Cure for Covid Censors
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Main article: God's Coronavirus Cure in 3 Verses
This article was started by Dave Leach R-IA Bible Lover-musician-grandpa (talk) August 2021 (UTC).
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- 1 A Forum to Help Cure Both Covid and Censors
- 2 Many Authorities COULD sponsor such a forum - none have
- 3 Why it would most effectively be done by any state governor
- 4 How this could unravel the raw uneducated censorship of disfavored reality by major media
- 5 Covid and Law
A Forum to Help Cure Both Covid and Censors
Is there any website in the world where doctors on all sides of the covid controversy can interact with each other, balance one another, and correct each other, without fear of censorship?
Isn't that the real covid threat? We are told to "trust the science". But where can we find all the science? Half of it is censored.
Tell your governor to base emergency mandates on ALL the science, by establishing a website where experts on all sides of any controversy can interact with each other without fear of censorship, and making that knowledge base the basis for emergency mandates.
Any state governor could successfully establish a website able to bypass the media censors. A governor's covid policies concern enough people to create a readership justifying world experts taking the time to submit and interact, and news reporters covering the site.
The website should invite the posting of all evidence, with a rank boost for experts who address counter claims, who respond to questions from politicians, and to questions from voters who show, by submitting their questions as petitions, that their questions interest several voters.
Tell your governor to be the first to establish such a website, because so long as it remains the world’s only uncensored forum on the emergency, many around the world would come to the site, making your governor a world leader.
The threat is far greater than medical. Censorship, unchecked, of the scientific basis for restrictions on our freedoms, is a profound threat to all our freedoms. To the extent we lose freedom, health systems crumble, if health even still matters. To the extent mainstream and social media censorship is bypassed on any important matter, there is potential to profoundly neutralize censorship on all subjects.
Tell your governor to work with the legislature to embed such a forum in Emergency Powers law. A governor could do any of this without being required by law, but the project is safer with it in law because the governor may be replaced by one less interested in truth, and the governor is safer with it in law because the governor is less vulnerable to criticism for doing what the law requires, than for doing what the governor judges best.
Below: Several authorities that could and should establish such a site <> Why it would most effectively be done by any state governor, <> How to do it <> How this would bypass and neutralize censorship, beginning with covid and spreading to all subjects
Many Authorities COULD sponsor such a forum - none have
Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube
have guranteed that THEY will never be such a place, by simply censoring reality they don't agree with! Up to and including a top doctor on President Trump's coronovirus team, Dr. Scott Atlas!
should do it, but its bureaucrats don't tolerate dissent even from its own top advisors. The Federalist reports: "The Centers for Disease Control pulled a world-renowned expert off a vaccine safety advisory committee after he publicly disagreed with the agency’s pause of the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine....Harvard Medical School's Dr. Martin Kulldorff invented key parts of the U.S. vaccine safety system. But the CDC doesn't want his expertise on COVID vaccines." (On April 13, 2021.) A Harvard Medical School colleague called Kulldorff "an international expert in vaccine safety....He’s a pioneer.”
Another problem with the CDC is conflicts of interest. The CDC claims to have none, but it is supported by the CDC Foundation, to which companies which make much profit from CDC guidelines contribute.
should do it, as part of its public relations office, to answer the puzzlement of patients who read the censored medical testimony and then wonder why the hospital is requiring masks for everyone, no questions allowed.
The U.S. President
should do it, as the knowledge base for his emergency recommendations.
Any news organization
should do it as the basis for its editorial recommendations.
publishes "more than 32 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites." Doctors are even able to respond to each other, criticizing, correcting.
But there are six features of pubmed that lessen its usefulness as a public forum capable of countering the raw uneducated censorship of disfavored reality by major media:
(1) it is in technical medical language, much of which is unintelligible to medically untrained folk. When doctors are expert witnesses in court trials, they demonstrate their ability to explain in language clear to the uninitiated. But they don’t at pubmed.com. A public website able to bypass censors needs to be in language understandable to politicians and voters.
