According to Ashish Jha, director of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, forcing over 300 million Americans to wear face coverings every time they leave their homes – whether or not they socially distance or have a medical condition – isn’t only doable, but it’s also necessary to slow down the country’s infection rate. He also said that a national mask mandate is the only way to prevent governors from shuttering businesses by reissuing lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.
Cases in several states have been on the rise since the beginning of June. Jha is worried that hospitals in many of these states, such as California, Florida and Texas, might get overwhelmed if their respective state governments don’t impose a mask mandate on their residents.
“At some point, we are going to run out of all of our capacity, our ability to take care of people and so we’ve got to sort of shut this off and we’ve got to find ways of breaking these increases or we’re going to get a lot of trouble sooner than they think,” he added.
Along with a national mask mandate, Jha has recommended that the federal government should also roll out a mass testing and contact tracing program and that certain businesses like bars and nightclubs should cease operations “until further notice.”
Listen to this episode of the Health Ranger Report, as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, talks about how presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to enforce a tyrannical mask mandate on all Americans.
National mask mandate would make people rebel against wearing masks
However, Surgeon General Jerome Adams disagrees with Jha and believes any kind of national mask mandate would be woefully ineffective. In fact, Adams believes that such a mandate can only lead to rebellion.
In an interview with NBC, Adams said that if the government were to make wearing masks mandatory, it might have the opposite effect, especially for younger age groups who see the imposition of a mask mandate as a restriction on their freedoms.
“I think it’s more important from a health perspective we help people understand why [wearing masks is] important and we help them understand why they benefit from wearing them,” said Adams.
Despite this, Adams has stated that he heavily encourages people to wear masks as they can reduce the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, he believes that wearing a mask will be essential, especially for young people returning to school and university this coming fall. He has said that if people want to play college football or go to the prom, more people need to wear face masks.
During his appearance on NBC, the news anchors attempted to bait Adams into saying whether or not he believed people should attend large gatherings for Independence Day, an act that President Donald Trump himself encouraged. To his credit, Adams answered that he cannot give a simple yes or no answer and that people need to exercise their freedom and decide for themselves.
However, he did state that if people want to attend any kind of large gathering, they should wear a mask. “It is important to understand that if we all wear these [masks] we will actually have more independence and more freedom,” he said.
Mask mandates across the country
As of press time, the U.S. has nearly three million COVID-19 cases, including 130,284 deaths and 924,148 recoveries. Given the surge in new coronavirus cases, 19 states and Washington, D.C. have decided to institute some kind of mandatory mask order.
For some states like New York, Michigan and Illinois, this mask mandate prohibits anybody from leaving their home without wearing a face mask. For others, like California and Washington, the mandate prevents anybody from entering public indoor spaces, like supermarkets and restaurants, from not wearing a face covering. It also allows businesses to kick people out and refuse to serve customers who do not wear masks.
In Texas, the order does not actually cover the entire state. The order only affects residents of counties that have at least 20 active COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, the mandate provides exceptions for children under 10 years old, people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing face masks, those who are eating and drinking at bars and restaurants and people exercising outdoors.
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In fact, signs point to the coronavirus getting worse in the next few months. Learn about the latest updates and scientific studies related to COVID-19 over at Pandemic.news.
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