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Coronavirus restrictions COVID-19 Dr. rachel levine Gov. tom wolf Homes Intelwars Mask mandates Pennsylvania watch

Masks now required inside Pennsylvania homes when members of different households gather

A new Pennsylvania COVID-19 mandate requires the wearing of masks in homes when members of different households gather, the Associated Press reported.

What are the details?

Dr. Rachel Levine, the state health secretary, said Tuesday the order applies even if people are physically distant, the AP noted. But Levine acknowledged that officials are relying on voluntary compliance rather than on enforcement, the outlet added.

The order applies to every indoor facility, in addition to private homes, the AP said.

More from the outlet:

A separate order mandates that people who are traveling to Pennsylvania from another state, as well as Pennsylvania residents who are returning home from out of state, must test negative for the virus within 72 hours prior to arrival. The order does not apply to people traveling back and forth for work or medical treatment. People who refuse to be tested will be required to quarantine for 14 days, Levine said.

Again, the state has no plans to enforce that measure, but is asking for voluntary compliance.

The AP said health officials blamed the spread of the virus in part to small indoor gatherings, and Levine noted that how Pennsylvania does in the coming weeks and months will depend largely on the public’s willingness to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“In the end, people will have the consequences of their actions as well as their families and their communities, and if they do not wear masks, if they do not social distance, then those communities are going to see even more spread of COVID-19,” Levine added, according to the outlet.

The numbers

The state is reporting more than 5,000 new infections per day, up more than 115% in just two weeks, the AP said, adding that more than 2,700 people are now hospitalized in Pennsylvania with COVID-19 — not far from the state record of about 3,000 in early May.

The AP said Pennsylvania will run out of Intensive Care Unit beds next month at the present admission rate, according to models from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

And the rate of positive COVID-19 test results, as well as deaths, have been rising, the outlet added.

While Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf imposed a state-at-home order and closed “non-life-sustaining” businesses early in the pandemic, the AP reported that Wolf and Levine have consistently said they don’t intend to implement another broad-based shutdown.

But Levine on Tuesday did not rule out more mitigation measures, the outlet said.

“Whether we have to do anything else really depends upon you. It depends upon the public, each one of us taking our responsibility for the common good of everyone in Pennsylvania,” Levine said, according to the AP. “And if we all do our part, and we stand united, then we might not need any further mitigation measures.”


Penn. bolsters mask, COVID test rules amid surge

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Coronavirus Coronavirus restrictions Intelwars Kristi noem Mask mandates South dakota coronavirus Virus spread rates

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem worries about how ‘neighbors are treating neighbors’ over masks

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem challenged media narratives on the rise of positive coronavirus cases in her state Wednesday, denying that her refusal to implement a mask mandate or strict lockdown policies is the cause of surging cases.

Speaking to reporters, Noem said South Dakotans are tired and exhausted from the pandemic and that she worries about how people are treating their neighbors who have different opinions on masks, social distancing, or lockdowns.

“At this point, frankly, I’m getting more concerned about how neighbors are treating neighbors and how people are treating each other in their communities,” Noem said.

“I’ve consistently said that people that want to wear masks should wear masks and people who don’t shouldn’t be shamed because they choose not to. It has been clear from the beginning that I’m not in favor of mandating mask-wearing. I don’t believe that i have the authority to mandate that and that people can use their own personal responsibility to make a decision when it comes to masks.

“I don’t want to approach a policy or a mandate, looking to make people feel good. I want to do good,” she added when asked how she would respond to medical professionals calling for a statewide mask mandate.

According to KELO-TV, South Dakota reported 30 COVID-19 deaths Wednesday. The total number of positive coronavirus cases reported in the state since the pandemic began is 68,671. Of those positive cases, 48,757 people have recovered and 19,240 people still have active cases. There are currently 593 South Dakotans hospitalized with COVID-19.

Gov. Noem urged South Dakota residents to continue practicing personal hygiene and following guidelines from the state Department of Health on hand washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing. Though the health department recommends mask-wearing, Noem reiterated it is beyond her authority to mandate mask-wearing or implement legal penalties on South Dakota citizens who don’t wear masks. She also discussed how South Dakota’s per capita positive case rates compare to other states, noting that some states with mask mandates are actually doing worse than her state.

“Across the country and around the globe, cases are increasing. Over the past week, cases are on the rise in 48 states,” Noem said. “Some have said that my refusal to mandate masks is a reason why our cases are rising here in the state of South Dakota, and that is not true. Others have said that my refusal to advance harsh restrictions like lockdowns is another one of the reasons why our cases are rising and that is also not true.”

“There are 41 states that have some kind of mask mandate. Cases are on the rise in 39 of those 41 states,” she continued. “Now, some in the media are saying that South Dakota is the worst in the world right now, and that is absolutely false.”

Noem claimed several states that have implemented mask mandates are experiencing higher rates of spread for the virus than South Dakota.

“If you look at Wisconsin, they’ve had a mask mandate since August and they have a higher rate of spread than the state of South Dakota. You look at Montana, they’ve had a mask mandate in place since July. Both of those states have higher rates of spread than the state of South Dakota. When you look at Wyoming, it has the highest rate of spread in the nation.”

She pointed reporters to research from Johns Hopkins University that tracks new confirmed coronavirus cases per 1,000 people as daily counts as reported by each state. The research shows that there are several states with higher new case rates than South Dakota.

Reporters challenged Noem’s claim on social media. According to the New York Times, South Dakota has the second-highest amount of cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days.

Ian Fury, a spokesman for Noem, replied to one columnist with the Argus Leader with a link to the Johns Hopkins research showing Wyoming, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Montana having higher confirmed case rates per 1,000 people.

During her press conference, Noem also mentioned that South Dakota remains below the national average mortality rate and has the “7th lowest case fatality rate in the country.”

The governor emphasized that residents should still take the virus seriously and that elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions are most vulnerable to fatal complications from contracting COVID-19. These groups need extra protection from the virus, Noem said.

She urged people to be diligent with their personal hygiene and to stay home if they feel sick.

On Tuesday, the Sioux Falls City Council adopted a mask mandate but did not enact a penalty for those who refuse to wear masks. Amid demands from medical experts and commentators that Noem adopt a mask mandate, she observed that imposing a mandate without enforcement is virtually the same as issuing guidelines without a mandate, as her administration has done.

“I’m going to continue to trust South Dakotans to make wise and well-informed decisions for them and for their families,” she said. “And I’m also reiterating my request that we all continue to show each other respect and understanding for everybody who makes choices that we may or may not agree with. And I ask that we all trust each other and remember that we’re all human beings working to get through this challenge together.

“Our greatest enemy is the virus,” Noem said.