(2) Most pubmed.com articles are not free, and are rather expensive to download.
(3) Because of #1 and 2, the general public doesn’t much go there; indeed has never heard of it. Could a governor make it the knowledge base for emergency powers rulings?
(4) It is limited to peer-reviewed articles. Publishers invite esteemed experts to review articles. (They are not paid, but they consider it an honor to be asked.) While this is a wonderful way to scrutinize claims before publication, the experience of Henning Bundgaard, et al. published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 18. 2020, proves that even medical journals are not immune from political pressure.
(The study was ready for publication 6 months before, but journals wouldn't touch it, amid hints that it proved masks don't work. [It is "unethical" to announce publicly what research finds, before it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.] An article October 23 told how remarkable it was that such an important study - the first major direct measure of the effectiveness of mask wearing - could find no publishers in six months of a worldwide health emergency. That article must have shaken something loose, because three weeks later it was published. The study indeed seriously challenges the assumptions supporting public mask wearing. See details below, at The ONLY major Covid mask study.)
(5) The system is not set up so that non-doctors – not even lawmakers or governors – can ask specific questions of the expert authors featured there. Well, OK, email addresses are posted. But any correspondence is private, unable to add to public understanding; not to mention the problem in #1, that a politician would have to be able to understand an expert’s research in order to be able to ask an intelligent question about it.
(6) pubmed.com is a project of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Fauci heads NIAID, one of 27 institutes that make up NIH. I’ve not seen any media statements of any nature about pubmed, which indicates they must have a pristine reputation. But considering how NIAID stands accused of funding outlawed covid creation in China, should we look into vested interests in other branches of NIH?
An emerging NIH scandal involves scrubbing from its website the funding through Dr. Fauci to the Wuhan institute in order to weaponize covid. The National Pulse reported on August 1, 2021:
"The National Institutes of Health database tracking U.S. taxpayer-backed research grants – including the controversial award from Mr. Anthony Fauci’s agency to the Wuhan Institute of Virology – can no longer be accessed. When searched, the database, which itemizes the billions of taxpayer-funded grants distributed by various National Institutes of Health (NIH) agencies, yields no results and prompts users with an error message. Among the agencies included in the registry is the Fauci-led National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which has come under scrutiny for funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology."
The article goes on to summarize archived versions of the information.
So the solution is
for ANY hospital, governor, legislature, to simply create a website that invites the posting of all evidence, with a rank boost for those who address counter claims, and announce that knowledge base as what the organization draws upon for its policy decisions.
I would be glad to build that website myself, but who would find it? Without viewers, what expert witness would take the time to submit? It needs to be established by an authority whose policies concern enough people to create a readership justifying world experts taking the time to submit and interact, and news reporters covering the site.
Since the value contributed by the site would be interaction between competing views, I don't think relevant studies or articles should be posted by a webmaster, but should be posted by people able and willing to interact intelligently about them. Hopefully in a future emergency, copyrights on studies won't be an obstacle. For the current emergency, Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Initiative is a project to overcome copyright restrictions on medical information vital to understanding Covid.
Why it would most effectively be done by any state governor
Many in the state would log on if it is the basis for the governor’s emergency rulings. So long as it remains the world’s only uncensored forum on the emergency, many around the world would come to the site. If petitions had the power to coax a response out of an expert witness, an unprecedented remedy, intelligent interaction between experts and voters would soar to new heights. It has the potential to profoundly neutralize media censorship on all subjects.
How any state governor could do it
Below is some language that could be added to Iowa's Emergency Powers law to establish such a project in Iowa. A governor could do any of this without being required by law, but the project is safer with it in law because the governor may be replaced by one less interested in truth, and the governor is safer with it in law because the governor is less vulnerable to criticism for doing what the law requires, than for doing what the governor judges best.
Tell state governors to base their emergency mandates on ALL the science posted in an online forum they should sponsor where experts on all sides of a controversy can interact without fear of censorship.
