MSNBC Medical Contributor: “We Should Make Masks Mandatory in Public”
A MSNBC medical contributor called for the wearing of face masks to be made mandatory in the United States, claiming that anything otherwise would represent a threat to public safety.
Dr. Vin Gupta made the dramatic, authoritarian appeal on a Monday morning segment on the network. Watch here:
MSNBC’s Dr. Vin Gupta: “We should make masks mandatory in public. Just like we ban indoor smoking, because you know what? You shouldn’t have to breathe somebody else’s secondhand smoke. I shouldn’t have to breathe exhaled Covid-19 in somebody’s breath.” pic.twitter.com/9N61Pjf2uw
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 25, 2020
“We should institute mandatory masks in public when you can’t guarantee social distancing. That means retail stores, that means public transportation, that means workplaces… That’s absolutely where we should be headed. Makes no sense why we’re not already there, people are flouting the rules…”
Gupta’s appeal to authoritarianism is almost certainly a doomed project. While many businesses and institutions have enacted rules requiring the use of a face mask to enter their property, it’s all but impossible to imagine a system where law enforcement mandates the wearing of face masks by the general public.
Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine already rescinded an executive order mandating the wearing of facemasks inside businesses, stating the onerous requirement was a “bridge too far.”
A more efficient public health strategy would be to strongly encourage people to maintain social distancing practices, and wear face masks if they feel so inclined. Many Americans simply aren’t going to accept a paradigm in which we treat our neighbors as latent biothreats on an infinite, rolling basis.