Does Mandatory Mask Enforcement Violate The American Disability Act?

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Months ago, I wrote about the potential of a type of immuno discrimination or pandemic passport. The flip side to that danger is whether the mandatory enforcement of the masks is actually a violation of the American Disability Act. That issue came to mind this week after officials in Edmonton (Canada) came under fire for issuing exemption cards for citizens under the exemptions in the city’s mandatory mask bylaw. The question is whether barring people with medical reasons for not wearing masks might violate federal law.  The answer is that there is a basis for employees and customers to ask for “reasonable accommodations” but that likely does not include the right to go maskless as long as the government can maintain that the risk of spreading the virus is a public emergency.

Edmonton began offering the cards at seven recreation centers without requiring proof of the condition and even allowing residents to take more than one card for family members who may also be exempt. Almost 2000 people have secured cards.  The city insists that requiring proof from a doctor would be too cumbersome to obtain for citizens and too cumbersome for the city to confirm.

Putting aside the logistics, the story raises a more fundamental question. It is accepted that some people have medical reasons for not wearing masks.  So what is a store to do?  We have seen videos of people upset (and in some cases hysterical) over being turned away after claiming medical necessity.

 

Many stores simply bar those without masks. In states like Michigan, the government mandates that “no business, including local and state government offices open to the public, may provide service to a customer or allow a customer to enter its premises, unless the customer is wearing a face covering as required by this order.”However, what about the ADA?

There are a variety of legitimate medical reasons for declining a mask including respiratory disabilities like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or cystic fibrosis. There are also conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, autism and other conditions that could be barriers.

Under Executive Order 2020-147 the federal government exempts those who “cannot medically tolerate a face covering.”  Some states have the same exception.  Thus, there is a disconnect for those with medical conditions in being exempted but still barred from stores.

The ADA generally prohibits the exclusion of individuals based on a disability absent a showing that the exclusion is needed for safe operations. There are a couple of arguments that a store can make to refuse to make exceptions.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Justice Department have stated that there no clear obligation to make the type of “reasonable accommodations” required under the Act. The EEOC issued a statement “[i]f a particular accommodation poses an undue hardship, employers and employees should work together to determine if there may be an alternative that could be provided that does not pose such problems.”

Yet, the EEOC also declares “an employer may not exclude an employee from the workplace solely because the employee has a medical condition that puts the employee at a higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19.”

Reasonable accommodations due not include “undue burdens.” Moreover, even when a disability can be established as covered under the ADA, it cannot be a “direct threat” (of a substantial risk to others).

The EEOC states “[a]n employer does not have to provide a particular reasonable accommodation if it poses an ‘undue hardship,’ which means “significant difficulty or expense.” In some instances, an accommodation that would not have posed an undue hardship prior to the pandemic may pose one now.”

When it comes to masks, the EEOC states:

  • An employer may require employees to wear protective gear (e.g., masks and gloves) and observe infection control practices (e.g., regular hand washing and social distancing protocols).

  • However, where an employee with a disability needs a related reasonable accommodation under the ADA (e.g., non-latex gloves, modified face masks for interpreters or others who communicate with an employee who uses lip reading, or gowns designed for individuals who use wheelchairs), or a religious accommodation under Title VII (such as modified equipment due to religious garb), the employer should discuss the request and provide the modification or an alternative if feasible and not an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business under the ADA or Title VII.

That all seems to suggest that you can require masks from employees (and presumably customers) but you have to still take reasonable accommodations.

In a statement published on the ADA website, the Justice Department has specifically called out official looking cards claiming ADA exemptions as invalid: “These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department. The Department urges the public not to rely on the information contained in these postings.”

Thus, the ADA claim has been overstated by many. Yet, the question is what a store should do when presented with a card or proof of a medical condition.  Such a person can still spread Covid-19. Yet, these people also need to eat and obtain essentials.

The question is whether reasonable alternatives are already available in such cases for ADA-covered individuals who can use alternative coverings like oxygen masks or having home delivery. Indeed, stores can facilitate such remote shopping options.

There is also the added element of self-protection. Those with medical conditions linked to breathing problems are among the most vulnerable to the virus.  They not only present a risk to others but to themselves in going around maskless.

I do not agree with some that this is a clearly frivolous concern.  There are people who cannot wear masks and thus cannot gain entry to stores with essential supplies.  However, in a pandemic, the exceptions under the ADA loom the largest. This strikes me as an area where reasonable alternatives can be reasonable accommodations.