, as their knowledge base
29C.6(1) Proclamation of disaster emergency by governor.
Public statements by the governor about the emergency shall include a request for public comment, and especially expert testimony, about the facts upon which the order is based. Such testimony shall be included in a public online record kept open to further submissions and updates for the duration of the emergency, to guide the governor and legislature in supporting, amending, or rescinding the proclamation. Public statements about the emergency by the governor and legislators shall be added to the record.
Contributions shall be ranked according to (1) expertise relevant to the emergency, (2) the degree to which contributors address each other’s evidence and reasons, and (3) the willingness of contributors to respond to questions and challenges over evidence and reasoning, especially from elected officials. Ranking shall be penalized according to the degree of “personal attacks” - in which contributors attack controversial but irrelevant statements or actions of messengers of evidence and reason, in order to distract from their message.
Questions may be asked of contributing doctors. Questions may be presented in the form of a petition, and ranked according to the number of signers, and according to the number of elected officials signing.
The stated goal of this forum shall be to investigate and brainstorm policy with the maximum protection of citizens, while guarding against any restriction of fundamental rights that is not clearly documented to be the least restrictive means of achieving what is clearly documented to be a compelling government and public interest.
Each contribution shall begin with a disclosure of any conflicts of interest.
A section of the website shall disclose rules and algorhythms that govern the weighting. It shall include interactions with lawmakers aimed at ensuring the weighting serves its intended purpose and is immune from special interest manipulation and censorship.
Interaction with other anti-censor websites, for example other state governors, is encouraged, beyond mere links, in order to share expert witnesses and interaction across platforms, without becoming vulnerable to takeover or collapse if another website shuts down or is compromised.
The legislature may rescind an emergency order whose factual basis lacks clear and convincing evidence. The legislature may query the governor over evidence or reasoning.
How this could unravel the raw uneducated censorship of disfavored reality by major media
Censorship is hardly new. It is only more visible now thanks to the internet, where people have been able to see news which “mainstream media” ignores or distorts, and now “social media” which lets people post information and watch it be removed. 60 years ago when there were only three TV channels and most large newspapers were owned by one man, Hearst, few people had any idea that news selection and editing was agenda-driven.
What a blessing that “social media” has made those who care about evidence so much more aware of censorship!
Three subjects most notoriously censored have been the Pandemic (labled by critics as “plandemic”), election fraud, and any support of President Trump. Criticism of the censors is another topic we are encouraged by angry stares to limit to the company of friends.
Censorship of these topics threatens freedom, because government restrictions of our economy and our freedoms is based on what the evidence shows in these areas, so when we can’t see all the evidence unwise, destructive policies are enacted.
So how does this have the potential to profoundly neutralize media censorship on all subjects?
When a witness in court is proved to have lied on any topic, his credibility as a witness is impeached on every topic. In fact it is a strategy of attorneys to test the credibility of witnesses on topics which juries don’t care about but which can be verified, to judge whether we can trust the witnesses on subjects we care much about but which we can’t verify apart from witnesses.
When the purveyors of “disinformation” labels are proved to be liars, their every subsequent use of the label will only produce laughter. And every subsequent publisher after them is served notice that if he dares exercise censorship powers in a way that misdirects government policy, the people have a tool to not only bypass his censorship but to neutralize the publisher.
The Real Issue is not Covid, but Censors. Not Health, but Freedom
My concern is far greater than any questions I have about these particular vaccines. The American public is rolling over for this, not because of "science", but in a culture where only a few doctors with pubmed.com can be sure of the science because for the rest of us, disfavored testimony is addressed not with evidence but with censorship.
It's like the recent capitulation of 18 Republican senators, including Iowa's Republican heartthrob Charles Grassley, to allow the $1.2 trillion "infrastructure" bill move forward even though a bill fleshing out what it might include has not even been drafted, much less read.
