After the fierce battle of ideology, a fractured US elected Joe Biden as its 46 President. The elections took place during a time when America was hammered by the pandemic. Biden in his election campaign promised to aggressively tackle the pandemic. He promised a 100 day masking challenge to help cut the transmission of virus.
One Hundred Day Masking Mandate
After his inauguration, Biden signed a series of executive orders to address Covid-19 challenges. Looking at the importance of masks in fight against the virus the President launched what he called ‘100 days mask challenge’. He signed two executive order related to masks.
One order required that masks be worn at airports, bus stations and other transportation hubs, and on planes, trains, ships and buses. The second order required masks on federal property.
Arguments over the Order
Throughout the pandemic it was proven that masks are essential to cut transmission of the virus. Experts weighed on masks as the easiest and the cheapest way to reduce infections.
“It is, in some ways, our best medical tool,” said Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. “It can save hundreds of thousands of lives without the need for surgery, drugs, [has] no side effects and [is] readily available to everyone.”
While many experts welcomed the move, few people remained apprehensive of the order. Especially people from rural area deemed mask-wearing as unnecessary. Gov. Doug Burgum, a first-term Republican seeking re-election, remained strongly opposed to a mandate, saying that while he favors wearing masks, people should do so out of “personal responsibility.”
But after all the tussle-over mask-wearing, the experts’ view remained. And it was a responsibility that triumphed over the freedom of choice. With high vaccination turnout, and lowering caseload it seems the mandate was indeed well planned.
Current Status of Mask Wearing
As of now, US government has allowed fully vaccinated individuals to safely engage in outdoor activities without masks. But, it still requires its citizen to use face-covering in public places.
Meanwhile, President Biden applauded the citizens for their support in the fight against pandemics. He also urged for more vaccinations.
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