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Tipsheet

Here We Go Again: Mask Mandates Are Coming Back

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Most elected Democrats seemed to have gotten the memo back in February that continued COVID restrictions were politically untenable moving forward, so a new normal was abruptly declared.  People who'd inveighed against Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's sensible school masking policy in Virginia just days earlier suddenly decided the time had come to move toward similar or identical policies elsewhere.  Hell, even Doctor Anthony Fauci is starting to sound like something of a libertarian on these matters these days:

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House, said Americans should continue assessing risk for themselves as COVID-19 cases tick up. "It's going to be a person's decision about the individual risks they're going to take," Fauci told "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl exclusively on Sunday. "This is not going to be eradicated and it's not going to be eliminated," Fauci said. "So you're going to make a question and an answer for yourself, for me as an individual, for you as an individual. What is my age? What is my status? Do I have people at home who are vulnerable that if I bring the virus home there may be a problem?"

And yet:

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Philly's COVID numbers aren't bad at all amid the current case bump, but the brain trust at city hall has decided to bring back the mandates.  The announcement came "on a day when hospitalizations in Pennsylvania are the lowest they’ve been since last July and deaths are the lowest they’ve been since last August," Allahpundit notes.  Look at this chart.  Pennsylvania Republicans would be wise to flog this issue ahead of general election season, as some local Democrats are already distancing themselves from the decisions being made in the state's largest city.  Restored restrictions won't help Democrats win a critical Senate race in the state.  In Washington, D.C., a second major university has reinstated indoor mask requirements.  Young, healthy, triple-vaxxed students must again wear masks at American University, in addition to Georgetown:

American University said it will once again require masks in all buildings in its Northwest D.C. campus. The new mask guidelines, which take effect April 12, require masks in campus buildings except when people are alone in private offices, inside dorm rooms with roommates or when actively eating or drinking. Masks remain required in campus medical facilities and on the AU shuttle. The university’s online COVID guide says faculty can choose whether to wear while teaching if there is at least 3 feet of distance from others in the class.

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Who knows if other jurisdictions follow suit, but any number of prominent reimpositions of "mitigation" policies -- especially as DC elites "party on" -- is a gift to the GOP.  Particularly among these voters, whom we'll discuss further in a forthcoming post.  For what it's worth, in case you missed Spencer's piece on it yesterday, a new academic study reviewed the relative COVID policy outcomes in all 50 states plus DC, based on three combined metrics: (1) Economic performance, (2) education performance (based on days of closed schools), and (3) age/comorbidity-adjusted COVID mortality rates.  Results:


Go figure that some of the bottom-dwellers on actual outcomes, with high concentration of "pro-Science" people, are most susceptible to repeating the same mistakes, dogmatically embracing interventions with dubious or even negative efficacy.  Other pointless restrictions from the feds may not be going anywhere, anytime soon, either:

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Let's hope that's a head fake.  Surely Democrats don't have an all-encompassing political death wish.  I'll leave you with this:

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