Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Reason Magazine (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

Biden's Mask Mandate Retreat Is a Hopeful Sign

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


Joe-Biden-COVID-briefing-12-30-20

“If I’m your president,” Joe Biden promised at the Democratic National Convention last summer, “on Day One we’ll have a national mask mandate.” Now that Biden is being sworn in as president, his policy has changed from a general requirement to an executive order that applies only on federal property and interstate transportation.

While supporters of a nationwide face mask mandate to combat COVID-19 may be disappointed, constitutionalists should be pleased. The switch is a hopeful sign that Biden acknowledges limits to presidential power, even during a public health emergency.

Until he backtracked in September, Biden had been promising that he would “do everything possible” from “an executive standpoint” to “make it required that people had to wear masks in public.” Outgoing President Donald Trump criticized that plan, saying Biden “wants the president of the United States, with the mere stroke of a pen, to order over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask.”

Trump noted that Biden “does not identify what authority the president has to issue such a mandate.” He warned that it would violate federalism by “stepping on governors throughout our country.”

As Biden now admits, Trump was right. Yet Trump’s defense of constitutional limits sat uneasily with his administration’s nationwide moratorium on evictions, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) purported to impose in September under the authority granted by the Public Health Service Act.

A regulation issued under that statute says the CDC’s director may “take such measures” he “deems reasonably necessary” to stop the interstate spread of communicable diseases, “including inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, and destruction of animals or articles believed to be sources of infection.” The CDC argued that evicting tenants who fail to pay their rent would promote the spread of COVID-19 by forcing many of them to “become homeless” or “move into close quarters in shared housing.”

As South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman noted, such a broad reading of the CDC’s authority was highly implausible in light of the specific examples cited in the regulation on which the agency was relying. George Mason law professor Ilya Somin likewise warned that the eviction moratorium undermined property rights, federalism, and the separation of powers.

If the CDC can, in the name of disease control, force landlords to house people who do not pay their rent, it can impose pretty much any requirement under that heading—including the mask mandate that Biden now agrees cannot be imposed by the executive branch. Last month Congress extended the eviction moratorium until the end of January, which at least avoids the separation of powers problem, and Biden wants Congress to renew the moratorium through September.

Many critics of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 policies think the federal government should take a more assertive role. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, complains that “the states are very often given a considerable amount of leeway in doing things the way they want,” while The New York Times blames the COVID-19 death toll on the lack of “a unified national strategy,” which it says led to a “fractur[ed]” response.

At bottom, that critique is an objection to the American system of government. Under the Constitution, the federal government is limited to specifically enumerated powers, which do not include a general authority to protect the public from communicable diseases.

That responsibility lies primarily with the states, which retain a broad “police power” that goes far beyond the authority vested in the president or Congress. Federalism leaves most decisions in this area to officials who are more accountable and more familiar with local conditions, allows instructive policy experimentation, and avoids concentrating power in a national government whose response to COVID-19 has been characterized by striking incompetence, bureaucratic intransigence, bewildering inconsistency, and lethal foot dragging.

I’m not sure that Biden’s retreat from a nationwide face mask mandate means he appreciates the wisdom of that design. But I hope so.

© Copyright 2021 by Creators Syndicate Inc.



Source: https://reason.com/2021/01/20/bidens-mask-mandate-retreat-is-a-hopeful-sign/


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST


Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse
Loading...

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.