New York Stock Exchange opens during COVID-19 Reuters Don't arrest mask scofflaws. There's a better way to handle them.
The culture war being what it is, of course, some sheriffs in Texas and New Mexico are refusing to enforce state mask mandates, saying they restrict liberty and they're unenforceable anyway.
The mandates and the sheriff's refusal raise an important question: If you refuse to wear a mask, should you be arrested?
Superficially, the answer would seem to be: Yes, let's arrest the scofflaws. After all, if the state can't compel you to behave responsibly, why do we even have a government?
But the police shouldn't spend their days handcuffing and jailing the mask-less. That's not because the mask-mandates are wrong. It's because the law is not the right tool. The mask-skippers are not criminals — or at least not primarily criminals. They're selfish, misguided jerks. Like drunk drivers, they put others at risk to pursue some egomaniacal but deluded sense of freedom. Their thoughtlessness creates misery for the rest of us. Reopened businesses are shutting down because they can't deal with rude, disruptive customers who refuse to wear masks.
But heavy fines and nights in jail won't fix this. Shame won't fix this either. As morally satisfying as they are, viral videos of unmasked people making asses of themselves deepen the sense that this is a culture war.
The Mask War never had to happen. Had President Trump and leading conservatives — religious leaders, celebrities, media personalities — simply embraced masking early, it would never have become a hot-button issue. In basically every country that has smashed the virus, masking spread quickly and uncontroversially because it was presented as a question of basic hygiene, like washing your hands or covering your sneeze.
So now that we're here how do we end the war? Well, it's too late to expect Trump and national conservative leaders to provide the simple moral leadership that would have worked three months ago.
Instead, we should treat people without masks like a parent treats a tantruming child. When a child throws a tantrum, the worst thing you can do is pay attention to the tantrum. You don't punish the child. You don't shame the child. You don't reward the child.
You ignore the child.
The overwhelming majority of us who support masking need to just keep wearing masks, and to ignore the scoffers. Slowly, slowly, peer pressure will do its work. —
DP Don't criminalize mask scofflaws, hire mask-enforcement bouncers
I agree, Mr. Plotz! The solution to mask-averse jerks is not to criminalize them, particularly at an unprecedented moment for criminal justice reform. This country needs fewer laws in general, which will create fewer opportunities for needlessly confrontational interactions between police and citizens.
But if necessity is the mother of invention, the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic could lead to the launch of a new profession: mask-enforcement bouncers.
Much like bar bouncers, these people would not be deputized to make arrests or use lethal force. And just the way bouncers remove unruly drunks, mask bouncers would allow establishments to conduct their business without having to waste time arguing with mask-renunciant snowflakes who fancy themselves 21st century Patrick Henrys.
There's another thing about bouncers, they're a deterrent. If the sign says "Wear a Mask" and there's a large, imposing person standing next to it, you're a lot less likely to think you'll be able to skirt the rule.
Bars are closed in much of the country. Supermarkets, retail stores, and other places of business should put the out-of-work bouncers back to work. —
Anthony Fisher Trump's coronavirus wonder-drug may not be worthless after all.
A couple of months ago, President Trump was touting an old malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, as a treatment for COVID-19. It's not clear what the president's enthusiasm for the drug was based on, but whatever the reason, he was obsessed with it.
As the months passed, more careful studies concluded that HCQ was risky and worthless, at least for patients with advanced cases of the disease. And, eventually, after announcing that he was taking the drug as a prophylactic to prevent getting the coronavirus — a use-case that another study soon concluded was also pointless — Trump stopped talking about it.
But now another preliminary study has concluded that the drug may have some benefit after all, at least in
early cases of the disease.
A German "retrospective case analysis" study released last week found that early administration of HCQ with two other drugs, zinc and azithromycin, reduced hospitalizations and deaths.
Importantly, the study was not a "randomized controlled trial" designed specifically to answer this question. Instead, the researchers examined past cases and treatments in the state of New York.
But the results were encouraging. The researchers found that only four of 141 patients treated with the HCQ cocktail (3%) were hospitalized and only one died.
This is compared to 58 of 377 patients not treated with the cocktail being hospitalized (15%) and 4% dying. The dosage of HCQ given to the treated patients, moreover, was low, so the researchers found none of the serious cardiac side effects that derailed other HCQ trials.
As with many (most) things Trump, HCQ has unfortunately become politicized. As studies concluded that HCQ is worthless (or worse), therefore, it has been held up as a symbol of Trump's anti-science charlatanism. This latest study, however, has already breathed new life into Trump and HCQ supporters, who are citing it as evidence that they were right all along.
And let's hope the study holds up. If it turns out that a cheap, plentiful drug like HCQ can stop some milder COVID cases from becoming more serious, it will be a win for everyone. —
HB In this March 2, 2017 file photo, Tucker Carlson, host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio, in New York. Richard Drew, File via AP President Tucker Carlson?
The Fox News host is being talked up by some GOP donors as a potential 2024 presidential candidate according to Insider's Tom LoBianco. Like Trump, Carlson is a charismatic angry white guy with family money, a populist, and a nativist, Carlson has never run for anything, and he has never run much of anything except his mouth. After Trump, will American voters want another president who's there just for the show? —
DP Washington's football team and Cleveland's baseball team are finally "reviewing" their racist nicknames
And that's a much bigger deal than the casual or non-sports fan might think.
Cleveland has called itself the "Indians" since 1915 and only jettisoned its overtly racist Chief Wahoo logo from its caps last year. Even if the team is only at this point considering a name change, that's a remarkably quick — yet still overdue — turnaround in attitude.
Even more significant is what's happening with the Washington Redskins right now. FedEx, which for 21 years has had its name attached to the team's stadium, has "communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name." Nike has pulled Redskins gear from its online stores. And as Yahoo Sports reports: "There are a total of three men in the Washington Redskins ownership group who aren't in Dan Snyder's immediate family. All three of them reportedly want out."
All of this has led Snyder — who infamously in 2013 told USA Today that he would "NEVER — you can use caps" change the team name, now concedes he's "reviewing" the matter.
The Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay has suggested a very apt replacement moniker: "The Washington Sadness Machine." —
AF Cleveland Indians fans hold up Chief Wahoo signs prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox the opening day game at Progressive Field on April 5, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Jason Miller/Getty Images Which statue is too "important" to tear down?
While there have been plenty of arrests of people attempting to tear down statues, in some places, like Baltimore this past weekend, statues are being ripped down with seeming impunity.
It got me thinking, which statue (or monument) would be just too much for the public or the government to tolerate its destruction by vigilante mob fiat?
The statue in the Jefferson Memorial? The frescoes in Grant's Tomb? The Washington Monument itself? –
AF Grant! Grant is too important!
Hey, Fisher: All the Confederate everythings have to go, and I won't weep about Andrew Jackson or Christopher Columbus, but the statue-topplers really lost me when they yanked down Ulysses S. Grant in San Francisco. In my book, Grant is the greatest of all Americans — a troubled sinner and slaveholder who won the Civil War, vanquished slavery, built and defended Reconstruction, crushed the KKK, repented of his misdeeds (and also wrote the best book ever by a president). So whatever too much is, it's way before Grant. —
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