Freedom of the Press was established by the John Peter Zenger trial in about 1729. Zenger had a satire newspaper where he gave the royal governor of New York a royal drubbing. Zenger wanted to tell the jury that everything he said was true. The judge said that is irrelevant; that is not a defense against Libel. In fact, if it is true, that makes the libel even worse for the one libeled! So the judge wouldn't let Zenger submit evidence that what he said was true! Yet in those days, the jury was allowed to hear the legal arguments, which is never allowed today. So Zenger told the jury "suppression of the evidence is the strongest evidence." The jury agreed and acquitted, which established freedom of the press.
That is the understanding of Freedom of Speech that we grew up with. Today it is demanded of ever more citizens that they get this vaccine, while many expert witnesses saying it is unnecessary, if not dangerous, are not refuted but censored. We are asked to do what the Bible calls foolish and a national shame.
Pro 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
As I indicated, it is beyond my understanding to judge the competing claims about the physical impact of our three glorious covid vaccines. But it is frightening to me to see national mandates enforced not with science but its opposite: censorship. And whether or not these vaccines have long term terrible consequences, the long term terrible consequence of rolling over for censors are very clear. It means ANY future vaccine, crafted and marketed by people not concerned with health but with profit, or worse, control, or worse, reduction of human population as has been the dream of liberals since Malthus, will meet little resistance.
I note that Revelation 16:2 says "The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image." I compare that with videos of Bill Gates dreaming about worldwide vaccine mandates, and articles about a vaccine application which leaves an invisible tattoo, which can be read by a smart phone to report vaccine history. This would certainly account for how a "mark of the beast", not merely a mark but also a harmful vaccine, could cause terrible sores in everyone who takes it.
Yet I see a culture, half of which hates God and the other half doesn't want to discuss Scripture in public forums where voters decide to pattern our laws after the principles of Heaven or of Hell, lest they lose their "credibility", ready to roll over for ANYTHING the censors promote!
Even if covid fatalities are as deadly as the CDC reports with its reporting rules which were never applied to any previous epidemic, they cannot possibly be as deadly as the readiness of the freest citizens on earth to roll over for censors with no curiosity but only angry stares for reasonable questions about the approved "science".
I would rather die of covid than be part of this rolling over that paves the way for the Mark of the Beast. Although my trust in God is such that I believe the safest thing I can do is serve Him, which includes resisting evil, regardless of any guns pointed at my head, regardless of any other threat. Psalm 91. I find it critical that there be serious resistance to this mindless censorship-based "science".
What is the main purpose for a forum where doctors on all sides can interact without fear of censorship? To prove that mask, lockdown, and vaccine narratives are false? No because even if they are, the forum is just as critical, because millions believe they are false, and America is not going to be healthy - mental health is as vital as physical health - so long as evidence is addressed by censorship instead of by countering evidence.
I pray you will join me in the mission of establishing a website capable of bypassing and neutralizing the censors so that true science can guide us. Let us have a place where false claims can be addressed, point by point, free, and in language politicians and voters can understand.
A month ago Dr. Simone Gold, organizer of America's Frontline Doctors, brought a show to Des Moines. About 2,000 showed up, pretty close to the most that ever show up for a political event in Des Moines. It was a very enthusiastic audience. She lost her doctor job over her successful treatments of covid patients with hydroxychloroquine, but she is a lawyer too and is filing a lawsuit against vaccine mandates, especially before full FDA approval, although she supports the availability of vaccines for those who want them.
If you believe we must all take the vaccines, surely we are NOT on opposite sides. Surely you share my concern for mass acceptance of censorship, and the incentive that provides truly wicked doctors, spiritual descendants of Mengele, to fulfill the Mark of the Beast vision and figure they can get away with it. Surely you accept the Bible's warning of the Mark as accurate, and as something that merits our watching, though of course exactly what it applies to is not yet completely clear.