Watch:


Gov. Noem to Hold Media Availability

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Horowitz: Massive Danish study on surgical masks found no statistically significant benefit against COVID-19

Most Western elites are telegraphing the message that we will be forced to cover our humanity with cheap Chinese face burkas indefinitely. They are mandating that even two-year-olds must wear masks. The long-term effects on the lungs, emotional and behavioral problems, and development of infants and toddlers is enormous. For such an unconstitutional invasion of personal liberty, they are responsible to show us some amazing degree of effectiveness of this cultish ritual. In fact, the data show the opposite.

The much-vaunted Danish mask study was finally published today in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine. Now we know why three medical journals were so averse to publishing its findings. The study completely obliterates the cultish devotion to masks. The results of this massive real-life controlled experiment show that the group that wore surgical masks in April experienced a 0.38% lower infection rate than the control group that did not wear masks. That is about one-third of one percent, which is so low that it could just be statistically random variances that demonstrate no definitive efficacy even to that infinitesimal level.

“The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use,” concluded the authors. “The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.”

There was a total of roughly 3,000 people in each group of the study, which would make this the largest study ever conducted on the efficacy of mask-wearing. In October, Berlingske, Denmark’s oldest operating daily newspaper, reported that three major journals – JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, and Lancet – refused to publish the study.

It appears that the study’s authors had to twist their tongues in order to get this study published by noting that “the estimates were imprecise and statistically compatible with an effect ranging from a 46% decrease to a 23% increase in infection.” They of course had to concede that their study doesn’t definitely rule out the idea that masks could be effective!

So, we’ve gone from masks being more effective than a vaccine to no incontrovertible evidence that they will ever work in some way.

It’s important to note that several studies have theorized that the virus might have gotten more contagious in recent months than it was in the spring. Assuming there is validity to that theory, this Danish study, which was conducted in April and May, would demonstrate that masks are ineffective even against the less contagious version of the virus.

Then again, there is nothing new about mask-wearing to anyone paying attention. It has long been the policy of OSHA that respirators, such as an N-95s, are the minimum standard for personal protective equipment. We have always known that surgical masks, which have pores about 30 times larger than virus particles and are not form-fitted around the edges, cannot protect against airborne viruses such as the flu. Plus, most people, especially those who are indoors for a long period of time, such as in school and business settings, will tend to wear more comfortable cloth masks, which are even less effective and risk spreading the virus even more.

Which is why nobody should pay attention to the disclaimer in the study, which the authors clearly had to write in order to get the study accepted:

The findings, however, should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection. During the study period, authorities did not recommend face mask use outside hospital settings and mask use was rare in community settings. This means that study participants’ exposure was overwhelmingly to persons not wearing masks.

This is a fair point – that at the time, most other people outside of the study group in Denmark were not wearing masks. The problem is we’ve seen the virus spread to everyone in the ensuing months, including in places with 100% mask compliance. In a recent CDC study, 85% of those convalescent COVID patients surveyed reported that they wore masks always or most of the time during the lead-up to their infection period. Thus, the Danish study results clearly corroborate what we see with our own eyes in all environments.

We have seen this result from over six months of real-life experience in the world and even in the military with 100% compliance. Mask-wearing is the only edict that can result in zero efficacy and then use that lack of efficacy against the virus, as witnessed by the massive spread, as further pretext … to double down on mask-wearing! My son was yelled at for slipping his mask down in a dentist’s office for a few seconds when the doctor and hygienist would literally be in his mouth for a much longer period of time. Have we ever experienced something this destructive and illogical in our lifetimes?

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COVID-19 Covid-19 study Intelwars Mask mandates mask wearing

Horowitz: Massive Danish study on surgical masks found no statistically significant benefit against COVID-19

Most Western elites are telegraphing the message that we will be forced to cover our humanity with cheap Chinese face burkas indefinitely. They are mandating that even two-year-olds must wear masks. The long-term effects on the lungs, emotional and behavioral problems, and development of infants and toddlers is enormous. For such an unconstitutional invasion of personal liberty, they are responsible to show us some amazing degree of effectiveness of this cultish ritual. In fact, the data show the opposite.

The much-vaunted Danish mask study was finally published today in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine. Now we know why three medical journals were so averse to publishing its findings. The study completely obliterates the cultish devotion to masks. The results of this massive real-life controlled experiment show that the group that wore surgical masks in April experienced a 0.38% lower infection rate than the control group that did not wear masks. That is about one-third of one percent, which is so low that it could just be statistically random variances that demonstrate no definitive efficacy even to that infinitesimal level.

“The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use,” concluded the authors. “The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.”

There was a total of roughly 3,000 people in each group of the study, which would make this the largest study ever conducted on the efficacy of mask-wearing. In October, Berlingske, Denmark’s oldest operating daily newspaper, reported that three major journals – JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, and Lancet – refused to publish the study.

It appears that the study’s authors had to twist their tongues in order to get this study published by noting that “the estimates were imprecise and statistically compatible with an effect ranging from a 46% decrease to a 23% increase in infection.” They of course had to concede that their study doesn’t definitely rule out the idea that masks could be effective!

So, we’ve gone from masks being more effective than a vaccine to no incontrovertible evidence that they will ever work in some way.

It’s important to note that several studies have theorized that the virus might have gotten more contagious in recent months than it was in the spring. Assuming there is validity to that theory, this Danish study, which was conducted in April and May, would demonstrate that masks are ineffective even against the less contagious version of the virus.

Then again, there is nothing new about mask-wearing to anyone paying attention. It has long been the policy of OSHA that respirators, such as an N-95s, are the minimum standard for personal protective equipment. We have always known that surgical masks, which have pores about 30 times larger than virus particles and are not form-fitted around the edges, cannot protect against airborne viruses such as the flu. Plus, most people, especially those who are indoors for a long period of time, such as in school and business settings, will tend to wear more comfortable cloth masks, which are even less effective and risk spreading the virus even more.

Which is why nobody should pay attention to the disclaimer in the study, which the authors clearly had to write in order to get the study accepted:

The findings, however, should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection. During the study period, authorities did not recommend face mask use outside hospital settings and mask use was rare in community settings. This means that study participants’ exposure was overwhelmingly to persons not wearing masks.

This is a fair point – that at the time, most other people outside of the study group in Denmark were not wearing masks. The problem is we’ve seen the virus spread to everyone in the ensuing months, including in places with 100% mask compliance. In a recent CDC study, 85% of those convalescent COVID patients surveyed reported that they wore masks always or most of the time during the lead-up to their infection period. Thus, the Danish study results clearly corroborate what we see with our own eyes in all environments.

We have seen this result from over six months of real-life experience in the world and even in the military with 100% compliance. Mask-wearing is the only edict that can result in zero efficacy and then use that lack of efficacy against the virus, as witnessed by the massive spread, as further pretext … to double down on mask-wearing! My son was yelled at for slipping his mask down in a dentist’s office for a few seconds when the doctor and hygienist would literally be in his mouth for a much longer period of time. Have we ever experienced something this destructive and illogical in our lifetimes?

