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Horowitz: Governors and legislatures must declare war on the CDC

Op-ed
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All Republican governors claim they support limited government and will stand up to the tyrannical feds. Well, now is their time to shine.

The CDC announced a return to the failed masking recommendations after the shots it continues to push apparently didn't do the job. Most shockingly, it announced a recommendation that all children – whether they got the shots or not – should wear a mask indefinitely all day in school.

This is a watershed moment in American history. The CDC is now recommending an illogical, inhumane, immoral, and illegal policy that in any other era would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and would be considered child abuse. The response of the states should be an emphatic "Hell no!"

The CDC is using the "scariant" Delta as an excuse to give people the impression that suddenly children are at risk for the virus. Well, the U.K. has just gotten over the curve of the Delta wave, so its data is likely to be very instructive as to what we should expect in the next few weeks. As U.K. Dr. Alasdair Munro, a pediatric infectious disease researcher, observed, children 2-11 actually experienced the lowest case rate during the Delta wave as compared to young adults who were eligible for the vaccine. Obviously, almost all those remaining cases were very mild.

Perhaps most ironic is that the U.K.'s case count peaked on July 19, "Freedom Day," when all restrictions and mask mandates ended. Cases have dropped precipitously every day since then and are now down 50% in one week. As we have witnessed in every corner of the world since the beginning of the pandemic — Delta being no different — nothing has worked to stop the inexorable six- to eight-week waves, and nothing works to restart the spread when its seasonal spread is done in a given area. It's 100% natural. But now, even the establishment can no longer deny it. As professor Oliver Johnson of Bristol University observed in the U.K. Spectator, "For the first time in 18 months, there's been a fall in cases that can't be easily explained by a national lockdown."

Of course, here in the United States we have seen this trend for months, especially this past spring, when cases in the South plummeted for weeks after they ditched the mask mandates but rose quickly in the Northeast and Michigan with impervious mask mandates.

As much as masks don't work to stop the spread of COVID (especially an even more transmissible form), to force children to bear the brunt of the mandate by wearing the sacred cloth all day in school is unconscionable. Just how big a waste were the quarantines of children last year? According to a recent Oxford study, out of the millions of children who were forced to isolate because a child tested positive for a virus milder to them than the flu, 98.4% of U.K. children never went on to develop COVID. All of that child abuse was for nothing.

Now the CDC is seeking to reinstate its child abuse without performing any randomized controlled trials on the efficacy or safety of masks, after it rejected the findings of the only studies that actually looked at those questions and raised serious concerns.

Will red states allow the CDC to continue this child abuse for another year? Well, it's in their power to say no. Several governors, including from Florida, Texas, South Dakota, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa, have already said this mandate is a non-starter in their states, but given the prominence of the CDC, I fear more emphatic and broader actions are required. State legislatures should immediately convene and pass the following:

  • A law barring the implementation of the CDC's mask mandate in any public or private setting. Private institutions are forced to abide by OSHA, ADA, and anti-discrimination, as well as health privacy laws in every other context. Why should they be exempt the one time such mandates are clearly being driven by the government and not the free market?
  • A law designating forced masking of children as reckless child endangerment, subject to any civil or criminal penalties pursuant to their respective state statutes.
  • Guidance for their respective departments of health to reject every policy of HHS that is built upon the faulty science of masking, the existing shots, test and trace, and the use of ineffective treatments such as remdesivir. All state COVID funding should be eliminated from enforcing, marketing, or advertising any policy the legislature deems unlawful or unscientific.
  • Guidance to administer ivermectin to those in need or to make it available over the counter.

It's for this very moment that our founders believed our federalist system would help deter a national tyranny. In Federalist 46, Madison envisioned state interposition against federal tyranny:

The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps, refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union; the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassments created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, difficulties not to be despised; would form, in a large State, very serious impediments; and where the sentiments of several adjoining States happened to be in unison, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.

Even Hamilton, a strong proponent of a strong federal government, wrote in Federalist 26 that the state legislatures will lead the charge against federal tyranny:

The State legislatures, who will always be not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens against encroachments from the federal government, will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers, and will be ready enough, if any thing improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people, and not only to be the VOICE, but, if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.

Now is the time for all these red-state Republicans to stand up and be counted. Will they stand for human life, the Constitution, and the health and dignity of our children? Or will they stand for a double-speaking, power-hungry, attention-seeking fool who has articulated less scientific acumen than a toddler?

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