Issues & Insights

Memo To Joe: COVID Is Skyrocketing In States That Already Have Mask Mandates

Ever since the mainstream media declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election, he’s been prattling on about how a nationwide mask mandate is vital to slowing the spread of the coronavirus. But has anyone noticed that the disease is spreading like wildfire in states that already have mask mandates?  

The day after he made up his “President Elect” signs, Biden declared that he would call on governors around the country to impose mask mandates. One Biden official told NBC News that “If a governor declines, he’ll go to the mayors in the state and ask them to lead. In many states, there is the capacity of mayors to institute mandates.”

“It’s time to end the politicization of basic, responsible public health steps like mask-wearing and social distancing,” Biden said on Monday. “The single most effective thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID: Wear a mask.”

Really? Let’s look at the data.

As it stands, 33 states already have statewide mask mandates. These states account for three-quarters of the nation’s population.

What’s more, almost all the remaining states without a mask mandate have municipal requirements in place in major urban areas, according to a review by the AARP. In Florida, for example, several cities and large counties – including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough (where Tampa is located) –  have them. So do numerous counties and cities in South Carolina, including Charleston and Columbia. In Tennessee, counties that are home to Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga have mask mandates in place. Anchorage and Juneau have them in Alaska.

Plus, just about anywhere you go these days has social distancing guidelines in effect. Just look down on the floors of any retail outlet, or at the plastic barriers now in place. Vast numbers of people are still working from home, and public transportation use has fallen sharply. In New York City, for instance, subway ridership is currently down about two-thirds  from the same time last year. In Washington, D.C., it’s down more than 80%.

In other words, the nation has already done what Biden promises to do.

But guess what? The virus is still spreading, with daily new cases far above the peaks in the spring and summer.

Over the past week, in fact, there have been more than 764,000 new cases of COVID-19, according to Centers for Disease Control data.

And of those, more than 536,000 were in states with mask mandates.

The Biden folks will point out that the share of new cases in these states (70%) is lower than their population share (75%), suggesting the statewide mandates work.

And, of course, studies show that wearing masks – properly – can cut down on the spread, particularly from those who have the disease but don’t know it. The CDC now claims that mask-wearing can reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

But, even if every state did adopt a statewide mandate, the impact on the spread of the disease would likely be negligible. Our analysis of the data shows that if the rate of spread in the non-mandating states were the same as the mandating states, the total number of new cases in the past week would have been reduced by just 6%.

We’re not saying that wearing masks is a bad idea, or even that state-based requirements are an overreach.

What we are saying is that Biden’s claim that his plan would make a huge difference in the rate of new cases is entirely bogus. All you have to do is look at the numbers to understand that.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • I live in Italy, where the fascist govt mandated masks EVERYWHERE except in your own home–and yet after six weeks of this garbage the statistics on new cases continue to skyrocket. Now they’re talking about a total lockdown–again–because nobody seems to have noticed that THAT did no good either.
    Meanwhile Sweden has had no masks, no lockdown, no school closures … and no virus.
    Who are they kidding? This is ALL ABOUT CONTROL.

  • Masks are the problem!!! Go into a store and watch people wearing masks. They are constantly touching their mask with their fingers, effectively contaminating their fingers, then they proceed to contaminate everything they touch. Others come along and touch the same contaminated surfaces, then go putting fingers to face. Boom! You’re infected. Insane!!! Ignorant! Get rid of masks and the virus will be gone in no time.
    Did anyone bother to notice in China where this all started they don’t wear masks anymore and they have virtually no more cases of the virus. They are having huge concerts in Wuhan, the epicenter, no masks. They figured it out.
    How anyone be so dumb as to think putting a contaminated piece of cloth on your face will fix anything? You couldn’t come up with a better way to spread infection. This is what they want.
    Nobody even steps out of their car on my property with a mask. They have to trash the mask and wash their hands and face before even thinking about coming onto my property. Mask wearers are not even allowed in y house, they’re filthy!!!

    • Exactly. My coworkers are constantly touching their masks. I point out that the whole point of them is to be covid collectors and you aren’t supposed to touch them, and they just laugh. People wear and rewear the same mask day after day, constantly touching and adjusting them. As worn by actual people in the wild, they aren’t working. That doesn’t mean that they can’t work, only that they aren’t working they way people–and especially government people–think they should.