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Coronavirus tyranny Covid lockdowns COVID-19 Intelwars Mask mandates Mask tyranny Masks

Horowitz: Pro-mask study withdrawn after virus spread in counties analyzed by researchers

Call it the divine rule of masks. You shall not utter a negative word about them. You shall never question their effectiveness, even when they’ve failed to work for six months. You shall never be caught without the idol on your face – even on the face of your two-year-old, for that matter. You shall worship the cloth until the bitter end.

It doesn’t take a scientist to see that masks don’t work. The experience of unprecedented universal mask-wearing for months – even in places that had few COVID cases to begin with but then skyrocketed after mask use – demonstrates that the idea of wearing a mask to block a respiratory virus is sheer lunacy. Yet one group of researchers tried to cherry-pick data from a selected counties to show that cases dropped after the mask mandate, without any regard for the fact that each wave only lasts for about 6-8 weeks in a given area before dissipating – regardless of what actions are taken by the local population. Then it comes back a few times until everyone has been exposed to the virus.

On October 23, researchers from MIT and the University of California San Francisco published a preprint study titled, “Decrease in Hospitalizations for COVID-19 after Mask Mandates in 1083 U.S. Counties.” Somehow, we were to believe that these counties bucked the worldwide trend of cases spiking after a mask mandate. In reality, these were merely counties that likely already peaked in terms of the viral reproduction rate by the time the mandate was in place, so the cases were destined to drop anyway. That is, until the next natural wave.

On November 4, they were forced to withdraw the study “because there are increased rates of SARS- CoV-2 cases in the areas that we originally analyzed in this study.” Oops. I guess the masks worked until they didn’t.

The authors say they plan to publish “an updated analysis using data from the second and now third wave of SARS-CoV-2 in this country soon.” However, the obvious fact is lost on them. The very fact that there are multiple waves demonstrates that this is a natural phenomenon and will keep going until it burns through the population regardless of what we put on our faces. When the virus is burning out in a given area, nothing can be done to rekindle it. Conversely, when it is spreading, no amount of “non-pharmaceutical interventions” will arrest the spread.

This is why proponents of the mask religion are resorting to fabricating data in order to demonstrate effectiveness while blocking the publication of any study, such as the large Danish randomized controlled trial, demonstrating that masks don’t work.

Then again, we don’t need any fancy study to project or predict what we see with our eyes. The virus is spreading universally more than ever (because of the cold weather and seasonality) despite months of extremely unprecedented draconian mask-wearing and other voodoo restrictions. Nowhere is this more evident than in the military, where there is more compliance than you will ever experience in a civilian population, which itself has been remarkably obsequious on the mask issue.

Last week, researchers for the Naval Medical Research Center in Maryland and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing how mask-wearing and social isolation failed to stop the spread among U.S. Marine Corps recruits at Parris Island. The over 3,000 participants were divided into two study groups, and those who tested positive up front were removed from the group on day 1. By day 14, spread was actually greater among those in the supervised quarantine group (2.8%) than in the control group (1.7%).

What was the protocol for those in the quarantine group?

All recruits wore double-layered cloth masks at all times indoors and outdoors, except when sleeping or eating; practiced social distancing of at least 6 feet; were not allowed to leave campus; did not have access to personal electronics and other items that might contribute to surface transmission; and routinely washed their hands. They slept in double-occupancy rooms with sinks, ate in shared dining facilities, and used shared bathrooms. All recruits cleaned their rooms daily, sanitized bathrooms after each use with bleach wipes, and ate preplated meals in a dining hall that was cleaned with bleach after each platoon had eaten. Most instruction and exercises were conducted outdoors. All movement of recruits was supervised, and unidirectional flow was implemented, with designated building entry and exit points to minimize contact among persons. All recruits, regardless of participation in the study, underwent daily temperature and symptom screening. Six instructors who were assigned to each platoon worked in 8-hour shifts and enforced the quarantine measures.

This is everything that Dr. Fauci and the other fascists have asked for, right?

Now, anyone who has been in military training can tell you that if a drill sergeant commands you to do something, you listen. This is doubly true for a protocol that is regarded with the upmost importance for public health. Yet the masks were worthless. Now extrapolate this for a civilian population. You will never obtain more control over a population and achieve a greater degree of compliance than in a group of Marine recruits, and these absurd measures failed miserably. Just like they failed with a group of Army recruits at Fort Benning.

The good news is that the study also found that 90% of those infected among this predominantly young population were asymptomatic, consistent with other research. So why are we abusing children and young adults with tactics that don’t work for a virus that is not dangerous to them?

It’s about control and idolatry. Except this form of idolatry requires more faith in cloth diapers than the men of cloth have in God.

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California conflicting advice eating food Gavin newsome government guidance Headline News Intelwars LUNACY Mask mandates Masks mocking muzzle New World Order ritual occultic political theatre remove the mask ruling class shame muzzle taking bites Twitter wear the mask

CA Governor Says “Wear Masks Between Bites” When Eating

The ruling class is desperate to have everyone masked up. California’s governor Gavin Newsome says you should wear your mask in between taking bites of food. This lunacy is not ending, but ramping up.

At least Newsom is being ridiculed on social media after urging diners to wear their masks in between bites.  But The ruling class is desperate to have everyone masked up. California’s governor Gavin Newsome says you should wear your mask in between taking bites of food. This lunacy is not ending, but raming up.he also warned them to “minimize the number of times you take [the mask] off.”

Are Face Masks & COVID Rituals Occultist Symbols For Submission?

Hot Mic Moment: Lawmakers Admit Masks Are All “Political Theatre”

There is definitely an effort to make people believe that the masks work and wearing your symbolic muzzle is how to prevent infection from the COVID-19 scamdemic. The Democrat governor’s office tweeted on October 3: “Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don’t forget to keep your mask on in between bites. Do your part to keep those around you healthy.” Yet, in the same post, there’s a graphic that says: “minimize the number of times you take your mask off.”

The following Twitter user nailed my sentiments about all of the mask mandates:

People have started to figure it all out though:

Newsome is taking heat for these hypocritical and contradictory posts on social media. Some of these governors sure do have a religious addiction to mask-wearing. Even the avatar which was chosen by the governor’s office says: “wear a mask.” With President Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19, the mask propaganda will increase. Trump himself had already been ridiculed and shamed for refusing to wear a face mask 24/7.

The post CA Governor Says “Wear Masks Between Bites” When Eating first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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aggressive enforcement Bill de Blasio citizens Coronavirus COVID-19 destruction of businesses DICTATORSHIP dystopia Enforcement Governor Andrew Cuomo Headline News Intelwars LIES Mask mandates Mayor Middle Class New World Order New York Non compliance Police State propaganda Regulations SLAVERY social distancing orders submission

New York Governor DEMANDS Compliance With His Totalitarian Rules

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces that the state will enact “aggressive enforcement” of COVID-19 protocols.  Cuomo has descended into a full-blown dictator and says he will close non-compliant businesses and schools.

