Governor Kay Ivey’s mask order ends on Friday, April 9, but a couple of cities in Alabama might be looking to extend their mask orders.
The City of Birmingham has extended its mask order and is using the idea that the science behind mask orders has saved lives. Someone should ask the Mayor of Birmingham, who bragged about this on social media, exactly what that science is.
In announcing the extension of the order, Mayor Randall Woodfin stated, “These decisions to save lives may not be popular, but it’s the right thing to do.”
If any line delivered by a politician needed the “without evidence” tag, this is it.
The idea is that his decision is saving lives and people don’t want to do that?
If you disagree, which is the “popular” thing? That you want people to die?
When they’re done asking him exactly what science he is using to extend this order, they should also ask him exactly why the date May 24 was chosen.
On May 25, you can just die and Mayor Woodfin is fine with that?
Obviously, these dates are arbitrary, and everybody knows that. At the end of the day, he can’t just end the mask order on that date either because the coronavirus exists.
But Birmingham is not the only city that is considering an extended mask mandate. Some have suggested Montgomery might keep masks beyond Friday, but this doesn’t seem likely.
The City of Decatur attempted to end its mask order yesterday but ran into a procedural problem with one of the city councilmen, Billy Jackson, who again cited the idea that this made the community safer, without evidence.
He stated, “This mask ordinance was no different. It was done by the previous council for the safety of our community so I will not support this tonight.”
But during an interview on WVNN in Huntsville, Hunter Pepper, another Decatur city councilman, made it pretty clear that this was just merely a delay tactic and the city will revoke their mask order on Wednesday.
Pepper said, “[T]omorrow we are gonna host a special called meeting and hopefully get rid of this ordinance with a unanimous vote because we all know Billy’s not gonna wanna show up.”
That’s some good local government right there.
Now, some school systems are keeping the masks in place for some reason.
Why? Science, probably.
Who knows — schools are not super-spreader locations, and kids are not at risk.
Say what you will about Alabama’s vaccination rates and how we’re last in the nation and how terrible everything seems to be going, but the state of Alabama has still logged less than 200 coronavirus cases in the last two days. The state is also on a slow and steady decline of hospitalizations, and for that reason, ending the mask order is the correct thing to do.
Obviously, there was plenty of reason to implement a mask mandate in the beginning of this coronavirus pandemic. There was a lot of unknown out there. But, “15 days to slow the spread” has lasted over a year.
Did it work?
Lockdown or not. Mask order or not. The virus raged until there was a vaccine.
There is no justification for extending these orders in the state of Alabama or anywhere else.
The oft-repeated refrain of “follow the science” is now just a slogan, a slogan ignorant people regurgitate so they won’t be questioned.
That slogan should not be used to control people.
Even, media darling, Dr. Anthony Fauci struggles to explain how states without mask mandates are moving forward without spiraling death tolls and infection rates.
Maybe I just want people to die, but if a business wants to keep masks mandatory inside their walls, that is fine. But if a politician or bureaucrat wants to extend a mask order, they should have to explain why.
At this point, none of them will, and it is more likely none of them can.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.