By Phillip W. Magness
October 24, 2020
New coronavirus cases are spiking again as we head into the colder months. While this pattern likely reflects the long-anticipated seasonality of the disease, the lockdown-aligned American news media is currently peddling a different narrative.
Not enough Americans are doing their duty to defeat the virus by wearing masks, we’re constantly hectored. To this end, the Washington Post ran a flashy visual display purporting to show that high-mask use states are faring better than the rest (conveniently omitting mention that many of those same states were the hardest hit during the first wave last spring, albeit at a time when mask use was less common).
Anthony Fauci – yes, the same Anthony Fauci who publicly discouraged mask use last March and later acknowledged he was lying at the time for political reasons – is now claiming that only a national mask-wearing mandate will save us from the months ahead. Further stoking the flames, the doomsayer modelers of the University of Washington’s IHME team have even published an updated forecast warning of an additional 500,000 deaths unless we all mask up.
There’s a fundamental problem however with the media’s current mask frenzy: the American public has already adopted mask-wearing at an extraordinarily high rate. In fact, we hit almost 80% mask use back in July according to a survey tracker of behavioral changes in response to the pandemic. Furthermore, the United States has consistently hovered in the 80% mask compliance territory ever since.
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