 

467 thoughts on “Does Mandatory Mask Enforcement Violate The American Disability Act?”

  1. It’s not their Constitutional Right to endanger the rest of the population. Common sense and good citizenship does not require government edicts just as very small portion of brains.

    1. Presumably, people who don’t follow guidelines related to disease will die and, thereby, self-resolve.

      Government must be constrained at some point or it will be constrained at no point.

  2. Sounds like a little Trump and Kushner action going on, whot? Getting close to the end of the ride; so forking over some ‘big bucks’ to old pals and donors. Follow the money. Trump tried to slide almost $800,000,000 out of moneys allocated for other stuff.

    Yup, listen to Trump, inject Lysol, slam back some anti-malarial drugs, masks don’t work, it’s just a passing phase, etc.

    *

    The White House–Kodak Controversy Has a New Angle: A Billionaire’s Huge Stock Gift to a Synagogue

    Why did investor George Karfunkel donate shares worth up to $180 million to a little-known congregation?

    In late July, a wild chain of events occurred when the Trump administration decided to give Eastman Kodak, the film giant that went bankrupt in 2012, an unprecedented $765 million government loan through the Defense Production Act. Under this deal, which President Trump touted, the company would manufacture ingredients for an assortment of drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug Trump has repeatedly promoted—without scientific support—as a treatment for COVID-19. The agreement was officially announced on July 28, but the previous day, the price of Kodak’s stock began to surge, following local media leaks about the loan in Rochester, New York (the home of Kodak). This buying frenzy continued for a couple of days. During that time, billionaire investor George Karfunkel, a member of Kodak’s board of directors, made an unusual transaction: He donated 3 million Kodak shares—worth up to $180 million at the time—to a relatively new Jewish congregation that has almost no public profile.

    The out-of-the-ordinary loan for Kodak came from a new and little-known government agency: the US International Development Finance Corporation. This outfit was created to provide foreign aid—not domestic assistance—and it is headed by Adam Boehler, a former roommate of Jared Kushner. In March, Kushner tapped Boehler to be part of his shadow coronavirus task force.

    The Kodak deal is now under investigation by several House committees, which have raised questions about Kodak’s “lack of pharmaceutical experience” and about stock options handed to executives and board members right before the announcement. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has called for a probe of whether “one or more individuals may have engaged in insider trading.” In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, she observed, “This is just the latest example of unusual trading activity involving a major Trump administration decision.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “In the wake of the wild trading, the SEC opened an investigation looking at the company’s disclosure of the preliminary agreement and the timing of options grants to Executive Chairman Jim Continenza.” (The SEC declined to confirm the existence of an investigation.) On Friday night, the International Development Finance Corporation tweeted: “Recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns. We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared.” In response, Kodak stock plunged nearly 30 percent on Monday.

    Kodak did not reply to a request for comment. It has created a special committee to conduct an internal review.

    The turbulent trading began on July 27, as news of the loan seeped out. Kodak’s stock opened at $2.13 and closed at $2.62, with 1,645,700 shares traded—more than 20 times the volume of previous days. On July 28, with the word now out officially, the stock opened at $9.63, hit a high of $11.80, and then dropped to $7.94, which was an almost four-fold gain from the start of the previous day, with a whopping 284,666,800 shares traded. The next day, July 29, was crazier. Kodak shares started at $18.43, and at one point reached an eye-popping peak of $60. Its low that day was $17.50, and it closed at $33.20, with 276,020,100 shares in play. But then investors realized that Kodak’s agreement was not yet a done deal, and over the next few days, the stock declined and stabilized in the $15 region.

    In the middle of this spree, Karfunkel, a major investor in Kodak, and his wife, Renee, donated those 3 million shares to an entity called Congregation Chemdas Yisroel, according to an SEC filing. They did so on July 29, the day the stock price hit $60, so those shares could have been worth as much as $180 million at the time of the gift. If the donation was executed at the end of the trading day, its value would have been $99.6 million. Given that Congregation Chemdas Yisroel is registered as a tax-exempt religious organization, the Karfunkels will be able to claim this donation as a tax deduction. That means they could pocket a deduction between $52.5 million and $180 million for a bloc of stocks that two days earlier was worth $6.39 million. (The donation also lowered the Karfunkels’ holdings in Kodak to 4.4 percent—which is below the 5 percent threshold that requires investors in a publicly traded company to report their stock transactions.)

