CDC: Why Mask? Don't Ask

CDC: Why Mask? Don't Ask

July 28, 2021

Yesterday new CDC guidance directed vaccinated persons to wear masks indoors over most of the country, and urged everyone in K-12 schools to wear masks in the fall. The guidance reversed the rules the CDC issued earlier this year, which recognized that people vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks because they are immune, at least to its most harmful effects.

"Why do people who have the vaccine need to now wear masks the same as people who have not had it?" That's the question Fox News' Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Psaki's response was telling, "Because the public health leaders in our administration have made the determination." That response was not much different from a parent looking upon a questioning child with, "because I said so." But there is one big difference, Americans aren't children, we are rational adults with a responsibility to hold the government accountable. Why won't the Biden administration give us a straight answer?

Apparently, because they don't have one. Psaki's response, continued saying that vaccinated people should wear masks "to make sure they're protected." If the vaccine provides immunity, it's not unreasonable to ask what they think people are being protected from: Freedom? Republicans? Returning to normal life? Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who practiced medicine for over 25 years, said on "Washington Watch" either the vaccine or a previous infection from the virus will give you 95 percent protection from present infection, even from the new Delta variant. Marshall expressed concern over the attitude of the CDC and the press secretary, who seem to think "they're smarter than you are... [and] knows what's best for you."

He said the CDC's latest decision "is just going to create more vaccine hesitancy. It's going to backfire on the CDC." Almost everyone who hasn't received the COVID vaccine doesn't want it. "I just wish there was a little bit more common sense here at the CDC," Marshall said. "We have to be getting close to herd immunity." The CDC should be helping us reach that goal, by acknowledging natural immunity instead of encouraging vaccine-hesitant Americans to dig in on their current positions by demanding vaccination.

Mask rules are especially cruel to children. "There's a huge psychological toll from the masks," which the CDC has completely ignored in its latest diktat. Depriving children of interaction with human faces hampers their development as well as their mental health, and we have known from early in the pandemic that children are much more resistant to infection and severe infection than adults. There is no reason for children to wear masks. Yet Biden insists they keep the mask on -- to protect...who knows? -- until who knows when because the vaccines haven't yet been proven safe for children. Guess what else isn't safe for children.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have done little to depoliticize the vaccine; apologizing for their own disgraceful vaccine skepticism in 2020 would be a good start. Their administration has handled COVID regulations in an authoritarian manner, showing disdain for the unconvinced and those who raise reasonable objections. The DOJ this week endorsed vaccine mandates, but other agencies can't competently signal trust in the vaccines. The CDC dragged its feet on easing mask restrictions for vaccinated persons, abruptly halted one vaccine for no good reason, and within three months is reversing itself. If reaching herd immunity is harder than it needs to be, the Biden administration has made it that way, demoralizing Americans and trampling on freedoms in the process.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

With Southern Border Wide Open, Desperate Cubans Are Denied Chance at Freedom

July 28, 2021

A mere 90 miles from Florida's coast, the people of Cuba, who have been under the boot of a communist regime for over six decades, are crying out for freedom. For weeks, Cubans fed up with chronic food and medicine shortages and inflated prices brought on by their communist government, have held public demonstrations across the country. The brutal dictatorial government responded by lashing out against its own people with hundreds of arbitrary arrests and public beatings (including journalists), the disappearance of many demonstrators, and a nationwide internet outage.

Understandably, many Cubans are desperately trying to flee the dictatorship for the shores of freedom 90 miles away and claim refugee status. So what is the Biden administration's response to these freedom seekers? "Allow me to be clear: if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (whose own family fled Cuba for the U.S. when he was a child) said, just days after the Cuban demonstrations began.

It's a puzzling response, as Congressman August Pfluger (R-Texas) made clear on "Washington Watch," especially in light of the open-door policy that the Biden administration has on our southern border with Mexico.

"You see the American flags that are being waved in the streets of Havana and throughout Cuba and they're screaming 'Libertad!'," he said. "They're not asking for anything other than liberty, for freedom, the same things that this country was founded on ... [T]hen you see this willingness by the administration to open up our southern border and to do nothing. We have record numbers of illegal immigrants who have entered this country, the drugs, the violence, the crime, the trafficking. These are real issues. And so the hypocrisy is just beyond me -- why we can't address the security, but yet we still can't help those who are in need, who want liberty."

