These GOP senators are advancing a pre-emptive strike against the return of mask mandates

'We’re not going to go back to the top-down government overreach we saw during COVID.'

Ahead of the winter season and a potential COVID-19 surge, there are whispers of a return to mask mandates at the private, local, or even federal level. While this still seems an unlikely prospect, some GOP senators are teaming up to take this option off the table.

Senators Mike Braun of Indiana and JD Vance of Ohio just introduced the “Freedom to Breathe” Act, legislation that would prohibit the federal government from imposing any mask mandates on air travel, public transportation, or in schools. (Remember, one of the most long-lasting ways masks were forced upon the public was via the federal government’s air travel mask mandate). The legislation would sunset in 2024 and it notably does not apply to hospitals or nursing homes. Similarly, it doesn’t prevent private schools, groups, or businesses from setting their own rules, it simply constrains what the federal government can do going forward. 

“We’re not going to go back to the top-down government overreach we saw during COVID,” Senator Braun said. “Congress needs to say forcefully that these ineffective, unscientific mask mandates are not coming back in any way, shape, or form.”

Most Democrats say that mask mandates aren’t coming back. But if that’s true, there’s no reason for them to object to passing this legislation. 

It’s only common sense. There are vaccines available for anyone who wants them. So, simply get one if you wish and live the rest of the public alone. There’s no “externality” here anymore, and there hasn’t been for some time. 

What’s more, mask mandates didn’t even work. As even CNN is now acknowledging, a comprehensive literature review of the highest quality studies found that “Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory‐confirmed influenza/SARS‐CoV‐2 compared to not wearing masks.”

They were always an infringement on bodily autonomy and individual liberty. And any case for such an intrusion has long since fallen apart. 

Democrats should come together and work with Republicans to take mask mandates off the table for the federal government. And, if they won’t, then that speaks volumes as to their true intentions about potentially bringing them back.

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Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo is a libertarian-conservative journalist and co-founder of Based Politics. His work has been cited by top lawmakers such as Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Pat Toomey, Congresswoman Nancy Mace, Congressman Thomas Massie, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, as well as by prominent media personalities such as Jordan Peterson, Sean Hannity, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, and Mark Levin. Brad has also testified before the US Senate, appeared on Fox News and Fox Business, and written for publications such as USA Today, National Review, Newsweek, and the Daily Beast. He hosts the Breaking Boundaries podcast and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.