      • I notice mokes do weird stuff. Like wear them while sitting around indoors in a circle having a discussion but take them off when they get up from the circle to leave, still standing around jawing. Lots of dweebs still wear them below the nose.The idea is to be rigorous–carry a hand sanitizing rag right in your hand, for example. As I’ve pointed out, airlines have conducted trials and concluded that masks are very effective when the rule is logically implemented. Amusing that some posters are so fr gone they’re now maintaining that Covid is beig spread via mask wearing. Strange rebels!

  • It is simply painful. It is possible that masks have some positive effect but they also have negative effects. They probably have very, very little to do with actually stopping a virus, which is why Fauci said to not wear them early on. We went from “flattening the curve” of deaths to medical martial law because of the number of cases. A classic case of goal post moving.

  • The CDC said 84% of the infected wore masks. Go figure. Masks are worn everywhere yet the cases are going up. Go figure.

  • It is important to recognize that professional politicians like Joe Biden and amateur politicians like Donald Trump are not medical professionals, know nothing about epidemiology and even less about virology. So they listen to the professionals in the field. Two problems here: one, the pros knew nothing about the novel coronavirus at the inception of the pandemic and so were flying blind initially, and two, the messaging from Donald Trump at the daily briefings months ago was shambolic, a chaos of error because of his megalomaniacal impulse to stand in the spotlight at every instant, even when he knew absolutely nothing. Chaotic messaging left the American people bewildered and gave his political enemies license to roam free amid their own chaos of error. When only the blind are present, a one-eyed newcomer seems prescient, even when masked.

  • Until masses of people keel over and die, the number of “cases” is irrelevant. It’s the severity of cases that counts. Think of it like ants in your house. You could have two ants or two thousands, but all you would say is “I have ants in my house.” There’s no way of knowing the severity of the infestation.

  • The American communists known as ‘democrats’ haven’t been about facts for….decades?

    On a related note, the ability of ‘masks’ to impede the spread of a virus…has anyone actually done a non-political study of how well it works?

  • A poll in October showed nearly 96% of Spaniards reporting they “always” work a mask, and Italy showed 92% “always” did. Both countries are now seeing cases spiking. Masks, particularly as actually worn by real people, are not a panacea.

  • I live in an area with a mask mandate and the majority of people I see every day are not wearing masks anymore. We had very few COVID cases up until last month when everyone just stopped wearing masks in public, now are cases are surging up quickly. What good is a mandate that isn’t enforced or followed? How many areas with a mask mandate are ignoring it now?

    Correlation does not equal causation, so I’m calling bullshit on every point you reached off this poorly done research.

  • The thing about masks is if you read the boxes they come in they will say: “Not valid for medical use” or “Not approved for COVID-19”. All mask use is a farce and I have never worn one.

  • Some of the airlines have done controlled studies. The infections jump from zero dramatically when people don’t wear masks. With all that’s going on right now, masks seem a rather demented place to take your stand.

  • What Biden doesn’t tell you is that he wears an N95 mask under his cosmetic mask because the cosmetic mask/face covering has no protective effect against Covid-19 or influenza.

  • If a mask you are wearing:
    1. Does not filter out particles smaller than .125 microns (don’t miss the decimal point), which is the size of the virus, it is ineffective for respiratory protection.
    2. Does not protect your eyes, you are leaving open another pathway for the virus to enter your body.

    If you have an open cut, that is another pathway for the virus to enter your system, as well.

    Even if the virus is contained within a droplet (bigger than the .125 microns) floating in the air, the mask will merely trap the droplet and then subsequent inhales will either evaporate the water (freeing the virus) or draw the droplet (containing the virus) through the mask.

    As far as the thought process that wearing the mask is protective of others, the same parameters apply – it at best will make the spread of virus from your exhalations a 2 step process – unless your mask has an unfiltered exhale port, which negates any protective exhalation process.

    Needless to say, if the mask does not have a firm seal around your mouth and nose for both inhalation and exhalation, then you are essentially not wearing a mask at all – merely making a fashion statement.

  • I explained masks to my granddaughter this way: You know when you eat? All the food goes into your tummy and after a while your body takes all that it can use and then you poop what your body doesn’t like. When you breathe you breathe in fresh air that has oxygen your body uses, and when you breathe out, your body is getting rid of stuff it doesn’t want like carbon dioxide and anything else that is in your lungs, like viruses. When you breathe out it’s called mouth poop, and if you wear a mask you are breathing your mouth poop and you will get sick.

  • Does anyone else find it odd and/or suspicious that this “spike” comes at a time when Biden’s election numbers are being challenged and scrutinized?

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