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Biden’s Mask Mandate Debacle

Posted on Monday, April 25, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Roman

On April 12, about a week before the Biden administration’s mask mandate for transportation on planes, busses, and trains was struck down by a federal judge in Florida, I set out to return from a one-month stay in the United Kingdom. The experience was surreal. When I flew to the U.K., I did have to provide evidence of vaccination, but that was all. No test or anything else. By contrast, in order to return to the United States, it was necessary to take a COVID-19 test on video less than 24 hours before a flight.

This experience underscored how Democrats reacting with horror to the end of the federal mask mandate do not quite grasp just what an outlier the United States has turned into when it comes to COVID-19 policies. Masking is not some sort of international “best practice” but rather is something that has long since been dropped throughout Europe, and the attachment to it is evidence of how insular liberals have turned in their hour of agony. That they cannot bring themselves to abandon it, even when the rest of the world already has moved on, is a sign this is no longer about public health, if it ever was, but rather entirely about control.

I spent the first two months of this year in Florida and March in London. For all the credit Ron DeSantis has received for keeping Florida open, I saw fewer masks during my trip to Europe than I did even in Florida. In London, masks were not just invisible on the street and in stores but also on public transportation and even at Heathrow airport. Anyone flying to a destination that does not require masking on flights (at this point, just the United States and several East Asian states) has not been required to wear a mask during a flight, and British Airways, the national carrier, actually produced an ad in mid-February featuring staff tearing their masks off.

Democrats in America are outliers. For a party which has long prided itself on being the party more in touch with the “wider world” (as is evidenced by how many times Democrats will say “the United States is the only country to do X or Y” (with X perhaps being the death penalty or some variation of private healthcare), the reality is that many Democrat elites are in fact remarkably ignorant of the wider world. With two ideas in their heads, 1) that everyone is better than the United States at handling problems and 2) that the views of other nations are the correct way to handle any issue, they chose to close their eyes and cover their ears when other countries pursued policies favored by conservatives in the U.S.

They also chose to ignore when their Nordic socialist paradises have immigration policies that amount virtually to internment camps or when Sweden recently moved to ban puberty blockers. They have spent two decades denying the success of flat tax rates, which ostensibly “socialist” parties have even embraced.

But nowhere has Democrats’ selective attention been more evident than with COVID. Democrats and liberals are convinced that technocracy is the answer to everything, not least because they identify with technocrats. Hence the cult of Dr. Fauci. Yet what if technocrats disagree? Sweden, too had a high profile, media-friendly chief medical officer, Dr. Anders Tegnell, with a research and academic record that towered even over Fauci’s. Yet Tegnell dissented from the consensus, opposing lockdowns, and was excommunicated as a result.

Over the past year, the tendency for Democrats has been to become more insular and extreme as their political fortunes worsened and their coalition shrank. On COVID-19, this was no different. Many liberals have become more, not less, attached to masks as more states abandoned them, and the international consensus became an embarrassment.

Liberals will say they stand for science, but what is the science in requiring masks on flights from London to the United States if everyone on board spent hours maskless in the airport they departed from? Or if masks come off the moment food is served or anyone wishes to take a drink? Is that in any way, shape, or form controlling the spread? Even if there were an argument for masks for a much deadlier disease with no vaccine, it would only make sense if everyone did it or you imposed a total travel ban as Donald Trump did (over the objections of Democrats) in early 2020. At this point, it makes no medical sense.

Why then has the Biden Administration been so determined to keep the mask mandate in place, including recently extending it into May with an implication it would have been extended again if not for the court ruling? And why has this determination increased rather than decreased as public opinion turned against mask mandates?

The answer lies not in science but rather in control. The current liberal elite of degree holders feel that they should be in control of society. The “problem” with American politics (and global politics if you count things like Brexit) for the last decade has been that liberals have not been in charge. COVID was a chance for people with postgraduate degrees to be back in charge, and those without to be put in their place, by force if necessary.

But 2021 and 2022 have revealed that liberals do not, in fact have control. Not of the Congress in terms of passing legislation, not of the Supreme Court, and not of society. As a result, they have retreated ever more panicked into those areas where they do maintain control: culture, education, and public health.

Mask mandates were one of the only areas where liberals felt they could be in control. And as polls show, white liberals, especially white women with college degrees, are one of the few groups sticking with Joe Biden. The recent Politico Morning Consult poll, which has Biden at 41% overall, has him at 53% among those with postgrad degrees. YouGov, which had a slightly higher 44% approval rating overall, showed 50% of white women with college degrees approving, compared with 34% without. While Biden could not deliver on abortion or canceling debt, he could with a stroke of his pen allow this cohort of voters to lord over other passengers on planes by keeping it a mask-mandated safe space.

The court order striking down the mask mandate thus places Biden and his administration in a political quandary. They cannot honestly want to try and enforce a continued mask mandate, lest they risk an adverse ruling by an appeals court which might undermine their ability to implement other executive orders in the future. But if they did not appeal, then it would reinforce the complaints among many liberals that the administration is abandoning the fight. The seeming compromise that was reached, to appeal the ruling without asking for an injunction to put the mandate back into effect, is likely to please no one, risking an adverse ruling without making any meaningful change on the ground.

