckily made up for it by magically fortifying the election into the most transparent and Democratic EVER.

    1. Fuck off, you liar. Proof or STFU.

    2. suddenly wasn’t good enough to stop the spread at the polls

      Standing in line for hours just to get into the polling place, if you don’t catch COVID, you’ll die of thirst. American Democracy FTW!

  12. Chuck U Schumer said to buckle up. After four months it’s the worst roller coaster yet. Imagine what the next four years will bring. Get ready boys.

  13. I haven’t worn a mask the whole time. Not one person has said a word about it. Red state life!

    1. Help spread the concept of “Free America”.

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    1. Collect clicks, you will not.

  15. I wonder if the listener asking that question at 33:15 is also against laws banning drunk driving, because it creates a social stratification between drunk people and non-drunk people. Or against laws banning 2-year olds from driving cars because it creates social stratification between 2-year old and non-two year old people.

    The reason famous examples of social stratification, like Jim Crow laws, are really bad is that they are based on immutable characteristics. We stratify all the time based on characteristics like being drunk and being 2 years old, both of which can be changed merely by allowing time to pass. Vaccination is another example of a characteristic that can be easily changed.

  16. The term “CDC guidance” is an authoritarian euphemism. Don’t let them lie by mischaracterizing their laws (threats of violence). Don’t use their words/terms. Be real and say: “CDC edicts”.

  17. There are a couple really BIG items left out of the podcast.

    #1 – The CDC IS NOT following the science with their latest guidance. If they did the guidance would have removed the mask mandate regardless of whether the person is vaccinated or not. The data since the inception of the pandemic shows only about 0.1% of the transmissions of COVID occurred outdoors. The lion’s share of that data is prior to any vaccine being available. Thus the science does not support requiring unvaccinated people to wear a mask outdoors.

    #2 – The CDC only issues guidance. It’s the states and counties that decide what the orders and mandates are going to be. Already California has decided to thumb their nose at the CDC guidance and keep their much more restrictive mandates in place for at least another month.

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  21. Mask freedom?
    I think there is still a long way to go.
    The COVID-19 has not disappeared. The government may have more measures.

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