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Biden to call for 100 days of masks

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/04/20, 05:11 pm

The president-elect has previously pushed for a nationwide mask mandate to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But on Thursday, Joe Biden stopped short of that, saying his first act as president would be asking Americans to commit to wear face coverings for his first 100 days in office.

Are any other new measures being taken? Friday is the deadline for states to submit requests for doses of Pfizer’s vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is set to review the company’s data and decide whether to grant emergency use authorization later this month. States are starting to draft distribution plans. Most are following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommend vaccinating healthcare workers and nursing home patients first. But officials are also identifying key industries in their specific states: Colorado plans to give ski resort workers the shot in its second phase, while Arkansas has considered prioritizing poultry workers.

Dig deeper: Read Kyle Ziemnick’s report on the enforceability of mask mandates in The Stew.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 12/04/2020 04:31 pm

    100 days?  No doubt that number was arrived at by a completely scientific process, weighing all variables and known factors. No, sorry, it sounds just as arbitrary as most other edicts and restrictions have been. Even more so, as I've heard nothing about different restrictions or guidelines to suit different areas of the country with widely varying infection rates. So assuming those decisions will be left to governors, what does the "100-day" request really change?  It's just to "sound like" Biden is doing something. 

    Got to say my own state authorities, in Arkansas, seem to be considering wisely who to prioritize for the vaccine. Our state is a huge producer of poultry products. We have many thousands of workers whose working environments are conducive to the spread of a virus. And of course millions across the nation who need to eat. 

  • not silent
    Posted: Mon, 12/07/2020 09:23 am

    Old Mike, I agree with you that different areas of the country probably need different laws when it comes to the virus, but I've seen several scientific studies that show that wearing masks is helpful-as long as it was practiced with social distancing and limiting time spent in restricted spaces. There was some conflicting data at the very beginning because the studies had yet to be done with THIS PARTICULAR VIRUS, and certain specific bits of info have been added as more data became available; but the data itself has been consistent and clear on the CDC website for months. (I've checked it several times myself.) 

    I'm in healthcare, and I have family who are in healthcare and are on the front lines treating patients with COVID 19, and the CDC guidelines are consistent with what they have been seeing in practice.  The only people I've heard questioning the wisdom specifically regarding masks and social distancing in the past six months were politicians and media. To be fair, I've also seen some overreaction and inconsistency about what gatherings are "essential."  However, the basic data about masks and social distancing has been consistent from the CDC for months.   

    Mr. Biden is a politician and not an expert in infectious diseases, but it doesn't seem unreasonable for someone in his position to appeal to people in this country to follow the most consistent bits of guidance we have from our own leading experts in infectious disease (i.e,. the CDC). It's not a mandate or a law but an appeal to the reason and good nature of Americans.  I'm sure 100 days is an arbitrary number; but, to me it helps communicate hope that this will not be forever, that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and we just need to hang on a little longer.     

    Re the vaccine, I agree that they must use wisdom about prioritizing who gets it first.  Let us pray for all who are involved in this mammoth task! 

  • Nanamiro
    Posted: Fri, 12/04/2020 10:08 pm

    We have been mandated to wear masks here in Oregon since July 1st (some counties even earlier). We have yet to see our infection rate go down, and we are currently spiking in cases and have been for weeks. Can't imagine what this "hundred days" will do. It does line up nicely with the end of flu season however...

  • EG
    Posted: Sat, 12/05/2020 04:49 pm

    Here in central California, we've been ordered to wear masks since mid-June.  Our county never fully opened after that remaining in the poor 'purple tier' of covid restrictions.  And just like you're seeing in Oregon, we're spiking with the rest of California in this '3rd wave'.  A hundred days or more - or less, the waves will still come.

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Mon, 12/07/2020 05:49 pm

    Same thing in Europe. The countries with strict masking, etc. (southern Europe) and the countries with not-so-strict masking, etc. (northern Europe) are both seeing spikes in infections. It is after all a pandemic caused by a submicroscopic agent - pretty hard to control.

    I read a good article in Imprimis (a publication of Hillsdale College) written by a medical research scientist who, along with colleagues, proposed a Coronavirus strategy, based on the data, of vigorously protecting the vulnerable (older, comorbidities) and letting the generally not vulnerable (younger, healthy) live their lives more or less normally. The idea is that the virus is going to circulate so let herd immunity develop naturally amongst those that are statistically extremely unlikely to have a bad reaction. This way, a lot of unintended consequences of lockdown (mental health issues, physical abuse, delayed health treatments, addiction, economic devastation, etc) are mitigated. The author claims the research team was politically diverse and the article itself is not a political tome - no mention of Trump or Biden.

    For what it's worth, I ran it by my wife (Fox News aficionado) and sister-in-law who lives with us (MSNBC/Rachel Maddow 24/7) and they both liked the article. So that was something all of us could agree on.