Issues & Insights

Biden Is Caught Between A Mask And A Hard Spot

Just days after President Joe Biden’s Centers for Disease Control ordered yet another extension of the federal mask mandate, a Florida judge ruled that the agency had no authority to impose it in the first place, saying that “our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends.”

To public cheers, the TSA, Amtrak, the Washington Metro system, and other public transportation systems immediately ditched their mask requirements, even though the Biden administration is appealing the ruling in hopes overturning it. No one, it seems, trusts the CDC anymore.

But all of this comes as COVID cases appear to be on the upswing.

On April 14, the rolling seven-day average for daily new cases climbed to 39,521, up from 30,724 two weeks earlier, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. As the AP put it:

Experts warn that the coming wave – caused by a mutant called BA.2 that’s thought to be about 30% more contagious – will wash across the nation. … And the case wave will be bigger than it looks, they say, because reported numbers are vast undercounts as more people test at home without reporting their infections or skip testing altogether.

So, Biden now faces a dilemma. Does he relent on mandates and get blamed for another spike in COVID cases? Or does he invite an intense hostility from a public that is sick and tired of being bossed around by the likes of Anthony Fauci?

The Wall Street Journal reports that “in the latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and local officials are telling people to decide for themselves how best to protect against the virus.”

We’re not so sure. Biden and the rest of the left have been drunk on power ever since COVID hit the scene. They needlessly rushed in sweeping and destructive lockdowns, closed churches, hampered businesses, tried – illegally – to turn employers into vaccine enforcers, upended election laws at the last minute to help their friends get elected, shuttered schools, and made kids wear masks, despite the widely known harm those last two have inflicted.

And the left has given every indication that it won’t give up its newfound power willingly. Thus, the CDC announced on April 13 it was extending its federal mask mandate for another two weeks because … well, presumably because it wanted the mandate in place forever.

Just a couple weeks ago, Fauci was on the air warning that “if things change and we do get a variant that does give us an uptick in cases and hospitalization, we should be prepared and flexible enough to pivot toward going back – at least temporarily – to a more rigid type of restrictions, such as requiring masks indoor.”

More recently and even more chillingly, Fauci was on MSNBC praising communist China’s draconian lockdowns, saying “I remember early on they were saying, and I think accurately, they were doing better than anyone else.”

Then, to prove just how sinister he is, Fauci added that “you use lockdowns to get people vaccinated so that when you open up, you won’t have a surge of infections.”


So, what does Biden do? When he’s not being escorted by a woman dressed in an Easter bunny costume to prevent him from saying something stupid, he is being led around by Fauci and the partisans in his cabal who keep shouting “science” whenever anyone challenges their diktats. As spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “public health decisions shouldn’t be made by the courts — they should be made by public health experts.”

The problem for Biden is that, after spending two years feeding the public’s panic about this disease (while promising to end it), his other option – doing nothing – risks creating a backlash from the “public health” community, the media, and anyone else upset that the disease is spreading again.

What to do?

There is another option, of course. And that’s to admit that the nation’s panicky approach to COVID has been wrong from the start. Rather than imposing lockdowns and divisive mandates, castigating those who won’t follow government instructions, and playing on people’s fears to expand government control, he could adopt the viewpoint espoused by Republican governors.

Namely, that a free people can be trusted to do what is in their own best interest and accept the consequences of their decisions. Government’s role should be limited to providing accurate information about who is at risk, not stripping people’s liberties while telling them it’s for their own good.

Let the people decide? That concept is alien to Biden, and to the left, which is why he will never take this option.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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


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