Ready for this? D.C. ‘mask mandate’ exempts lawmakers and government employees.

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 WASHINGON, DC – This past Wednesday, Washington D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a mask mandate that requires anyone three and older to wear a mask both indoors and outdoors, any time leaving home, and anytime there will be prolonged contact with another person. 

Masks, as defined by the mayor’s order, are “cloth face covering such as homemade cloth masks, store bought fabric masks, bandanas or other cloth wrapped around the head that covers the mouth and nose, as well as medical or surgical masks.”

The Metropolitan Police Department has the jurisdiction to issue a fine of up to $1000 for individuals over the age of 18 who are non-compliant.

 To make it clearer for residents and visitors of D.C., Mayor Bowser simplifies it even further, saying in a press conferece:

“If you are ordering food at a restaurant, you must have on a mask. This means if you’re waiting for a bus, you must have on a mask. If you’re sitting in a cubicle in an open office, you must have on a mask.” 

There are, of course, exemptions to this mandate. You are exempt if you are disabled, actively eating or drinking, vigorously exercising, swimming in a pool, performing a speech or delivering a broadcast more than six feet from an individual, or a judge, lawmaker, or government employee on duty. 

If your eyes are scrolling back over that last exemption, you are not alone. Oddly enough, Bowser included an exemption for our nation’s lawmakers. So far, the mayor’s office has ignored all requests for comments regarding her reasoning for that particular exclusion.

As has been previously established in Law Enforcement Today and other publications, the CDC urges all Americans to wear masks to combat the spread of COVID-19.

A study published by the CDC said:

“With the potential for presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, widespread adoption of policies requiring face coverings in public settings should be considered to reduce the impact and magnitude of additional waves of COVID-19.”

If the gold star standard would be to have all Americans to wear face masks (universal masking), why are we excluding an entire group of individuals?

If churches are being forced to close due to the close proximity of members and there is documented spread through singing by forcefully expelling aerosols, how can lawmakers sit in rooms and argue, often vehemently, and not be considered at risk for contracting coronavirus? 

According to Alicia Arbaje, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., who specializes in internal medicine and geriatrics at John Hopkins:

“Research is showing that adults 60 and older, especially those with preexisting medical conditions, especially heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or cancer are more likely to have severe – even deadly – coronavirus infection(s) than other age groups.”

When we look at the demographics of the lawmakers in Washington D.C., the average age of a federal judge is 68 years old. The average age of a congressman is 58 years old. The average age of a senator is 62 years old.

This puts our nation’s lawmakers squarely in one of the most vulnerable groups. 

This is a group that should be expected to wear masks, and yet, they are not mandatory. The coronavirus is just as contagious on the floor of the senate or congress, contagious in judges’ chambers or courtrooms, as it is on the street waiting for a bus or ordering dinner at a restaurant. 

North Carolina state senator Danny Britt tested positive for coronavirus this month, a day after lawmakers were in Raleigh.

This upset many lawmakers who were present for the session which was held to veto Governor Roy Cooper’s executive orders related to COVID-19. Gov. Cooper’s orders were focused on keeping certain businesses closed, like gyms and bars, in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Senator Jay Chaudhuri of Raleigh took to Twitter to vent his frustrations that many lawmakers are not wearing masks at the Legislature. 

Coronavirus can spread before someone has symptoms, as Danny Britt learned. He has exposed the entire session.

If Mayor Bowser wants to implement universal masking, then it needs to be universal across the board, especially for the populations that are most at risk. 

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Here’s more on what the CDC is saying regarding the rest of this year and COVID-19.

On July 14th, the 18th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield, MD had a live-stream chat with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Throughout this chat, Redfield explains many of his concerns regarding COVID-19 and the upcoming months:

“I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we will experience in American public health.”

According to MSN, during the live-streamed chat with JAMA, Redfield explained that he is worried about the coming fall and winder seasons due to the “co-occurrence of COVID and influenza,” which will likely return with cold weather and more people sharing indoor space.

Flu season typically starts in October and takes a toll on the U.S. health care system every year. The CDC estimates that over the last decade the U.S. has seen around 475,000 hospitalizations and 36,500 deaths annually, due to the flu. 

However, if hospital beds are still being filled up by COVID-19 patients come flu season, Redfield worries that hospitals will not be able to help BOTH influenza patients and coronavirus patients that are seeking medical care. Redfield reiterates, that as a result, the death counts due to both conditions will likely climb.

