Return of the Los Angeles County Mask Mandate is on Autopilot

People in the city and county of Los Angeles, California have suffered under some the more extreme coronavirus crackdown measures in America. And, one of those authoritarian measures — the county’s mask mandate — may be about to make a comeback under county policy to automatically reimpose the mandate if the coronavirus “community transmission” in the county is determined to have risen to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers “high” and stay at that level for two weeks. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is advising that the mask mandate will return before the end of this month if the current trend of increasing “cases” continues.

Insanity upon insanity. Tyranny on autopilot. The coronavirus circulating today is different than what was circulating when Los Angeles County previously mandated mask wearing. Yet, the county has put the reimposing of the same supposedly responsive policy on autopilot. Further, masks, while causing known health detriments, have not been shown to provide net protection against the spread of any coronavirus. The county might as well mandate each person in the county carry a rabbit’s foot in his pocket to ward off infection. Most importantly, mask mandates impinge on liberty and exceed proper governmental bounds. Nonetheless, if a number on the county’s CDC-inspired chart crosses an arbitrary level and stays there or higher for two weeks, the county is set to reimpose a draconian mask mandate.

A previous Los Angeles County government imposed mask mandate ended in March when “community transmission” dropped below the “high” level. Fortunately for people in the county, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva had declared in July of last year that the county sheriff’s department would decline to enforce the mandate. Of course, you can count on politicians on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to be displeased by such refusal to enforce the mandate. For reasons surely including his refusal to enforce the county government’s previous mask mandate, Villanueva now finds himself in jeopardy of being fired by county board members. Next week, the county board is considering placing on the same November election ballot on which Villanueva is a candidate for reelection a measure designed to give the county board the means to remove an elected county sheriff from office.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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