HS Runner Forced by State to Wear Mask Collapses at Finish Line

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

This week has so far been another week of Biden-Harris “mask musical chairs.” Every time the music stops, noted virologist Joe Biden or Kamala “Cackles” Harris offers up another new, generally contradictory, set of “dos and don’ts” rules or guidelines.


On Tuesday, Biden — wearing his trusty mask — trotted outside to a waiting gaggle of reporters to instruct us that people who have been vaccinated no longer have to wear masks outside — with the exception of “large groups” (as if we pay attention to the old coot in the first place) — and was promptly asked why he came out in a mask, a completely reasonable question. Biden being Biden, his answer was confusing, if not irrational.

The whole mask thing has been a public relations mess from nearly the beginning, made even more so by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and the Democrat Party’s pandemic organ grinder monkey, Anthony Fauci. Toss in overzealous Democrat mayors and governors and their various draconian powerplays — “follow the science,” you know — and you have the makings of a disaster.

An incident in Oregon last week came close to illustrating the point.

As reported by The Blaze, after Maggie Williams of Summit High School in Bend, Oregon, collapsed at the finish line during an 800-meter race last week, outrage erupted over the state’s mask mandate for athletes — even for runners like Williams who “compete with the sun shining on their backs and the wind blowing past their faces.”


Outkick’s Clay Travis called it exactly what it was:

But — but — but, science, Clay! Maggie’s coach Dave Turnbull told The Oregonian that Williams, wearing her mask, suffered “complete oxygen debt” before losing consciousness and falling face-first just three meters from the finish line.

The veteran coach said he had never seen anything like it in all his years of coaching.

“I’ve been doing this for 31 years, I’ve never seen anybody basically lose consciousness. I’ve never seen that in the way it happened with Maggie.”

The good news was, apart from the fact that Williams broke her school record after her momentum carried her across the finish line, she came to, and at the time of the report was being monitored for a concussion she sustained in the fall, according to The Oregonian.


Oregonian reporter John Canzano provided perspective.

What high school runners in our state need right now is for the state to help them get to the finish line safely.

I’m not alone in fearing that runners are going to be seriously injured by a ridiculous mandate set forth by Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority.

Distance runners are being required to wear masks while competing. Most of them are fine wearing them while warming up. But once they’re on the track, outdoors, competing in open air, the science just doesn’t support the necessity.

In fact, the mandate is now raising questions about athlete safety and oxygen depletion.

Canzano said next-door Washington doesn’t have a mandate on similar high school sports.

The state of Washington doesn’t require high school distance runners and cross-country participants to wear masks. But Oregon does? Without a single positive case serving as evidence?

It’s why a few high school coaches took their athletes to Olympia (Washington) this week to compete in the open air, remembering what it was like to run under the open sky without breathing through fibers.

The Oregon Health Authority needs to ask why it’s fine with civilian runners being maskless outdoors but not good with children running maskless on a track or at a cross country meet.

And Oregon Gov. Kate Brown needs to recognize the absurdity of the current exemption and do what other states have already done.


As is the case with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, convincing Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to change her far-left mind on anything is not unlike attempting to convince Michael Moore to give up Quarter Pounders with Cheese in favor of a diet of tofu, pine nuts, and flaxseed.

Then the Unthinkable

As The Bulletin reported, the Oregon Health Authority on Monday dropped the mask mandate for non-contact, outdoor high school sports. Wait, Oregon — what did you do with Kate Brown? Lock her up? Wrap duct tape around her head and stick her in a closet?

Coach Turnball was relieved by the OHA decision, mentioning Maggie in his comments.

“This is a big step in the right direction. We don’t want to see another Maggie Williams hit the track.”

Unlike situations we too often see where changes only occur after real tragedy strikes, Maggie Williams is alive. And what a feel-good story that she broke the record she so wanted to break — even if she was unconscious as she fell across the finish line.

And Gov. Kate Brown? Pigs have flown in Oregon, if only for a moment.

As reported by The Oregonian, Brown was expected on Tuesday to announce she is ordering 15 Oregon counties to move to “extreme risk,” and will once again shutter indoor dining at restaurants and bars, as well as limit gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and swimming pools to a maximum of six patrons indoors.


Religious institutions will be asked to set an indoor capacity of 25% or 100 people, whichever is smaller, although those restrictions will not be mandatory — no doubt due to recent lawsuits won by churches and Christian schools over forced shutdowns.

Oh well, Oregon, that’s the way the dictator dictates — but she sure doesn’t crumble, huh?



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