    The gift to Congregation Chemdas Yisroel from Karfunkel, an Orthodox Jew who has supported various Orthodox schools and synagogues in Brooklyn, was noted in passing in media accounts of the Kodak stock frenzy. But what went unreported were details regarding the recipient of this immense gift. And it is tough to find any traces of this Congregation Chemdas Yisroel. It has no website. It is not listed on the synagogue locator of the Orthodox Union, a large support network for Orthodox congregations. There is no information on it within various online databases, beyond its existence as a corporate entity.

    Chemdas Yisroel was registered as a Delaware corporation in December 2018. Two weeks later, Chemdas Yisroel was registered with the New York Department of State as a Brooklyn-based entity. A search of Delaware corporation records for groups with the word “congregation” in their names yielded only 19 entities of which 10 appeared to be Jewish organizations. The New York State division of corporations lists hundreds of organizations that have “congregation” in their names and that appear to be Jewish.

    The New York corporate registration for Congregation Chemdas Yisroel listed its address as that of an accounting firm in Brooklyn, Roth & Co., and Abraham Roth, the co-managing partner of the firm, was cited as a point of contact. Roth did not respond to multiple requests seeking comment about Chemdas Yisroel and Karfunkel’s massive donation.

    Karfunkel presides over at least two long-standing foundations that have supported Orthodox Jewish groups. The Karfunkel Family Foundation, of which he is a trustee, had $19 million in assets in 2018, and it donated $1 million total to six Orthodox Jewish organizations that year, according to its most recent available tax filings. This included a $150,000 donation to the Congregation Chemdas Yisroel. His Chesed Foundation of America—Karfunkel is its president—had $196 million in assets in 2018 and donated $2.4 million to “schools and synagogues.” The foundation’s tax filing that year did not list the individual recipients.

    George Karfunkel and his brother Michael were born in Hungary and grew up in Brooklyn, their father a fishmonger and a religious scholar, according to a Forward article published in 2016 when Michael died. (The headline: “Michael Karfunkel, the Orthodox Billionaire No One Heard Of, Dies at 72.”) Through a wide collection of businesses, they became one of the wealthiest American families. In 1976, George was on an Air France plane hijacked by Palestinian terrorists that was flown to Entebbe, Uganda, where Israeli commandoes mounted a rescue.

    A 2014 Foundation for Financial Journalism report recounted the Karfunkel brothers’ early days in finance:

    The brothers were employees at a mutual fund boiler room called Economic Planning Corp.; their bid to diversify the firm by having it engage in the capital markets ended with them at the center of a wide-ranging pump and dump scam that collapsed in 1971…[T]he Securities and Exchange Commission injunction and suspensions they received hardly set them back.

    The brothers went on to create their own financial powerhouse. In 2008, they sold their American Stock Transfer & Trust Co. for close to $1 billion. (In July 2019, Anne Neuberger, George Karfunkel’s daughter, was named head of the National Security Agency’s new cybersecurity directorate.)

    Both brothers have been highly regarded within the Orthodox community of Brooklyn for their philanthropy. According to the Foundation for Financial Journalism report, “Their foundations give almost exclusively to yeshivas and synagogues connected to Haredi Judaism, many of which are affiliated with the Belz Hasidic sect.” The report also noted that their foundations “employ risk in a fashion rarely seen in other private foundations,” and it outlined financial transactions mounted by the foundations involving complicated stock trades. And the Forward reported, “The charities the two brothers controlled are among the largest, and most unusual, Jewish private foundations in the country.”

    Even with this long history of philanthropy, George Karfunkel’s gift of Kodak stock to Chemdas Yisroel stands out as much greater—by a factor of 15 to 50—than the grants on the most recent tax filings of the Karfunkel Family Foundation and the Chesed Foundation of America. When Mother Jones called Henry Reinhold, the accountant listed on the tax returns for these two foundations and an officer of each one, the man who answered the phone would not identify himself but demanded to know the subject of the inquiry. When told it was about the Karfunkel Family Foundation, he hung up. A subsequent call went to voicemail, where there was a recorded greeting from a person who referred to himself as Henry Reinhold in a voice similar to that of the man who moments earlier had refused to provide his name.