According to MS, this is hardly the first time Redfield has expressed this concern, as he wrote in his testimony for the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing back on June 23rd:

“If there is COVID-19 and flu activity at the same time, this could place a tremendous burden on the health care system related to bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment, and health care worker safety.”

On the CDC website it says:

“Getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever this year, as it is possible to have the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously.”

In accordance with this, in his chat with JAMA, Redfield also stated that:

“More people to get the flu vaccine so that medical and public health care professionals can try to minimize the impact of influenza because those two respiratory pathogens hitting us at the same time do have the potential to stress our health system.”

Redfield added:

“Keeping the health care system from being overstressed is going to be really important. The degree that we are able to do that will define how well we get through the fall and winter.”

According to the CDC website, Redfield has been a public health leader actively engaged in clinical research and clinical care of chronic human viral infections and infectious diseases, especially HIV for more than 30 years. 

Prior to this director position with the CDC, he served as the founding director of the Department of Retroviral Research within the U.S. Military’s HIV Research Program and retired after 20 years of service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.

According to CNBC, back on June 30th, Redfield testified during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  During this, Redfield explained that the current surge in coronavirus cases across the American South may have been caused by Northerners who traveled South for vacation around Memorial Day. He said:

“If you look at the South, everything happened around June 12th to June 16th. It all simultaneously kind of popped. We’re of the view that there was something else that was the driver. Maybe the Memorial Day, not weekend, but the Memorial Day week, where a lot of Northerners decided to go South for vacations.”

Redfield did not provide any data to back up his theory that Northerners traveling South are to blame for the surge in cases. As states prepared to reopen gradually, some officials previously warned that regional coordination was necessary so that some states reopening would not attract travelers from areas where the virus is more prevalent.

As of July 14th, 2020, the total COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is 3,355,457 with 58,858 new cases and 135,235 deaths with 351 new deaths, compared with the day prior.  

In the meantime, on Monday, a FOX 35  Orlando investigation discovered an inflation of coronavirus cases by the Florida Department of Health. According to the investigation, in its aggregation and publication of test results from laboratories, the Sunshine State’s health authorities “misreported” the number of persons testing positive for coronavirus.

According to Breitbart, FOX 35 anchor, Charles Billi explained why the investigation was conducted.

He said:

“We found numerous labs that are only reporting positive test results, so they show a 100% positivity rate. That got our attention.”

According to FOX 35, after they noticed errors in the state’s report on positivity rates, the Florida Department of health said that some laboratories have not been reporting negative test result data to the state. 

Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive. Other labs had very high positivity rates. In the investigation, FOX 35 found that testing sites like “one local Centra Care, reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCI Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive.” *************** 

FOX 35 investigated these astronomical numbers by contacting every local location mentioned in the report. The report showed that Orlando Heath had a 98 percent positivity rate, however, when FOX 35 contacted the hospital, they confirmed those errors in the report. Orlando Health’s positivity rate is only 9.4%, NOT 98% as shown in the report.

The report also showed that the Orlando Veteran’s Medical Center had a positivity rate of 76 percent. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the VA told FOX 35 that the percentage in the report does not accurately reflect their numbers.  In fact, their positivity rate for the VA is actually 6%.

On Tuesday, when FOX 35 spoke with the Florida Department of Health, they confirmed that although both private and public laboratories are required to report positive AND negative results to the state immediately, some have not.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said:

“The Department immediately began working with those labs to ensure that all results were being reported in order to provide comprehensive and transparent data. As the state continues to receive its results from various labs, the Department will continue educating these labs on proper protocol for reporting COVID-19 test results.”

Currently, Florida is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, reporting the state’s daily reported cases have gone from about 2,000 a day a month ago to over 12,000 a day. On Tuesday, state health officials reported the largest single-day increase in deaths yet, as 132 more were announced.

According to FOX 35, doctors had been predicting that a surge in deaths would follow Florida’s jump in daily reported cases. The growing caseload is partly driven by increased testing, but a larger percentage of tests are coming back positive, jumping from 6% a month ago to more than 18%.

While Florida has now broken the national records for jumps in cases, the state’s death toll is nowhere near the national record. When COVID-19 was spreading rapidly through New York three months ago, it recorded 799 deaths in one day on April 9th and had a top seven-day average of 763 deaths on April 14th. Currently, New York now has one of the nation’s lowest death rates per capita, recording 10 per day over the last week.


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