Senators announce national face mask legislation withholding funds from states who don’t comply

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Two Democrats, Sens. Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal, introduced a pie-in-the-sky bill this week that would mandate masks be worn on federal property and also incentivize states to impose mask mandates on their constituents.

The two senators also suggested that they agree with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who earlier this month said that the American people should continue wearing masks even once they’re vaccinated.

Dubbed the Encouraging Masks for All Act, the bill would provide $5 billion to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to be doled out to those states that implement a mask mandate.

States that receive the funds would be allowed to use the money “for efforts to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus,” according to a joint press release from Markey and Blumenthal.

“Additionally, the legislation authorizes $75 million for grants to states for promotion of universal mask-wearing,” the release notes.

Forbes reports:

  • The bill would set aside $5 billion in federal funding that would then be given to states and local governments in the form of grants.
  • Money would be withheld from states that do not have a mask mandate in place.
  • Funding would be contingent upon mandates that require face coverings in public, “including in each place of business,” with some common exceptions, like outdoor spaces where social distancing is of ease, children under the age of two and the eating of food.

In justifying the need for such legislation, the two senators issued statements referencing words from “President-elect Biden.”

“As President-elect Biden recognizes, we need to use every technique available to us to encourage mask use, from clear communication of the need for masks, to providing masks to those who need them, to leading by example, and even to mandating mask use nationwide,” Markey said.

“Our legislation would move us closer to goal of ensuring universal mask adoption during these dangerous winter months. It would also ensure that essential workers in transit, health care, and retail settings all over the country are protected with face masks. Mask up!”

Biden has been particularly outspoken with his pleas for members of the public to wear a mask:

Notice how in the second tweet seen above, Biden suggested Americans “need to continue to practice social-distancing and mask-wearing” until the coronavirus vaccines currently being shipped to healthcare workers start to begin being distributed to the wider public.

This sentiment contrasts with how Blumenthal appears to feel about the matter.

In his own statement, he argued, “Even with a vaccine, mask-wearing is an essential tool in conquering COVID-19, along with physical distancing and other common-sense public health steps.”

“Even with” a vaccine?

The bill stands a low chance of making it through the GOP-led Senate because of the Republican Party’s staunch belief in liberty and personal responsibility.

Republican-led governors such as Florida’s Ron DeSantis and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem have abstained from implementing mask mandates, choosing instead to simply “recommend” mask-wearing to their constituents.

Driving their refusal to crack down on those not wearing masks is their belief that people should be left to determine what’s best for themselves and their health.

In DeSantis’s case, he’s gone so far as to target local jurisdictions that have tried to install their own local-level mask mandates.

“Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis extended his executive order that prevents local governments from enforcing mask mandate violations on Tuesday,” the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

“The executive order, originally signed in September, bans cities and counties from fining people for not wearing face coverings in areas where mask mandates are in effect.”

The Florida governor’s staunch opposition to masks and lockdowns has made him a frequent target of congressional Democrats and their partisan media allies.

What the Democrats’ partisan media allies have downplayed meanwhile has been the hypocrisy of pro-mask zealots like Blumenthal, among many others.

The senator was caught last month strolling a tightly packed Senate Judiciary Committee while wearing his mask improperly underneath his nose.

Look closely:

To be fair, many of his comrades in the Democrat Party have committed far worse mask violations.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom attended a crowded birthday party in a “closed-off room” without even wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended a crowded outdoors celebration over Biden’s projected 2020 election victory and was seen screaming into a bullhorn while unmasked:

And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi obtained an indoors salon treatment while unmasked — and amid a coronavirus lockdown during which salons were supposed to be closed:

With so much hypocrisy brewing, it just seems awfully unfair to Republican politicians to impose rules on the masses that the elite clearly have no intention of following.

Vivek Saxena

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