    What happened to the 3 million Kodak shares after Karfunkel and his wife donated them to the congregation? Were they sold? If so, at what price? How might this organization—with no publicly identified officials—use a windfall of tens of millions of dollars or much more? There are no answers. The public trail ends with the stock transfer.

    Mother Jones sent Karfunkel a list of questions regarding Congregation Chemdas Yisroel and his gigantic contribution of Kodak shares. In a brief phone call, his assistant told Mother Jones, “It’s on his desk.”

    Karfunkel did not reply.

    UPDATE: After the above story was published, the Wall Street Journal also reported on George Karfunkel’s donation of Kodak shares to the Congregation Chemdas Yisroel. The newspaper noted that Garfunkel is listed as the president of the synagogue in New York State charity-registration records. It reported that this donation “would make it the single largest gift recorded to a religious group, based on a list maintained by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.” According to the Journal, “The New York paperwork describes the congregation as an Orthodox Jewish synagogue that conducts religious services, classes, lectures and seminars, and would use any funds raised only for religious, charitable and educational purposes. The congregation appears to have a small space attached to a three-story apartment building on a quiet side street in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn’s Borough Park. A small nameplate on the building’s exterior is the only visible sign of its location.” In its charity registration records, the congregation lists Reinhold as its secretary and Roth as its director. With Karfunkel, they are the only officers of Chemdas Yisroel. Karfunkel is also listed as the “Chief Financial Officer or Treasurer.”

    1. Isaac, I skimmed this and the gist of it is some Jews got lucky on a bequest due to the unexpected revival of Kodak shares.

      So what? Your conspiracy theorists at Mother Jones think Jared engineered the production to Kodak so this little synagogue could benefit? come on

      even if there was truth to it, it wouldn’t matter if Kodak can do the work and the pricing is fair

      I have been called an ant-eye-seemite more than once, and I have been called a conspiracy nut too. But this one is hard to swallow. At best, it’s an amusing windfall for them.

      But hey Isaac, Son of Bacon, you and Mother jones can run with it! but you’re going to run nowhere because your trail has just run up against “Financial privacy laws.”
      End of story, it’s all just innuendo.

      I have decided Im going to laught this one off. Give the Orthodox Jews a break, for once, please. They can keep their Kodak stock. Good for them
      And this is coming from Esau, not Jacob.

      1. No Mr K, the Islamist swears it’s the the Jeeeeeews fault. (Eye Roll)

        LOL.

        Yes, there are crooked Jeeeeews just as with the Japs, Chicoms, Anglos, Blacks., etc…..

        Lil boy cryin BLM, Mohammand, Antifa, Wolf anyone?

      2. One reads into it one’s self.

        The issue was two fold. Firstly Trump or Kushner or both tried to slip 800 mil to Kodak or engineered it to look like it to jack up the share price. Lots of insiders made hundreds millions and like Trump lots of phony charity tax right offs happened. This was an example of payoffs. It couldn’t be more clear.

        The anti semite thing is all you.

        1. I am ok interpreting Jewish group activities as a group. I see that there are a lot of Jewish people who used to be Democrats and are now Republicans.

          I welcome this dynamic. they are smart.

          the idiots are the ones out there backing BLM and hurling rocks at police and whining about white privilege or Israel every day. Figure that one out! Nuts

  3. “There are people who cannot wear masks and thus cannot gain entry to stores with essential supplies. ”

    One problem with the present argument is no one has defined a mask based on what its function is. The N-95 mask doesn’t even offer full protection for the wearer or others so IF the idea behind the mask is to provide protection even that mask doesn’t completely satisfy the desired function. Very few are even wearing an N-95 mask and a simple cloth mask might have near zero protection for anyone. There is an alternate solution (and probably more) a face mask which satifies the desired function (droplet containment). Therefore those that cannot wear a mask can wear a shield.

    I’m not weighing in on the ADA claims in this case, only pointing out potential remedies that the ADA should be taking into account before anyone considers any actions. My personal belief is that private property should not be infringed upon by the ADA except under exceptional circumstances.

    I remember the Clint Eastwood case and took a side trip to see what actually happend and spent over an hour talking about it to the one managing the place for years. As usual the case was a totall abuse.

  4. If this ADA issue is a concern, stores should bridge the gap by offering to shop for people who ‘can’t’ wear a mask. Easy peasy.

