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Here's how utterly dumb the mask-wearing debate has become

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted was booed while speaking at a Trump rally for encouraging the President's supporters to wear masks.

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 2:31 PM
Updated: Sep 22, 2020 2:31 PM

On Monday night in Ohio, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted was warming up the crowd for President Donald Trump -- and trying to sell some campaign merchandise.

"I'm trying to make masks in America great again and I've got President Trump's masks," Husted, a Republican, told the audience gathered in an airplane hangar in Vandalia.

That's when the boos from the crowd -- sitting closely together and most without masks on -- started. Husted, because he thought he was facing a friendly-ish crowd, went on.

"Oh, hang on now," he said to the booers. "I've got President Trump's masks in red. We've got one in blue." That brought on more boos.

"We've even got a MAGA mask," Husted offered. Boos.

"I know we all don't like wearing 'em," said Husted, pivoting. "Hang on now, hang on. I get it."

Then, he just gave up; "You made your point, got it," he said.

So, yeah. You really should watch it to get the full effect.

Now think of this: The booing of Husted's attempted hawking of Trump masks to the crowd came less than 24 hours before the United States marked 200,0000 Americans dead from Covid-19. The incongruity and disconnect on display is towering -- and maddening.

There is no debate within the medical community about the efficacy of mask-wearing to slow the spread of Covid-19.

"We are not defenseless against Covid-19," said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield back in July. "Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus -- particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities."

During public testimony before Congress earlier this month, Redfield went even further. "I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%," he said. "And if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will."

("Immunogenicity" simply means the ability of a vaccine to create a immune response in your body and, therefore, create the necessary Covid-19 antibodies to make you immune to catching the virus.)

Trump immediately disputed Redfield's claim.

"As far as the masks are concerned, I hope that the vaccine is going to be a lot more beneficial than the masks," Trump said. (NOTE: Only one of these two men is a) a doctor and b) an infectious disease expert. And it's not the President.)

Given the available data about the threat posed by Covid-19 and the demonstrated efficacy of mask-wearing in slowing the spread, it is literally unimaginable why a Republican elected official would be booed for trying to sell Trump-themed face masks at campaign rally for the President. Except that this is the reality that Trump's statements and actions have wrought.

From the start of the virus' emergence in the United States, Trump has, by his own admission, "downplayed" the virus to the public -- even while telling Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward how transmissible and deadly Covid-19 actually was.

Trump was openly dismissive of wearing a mask from the start. Literally. In an early April press conference in which he announced the CDC's revised guidance that masks should be worn if social distancing wasn't possible, Trump was asked whether he would wear one.

"I don't think I'm going to be doing it," he responded: "Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens -- I just don't see it."

In May, during a visit to a Ford plant in Michigan, Trump said that he wore a mask away from reporters and cameras but took it off because he "didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it." (Someone did snap a photo of Trump with a mask on.)

Around that same time, Axios' Jonathan Swan reported this: "Trump, meanwhile, is out and about -- masks be damned. ... Watch for plenty more mask-free outings from Trump, hyping the reopening of the economy and avoiding discussions of social distancing and death counts."

By earlier this month, Trump was using former Vice President Joe Biden's mask-wearing as a punchline at his rallies.

"But did you ever see a man that likes a mask as much as him?" Trump asked a crowd in Pennsylvania earlier this month of Biden. "And then he makes a speech, and he always has it -- not always, but a lot of times, he has it hanging down. Because, you know what, it gives him a feeling of security. If I were a psychiatrist -- right? I'd say, this guy's got some big issues. Hanging down."

What Trump has done is purposely take mask-wearing from its rightful arena as simply a public health issue (masks works to slow the spread therefore you should wear them) and turned it into a political statement (people who want to restrict your freedoms also want you to wear a mask).

Mask-wearing has, of course, nothing at all to do with politics. The coronavirus doesn't only sicken and kill Democrats or Republicans. It spreads indiscriminately -- whether you believe in it or whether you plan to vote for Trump or Biden in six weeks' time.

That is a fact, proven by science. That some Trump supporters have taken to booing a Republican elected official for trying to sell them masks shows how far from the fact-based world they have strayed.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 658043

Reported Deaths: 12467
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion902221628
Lake48163871
Allen35614632
Hamilton31884394
St. Joseph29615510
Elkhart25291412
Vanderburgh21148377
Tippecanoe19815197
Johnson16262353
Porter15867268
Hendricks15744297
Clark11860179
Madison11688315
Vigo11520228
Monroe10267158
Delaware9800178
LaPorte9725194
Howard9024194
Kosciusko8519107
Bartholomew7394147
Warrick7380147
Hancock7379128
Floyd7149165
Wayne6597189
Grant6406157
Morgan6044124
Boone604188
Dubois5876111
Dearborn541266
Henry539892
Marshall5397104
Cass538999
Noble507575
Jackson462663
Shelby458890
Lawrence4161111
Gibson400581
Harrison395960
Clinton393353
DeKalb382878
Montgomery382883
Miami355163
Knox354484
Whitley347235
Huntington339276
Steuben336355
Wabash329575
Putnam326559
Ripley325261
Adams320749
Jasper313643
White295651
Jefferson293270
Daviess284496
Fayette270555
Decatur269688
Greene260278
Posey260031
Wells256074
Scott248947
LaGrange240270
Clay239444
Randolph225076
Spencer216130
Jennings214044
Washington208727
Sullivan202239
Fountain200641
Starke186450
Owen181652
Fulton177437
Jay177328
Carroll175718
Perry172635
Orange170450
Rush164222
Vermillion159040
Franklin158435
Tipton145641
Parke138415
Pike127232
Blackford120327
Pulaski106243
Newton96431
Brown94839
Benton91213
Crawford90113
Martin80014
Switzerland7527
Warren74712
Union66810
Ohio52811
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 959995

Reported Deaths: 17045
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1111071193
Cuyahoga945941709
Hamilton72643947
Montgomery46983875
Summit39720942
Butler35094460
Lucas34829757
Stark29061835
Warren22166270
Lorain21781386
Mahoning19282537
Lake18210300
Clermont18200206
Delaware16289129
Licking14832197
Fairfield14401156
Trumbull14171455
Greene13481211
Medina13220219
Clark12139333
Wood11411193
Portage10870153
Allen10715232
Richland10184205
Miami9954179
Columbiana8052179
Muskingum8046123
Tuscarawas7984235
Pickaway796798
Marion7944135
Wayne7799217
Erie6803183
Ross6083136
Geauga5996129
Hancock5945110
Scioto5886105
Ashtabula5884143
Lawrence520373
Union506552
Darke5013122
Belmont483987
Sandusky473393
Jefferson4726107
Huron4722117
Seneca4624103
Athens457331
Mercer4570101
Auglaize454498
Washington452186
Shelby439167
Knox398584
Putnam3967101
Madison389147
Ashland375495
Fulton375364
Defiance3682102
Brown367842
Crawford355396
Preble351070
Logan350158
Clinton336862
Highland324455
Ottawa319667
Williams299777
Jackson287756
Guernsey284034
Champaign283145
Fayette266343
Perry265943
Morrow257224
Henry243665
Holmes2420104
Hardin241957
Coshocton230847
Van Wert227849
Gallia219846
Adams213732
Pike212825
Wyandot207952
Hocking192248
Carroll178928
Paulding158023
Meigs133836
Noble128142
Monroe115336
Morgan99734
Harrison99632
Vinton76515
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