Kuhner's Corner: Mask Mandate is a Health Menace

Democrats push bill forcing residents to wear face masks

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner

Maskachusetts is being born. Left-wing Democrats are poised to pass an authoritarian and dangerous bill in the state Legislature that would coerce every resident in Massachusetts to wear a face mask indoors and outdoors—or else face a $100 fine per violation.

This is a massive power (and money) grab. No wonder Gov. Charlie Baker is eager to sign it.

The mask mandate is being spearheaded in the House by State Rep. Jon Santiago, a far-leftist Democrat who is also an emergency room doctor at Boston Medical Center. He is using his credentials as a physician to claim scientific expertise. In particular, he says the mandate is necessary because wearing masks limits or prevents the spread of COVID-19—and anyone who disagrees with him is somehow “anti-science.”

He wants the police to monitor the behavior of all Massachusetts residents, handing out fines or tickets to people walking in the park or frequenting businesses, malls, retail shops or grocery stores without a face covering or wearing one improperly. In an age when liberals, such as Santiago and his fellow Social Justice Warriors, are calling for the police to be defunded, how the cops are supposed to have the resources or manpower to enforce this sweeping, draconian mandate is a mystery.

Yet, Santiago and his radical leftist ilk have a fallback. The bill seeks to funnel massive amounts of taxpayer dollars to local boards of health. The goal: Empower an army of health inspectors to harass and fine residents—both inside businesses and retail stores and outside in parks, playgrounds and on sidewalks—if they’re caught with no face covering or wearing one that doesn’t completely cover the nose and mouth.

The bill is illegal and unconstitutional. Nowhere in the state constitution or the U.S. Constitution does the government have the authority to force Americans to wear a piece of clothing against their will. Yet, Santiago insists masks are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19; it is a matter of life and death.

“There’s a lot of things the government tells you to do it’s not because they want to tell you that just for the sake of it,” Santiago said in a recent interview on WBZ. “It’s why we wear seatbelts, it’s why we just underwent a lockdown.”

He added: “If you don’t like wearing a mask, I can guarantee you you’re not going to like a ventilator.”

This is panic porn. It is irresponsible fear-mongering and hysteria. Santiago’s implication is clear: If you don’t wear a mask, you are likely to end up on a ventilator fighting for your life battling the coronavirus.

There is one major problem with his argument: It is false—a bald-faced lie. There is no scientific evidence to justify his statement.

In an interview on my radio show, I confronted Santiago about his reckless comment and asked him to cite evidence to back it. He couldn’t; and he didn’t. Instead, he kept insisting, since he was a doctor who understood “science,” that everyone should just blindly defer to him based on his credentials as a physician. In other words, his response was that of a typical liberal elitist: rude, condescending, arrogant and insulting.

Early on in the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed that face coverings were completely ineffective in curbing COVID-19. U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, said the same thing. Many “experts” in the public health-industrial complex just a few months ago were decrying wearing masks. Now, they are peddling the very opposite.

Yet, the evidence shows mask mandates are scientifically suspect and groundless. According to syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, countless infectious disease researchers and studies have shown masks—outside of the N95 surgical masks—are incapable of fully blocking the transmission of COVID-19 droplets, the primary means by which the virus spreads.

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article admitting that most masks are ineffective.

“The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is … minimal,” the article said. “In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

Or take Dr. William Schaffner, a highly respected professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University. As Malkin points out, Schaffner acknowledges in an interview with Time magazine that most masks don’t work against the virus.

“There’s not much we can do, so we’re all walking around feeling rather victimized by this virus,” Schaffner said. “By using a mask, even if it doesn’t do a lot, it moves the locus of control to you, away from the virus.”

In other words, face coverings—and by extension, mask mandates—are security theater. They make people feel safer. They don’t actually make you safer.

In fact, wearing a mask over a prolonged period of time each day is bad for your health, especially for the elderly and children. Santiago and other mask mandate advocates cannot answer a simple question: how is constantly breathing in toxic carbon dioxide good for one’s health? It isn’t. This is why there are countless stories of people passing out driving their vehicles (and getting into dangerous accidents) while wearing a mask.

Like most authoritarian progressives, Santiago champions both the economic lockdown and the mask mandate. Yet, there is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of their worldview. If masks are as effective as they claim, then there is no need for Baker’s semi-permanent shutdown. If masks are the silver bullet to stopping the virus’ spread, then all the restrictions on the economy should be lifted. Of course, Baker and his liberal supporters refuse to end the lockdown. Hence, by their actions they are conceding that, in reality, masks don’t work.

Massachusetts is sliding toward soft tyranny. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse, our venal political class has destroyed the state’s economy, put over one million Massachusetts residents out of work, bankrupted thousands of businesses, violated our basic civil liberties and now controls where we can go, who we can see, and our very livelihood and ability to make a living and feed our families. Santiago’s mask mandate is another big step on the road to a socialist police state.

Most ominously, the mask mandate paves the way for a vaccine mandate. Think about it: If the government can coerce you to wear a mask in the name of public health and security, then it can also demand that you take a COVID-19 vaccine—whether you want to or not. And, ultimately, this is the left’s real objective.

-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 in Boston. His daily show airs from 6:00-10:00 am EST. He can be reached at: Jeffreykuhner@iheartmedia.com