WASHINGTON, DC, July 25 — Americans have had it when it comes to wearing a mask to prevent COVID infections. The polls show that only a few of us support a return to mask mandates. One survey conducted by New Jersey’s Monmouth University found that while “public health experts say that COVID is not in the endemic phase yet … most Americans appear to be acting as if it is. Vaccine rates have hit a wall but few want to go back to a world of mask mandates.”
And when it comes to the COVID experts, there are those that say we should accept the need for masks as the disease continues to ebb and flow.
According to a New York Times assessment, “The evidence suggests that broad mask mandates have not done much to reduce COVID caseloads over the past two years. Today, mask rules may do even less than in the past, given the contagiousness of current versions of the virus. And successful public health campaigns rarely involve a divisive fight over a measure unlikely to make a big difference … In U.S. cities where mask use has been more common, COVID has spread at a similar rate as in mask-resistant cities. Mask mandates in schools also seem to have done little to reduce the spread.”
The report says what difference does it make as long as we are taking down our masks when we eat and drink, when we walk into a restaurant and sit there maskless, when 25 to 30 percent of us wear our masks below the nose.
And then there are medical experts like epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo at Brown University’s Center for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. She says “a lot of attention has been on whether or not people need to mask. That’s not the only intervention we have, and it’s not even the best intervention … Look at South Korea and Hong Kong. They still had tremendous omicron waves despite very high compliance with public masking. I’m not opposed to masks by any means; I think they’re an important tool. But I think sometimes we’re overstating how much of an impact they actually have … I also think public health mandates should be used sparingly and only when there’s no alternative — we could be doing more mask recommendations rather than mandates … I just think there are other, more important interventions than masking.”
Author Ian Miller’s book on the subject, “Unmasked: The Global Failure of COVID Mask Mandates,” is loaded with data charts. Miller is a Californian and, as he put it in a KUSI-TV interview, California has had “some of the highest compliance with mask mandates anywhere in the country anywhere in the world really.” For example, he pointed out that Los Angeles County has had mask mandates for longer than San Diego County yet COVID has had a much greater impact in L.A. than it has had in San Diego. He also noted that without having imposed mask mandates or lockdowns, Sweden has had a significantly lower mortality rate during the pandemic than just about every other country in the world — including the U.S.
In a new article, Miller wrote for the Brownstone Institute website that the pro-mask promoters are not likely to give in. “There apparently is no amount of evidence or data that will convince committed pro-masking fanatics to permanently abandon their faith. But it’s even more absurd considering that several countries where mask mandates are still in effect, or where universal masking compliance is still commonplace, have been experiencing dramatic, remarkable surges.”
The New York Times says the issue of mask mandates will probably be with us for some time to come. It has become a polarizing political issue with Democrats, particularly very liberal Democrats, more likely than Republicans to want mask mandates.
In responding to AMAC’s member polling on August 6, 2021, over 39,301 AMAC members of 44,881 voting overwhelmingly registered opposition to mask mandates – a position that we honor and reinforce on behalf of AMAC members.