Beginning this week, New Yorkers will be subjected to a police state and dictatorship never before thought possible in the “land of the free.” Queens, Brooklyn, Orange, and Rockland counties have all seen recent increases in positive coronavirus cases, which means politicians are taking new draconian measures against the people to maintain their grip on power.  These areas will be the target of direct enforcement,” ensuring businesses and citizens are abiding by mask mandates, social distancing orders, and other regulations in place in the state, according to a report by RT. 

“Local governments have not done an effective job of enforcement in these hotspot ZIP codes. [New York State] will be doing aggressive enforcement starting tomorrow,” Cuomo tweeted on Sunday after a conference call with members of the press. “As we saw with bars and restaurants when the state initiated enforcement actions compliance greatly increased.”

As far as looting and rioting go, those will likely be left to destroy whatever they want.  But police will be aggressively enforcing the draconian COVID-19 rules shoved down the throats of the public. This is a sad dystopian nightmare for the people of New York.

The boot is on the neck of New York business owners, and those who survive this horrific tyranny will be the few fortunate ones. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio also announced on Sunday he is seeking the governor’s approval to shut down schools and non-essential businesses in nine zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods where there has been an increase in positive cases. 

“We’re having an extraordinary problem – something we haven’t seen since spring,’’ the mayor told reporters of the uptick in positive cases.

The post New York Governor DEMANDS Compliance With His Totalitarian Rules first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars Mask mandates Masks

Horowitz: Swiss magazine: Mask-wearing in stores not making a difference

“Oh, what a cute baby girl you have there,” said a kind woman in a muffled voice to my wife yesterday as she wheeled the baby around our local supermarket.

“Wow, she is very serious,” exclaimed the woman, as she saw that the baby didn’t smile at her funny facial expressions.

“No, that’s because everyone is wearing a mask and she can’t see their faces,” explained my wife.

How much longer are we going to abuse a generation of children with such a draconian and dehumanizing mandate
without any evidence that masks are effective or that there is even any spread during casual meetings at a grocery store?

A new data analysis from a consumer watchdog magazine in Switzerland provides more proof that mask-wearing simply has no effect on the enduring trends of the increase and decrease of the virus. On Wednesday, Ktipp, the rough equivalent of Consumer Reports for Switzerland,
compared positivity trends in SARS-CoV-2 testing for local cantons that had mask mandates versus those that did not require masks in stores. They found no difference.

“The rate of infection is mostly falling — with or without a mask,” read the headline in this German-language publication of the Swiss Consumer Information and Protection Association [translation via Google translate].

Analysts compared the positivity rates in cantons that required masks, such as Basel-City, Zurich, and Solothurn, and found that the rates were already falling throughout August before the mandate was in place. They observed an almost identical pattern in seven German-speaking Swiss cantons without compulsory masks: Aargau, Bern, Baselland, Graubünden, Lucerne, St. Gallen, and Schwyz.

Their conclusion? “A mask requirement when shopping has no demonstrable influence on the number of infections with the coronavirus.”

Part of the issue is that, as nearly every global study has concluded, most of the transmission occurs inside households.

“According to data from canton doctors, most infections occur in one’s own household and when traveling abroad,” reported Ktipp. “There is very little evidence in the data of infection in shops.”

So why are we having everyone walk around like mummies without any end in sight? As Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Democratic state Rep. Wendy Ullman
revealed in a hot mic moment earlier this week, wearing masks in public is all about “political theater.”

Proponents of the permanent masking of humanity have failed to produce evidence of its effectiveness as the virus continues to rampage in areas regardless of whether there is a mask mandate. My friend Ian Miller posted a powerful graphical juxtaposition of the epidemiological curve in Israel as compared to the one in Sweden. The former has had a universal mask mandate strictly enforced for months, while the latter has few people even voluntarily wearing them.

Remember when CDC Director Robert Redfield
told senators that a mask is more effective than a vaccine? Well, if that is the result of his novel vaccine, then he is about to turn all of us into “antivaxxers.”

Aside from the issues of mask effectiveness, nobody is questioning the long-standing assertions about mask cleanliness and the downsides to wearing them.
Our government and the World Health Organization have long warned that when masks are not worn properly, they can spread more germs. During the H1N1 epidemic in 2009, the WHO warned that “using a mask incorrectly however, may actually increase the risk of transmission, rather than reduce it.” As such, the WHO advised the following:

  • while in use, avoid touching the mask
  • whenever you touch a used mask, for example when removing or washing, clean hands by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based handrub
  • replace masks with a new clean, dry mask as soon as they become damp/humid
  • do not re-use single-use masks
  • discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removing

How many people do you know who follow this advice? How many just take the mask out of their pocket or car as soon as they need it, regardless of how long it was in their pocket, how many times they reused it, and how many times they touched it and then touched other things in public?

With such flimsy evidence on the effectiveness of masks, why would we risk collateral damage from universal mask-wearing that is clearly done in a way that is known to cause more transmission?

Then again, there is nothing scientific about a political symbol. Which is why the WHO
reportedly flipped, not because of new scientific evidence, but because of “political lobbying.”

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Horowitz: Idaho church singer & Ohio woman arrested for not wearing masks OUTDOORS

We’ve endured nearly four months of endless looting, arson, blocking of roads, violent menacing of motorists, assaults against cops, and vandalism against public property. What percentage of those people do you think have been arrested? Well, judging by the size of the riot crowds, not too many. But in case you thought law enforcement has taken a hands-off approach and is hiding under a rock, think again. They evidently find their moxie when it comes to arresting church singers and a woman who didn’t wear a mask at an outdoor football game. The unfortunate message they are conveying to us is that real crime pays and that violence is the only way to get what we want.

Take a look at this video of Seattle cops being assaulted by a mob that essentially set up its own roadblock, occupying public streets.


Twitter

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How many of them were arrested? There’s no way to know, but we sure haven’t seen a swift reaction from cops in places like Seattle and Portland. This is happening in dozens of cities every day to some degree. Because of their sheer numbers and the degree of violence they are willing to employ, they tend not to get arrested unless the assault on the cop results in bodily injury. With few exceptions, they are deterring the cops rather than the cops deterring them.

With that in mind, watch the following video of a woman being tased and wrestled to the ground for not wearing a mask at an outdoor middle school football game in Logan, Ohio.


Woman arrested for not wearing a mask.

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She was not presenting a threat to others, like so many of these people beating civilians at BLM riots. Yes, she was resisting arrest, but if these cops who are cowering from BLM suddenly find their courage against small women who are just passively not wearing a mask outdoors, which is permitted when social distancing is possible, then perhaps we should abolish the police. Really, if that’s all they will accomplish, then who needs them?

I’ve written hundreds of articles over the past decade in support of all forms of local and federal law enforcement. Most of them are terrific and brave people. I understand if they have chosen to take a hands-off approach against violent mobs out of fear of being arrested themselves for simply enforcing critical laws. But it is unforgivable for them to then become sticklers for unconstitutional royal edicts like mask-wearing and find easy targets for enforcement who are white so they can feel good about themselves without facing the backlash of the mob. We all know that had this individual been black, the tasering would not have gone over well.