In the meantime, it is one more sign how control has become an end in and of itself for Democrats, absent any logical purpose or policy. And without either of the latter, Democrats are doomed to a future of unremitting losses in their struggle to control events, just as they have lost the right to dictate what one can and cannot wear on transport.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.     

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Mike Walker
Mike Walker
2 years ago

Excellent piece. In addition, the left needs to keep the masks (fear) around to cheat in the upcoming midterm elections. They will fail. The House will turn red and that will be the end of masks.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

What debate ? Only the Left wants masks for Power

Rik
Rik
2 years ago

As I’ve stated before in other amac comments: Democrats are very comfortable wearing masks because ALL CROOKS, THIEVES and BANDITS ALWAYS WEAR MASKS WHEN COMMITTING THEIR CRIMES!

David
David
2 years ago

democrat = degressive, divisive, liars, corrupt/criminal, useless, godless, BABY KILLERS, fruits and nuts that don’t know which restroom to use, radical socialist/communist/marxist craving total absolute raw fascism POWER to CONTROL everybody and everything to ENRICH themselves and FORCE their evil reprobate ANTI-CHRISTIAN lifestyle agenda on children and society. Yes, the USA is divided, good will not unite with evil and right will not unite with wrong!

Kay
Kay
2 years ago

called control. The communist regime must control the population just like Russia and China. Why does the CDC have authority to tell a person what they HAVE to do when they contradict everything they have done and said since 2020. Puppet biden doesn’t have a clue, someone forgot to tell him what to say

mikem
mikem
2 years ago

we all know now it’s not about the masks, it’s about control.

MichEng
MichEng
2 years ago

Masks do not work, and neither do the “vaccines” so why a vax passport?!!!!

Jeb
Jeb
2 years ago

1). Agree 110%, Democrats in America are political outliers. 2). This multiple college degreed white female has zero interest in joeblow or the Democratic outliers, contrary to the articles statement.

Deplorable Mike
Deplorable Mike
2 years ago

Everything about the Biden Administration is a debacle!

Mario Capparuccini
Mario Capparuccini
2 years ago

I live in Vermont. Vermont has one of the highest vaccination rates in the U.S. It also is leading the nation in Covid infection rates per capita. Vaccines and masks do not work, unless you wear a N-95 or KN-95 mask. The Democrats have lost their minds. Vote them all out. Yes, there are conservatives in Vermont.

Dee
Dee
2 years ago

Ask any medical person. Re: masks, “better safe than sorry”. When NO new cases are found, I will consider taking mine off.

taek kenn
taek kenn
2 years ago

To err is human, but to totally foul up everything you need Joe, Kamala and the Democrats.

Ian
Ian
2 years ago

The author is right about liberals always holding Europe as more advanced and sophisticated that America, and how we should be more like them — I heard that for as long as I could remember. But of course, it was a very selective and distorted view; socialists ignored the fact that Sweden is very free-enterprise, for example, and has very high taxes, not just subsidized social benefits. And they ignored the downside of Europe, like high unemployment and social unrest. They just exalted their slanted view of Europe because they had no love of their own country.

I’m actually glad to know that the Democrats are clinging to masks and trying to reimpose mask mandates. It helps to clarify for the voting public which side stands for freedom, and which stands for heavy-handed, stifling government coercion. We’ll see how well that plays out in November.

AnneW
AnneW
2 years ago

I’ve been wearing a mask outdoors for years when pollen counts are high. It helps me enjoy the outdoors without my nose running constantly.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 years ago

Interesting. I did not know that the UK had abandoned masks, but I’m not surprised. The evidence is pretty clear. Or I should say, the lack of evidence is pretty clear. After billions of people around the world wore masks for years, there is no evidence that they made any difference. If they had made a difference, we would see it in the figures.

BAE
BAE
2 years ago

The Dems want to control the American people. They forgot they serve the people; we don’t work for them. But they sure do love our TAX $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

J C
J C
2 years ago

if they work no one would die, every ILLEGAL ALIEN coming into the U.S. do not wear a mask, do not get vaccinated, just as every HOMELESS person in the U.S. the rioters’, looters, antifa, blm, terrorist arsonists take a break from the Wuhan to Destroy burn Cities maskless unvaccinated. oh ya go sit down and eat without a mask on cause the Wuhan knows not to bother you when you are eating.. f u bi den

Sheree
Sheree
2 years ago

We have not taught are children about American history anymore however ; men and women have died for freedom.We must protect the Bible , which is the word of God and the Constitution of United States. Remember Ronald Reagan said Freedom is a fragile thing one generation away from extinction.Let’s stand for righteousness. Have a blessed day.

Anthony Dellisola
Anthony Dellisola
2 years ago

It’s all about control

Harry
Harry
2 years ago

With what we have experienced with Democrats the past 15 months, they should never get back in power. They have failed at everything they touched and the disaster is yet to hit us.

Margo
Margo
2 years ago

As a white woman with a masters degree I strongly disavow the liberal stance on control. It is not something provided by the Declaration or the Constitution.

TIKA
TIKA
2 years ago

if you want to know the really serious dangerous side effects of wearing masks just watch the crazy demo-commies.

Virginia Stewart
Virginia Stewart
2 years ago

The Democrats want control of the American people. The masks are a great money maker.

David P Nelson
David P Nelson
2 years ago

I keep repeating myself.
The Biden Administration has been destroying our great Country from day one.

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