Mask Mandates Are Back, and You Can Thank Republicans

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

COVID Panic is back. That's what I wrote in a mid-August article, detailing how politicians and the press were lining up to push mitigation measures again. It was just a matter of time before the shoes started to drop, and mask mandates are now making a comeback. 

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Multiple school districts around the country, including most recently in Washington, DC, are reinstating mandates as positive cases of COVID-19 are discovered. 

Yes, over three and a half years after "15 Days to Slow the Spread" was first pushed by the Trump administration, we are returning to masking children with N95s. That despite the fact that studies continue to show that masks are highly ineffective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus, including in schools. Further, anyone who thinks this stops with Democrat-led areas of the country is being incredibly naive. 

But as COVID panic increases and mitigation mandates begin to spread, one thing needs to be made clear: Republicans share in the blame. 

Remember when GOP politicians told you to elect them in 2022 as a way to enact accountability for what occurred during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic? How's that going? Because last I checked, Dr. Anthony Fauci still hasn't even been called to testify. Instead, House Republicans have found other hobby horses to pursue. 

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That's not to say investigations into the weaponization of government aren't needed, but it is to say that what happened during the COVID-19 pandemic was, by far, the biggest weaponization of government in my lifetime. How is that not a priority? I'll tell you why it's not a priority, and me even mentioning it is going to tick some people off so buckle up. 

It's not a priority because accountability would mean some Republicans would end up having to explain their actions. There's a reason supporters of Donald Trump have been pushing the idea that "no one cares" about COVID-19 anymore and that everyone just needs to move on. Having an actual reckoning on Fauci, the federally pushed mitigation measures, and even the overblown spending that occurred (helping drive inflation) might mean another presidential candidate looks better in comparison, and we just can't have that. 

That's not to say Trump shouldn't be the nominee based solely on his response to COVID-19 (which was objectively terrible), but it is to say that Republicans have made a grave mistake in letting the tyranny that occurred slide just because it might threaten their favorite politicians. The GOP promised accountability, and instead, Republicans swept everything under the rug because it was convenient for most of them. After all, why own up to your failures when you can just pretend they didn't happen?

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We've had a Republican-led Congress for nearly nine months, and no one has been exposed. No real investigation has been conducted. Fauci has been left to appear on Sunday shows and promote the same nonsense he's been promoting for nearly four years. Do you want to know why so many GOP voters are disillusioned with the party? It's not just about "the establishment." It's the fact that even the politicians they thought they could trust have chosen to do the politically expedient thing rather than the right thing. 

Because of that, you can expect the wave of COVID panic to keep building. Sure, there will be some deeply red areas that may escape the worst of it, but there are a lot of Republicans who live in Democrat-led parts of the country that are going to end up suffering under mandates again. Why? Because the GOP remains an impotent, do-nothing party that would rather garner a few cable news hits than actually focus on the most serious issues.

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