There’s no easier target than a church choir. We’ve seen police retreat several times and allow their own stations to get burned down or attacked in several cities, but if they see people gathering with social distance to sing hymns, it’s a different story. We thought this could only happen in Australia, or perhaps that if it happened in America, it would only occur in a deep blue city. But local police in Moscow, Idaho, arrested Gabriel Rench, a candidate for Latah county commissioner, during a Psalm Sing service held by members of the local Christ Church. His crime? Not identifying himself to the police when they arrested or cited him and four others for either not “social distancing” or not wearing a mask … outdoors.

This might look like a scene out of Moscow, Russia, but it’s really northern Idaho. Ohio and Idaho are red states. Yes, the city of Moscow is more Democrat because of the presence of the University of Idaho, but there is no reason any county in this state with GOP supermajorities in the legislature and a Republican governor should have an outdoor mask mandate. Why is it that red counties in blue states are completely obsequious to tyranny, but when the shoe is on the other foot, suddenly the Republican governor gets gun-shy?

Hocking County, Ohio, where the woman was tased for resisting arrest after not wearing a mask outdoors, was carried by Trump by a 31-point margin. How can it be that you can no longer breathe free air outdoors in red states?! As conservatives, we clearly are not focusing properly and are not doing enough to fight for liberty.

This is also why it’s so important that we get answers about the constitutionality of these draconian restrictions from whoever is chosen to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Given our body of case law creating novel rights that stop governments from doing much less invasive things to us, it’s very hard to see how forcing someone to cover her face to merely remain outdoors passes muster with the principle established in NFIB v. Sebelius about the Obamacare mandate to purchase insurance. The restriction of church gatherings most certainly does not pass the First Amendment smell test.

There is a very chilling and disquieting point that emerges from these troubling stories. We are seeing that the people who are most likely to support the police are getting arrested, while those who exhibit the most belligerence and violence often deter the police from enforcing the law rather than the other way around. The lesson seems clear: that when you act more antagonistically and in greater numbers, you are more likely to get your way. While proactive violence is something any patriot should abhor, perhaps we do need to stand together in greater numbers.

A blueprint for how to deter the police in these instances is what some men in Spain did when police tried to detain a female for not wearing a mask. They all threw down their masks and, without directly attacking the police, grabbed the woman back.

That is the difference between anarchy and liberty. Patriots firmly resist arbitrary and unconstitutional edicts against individual liberties while limiting their resistance to the issue at hand. Anarchists use their grievances as pretext to proactively attack others indiscriminately.

As for the police, if they will not deter anarchy but instead infringe upon liberty, perhaps they need to be abolished after all.

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Horowitz: CDC Director Redfield says masks are better than a vaccine. But the virus is still spreading in masked-up places.

Distribution of a vaccination was supposed to be the candy castle at the end of the Candyland coronavirus journey for all of us. We were told our lives must remain in shambles and our faces must be covered until there is a vaccine. Well, in one fell swoop, whether he meant to say this or not, CDC Director Robert Redfield told a Senate panel that the post-vaccine situation on the ground will be less stable than the current untenable situation in America.

In what is perhaps the most cloddish comment to be uttered by a public official since March, Redfield went out of his way to tell a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday that masks are better than vaccines. “They are our best defense,” said Redfield in response to a question from Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.). He added, “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70 percent, and if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will.”

We have been living through months of universal mask-wearing in many parts of the country and the world, yet the virus is spreading prolifically. Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, France, Peru, Philippines, Hawaii, California, and Miami are just a few examples of places with prolific spread long after very strict mask mandates and high compliance were in place. Is that better than a vaccine? Is Redfield suggesting that a vaccine would net an even worse result?

On the one hand, government officials are panicking about continuing community spread throughout the country and the world long after the mask mandates were in place. On the other hand, Redfield is saying that masks are more effective than a vaccine. I guess that means that even if we immediately obtained the best vaccine imaginable, we would actually have even more cases than we do now? In other words, a vaccine is worthless. Unless it’s the masks that are actually worthless, as Redfield himself said clearly, regarding the idea of healthy people wearing them everywhere.

You see, masks are so effective that the CDC recommends that someone exposed to an infected individual indoors quarantine even if both the infected individual and the exposed person were wearing masks. But if both of them have something that offers more protection than even a vaccine does, then what is there to fear?

We literally have the CDC going from saying in May that there is “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks” to the idea that masks are better than a vaccine. Well, if we are all “vaccinated” by wearing masks, then why do we continue with all the other shutdowns and restrictions? Why aren’t there thousands of people at sports games?

The bureaucrats are willing to insult our intelligence to the point that they think there is no limit to our suspension of disbelief. It’s one thing to suggest that masks might be a little more effective than they originally thought. But how are we to believe that they went from 0 to 100 without any political considerations when the politicians are sounding the alarm about the spread of cases long after the mask mandates? In fact, during a February hearing, Redfield went so far as to encourage people not to buy medical-grade masks, saying there’s “no role for these masks in the community.” From “no role” to “the most important” tool – and we are to believe this is about science and not politics?

Until now, officials might have been able to explain away the spread in places like Hawaii with the speculative, unverifiable assertion that perhaps without mask-wearing, the spread in some of these places would have been even worse. But Redfield now contends that mask-wearing is more effective than a vaccine. How in the world could such a mass spread of the virus occur if that were true? And how could Sweden have achieved such a flat curve and reduced its cases to negligible numbers without a vaccine and without harnessing what Redfield said is “the most important, powerful public health tool we have”?

Then again, if you are in possession of the most powerful tool, wouldn’t you learn how to use it properly? While Redfield was extolling the magical, mythical powers of the mask, he took the mask he had been wearing from an unsterile table and touched the inside and outside without washing his hands. Presumably, that was the mask he put back on when he exited the hearing, in violation of every protocol of one-time mask use, hand-washing, and disposing of the mask. Perhaps that is why the virus is spreading more than ever despite the near-universal use of a “tool” that is supposedly better than a vaccine.

Finally, now that Redfield believes that “this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” why do I need to wear one? If I don’t get the flu vaccine this year, that doesn’t make Redfield more in danger of getting the flu. If he is wearing his coat of protection, shouldn’t that be even more effective, regardless of how others choose to exercise their rights over their own bodies?

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Horowitz: E-MASK-ulation: How we have been lied to so dramatically about masks

If you are looking for the scientific rationale behind universal mask-wearing, you certainly won’t find it now that the issue has become as political as guns, abortion, and taxes. We are now at a point where Canada’s chief public health officer is calling on people to wear masks when engaging in sexual activities and 19-month-old babies are being forced to wear them on airplanes. There is no rational thought in a political cult. But what did the governmental and scientific literature say on the issue before it became political?