Although you encourage taking the vaccine because you know it is beneficial, and I oppose doing anything without informed consent, surely that is not a fundamental contradiction. Surely you will join me in opposing censorship, even censorship of ignorance, because only when error is brought out into the open can it be shot down. Surely you will not mistake the censors or the mandaters for your allies, but will see that only to the extent we can neutralize the censors can skeptics, not to mention European-type mobs, be reassured.
An article about riots abroad quoted a sign in Australia: "This has nothing to do with covid." Amen. Let's get Freedom of Speech back, so we can talk about Covid intelligently.
Covid and Law
Des Moines, IA Mayor Frank Cownie has a new (August 25, 2020) illegal (according to Iowa's Democrat Attorney General), unenforceable Mask "Mandate". Masks for everyone in any building, and outside where "social distancing" cannot be done. There are several exceptions: people in a coma, jogging, difficulty breathing, and anyone with a "sincerely held religious objection". Here's mine:
I have a sincerely held religious objection to wearing a mask - one of Mayor Cownie's official exceptions to his mandate. Although it is not based directly on my amateurish grasp of the science of masks, my explanation must begin there.
Masks don't stop aerosols. From the beginning of the "pandemic", there has been uncertainty how much of the virus is carried on "droplets" compared with how much is "aerosols". Virus riding on microscopic moisture "droplets" in our breath float only a few feet before they drop to the ground. They are large enough that masks can stop them. But "aerosols" - virus that is not riding on any moisture at all but is floating freely in the air - is so microscopic compared with the huge gaps between the threats of a mask that masks block them as effectively as a chain link fence blocks a swarm of gnats. Early in the "pandemic" the scant evidence on the subject leaned in favor of primary transmission carried on droplets. The evidence has been inconclusive because measuring virus in the air has been complicated. But a recent study below developed a new way to do that, and placed a sensor about 6 feet and at about 16 feet from covid patients in a hospital where the room air is filtered and changed frequently and great masks are worn, and found both sensors picking it up.
Oxygen Reduction. Other studies reported below document the harm to mask wearers - the longer they are worn, the greater the likelihood of harm - from reduced oxygen intake. As with any burden to physical health, the effect is greater with the eldest and the less healthy. This reality is confirmed by the exceptions included in many mask mandates for people with breathing problems.
Hydroxycloroquine and Zinc in low doses. Which word do you think best describes smackdowns of this cure:  vigorous, or  persuasive? Certainly it is not the kind of "persuasion" of addressing the 100 or so studies of it, most of which indicate positive results. But there is considerable "persuasiveness" in seeing everyone around you nodding to conclusions made as if none of those studies ever existed.
No emergency anyway. Finally, on August 31, the news was that the CDC has finally distinguished deaths caused solely by covid from deaths caused maybe partly by covid but by also several other things. Now, finally, officially, the CDC acknowledges that of the 300,000+ deaths previously attributed to covid by counting deaths with cumulative causes, only 9,000 died from covid alone. I understand that even for someone almost dead from diabetes and cancer, it still stinks to have covid on top of that. But the new perspective, finally permitted, puts covid back with flu in its terror potential. Not that flu is harmless. But no one ever thought of shutting down businesses and making everyone dress like bank robbers to stop it.
In short, much science - though not conclusive science - indicates masks don't stop covid, masks cause other problems by reducing our oxygen, there is a simple cheap cure, and covid is not especially serious. In the mind of anyone who hears about it and notices mass media never seriously addresses and refutes it but only vaporizes it on sight, the science is enough to raise doubts about the effectiveness of masks, the safety of wearing them, the absence of an effective cure, and the seriousness of the "pandemic".
How Hell Operates. I am no scientist, and do not base my "religious objection" upon my personal grasp of the science. It is the treatment of evidence that alarms me. Censorship of expert testimony and persecution of expert witnesses is the operation of Hell. It is opposite of how to establish facts.
"Suppression of the evidence is the strongest evidence" is the principle, from the 1735 trial of John Peter Zenger for lampooning the king-appointed governor of New York, that established Freedom of the Press in America. Now we have Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Bill Gates, with their zero medical credentials, deciding which doctors to censor and drive from the field of medicine. They are joined by newspapers and TV networks, whose reporters and editors are very seldom doctors.