    The only reason why this would prove problematic is directly related to Trump’s response to Covid, symbolically represented most by his open ambiguity about the effectiveness of wearing masks. He’s not kept current with his research, fell down horribly with his leadership, and consequently has caused the biggest pocket of ignorance around Covid in the industrialized world…

    In short, we have the biggest bunch of idiots in the world running around with shoddy pandemic information expressly because they feel it’s a personal rights issue versus being a problem of public health. Same structure of problem as the right’s refusal to see abortion as a women’s rights/public health issue. Same fundamental problem as the right’s ignorance around climate change.

  5. South Korea and the U.S. announced the first diagnosed case on the same day. There have been fewer than 350 deaths there and over 150,000 deaths here, when their population is about 1/6 of ours.

    Plenty of people have made mistakes in dealing with the pandemic in the U.S., but Trump above all. Tens of thousands have died unnecessarily from his unfitness for office. He could learn some lessons from other leaders, like Pres. Jacinda Ardern of NZ, whose responses have been so much more effective.
    Trump simply doesn’t care whether people die or are otherwise harmed, as long as he isn’t harmed.

      1. Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi are President.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for OKing the disbanding of the NSC pandemic response team.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for initially ignoring the pandemic playbook that the Obama Admin. left for the Trump Admin.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for ignoring info for months about the coronavirus in the President’s Daily Brief.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for failure to use the DPA to order production of PPE.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump’s failure to consistently model and call for mask wearing.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump’s initial lauding of President Xi.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump setting up super-spreader events at international airports in the U.S. after his statements announcing travel restrictions, where people were packed together instead of setting up proper procedures in US airports to make sure that people would be tested for the virus and quarantined.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump not dealing properly with people on the cruise ships because he was more concerned about “my numbers” than about actual people.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump’s endless fantasy lies that COVID-19 is just “going to go away.”
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump proposing that pandemic preparedness funding be cut from the budget in 2017, for subsequently cutting other relevant federal health and research funding (including funding for research on animal-to-human virus transmission), for diverting funding away from the CDC for immigration, …
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump’s frequent rejection of science and evidence-based assessments.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump’s errors with developing and making tests available or his early lies about how many were available / that anyone who wanted one could get one.
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for Trump’s many other lies, such as his claim that “we have it totally under control.”
        Neither Cuomo nor Pelosi were responsible for a myriad of other Trump errors, including his continued lies. He is a pathological liar.

        As I said, plenty of people (including Cuomo and Pelosi) have made mistakes in dealing with the pandemic in the U.S., but Trump above all.
        My claim is very much “based in reality.”

        1. Hey Buttercup.

          You’re going to lose the election thanks to your candidate with Dementia, and the DNC sponsored riots and looting.

          The Corona canard is not going to prevent that from happening.

          1. I see that you’re continue to show how weak you are by calling me “Buttercup,” Rhodes.
            Even sadder, you refer to the devastating effects of the coronavirus as a “canard” and think about it solely in terms of the election. I feel sorry for you.

        1. Just trying to save us all time and energy by providing a quick synopsis and I got the xtra added benefit of triggering you, Issac.

          1. RME that you think what you wrote is “a quick synopsis” of what I wrote, CuznPookie. Work on your reading comprehension and summary skills.

  6. Listening to Court of Appeals oral argument. No prediction on outcome, but the judges so far sound like Democrat politicians grandstanding in another endless, silly congressional hearing. Seems like the court likes the idea of pushing the executive branch aside and taking over the prosecution of a case. I think some of these folks should never have been appointed to the bench. Government is doing a good job against hurricane force headwinds. Just my impression and I will look forward to careful analysis by others that may change my opinion.

  7. Early distancing, masks, washing, testing, tracing and social discipline has illustrated that the virus can be contained. Idiot Governors that kept the bars open or opened them too soon, avoided mandating masks, etc have illustrated that the virus runs rampant.

    Even after all this proof, during the past six+ months, you have idiots complaining about rights. Trump and these idiots are the direct reason the US leads the world in Covid-19 cases and deaths, per capita.

    Numbers don’t lie. Trump lies.

  8. Listening to the DC Court of Appeals oral argument on the Flynn case. Several of the judges already sound like grandstanding Democrat congressmen. Nobody can predict the final decision the court will reach, but one can say they sound more like political activists at this point, a judicial lynch mob. Disgraceful. Wonder what the Supreme Court will say?