On April 3, already several weeks into the unprecedented lockdown over coronavirus, but before the big media push for universal masking, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance for respiratory protection for workers exposed to people with the virus. It stated clearly what governments had said all along about other forms of airborne contamination, such as smoke inhalation — “Surgical masks and eye protection (e.g., face shields, goggles) were provided as an interim measure to protect against splashes and large droplets (note: surgical masks are not respirators and do not provide protection against aerosol-generating procedures).”

In other words, they knew that because the virions of coronavirus are roughly 100 nanometers, 1/1000 the width of a hair and 1/30 the size of surgical mask filtrations (about 3.0 microns or 3,000 nanometers), surgical masks (not to mention cloth ones) do not help. This would explain why experience has shown that all of the places with universal mask orders in place for months, such as Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, France, Peru, Philippines, Hawaii, California, and Miami, failed to stave off the spread of the infection. Surgical masks could possibly stop large droplets from those coughing with very evident symptoms, but would not stop the flow of aerosolized airborne particles, certainly not from asymptomatic individuals.

This is why the CDC, as late as May, was citing the 10 randomized controlled trials that showed “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.” The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford also summarized six international studies which “showed that masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI or influenza in the general population, nor in healthcare workers.”

When Dr. Fauci spoke so assertively against universal mask-wearing early on in the epidemic, it was clearly based on this knowledge. “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told “60 Minutes” on March 8. He went on to explain that masks can only block large droplets, they give a false sense of security, and they cause people to get more germs on their hands by fiddling with it. Those facts don’t change with time.

Several weeks later, Surgeon General Jerome Adams punctuated this point about the counterproductivity of wearing masks in public. Appearing on “Fox & Friends” on March 31, Adams said that based on a study that shows medical students who wear masks touch their faces 23 times more often, one has to assume that “wearing a mask improperly can actually increase your risk of getting disease.”

Ever since then, we have all seen how people leave masks in their pockets or cars for days and continuously put it on and off as needed without washing their hands. It’s inconceivable that this is not serving as a bacteria trap, if not downright helping spread the virus on our hands.

A 2015 randomized clinical trial from the University of South Wales testing the effectiveness of cloth masks among health care workers in Hanoi found that the poor filtration becomes a conduit for moisture retention. Researchers found a high rate of infection among those workers presumably because “their reuse and poor filtration may explain the increased risk of infection.” Can you imagine how much worse this is in a non-health-care setting where reuse and cross-contamination are rampant?

This is why before mask-wearing became a cult in Canada, Quebec’s public health director Horacio Arruda told the Montreal Gazette that masks are counterproductive. Arruda’s guidance as given in the article states that masks “get saturated with moisture from the mouth and nose after about 20 minutes. Once they’re wet, they no longer form a barrier against viruses trying to come through or exit.” This renders the daylong mask wearing in businesses, stores, and schools, as opposed to the short onetime use in clinical settings, a complete hazard to spread of bacteria and pathogens.

Nothing about the biology of the virus or our discovery of it has changed in the past few months that would lead us to believe that masks are somehow more effective against it than they are against the spread of other respiratory viruses. What has changed is the politics. Governments could no longer control our lives through wholesale lockdowns, because it was logistically untenable, so they created the mask mandate as a way of permanently controlling our movement. They wisely did this on the heels of the full-scale lockdown when people were grateful just to be back in business under any conditions and were desperately willing to do anything to stave off a shutdown.

Dr. Jeffery Klausner, an infectious disease doctor at UCLA, described mask-wearing in early February as all psychological, not physiological. He told the Los Angeles Times that “fear spreads a lot faster than the virus” and that a mask only “makes you feel better.” What is so dangerous about this is that, as Fauci and others originally warned when they were actually speaking from a modicum of scientific grounding, is that many immunocompromised people will go to dangerous places thinking the mask protects them. I’ve seen countless friends and neighbors who are concerned about their heart conditions and diabetes blissfully walk around indoors thinking the mask is their shield.

This is why Swedish epidemiologist Anders Tegnell warned that because scientific evidence for mask-wearing to prevent COVID-19 is “astonishingly weak,” it is “very dangerous” to believe that face masks on their own could control the spread of the disease rather than hand washing or, in the case of those who are seriously ill, staying away from indoor gatherings. He would know, because his country barely has any cases left, and almost nobody in Sweden wears a mask.

The Dutch government made the prudent decision of only requiring masks on public transit when people are really close to each other for a limited period of time. With such scant evidence of the effectiveness of mask-wearing, how can we disrupt lives of children in school, businessmen in offices, and even people walking outdoors in some countries and states? “From a medical point of view, there is no evidence of a medical effect of wearing face masks, so we decided not to impose a national obligation,” said Netherlands Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark in August.

The Danish supposedly commissioned a randomized clinical trial to study mask effectiveness specifically as it relates to protecting against SARS-CoV-2, but despite promises of imminent release weeks ago, the study has not been published. Henning Bundgaard, chief physician at Denmark’s Rigshospitale, noted, “All these countries recommending face masks haven’t made their decisions based on new studies.” It doesn’t appear that anyone else is interested in finding out the truth.

Even in England, where there is more mask-wearing than in some of the other northern European countries, Public Health England concluded, “There is weak evidence from epidemiological and modelling studies that mask wearing in the community may contribute to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and that early intervention may result in a lower peak infection rate.”

Our own U.S. government has failed to produce new evidence that counters years’ worth of evidence that masks don’t work in stopping respiratory viruses and is still producing evidence to the contrary. In June, HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded a systemic review of all relevant randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on the effectiveness of mask-wearing in stopping respiratory infections and published the findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The conclusion was as clear as it is jarring to the current cult-like devotion to mask-wearing. “Review of RCTs indicates that N95 respirators and surgical masks are probably associated with similar risk for influenza-like illness and laboratory-confirmed viral infections in high- and low-risk settings.” The study noted that only one trial did show “a small decrease in risk” for infection when doctors wore N95s in high-risk settings, but even that evidence was scant.

The study looked at eight trials with 6,510 participants that “evaluated use of surgical masks within households with an influenza or influenza-like illness index case (child or adult). Compared with no masks, surgical masks were not associated with decreased risk for clinical respiratory illness, influenza-like illness, or laboratory-confirmed viral illness in household contacts when masks were worn by household contacts, index cases, or both.” Remember, Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, is now saying people should wear masks even at home?

How have we gone from public officials universally warning about the lack of effectiveness plus the potential to spread germs from masks to mandating that young children who are germ factories wear them all day in school – without even a legislative debate or public hearings?

The answer is that we have become emasculated as a society. We have become a people who are willing to surrender every morsel of our liberty at the ever-changing and capricious whims of “public health officials,” even when they are appallingly contradictory and without any evidence justifying the 180-degree U-turn.

During times of panic, opportunistic politicians in positions of power will always latch on to desperate and regressive ideas to infringe upon liberty, while packaging them as some sort of enlightened advancement in technology or understanding. In reality, these same desperate measures were tried in 1918, and even then, it was understood that they didn’t work. A November 16, 1918, headline of the Santa Barbara Daily News read, “Average Person Doesn’t Know How to Take Care of Mask and It Becomes Veritable Bacteria Incubator.”

