In the wake of the Delta Variant, the Centers for Disease Control recommends people in areas with ‘substantial and high transmission rates’ wear masks indoors. Frances Collins, Director of the National institute of Health went further. Collins told CNN that parents should wear masks around their children at home. He later backtracked.
Blue municipalities are following CDC guidelines. In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio is mandating vaccines for city employees and proof of vaccination for many indoor settings. New York City averages about 1200 Covid cases and 5 Covid deaths per day. Only 31% of African American New Yorkers have been vaccinated, which should make for some interesting pandemic intersectional politics in the city. Foreign readers may want to look up the American legal term ‘disparate impact.’ Boston Mayor Kim Janey, herself African American, compared De Blasio’s vaccine passport plan to slavery, ‘There's a long history in this country of people needing to show their papers… during slavery, post-slavery, as recent as, you know, what the immigrant population has to go through…’
Here in New Jersey, vaccines are 99% effective. So far, 50 people out of nearly 5 million vaccinated in the state have died from Covid. Governor Murphy is mandating masks and covid tests in state hospitals, long term care facilities and prisons, but has stopped short of statewide vaccine and mask mandates. In a rare fit of pique this week, the normally reserved Murphy really let a group of anti-vaccine protestors have it, ‘These folks back there have lost their minds. You’ve lost your minds!’ he shouted. ‘You are the ultimate knuckleheads!’
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a public and indoor mask mandate for everyone over the age of 2. In Washington DC., Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a mask mandate for persons indoors and outdoors when dining, attending public events, etc. Mask mandates are in effect now in San Francisco and the half dozen surrounding counties. The most draconian mask mandate was issued by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who threatened to fine and arrest any Congressperson or Capitol Hill staffer not complying. Several House Republicans have already openly defied the mandate and dared Pelosi to do something about it.
Private employers are instituting their own mask mandates. Corporate Giants like McDonalds, Walmart and Target announced that all customers and employees will be required to wear a mask while in a store. This observer’s grocery store is politely asking shoppers to wear a mask. This observer is politely declining.
The Biden administration is now mandating vaccines and Covid tests for Federal employees. However, several unions, all Democrat allies, have announced their opposition to universal vaccine mandates. The American Postal Workers Union insists ‘it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent.’ Randi Weingarten, president of the National Education Association (NEA) also opposes vaccine mandates, ‘Vaccinations must be negotiated between employers and workers, not coerced,’ she declared. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in California sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling on him to ‘cease and desist’ vaccine mandates until consulting the union. Most unions are demanding state governments bargain with them over the mandate. In other words, these are negotiating ploys.
Mask mandates are illegal in several Republican controlled states including Texas, Arizona and most notably Florida. The Biden Administration has openly attacked anti-lockdown governors like Florida Republican Ron DeSantis. Noting that 20% of the Delta Variant cases are in Florida, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, ‘At a certain point, leaders are going to have to choose whether they're going to follow public health guidelines or whether they are going to follow politics, and we certainly encourage all governors to follow the public health guidelines.’ DeSantis shot back, ‘[Biden] is lecturing people about imposing COVID restrictions and lockdowns and not only doing nothing to stop the border surge but actually facilitating it. On the other hand, he just loses all credibility when it comes to Covid.’
While the Biden Administration slams Governor DeSantis, former president Barack Obama planned a lavish 60th birthday party at his Martha’s Vineyard estate. The party was to include 475 guests and no less than 200 servants. Amid public outrage, various news outlets report Obama is ‘scaling back’ the soiree, which is nice. After issuing her mask mandate, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot allowed the massive Lollapalooza concert scheduled there to proceed. Concert goers need only flash a piece of paper at security guards as they walked in. Lightfoot appeared on stage the first night. In Washington D.C. After her own mask mandate went into effect, Mayor Bowser officiated a wedding and then attended the indoor reception without wearing a mask. These are the leaders demanding everyone get vaccinated, mask up, and avoid crowds.