  9. In the middle of US revolutionary war there was an out break of Small Pox it was killing 25% of people.

    And they didn’t shut down the War, didn’t shut down their economy or wear Face Diaper Mask.

    Current reports are this China Flu crap is killing 0.037 % of people in the US & the number is dropping.

    Are you feeling Lied to yet by Fauci/ Bill Gates & most of the US Medical Leaders Yet? You Should & be Pissed & let them know.

    1. are you saying the old Russian surplus Warsaw pact gas mask in my garage won’t cut it? It’s NBC rated but pretty old, I know, and I got extra cannisters. $15 at gun show

  10. There are so many conflicting opinions on the efficacy of masks, including just who the masks protect, the user or others, as to make “reasonable accommodation” a doubtful solution. When the experts disagree, what are we ordinary folk to believe? Consider an employee with severe COPD, and unable to use a mask. Are his or her rights subordinate to fellow workers, whose endangerment by the failure to use a mask is a matter of conjecture or disagreement by experts? Is that a suitable question for a jury if, God forbid, a dilemma like this makes its way to trial?

  11. Another reason to repeal the Americans with Disabilities Act. Local ordinances and ordinary courtesy can address any actual problems.

    Emphysema is common as dirt in my family, and I’m not expecting to shuffle off without getting hit with it myself. So long as you can fit the canula in, a mask is not a problem.

  12. Is there no limit to the complete BS story from the US medical tyranny, from Fauci/Bill Gate, that Americans won’t put up with???

    Apparently not!

    Real news about this China Flu has been out for months but I guess Americans just love looking like Idiots in their Masks aka Face Diaper. But people keep listening to the old Trash propaganda media paid for by big pharma/govt.

    Look how big the virus is, a mask amounts to using a chain link fence to keep a mosquito out.

    Aside from that City/State/Feds have No Authority to require mandatory mask & further it’s a violation of the people’s Civil Rights on multipe levels, 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th… etc.

    This Contact Tracing big tech & US govt is just unbelievable illegal & personal threat to the freedom & Safety of everyone.

    Anyway, please grow the hell up, we’re under massive attack here around this upcoming election & we don’t need people showing how foolish they can be.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/swedens-success-kryptonite-lockdown-and-mask-advocates

  13. Staying 6 feet away from the leper who can’t wear a mask should do the trick! Everyone knows that the virus drops at 6 feet in the US, 2 meters in the UK and one meter in other nations. Whichever nation you’re in, move away from the leper and go about your business!

    Alternatively, call the police and have them strangle to person as they did in Melbourne.

    Sure, this is all a normal way to handle a disease, right JT? This isn’t about controlling the population. Coercion regarding a disease, especially one that is no worse than an ordinary flu and isn’t even considered a pandemic by CDC is totally constitutional and RATIONAL! Yes, just like that the DNR requirement that anyone 45 or older was given by the bosses at NHS to their staff in the UK. I’m certain that was all about controlling a disease. Locking down apt. complexes and force testing everyone, sure that’s a great idea to help for diseases? Why aren’t we doing that for cancer and heart disease which kills many more people? It’s really a great idea, let’s do it

    Could the actions of many govts. around the world be about totalitarianism instead?

    1. “a disease … that is no worse than an ordinary flu”

      That’s false.

      “CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between … 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.”

      COVID-19 accounts for over 150,00 deaths already. (And if you’re going to say that those are people who died with COVID-19 but not from COVID-19, the # of deaths is determined in the same way for flu).

      It makes no sense to compare COVID-19 to “cancer and heart disease.” The former is highly contagious; the latter are not contagious.

      1. Actually, we don’t know the number of c19 deaths. That is because, as Dr. Birx explained, we began to count deaths differently than in the past. Covid deaths result from “with as well as from”. Criteria for “with” includes a long list of symptoms and can be pronounced by almost anyone, instead of a coroner or actually qualified medical professional. This has made for some interesting cases of Covid deaths by motorcycle crash and meth lab explosions! Further, death totals have had to be revised downward every time there is an investigation into what people actually died from. Death totals are manipulated, with deaths during March and April being presented as death totals for July.

        Further tests for C19 aren’t accurate. Here is an article explaining why that is the case:
        https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/27/covid19-pcr-tests-are-scientifically-meaningless/

        Then there are all those pesky nursing home murders, oops, I mean deaths, which appear to account for a very large number of supposed Covid 19 deaths. I’m certain those murders are just the govt. taking care of the elderly–because, aww, they really care!