Many principles in life are inviolable and do not change with time. We used to understand that mask-wearing was a novelty of Halloween. Now, our passivity has allowed our entire country to become a Halloween nightmare masquerade every day, with no end in sight.

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Horowitz: Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations soar in Hawaii since indoor and outdoor mask mandates

At what point do results and outcomes begin to matter? On the current political trajectory, we will be stripped of our humanity and forced to wear face burkas indefinitely without any debate, votes, benchmarks, or transparency. Not only are there no randomized clinical trials showing evidence that mask-wearing in the general populace works to stop the spread of respiratory viruses, but the reality of these mandates in practice for the past few months shows they are worthless and that the virus spreads as it spreads, regardless of human input. The latest example is Hawaii.

Just like in the Philippines and Peru, Hawaii’s government has imposed a long, strict lockdown and has never emerged from it beyond a modified phase one reopening. Additionally, the state has had an indoor mask mandate in place since April 20 and an outdoor mandate (even while jogging!) since July 7. It is the model for what the political elites believe to be the key to stopping the spread. Yet the results are the same as they have been in every place that tried to put up a cloth in front of the inexorable spread of viral particles that can only be seen with an electron microscope.

As you can see, Hawaii’s daily case count grew more than tenfold in July and August. All along, state officials thought they were steering this ship cleanly throughout the spring and that their draconian efforts avoided the spread of the virus. Instead, it has become clear that the virus simply arrives at southern latitudes several months later and spreads for six to eight weeks, as it does everywhere else.

If mask-wearing were as effective as the cult-like devotion to it claims and the strict legal enforcement of it were justified, then this result would be impossible. Let’s not forget that Hawaii is the most isolated state and has essentially choked off tourism and commerce. In addition, Hawaiian Airlines has the strictest mask policies among all airlines.

Hospitalizations have also increased eightfold since mid-July. And as my friend Ian Miller shows, this occurred long after mask-wearing became a universal requirement.

“Face coverings are one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Oahu’s Mayor Kirk Caldwell in a July 3 order expanding the city’s mask mandate to outdoors. Well, Mr. Mayor, facts and data don’t care about your opinion.

And it’s not as if the edict is not being complied with. According to the New York Times, Hawaii has a high degree of compliance. The few people caught without masks have not only be cited, but arrested too. Then again, you can’t beat the mandate in the Philippines, where residents were threatened with getting shot for violating coronavirus orders, yet as in all southern latitudes, the country is experiencing a late spread. Ditto for Peru, which had a universal mask mandate for months but has the most COVID-19 deaths per capita in the world.

Now we know why Dr. Fauci said in July that there are no plans to conduct a randomized clinical trial to asses the effectiveness of universal mask-wearing in stopping the spread. We have a better litmus test than clinical studies: We have the reality of human experience in every corner of the world.

Just how confident is our government in the effectiveness of mask-wearing? The CDC recommends that someone who has come into contact with a person who has the virus for at least 15 minutes should quarantine, “irrespective of whether the person with COVID-19 or the contact was wearing a mask or whether the contact was wearing respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE).”

So, when it comes to actually making life decisions based on the mask cult, suddenly the science is as cheap and flimsy as the cloth itself. Yet in July, Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC’s own director, said, “If we could get everyone to wear a mask right now, I think in four, six, eight weeks, we could bring this epidemic under control.”

Well, Dr. Redfield, I’ll do you one better. Hawaiians were wearing masks for nearly 20 weeks in an island state before the virus spread much at all. Yet it still appeared with a vengeance in July.

You can’t blame the CDC for not putting its money where its director’s political mouth now is, because as late as May, the CDC was citing the 10 randomized controlled trials that showed “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.”

How much longer will we allow this flat-earth science to trump our liberty, human dignity, and right to breathe unrestricted air? Many states are mandating this even on small kids. Typically, in order to issue such a draconian and personal regulation of one’s person – to the extent that could ever be constitutional – the government must produce substantial evidence that the restriction is necessary and effective and propose its implementation through the least restrictive means for the minimal amount of time necessary. Sadly, the Constitution has been cast aside as callously as common sense and years’ worth of science on the spread of respiratory viruses.

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Family kicked off Southwest Airlines flight because 3-year-old autistic boy wouldn’t wear a mask

A Texas woman claims that she was removed from a recent Southwest Airlines flight because her 3-year-old son with autism wouldn’t wear a face mask. Despite having a doctor’s note explaining the boy’s condition, the airline booted the family off the plane for violating the company’s strict coronavirus face mask policy.

“He was screaming. He was throwing a fit. He was screaming, ‘No, no, no,'” Alyssa Sadler told KPRC-TV about her son’s refusal to wear a face mask during a flight from Midland, Texas, to Houston. “It was just not a good morning.”

A flight crew member informed Sadler that the plane would not depart until her son wore a face mask. “The mask is not going to work,” Alyssa said. “He’s not going to wear the mask.”

Sadler notified the crew member that her 3-year-old son has a sensory processing disorder and doesn’t like his face touched. She presented a note from the boy’s doctor that documented his condition, but that wasn’t enough.

“They’re trying to talk to him, tell him, ‘You have to wear it. It’s not an option,’ and I’m trying to explain to them, you know, he doesn’t understand what you’re saying,” Sadler explained.

After the boy refused to wear a face covering, the captain returned the plane to its gate. Sadler, her son, and her 1-year-old daughter were kicked off the flight. Sadler and her children flew to Midland to visit her husband, who is working a temporary job.

Sadler was wearing a mask and said she wears a face covering “everywhere” she goes. However, she believes there should be certain exceptions for people with disabilities. “I think there needs to be something in place for children or even adults with disabilities who can’t wear a mask. They should have some kind of exemption,” she said. “I mean, no 3-year-old, who is autistic and has sensory processing disorder, is going to put anything on their face.”

“We communicate this policy to all customers at multiple touchpoints throughout the travel journey, so we regret any inconvenience this family experienced,” Southwest spokesperson Dan Landson told USA Today. “If a customer is unable to wear a face covering for any reason, Southwest regrets that we are unable to transport the individual.”

Southwest Airlines said the family received a full refund. A family member will pick up the Sadler and her children on Thursday to drive them back to Houston.

In June, Airlines for America, an industry trade organization representing the leading U.S. airlines, announced that its member carriers would be “vigorously enforcing face covering policies.” The airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.

“Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline’s face covering policy up to and including suspension of flying privileges on that airline,” the Airlines for America statement said.

On July 27, Southwest Airlines updated its COVID-19 mask policy to state that all passengers over the age of 2-years-old must wear face masks while flying. The airline also eliminated a prior face covering exception for flyers with medical or disability conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask.