Maybe the studies I note are disproven by mounds of other evidence, but I would like to see them clearly refuted, not just vaporized on sight. Suppression of those studies is brutal, stripping doctors of authority and jobs just for stating their professional analysis of the data. Who is Facebook, Twitter, and Google to pick winners and losers in the field of medical research?
The Devil's way to handle challenges is to censor, as brutally and decisively as possible, up through and including torturing to death in most centuries and many nations.
Discussion, truth, and confronting error is God's way. God answers people's sincerely asked questions. God doesn't even censor the Devil, but quotes him frequently, in order to clarify the truth. Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (For more Scriptures, see my book, God's Relationship Primer. See www.Saltshaker.us, right column, for links to a free PDF or to order a paperback. Of to interact with it, see God's Relationship Primer.)
But responsibility for giving lies the force of law only ends with social media and the government officials who quote only the "official, approved" opinions and talk as if counter evidence doesn't exist. It begins with churches, as churches have become in this generation in America.
Imagine churches operating today the way they did according to 1 Corinthians 14, the model followed by the Pilgrims from 1620 to 1695, in which meetings were more like legislatures - forums open to everyone on Biblical and community topics, where the actions taken together were preceded by discussions of the facts. (Legislatures today don't want to hear from God's Word, but they used to welcome it.)
How simple it would be for a group meeting in the Name of Jesus, which typically includes a doctor or nurse, to review the facts together, weed out the nonsense, and then form a lobbying group to pressure their elected officials, in their public pronouncements, to return to reality.
Such a group, committed to helping "the least of these My brothers" as Matthew 25 puts it, would provide the robust forum for addressing error and "shining light in the darkness outside" that I read about in the Bible.
But the Devil keeps the Light, of what God says about abominations, boxed up in the Matthew 5 "bushel" by two devices.
First, he persuades churches to leave the Darkness dark by calling it "politics" which is "controversial", which makes anyone "divisive" who would trouble the church about healing it.
Second, he persuades Christian activists, driven from their churches to "put feet to" occasional sermons identifying the Darkness, to leave their "swords" back in their pews; one must not tell the public the real reason for one's "political" positions, when the real reason is specific Bible verses, because one should retain his "credibility".
In this resulting unchallenged Darkness, a worldwide inoculation mandate is promised by Dr. Fauci and Bill Gates to be the ticket to taking off our masks and getting back to normal. Gates' vision is to give everyone who takes the shots a kind of skin marking that will permit them to take off their masks and live normally. This is ominously like the worldwide human tracking system which Revelation 13 prophesies will be instituted by the Mark of the Beast in the Last Days.
They lead us to expect a vaccine within a year, even though no vaccine before has ever been developed in less than seven, and no vaccine has yet been developed for any variety of coronavirus. But there is no risk for vaccine makers from rolling out a vaccine whose testing is peppered with shortcuts: legislation exempting them from liability was signed by President Reagan.
What should we logically expect from a vaccine mandated all over the world that hasn't been well tested, whose manufacturers are exempt from liability?
Ulcers are the least of the problems we should expect. Ulcers are what Revelation 16:2 prophesies will be suffered by the people who accept the Mark of the Beast described in Chapter 13. (Revelation 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore [ulcers, the Greek seems to indicate] upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.)
All this could be averted, or at least vastly mitigated, if Christian meetings were organized according to guidelines, as I explore in my book, God's Relationship Primer. Not that I have given up, but after thousands of conversations with Christians, both laymen and pastors, about these verses, I find nearly zero interest in any Scriptures which point to meetings different than it is assumed Christians have conducted for centuries. I still trust God to bring down this "Mountain" of resistance, so that the Beast will have people to fight, but my experience leads me to appreciate what a miracle from Him it will be.
Meanwhile, like persecuted Christians throughout history who meet in secret while avoiding public confrontation of their persecutors, I do wear my mask where required to get what I need.
