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Crouere: It seems like the American left is married to the mask

Several months ago, President Joe Biden was vaccinated. In the White House, he is surrounded by people who have also been vaccinated. Nevertheless, he continues to wear a mask, even when outdoors or alone on Zoom calls with world leaders. In a recent online conference call, Biden was the only world leader wearing a mask.

Last week, he was asked by a reporter why he continues to wear a mask outdoors, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lifted that requirement for those who have been vaccinated. Biden said, “Because, when we’re inside, it’s still good policy to wear the mask, that’s why. When I am outside, and the problem is: Lots of times, I walk away from this podium, you notice, I forget to put my mask back on because I’m used to not wearing it outside.”

In other words, he wears the mask because he forgets to take it off when going outside. However, he did just the opposite when he recently met with former President Jimmy Carter, 96 years old, and his wife Rosalyn Carter, 93 years old. A photo of the encounter showed that neither Biden, nor his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, wore masks for their meeting with the president and his wife. If Biden claims it is “good policy” to wear a mask indoors, why did he not wear it when meeting with two very elderly individuals who are potentially susceptible to the spread of the virus?

Possibly Biden did not realize that former President Carter would release the photo to the public. When Biden left the meeting with the Carters to go outside, he immediately placed his mask back on. He attached a mask outdoors, despite the CDC guidelines. All this did was show the media and the public that mask wearing should continue. It was another example of insane virtue signaling to the American public.

The left has more than an affinity for masks — they have a true love affair. A mask shows your obedience to the government. It creates faceless Americans, devoid of personality, following orders from all-knowing health officials.

In our country, too many leftists are quite willing to submit to government authorities, while conservatives are more independent minded, enjoy their freedoms and have a tradition of questioning authority.

As the COVID-19 mitigation measures, including mask mandates, have continued in many states for almost 14 months, millions of Americans are ready for these measures to end. In school districts across the country, parents are criticizing local education officials about the continuation of mask mandates. There are regular fights among Americans at airports, stadiums, and other public places about masks. As more Americans become vaccinated, the opposition to masks will only grow.

The entire rationale for mask mandates has always been suspect. While it is the left’s favorite symbol of oppression, its effectiveness in stopping the spread of COVID-19 has been uncertain from the very beginning. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the CDC originally did not recommend wearing a mask.

Eventually, the mask mantra became part of the continuing messaging Americans heard from local, state, and national government officials. However, the absurdity of wearing a mask has always been apparent to anyone who examines the rules.

It is ridiculous to wear a mask into a restaurant, then several feet away take it off at a table for several hours, only to place it back on for a few seconds to leave. In Congress and other public meetings, speakers wear a mask to walk to the microphone, remove it to speak, put it back on, and this continues for the duration of the hearing.

All of this posturing is strictly for the cameras, it is not based on definitive scientific or health studies. Fortunately, more Americans are rising up and demanding that the nonsense ends.

Wearing a mask inhibits a person’s ability to breathe. Most people wear masks that are not sanitized and are brimming with germs. Few Americans follow the guidelines on how masks should be regularly cleaned. Often, wearing a mask creates more health problems for the user than it prevents.

At this point, healthy Americans should not be wearing a mask. It should be worn only by those who are elderly and have serious health conditions. It is time for the healthy and vaccinated people to put the mask away. If we see Americans wearing a mask outdoors or while exercising, it is time to treat them with ridicule, for they are being truly foolish.

Currently, 25 states — mostly Democratic strongholds — have statewide mask mandates. The rest of the states never had a mandate or lifted it in some way by executive, legislative or judicial order. It is no coincidence that people living in liberal states want mask mandates to continue, while those living in conservative states are embracing their freedom.

Finally, some government experts are making sense about the continuation of the mask mandates. For example, Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, noted that the widespread distribution of vaccines should allow for all indoor mask mandates to be promptly ended.

He said, “I think we should start lifting these restrictions as aggressively as we put them in.” According to Gottlieb, “the only way to earn public credibility is to demonstrate you’re willing to relax these provisions when the situation improves, that’s what gives you the credibility to implement them when things worsen.”

Fortunately, Gottlieb believes that the COVID-19 infection rates will continue to fall and that the “summer looks very good.” If only the Biden Administration agreed with this analysis. The CDC is still recommending that all Americans, regardless of vaccine status, wear a mask indoors. If this is the case, what is the incentive for getting a vaccine?

The answer is that the Biden Administration wants Americans to be vaccinated, but is also invested in the mask mandate and wants it to continue indefinitely.

Jeff Crouere is the host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 10 p.m. Sunday on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 a.m. till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the political analyst for WGNO-TV ABC 26 and a columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com. E-mail him at jeff@ringsidepolitics.com.