“Effective July 27, due to the safety risk of COVID-19 transmission by individuals not wearing a face covering, Southwest will require that all Southwest Customers wear a face covering or mask over their nose and mouth, and there will be no exemptions to our face covering requirement, except for children under the age of two,” the airline declared in a press release. “If a Customer is unable to wear a face covering or mask for any reason, Southwest regrets that we will be unable to transport the individual.”

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Horowitz: Cases surging in Hawaii – with the strictest mask mandate

Based on geography, seasonality, and latitude, when it is your turn to get the virus, you will get it. You can’t place a tarp, a mask, or a lockdown in front of a virus, the same way you can’t arrest the movement of a hurricane; you must deal with it with a healthy and functioning society. That is the enduring lesson of what we are seeing throughout the world, where there is zero correlation between human input and the trend of the virus. Hawaii is the latest example of this phenomenon.

Hawaii might possibly have the strictest lockdown and mask mandates in the country. It is essentially as strict as the Philippines, though without the threat of being shot by police. However, the state has jailed people for violating lockdown orders (while releasing 38% of all its real criminals in jail!). Tourism has been nonexistent, and all remaining visitors were told to quarantine. There has been a mandate in place requiring mask-wearing indoors since April and now even outdoors for the past month – even while jogging!

The result? Cases are surging more than ever – just like in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Israel, Australia, and every southern latitude area with a strict mask mandate and lockdown.

A friend created a graphic on Twitter juxtaposing Hawaii’s COVID-19 case trend line (even adjusted for increased testing) to the lockdown and unprecedentedly low social mobility score of its population.

If mask mandates were ever going to work to stop a spread, it would have occurred in Hawaii, which is isolated from the rest of the world on all sides. In fact, the exact opposite happened.

Keep in mind the state’s testing rate is still low. They’re testing 131K per million population vs. a 202K per million national average. Testing has increased somewhat, as in all states, but even when you adjust cases to test levels of April 8, today’s numbers are still 55% higher and rising fast.

Well, maybe people aren’t listening and are gathering too much? Not a chance.

As you can see, Hawaii’s mobility score of shoppers and travelers has essentially remained flat, at unprecedented low levels. There never has been a true reopening, yet cases are surging. The state’s mobility score is much lower than the U.S. average:

Like most other countries that engaged in heavy-handed police state tactics, Hawaiians have nothing to show for their lockdown but a crushed economy and lives lost. Sure, they still have a low death rate, but that has nothing to do with stopping the spread with mandates. The spread was not stopped. The low death rate is likely driven by the same theory behind the low death rates in all the Pacific Rim countries – they have a high rate of cross-immunity from persistent coronavirus colds.

The same dynamic is unfolding in New Zealand. The country has been in a perpetual state of lockdown since March at an unfathomably painful cost. Now they have discovered a new cluster of community spread. Where did it come from? The virus does what the virus does. The only question is whether you will destroy your country while it does.

Just take London and Stockholm, for example, as a tale of two diverging cities. The former had a strict lockdown to this very day, while Stockholm eschewed any mandatory lockdown and masking policies. According to research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, they both have about 17% seroprevalence among their respective populations. As the BBC observes, “experts” predicted 40% of people in Stockholm would have antibodies, but as I noted before, because of inherent T cell immunity, the virus appears to stop before that benchmark. Everyone will have to achieve herd immunity, but that threshold is much lower for this virus.

The big difference, however, is that Sweden achieved this without destroying its country, while England suffered a 20% drop in GDP this past quarter. That translates into tens of thousands of additional lives lost from despair, stress, substance abuse, and suicide.

All these countries that thought they dodged a bullet by locking down earlier than the U.K., such as the other Nordic countries, are now at risk for future waves of the virus. There is already evidence the virus is spreading in all the Nordic countries – except for Sweden.

Sweden, with its northern climate, is not known for sunshine, but life looks a lot sunnier there than anywhere else, especially in the tourist haven of Hawaii. Well, the former tourist haven. Hawaii crushed its tourism industry with mandatory quarantines backed by the threat of criminal prosecution. Now they have 22.6% unemployment, the second highest rate in the U.S., with nothing to show for it but surging cases and hundreds of criminals roaming the streets.

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Walmart, Home Depot and other retailers walk back face mask mandates, will serve maskless customers

Some of the biggest U.S. retailers have instituted mandatory mask policies over the past two weeks to combat the spread of COVID-19, including Walmart. The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs from some of America’s biggest corporations, called for companies to require face mask mandates for customers of retail locations and restaurants. However, a week later, many companies are walking back their mask mandates following several highly publicized incidents centered around wearing face coverings.

Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other nationwide retailers said they would serve customers even if they violate mask mandates, according to CNN. The change in policy is to prevent confrontations between customers and employees.

The companies want to avoid negative publicity and potential violence stemming from customers refusing to wear face masks in stores. This comes after multiple events where customers became irate, including one instance where a man brandished a gun at a Walmart employee because of the mask mandate.

A Florida man threatened to kill a fellow shopper at the Walmart in Royal Palm Beach on July 12. The man, Vincent Bruce Scavetta, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and improper exhibition of a firearm, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier this month, two women confronted a man in a store because he wasn’t wearing a face mask. A woman trashed a Target store in Arizona because of the mask mandate. A Texas woman was angry that a 7-Eleven convenience store required face coverings, so she spit all over the counter.

An incident of a maskless Florida man clashing with a Walmart employee in Orlando went viral in June. In May, there was a tense encounter between a man who refused to wear a mask and a Costco worker. Two California men were caught on video attacking a Target security guard because he told them to wear a mask.

A Walmart training video recommends that its employees deal with anti-mask customers by letting “them continue to shop” and avoid any physical altercation.

“With every requirement there are exceptions that have been established to avoid escalating the situation and putting our associates in harm’s way,” a Walmart representative told CNN. “Our goal is to keep associates from a physical confrontation in the stores.”

“We will not ask our associates to put their safety at risk by confronting customers about wearing masks,” a Lowe’s spokesperson said.

Home Depot said its mask policy is like the company’s shoplifting policy, and no employee should put themselves in danger. “It’s too dangerous to forcibly or physically deny entry,” a spokesperson for the home improvement company said.

“In the event of non-compliance [the store] will expedite their transaction and provide them with other options for their future needs,” such as delivery and drive-thru, CVS said.

On Friday, McDonald’s announced that starting on Aug. 1, everyone is required to wear a face mask when visiting any of its restaurants.

“[I]n order to protect the safety of our employees and customers, we will ask all customers to wear face coverings when entering our US restaurants effective August 1,” McDonald’s said in the press release. “While nearly 82% of our restaurants are in states or localities that require facial coverings for both crew and customers today, it’s important we protect the safety of all employees and customers.”

McDonald’s added that employees would receive “de-escalation training” to deal with customers who refuse to wear masks. The fast-food behemoth said it plans to “take care” of patrons who refuse to wear masks in a “friendly, expedited way.”

You can see a list of stores that have mandatory mask policies here.

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