Against Faucism

Last week, the CEOs of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines told Congress that they do not think mask requirements make much sense on airplanes, where the air filtration systems are superior to what is typically found in an intensive care unit.
“I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment,” said Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest. “It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.”
White House coronavirus advisor Anthony Fauci threw cold water on the idea.

“You have to be wearing a mask on a plane,” he said bluntly on television Sunday.

This is Faucism distilled down to its very essence. For the government health bureaucrats who have given themselves sole authority over vast sectors of American life—from travel to education to entertainment to housing—it doesn’t matter what the CEOs of these companies think. It doesn’t matter what their customers want. It doesn’t matter if maskless air travel is, for the most part, quite safe (especially for the vaccinated). It doesn’t matter if the mask mandate makes air travel impossible for families with young children. All that matters is the calculus of the most risk-averse people: unelected public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health
These efforts reflect government officials’ need to appear like they are doing something to battle COVID-19, even though it is no longer clear that mandates, lockdowns, and closures are doing much to prevent death. After D.C. reimposed the mask mandate over the summer in response to the delta wave, cases continued to rise due to the variant’s increased infectiousness, but the death rate remained exactly the same—probably because vaccination rates are quite high.
The reality is that COVID-19 will be with us for years to come, no matter how faithfully people wear masks, practice social distancing, and get boosted.
Yet the Faucists talk about COVID-19 as if the pandemic is still some kind of we’re-all-in-this-together civilizational struggle that justifies and necessitates the suspension of civil liberties, whole industries, and school time. In his ABC interview, Fauci told Karl that he’s never walking away from his position of authority until COVID-19 is defeated.

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