Patterico's Pontifications

8/13/2020

Biden Calls for Three-Month Nationwide Mask Mandate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:34 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This is unsurprising:

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, called for a nationwide mask mandate on Thursday, drawing a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump, who rarely wears a mask himself and opposes such mandates.

“Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum,” Biden said at a press appearance in Wilmington, Delaware. “Every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing. The estimates by the experts are that it will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months. Forty thousand lives, if people act responsibly.”

“It’s not about your rights. It’s about your responsibilities as an American,” said Biden, flipping the script on Republicans who argue that mandates infringe on an individual’s right not to wear one.

You can watch Biden discussing the issue of masks here. He is followed by Kamala Harris, but I tuned out at that point.

Across the nation, 34 states now mandate wearing face masks in public.

While the science (and common sense) makes it clear that placing a barrier between yourself and those around you helps limit your spittle spray and thus inhibits the rate of transmission, people are still refusing to wear a mask in public. To have Biden (and if elected, the federal government) push for a three-month, nationwide mandate will clearly result in tremendous pushback from those already defying local mandates because they believe their civil liberties are being infringed upon and/or believe the pandemic is little more than a hoax.

Bear in mind that a new study warns that around 40–45% of people who contract SARS-CoV-2 most likely remain symptom-free. Such cases may contribute to the “silent spread” of the virus. Covid-19 does indeed spread through asymptomatic individuals.

Given that Biden didn’t discuss possible consequences for not wearing a mask, nor who should be responsible to enforce the directive, I am guessing he believes that it is up to individual states to decide what will work for them. While some states currently provide no enforcement guidance, or simply state that businesses may deny entry to those not wearing a mask, some states have actually determined that violators can be cited for a misdemeanor or fined. (Hawaii’s mandate says that offenders may be fined up to $5,000!)

Joe Biden’s team has released a new campaign ad focusing on Biden’s plan to contain the virus:

Given the frustration with Trump’s erratic and non-urgent response to the pandemic, this is bound to be an effective line of attack on Trump. After all, when the President of the United States blows off the daily coronavirus death toll in America with a cavalier “it is what it is” shrug, most Americans just don’t feel reassured about his concern for the nation’s well-being. And for good reason.

P.S. Commenter norcal questioned Biden saying that masks should be worn when “outside,” and whether he really meant it as a general “outdoors,” as if every time a person goes outdoors, they should wear a mask? He further pointed out that “in Nevada most people are not wearing a mask outside. Nevada is a swing state. If Biden pushes this, it will hurt him here”.

I wondered, in response, given that it’s Biden we are talking about, did he clumsily use outdoors as in out of one’s home and in public places where one is in close contact with others? I am not usually generous toward these yahoos, but he tends to play fast and loose with descriptions and seems constitutionally incapable of being specific.

–Dana

Israel and UAE Reach Agreement

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:11 pm



[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Pressed for time, just throwing this up here.]

Surprising, to say the least:

Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday agreed to normalize ties in a major diplomatic breakthrough brokered by President Donald Trump.

As part of the agreement, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan, the statement said, adding the country would focus on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.

“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The deal was finalized during a call between Trump, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed. Trump said discussions between the two leaders had sometimes been tense.

From the White House fact sheet:

The countries have committed to the exchange of embassies and ambassadors, and to begin cooperation in a broad range of fields including education, healthcare, trade, and security.
This historic breakthrough is the most significant step toward peace in the Middle East in over 25 years.

The United Arab Emirates is the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed on October 26, 1994.

This agreement is a major breakthrough for Muslims throughout the world who wish to come in peace to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, as they will now be able to fly to Tel Aviv through Abu Dhabi to do so and will be welcomed.

By encouraging more visits, it will help counter the extremists who use the false narrative that the Al Aqsa Mosque is under attack and that Muslims cannot pray at this holy site.
Expanded business and financial ties between these two thriving economies will also accelerate growth and economic opportunity across the Middle East.

This agreement will allow further advancement of the President’s vision for finding a comprehensive, fair, realistic, and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians and in the region.

While the Palestinians can certainly read the writing on the wall, so too can Trump. This is a big foreign policy win for him ahead of the election:

U.S. officials described the agreement, to be known as the Abraham Accord, as the first of its kind since Israel and Jordan signed their treaty in 1994. It also gives Trump a foreign policy success as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3.

The next few weeks will see Israel and the UAE come together to sign bilateral agreements.

But not everyone was happy about the nes:

–Dana


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