My conclusion is not that I am immune from harm from the virus. But that masks appear to be part of a far greater threat than the virus. Not the masks themselves, but the spirit of censorship which shields them from scrutiny, which in turn is legitimized by mass mask-wearing.
My concern about masks and "social distancing" would vaporize if I could find a robust forum where doctors on all sides interacted with one another in language I could understand, rather than dismissing and ignoring each other, in which I could learn that masks really do work, hydroxychloroquine really doesn't, the slight oxygen reduction is harmless, and the virus really is a far more serious threat than the flu.
My concern would remain about Christian unwillingness to let their meetings become places where critical information like this, threatening to take us like heedless lemmings all the way to the Mark of the Beast, can be processed and acted upon.
I don't want to take God's protection for granted, but I pray for His mercy, and maybe a bit of indulgence. until evidence indicates to me otherwise, my trust in the protective capacity of masks is rather law, forcing my trust in God to rise.
This review of Iowa Law regarding the lack of authority of city mayors to enforce Covid restrictions is from the August 31 newsletter of State Representative Sandy Salmon:
Several Iowa cities have announced citywide face mask mandates, among them Waterloo, Iowa City, and Des Moines. Below is a Q&A on what the current law says about mask requirements and the rights of the state, municipalities and citizens:
Can municipalities (cities, counties, etc.) require masks and impose a penalty for noncompliance? No, according to Attorney General Tom Miller. Iowa is under a public health disaster, as proclaimed by the Governor in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Because of this declaration the Governor and IDPH have broad legal authority. The Governor can delegate powers to local authorities to address the current public health emergency, but the Governor can also choose not to delegate the authority. In this case, Governor Reynolds has not given local governments the authority to regulate mask wearing, and therefore they cannot require citizens to wear masks in the community. However, municipalities can require masks on their property and in their buildings. Examples could include: city council meetings, city office buildings, or a public library.
Can public schools require face masks be worn? Yes, public schools can require students to wear masks, even though the state Department of Education does not require it. Schools are given the choice to regulate face masks by teachers and students and to set standards for masks. The Department of Education has a list of concerns regarding health and safety, legal and training issues schools should be prepared to address if face masks are required.
Can private business mandate face masks? Yes, a private business can require persons entering the business wear a face mask and can also require employees to wear them. A person who refuses to wear a mask can be denied entry to the business and can face legal action if they refuse to leave when asked.
The Debate: Do face masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in a non-hospital or non-nursing home setting? Evidence exists on both sides of that debate, some demonstrating it is beneficial and other showing it makes no difference or is even harmful. It’s too long to discuss in this newsletter.
Conclusion: This is why at this point it is important to allow freedom for each person to decide this issue based on his own health and risk aversion. The state is not requiring it and local governments should not either. Mask mandates are both illegal (according to the Attorney General) and unenforceable. An unenforceable mandate like this breeds disrespect for the law. We seem to have some cities in Iowa with a positive case of “totalitarian fever”, anxious to regulate more of the lives of their citizens. This is the wrong direction. It breeds fear and distrust between people. It is what citizens hate from our governments. We should have more liberty, not less.
This is not to say government should not make recommendations based on what the science is showing. And it is also not saying people should not look out for and care for the health and safety of others and be encouraged to do so. But liberty means each person should be able to consider all these factors and decide this issue for themselves.
Even though there is a spike at this point in time of positive COVID cases in certain locales, we must keep in mind the big picture:
- Remember our original goal under the public health disaster emergency proclamation was to keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed and we have achieved that.
- Now that the virus has been introduced, it will always be with us. We will not be able to stop it.
- It will work its way through the population, mask or no mask, and eventually we will achieve herd immunity.
- Even though each death is very sad, we must remember that deaths from COVID are a small fraction of 1% of Iowa’s population.
- Serious and deadly contagious diseases have been with us a very long time and we have never sought to mandate face masks for healthy people as a response. And we should not do so now