        I just can’t believe any person wouldn’t want to expand totalitarian measures to all diseases, whether contagious or not. When you have such great success, why not expand and extend those measures! a

        CDC says CFR of 0.26 (with inflated death numbers). This is just
        like a bad flu.

        1. Actually, we know the number of COVID-19 deaths at least as well as we know the # of flu deaths.
          Maybe you don’t know how the flu death numbers are estimated.

          There have been over 200,000 excess deaths in the U.S. relative to deaths over the same time period a year ago, many directly from COVID-19, others indirectly (e.g., suicide from avoidable economic problems caused by the inadequate response): https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/us-now-has-now-seen-200000-more-deaths-than-in-previous-years-cdc-estimates-show

          That you believe “This is just like a bad flu” doesn’t make it true.

          The government — especially Trump — has done a sh*tty job protecting people. Premature deaths of the elderly matter to anyone who isn’t a sociopath, and your snide remarks about it don’t change that.

          As for your website, “Overall, we rate OffGuardian a Strong Conspiracy and Moderate Pseudoscience website that also promotes Russian propaganda” – https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/offguardian/
          I prefer to get my science from reliable science sites (e.g., the CDC, peer-reviewed articles).

          1. I know. Censorship and gatekeeping by the government and government/private partnership entities is vital to keeping people from reading and thinking for themselves. Thinking for yourself is so dangerous! People might even look at Sweden where there have been no mask mandates and see their death rate is near 0! Holy Crap, how can that be. And their virus dropped off at 1 meter, not 6 feet like here in the US. Amazing!

            1. Whether thinking for yourself is or isn’t dangerous depends on what you think (e.g., do you think about killing yourself or other people, whether directly or indirectly, for ex., via harmful pseudoscience?).

              I support people reading or thinking for themselves, as long as it’s reading accurate content and well-reasoned thinking. Reading pseudoscience isn’t in that category, unless the goal is to understand why it’s misleading.

              “Sweden where there have been no mask mandates and see their death rate is near 0”

              Sweden’s had the 8th worst deaths per capita in the world: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality (go to the lower, more detailed chart, and click on the “deaths/100K pop.” column), even worse than the U.S.
              SMH that you can’t even be honest about such a basic claim.
              Do you think it’s healthy to lie about that, or did you just not bother to look up accurate info about it before making the claim?

            2. Careful, Jill, she’s a rabid, slavering Feminazi White Shirt and this is Kristallnacht!

              Ironically, even though “Jim Crow Joe” is going to win, it’s in the bag, the radical extremist wackjobs are in full prevarication mode.

              It’s counterintuitive.

              Joe Biden is going to win.

              Why are the liberals so zealously vituperative?

          2. This is how inaccurate the scamdemic data is by the CDC’s own admission:

            https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/about-us-cases-deaths.html

            “A confirmed case or death is defined by meeting confirmatory laboratory evidence for COVID-19.

            A probable case or death is defined by one of the following:

            * Meeting clinical criteria AND epidemiologic evidence with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19

            * Meeting presumptive laboratory evidence AND either clinical criteria OR epidemiologic evidence

            * Meeting vital records criteria with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID19”

            So, by the CDC’s own admission, they have been counting Covid cases and deaths with “no confirmatory laboratory testing”, no “presumptive laboratory evidence” and “no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID19”.

            WTF is that about?!

            I’ll tell you what it’s about. It’s a purposefully constructed scam designed to feed into the narrative of fear.

            Which is why you have chickensh*t nut cases that are afraid of their own shadow, screaming at people about not wearing a mask.

            Just to make it even worse. Wearing a mask has now also become a political statement.

            You know? Like calling riots and looting a “protest”, instead of rioting and looting.

            The DNC is truly a clusterfvck of epic proportions.

            1. Again, Rhodes, you should read up on how the CDC estimates flu deaths before you start complaining about the COVID-19 stats.

              “Wearing a mask has now also become a political statement.”

              That would be because your beloved omega male leader turned it into one instead of doing what was best for the country and modeling the behavior and asking all Americans to be patriotic and do it for the good of the country.

            2. That’s right Rhodes, the entire world is on a scam to make Donald Trump wear a mask and I guess my 2 dead relatives and 2 work associates who got it and suffered for 5 weeks are all in on it, the bast..ds!