As Pfluger pointed out, it's a double standard that is becoming increasingly dangerous, not only for Cubans but for farmers and ranchers along the southern border who are having their property trespassed on and destroyed.

"I've spoken to many ranchers, many farmers who are in border counties -- they've got issues [that have] been going on for quite a while," he said. "But the numbers that we're seeing this year, again, over a million [border crossers] with two million expected, the fence lines are being damaged. Houses have actually been burned down. I had ranchers in here last week who showed me footage from their own game cameras. These are game cameras used for hunting and other things. And one day they counted over 20 folks who were dressed in military-style clothing who were crawling over the fences or cutting their way through the fences, which when you think about that, you have livestock, cattle who are getting out and vehicles are being stolen."

Meanwhile, thousands of Cuban-Americans, many of whom still have family members living in Cuba, flooded Washington, D.C. over the weekend demanding that the Biden administration put more pressure on the Cuban government. Curiously, while seven Republican congressmen came to speak in support of the protestors, no Democrats bothered to show up.

Let's not Force America's Daughters to Register for the Draft

July 28, 2021

As Congress hashes out the contours of funding bills making their way through Congress this week, there is one in particular we shouldn't overlook: the Senate Armed Services Committee has approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require women to register for the draft. While framed as a woman's equality issue, this is actually unnecessary, dangerous, and very revealing of America's moral decline.

Congressman Mark Green (R-Tenn.), a combat veteran and emergency room doctor, joined Tony Perkins on "Washington Watch" to discuss this issue, noting that "[t]here are a lot of things that need to happen in the military" with "equipment that we need to" modernize and that "needs to be funded," instead of "compelling women to enter the draft."

It's often lost in the debate, but this isn't about preventing women from serving. As Tony observed, if women want to serve in the military, we should encourage them to do so. "[M]y daughter talked about [serving] . . . she's a nurse, [and] talked about serving in the medical corps. If she wants to do that, I'm . . . excited about that. But I am not excited about forcing our daughters to register to go into a draft. Quite frankly, I think . . . it speaks volumes about the character of a nation if we'll let our daughters fight our wars for us."

Women already serve honorably in the armed forces, and will continue to do so. This provision in the NDAA isn't required so that women can serve. This is about forcing all women to sign up to possibly serve -- when many men are sitting idly by. As Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) recently said, "It's one thing to allow American women to choose this service, but it's quite another to force it upon our daughters, sisters, and wives."

Meanwhile, international threats loom large. "[B]oth Russia and China [are] advancing their military, both [in] technology and the size of their military," Green remarked. "You look at [how] Russia just this last week announced an F-35 equivalent, basically a fifth-generation fighter that would compete with our F-35 fighter." And China "last month . . . commissioned three new naval vessels."

Yet instead of focusing on these threats, military leadership is more concerned with social experimentation like teaching critical race theory. Green is troubled by this shift: "If you're teaching them that a particular race is inherently racist because of the color of their skin," Green continued, and you "judge people on the basis of the color of their skin, you're destroying unit cohesion."

"If you look at just . . . [the] unit cohesion [issue]," and "I've been to combat," Green observed, "you look to the man or woman to your left and right. And it's . . . about [the] team. It's about defending one another."

What's the point? Why should we ultimately care about the impact of these policies on our military? Green sums it up:

"America is an amazing country. What nation has ever done what we did? There are nine thousand dead Americans on the beach at Normandy. And after we win that war, we go in and rebuild the very country that started the war, billions of American dollars to rebuild Germany, to rebuild Japan, the very countries that killed us and started a war with us. No country in the history of mankind has ever done anything like that. Yet here they are saying that our nation is a bad nation. Have we made mistakes? Absolutely. Have we learned from and corrected those mistakes? Yes, of course. And that should be celebrated, not denigrated."

Well said, Congressman.

**Take action: Tell your Senators not to force women to register for the draft -- click here.