EDITORIAL - A bizarre incident at the US Capitol

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - A bizarre incident at the US Capitol

As usual, Democrat and Republican lawmakers can’t seem to agree on anything. Not on how to expand voting rights for Americans, not on how to give aid to those affected by the pandemic, and certainly not on how to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 within their own ranks.

According to reports, a day after Capitol attending physician Dr. Brian Monahan reinstated the mandate to wear a mask when attending to business at the House of Representatives, many Republicans protested the rule by going to the floor without masks.

“This rule is stupid. Let's just be very blunt about this,” one of them, Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, told reporters. He has recovered from COVID-19 but not yet received the vaccine.

Another Republican, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, tweeted that the “threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials.”

Wearing a mask has been proven to cut down the risk of getting or transmitting COVID-19, but some lawmakers don’t believe the science. Needless to say, the sentiments of representatives Donalds and McCarthy are shared by many of their colleagues.

If this is what some of their leaders still believe, or how they still think, Americans have good reason to be worried.

The pandemic in the US which, in case people think otherwise, has not been checked. Last week new COVID-19 cases were recorded at about 56,000 cases a day.

Leading the numbers are Alabama which saw a 134% increase to 10,554 cases, Mississippi with a 132% increase to 6,376 cases, and Iowa with 111% to 1,519 cases. Virginia, Massachusetts, and Louisiana are also recording increases of over 100% in COVID-19 cases.

The numbers are also rising in states with low vaccination rates, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of course, it has to be said that the Delta variant, which is more contagious and deadlier than previous variants, is now the dominant variant in the US after registering more than half of coronavirus cases last July 3.

We understand that Americans value their freedom more than anything else, even their very lives. However, it seems that in their bid to uphold their personal freedoms, some of them forget that they have responsibilities not just to themselves, but also the communities they live and work in.

These mask-scared lawmakers should also realize that they are setting a bad example for their constituents --especially those who refuse to be vaccinated-- to also flaunt mask rules. Of course, we know what happens when people who don’t have masks but who have the coronavirus are allowed outside.

The sooner they realize this the sooner they will make their own workplace and their own country safer.

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