              Why don’t you STFU, get in line, and act like your right to party is not what any of us should be thinking about right now. The longer you continue being a typical spoiled American brat, the longer it will take for us to all get out of this. We’re lucky selfish pr..ks like you weren’t around during WWII or we’d be speaking Japanese and German.

                1. Thanks CHTD. Neither was real close – one of my wife’s first cousins – and my ex-brother in law. I guess you would call him that as my sister passed away and he had remarried. He was great company, and we still checked in with each other 2-3 times a year.

                  1. I’m sorry to hear about your sister. One of my brothers died a few years ago, and I definitely consider my sister-in-law to be family. She and my brother had been together since the 70s, so she’s been part of my family for a long time. It’s hard to lose family members regardless of the circumstances, and these are crappy circumstances. I’m so sad and angry about all of the people who didn’t have to die, who didn’t have to end up with longterm health and/or financial problems, because we have such an unfit President.

                    Fingers crossed that Trump is voted out in Nov.

                    1. Yup. The Lincoln Project has created a lot of good ads, and I hope they are effective with swing voters.

                    2. On election day in 2016 the spread according to RCP was Clinton +3.3

                      Right now according to RCP the spread is Biden +6.9 and dropping.

                      Between now and the election – the rioting and looting are likely to continue – the left is out of control.

                      The Feds are gone in Portland – democrats said the Feds were the problem Now they are trying to burn the police station with the police in it.
                      Throwing rocks and molotov cocktails and steel ball bearings at the portland police. As well as trying to blind them with lasers.

                      The cheif of police in Seattle a black woman – has resigned. In atlanta an openly gay female cheif resigned.
                      You have lawlessness through out the country.
                      The leader of BLM in Chicago said damn straight she wanted looting and arson – that is reparations – and no one is hurt because of insurance.

                      You can expect indictments from Durham soon.

                      C19 is fizzling – even Schumer is now talking about opening schools – because the data was always there, closing schools was always stupid. And because democrats can read tea leaves sometimes and found they were on the wrong side of the issue.

                      Trump has put you in a no win with executive orders. Maybe they are constitutional, maybe not, but you look heartless if you challenge them.
                      You keep saying Trump is not much of a negotiator – but you keep losing.

                      By the end of June the economy was ALMOST back to where is was in February.

                      Further the C19 recession is far worse in blue states than red.
                      The RCP spread in swing states is half what it is accross the country – and it is lower than it was on election day in 2016.
                      I could not beleive it when Trump won PA – he was down by 6 in the last PA poll.

                      Biden is going to have to debate Trump – that is not going to go well.

                      D’s now have a VP, and that creates all kinds of issues for Trump to get a foothold it.

                      Further for much of the country – Biden’s VP is the presumptive president.
                      Biden should stay home, and send Harris to Debate Trump.

                      Pro Police protests are starting.

                      Aparently NY had even more nursing home deaths that we thought.

                      There is a long array of bad news for D’s from now until the election.

  14. The irony is that there is no proof that masks play any role in preventing the spread of the virus. Protection against germs and viruses has never been the intent of masks. Surgical masks were developed to prevent particles from falling into open wounds and industrial masks are intended to prevent the wearer from inhaling particles such as sawdust and pieces of metal. Masks are basically the same as whistling in the dark. FYI, I know people who have the virus and they don’t know where or how they got it. They had been wearing masks every time they left home. One most likely caught it on an airplane when he flew to and from New York for a business meeting.

    1. “there is no proof that masks play any role in preventing the spread of the virus.”

      There’s evidence in the form of research.

      “I know people who have the virus and they don’t know where or how they got it. They had been wearing masks every time they left home.”

      Masks only provide minimal protection for the wearer from others. Their primary use is to protect others from the wearer.
      They are imperfect and don’t totally prevent virus transmission, but reduce it.

  15. My understanding of the federal HIPAA law would also prevent employers, vendors or service providers from requiring you to disclose any medical condition that would exempt you from wearing a mask.

    A JT column on the applicability of HIPAA to these mask mandates and exemptions would be interesting.

  16. I qualify under the ADA and I do wear a cloth mask for the library, which is 15-20 minutes and an N95 for the pharmacy and doctors. Even with minimal usage, it can cause my blood pressure to soar.

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