Traditionally Crises Unite The Country, But Bitter Battle Over Masks Reveals Deepening Partisan Divide
After the Sept. 11 attacks, stunned members of Congress and the Bush administration immediately toned down their usual back-and-forth rhetoric and pulled together. Now, in the face more than 100,000 American deaths and a devastating economic crisis, partisan attacks seem more common than ever. And few symbols have come to represent that political divide like the mask.
The New York Times:
Does A Crisis Spur Political Unity? Not This Pandemic
It was not so long ago that the conventional wisdom in Washington was that a genuine crisis like the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had the power to cool partisan hostilities, pulling elected officials together to present a united front to a stricken nation. In a pandemic that has now claimed more than 100,000 lives, that is not proving to be the case. House Republicans marked the grim milestone this week by filing a lawsuit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing Democrats of a pandemic-enabled, unconstitutional power grab when they instituted proxy voting so that some lawmakers could avoid travel to Washington during the coronavirus outbreak. (Hulse, 5/28)
The Battle Between The Masked And The Masked-Nots Unveils Political Rifts
It has become a political and cultural flashpoint, drawing a clear divide between the "masked" and the "masked-nots." The disdain runs between the consciously unmasked president of the United States and his deliberately mask-donning Democratic rival, all the way on down to those crossing paths — and often crossing each other — in the cereal aisle of the grocery store. "It's selfishness. Complete selfishness," says 57-year-old Tia Nagaki, of the barefaced shoppers she has encountered. (Smith, 5/29)
Cuomo Signs Executive Order Backing Businesses That Bar Customers Without Masks
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw his weight Thursday behind businesses eager to stop the spread of the coronavirus by signing an executive order authorizing them to deny entry to any customer who doesn't wear a mask or other face covering. The governor's move comes in the wake of several well-publicized confrontations between companies that require face coverings and customers who have refused to follow orders. (Siemaszko, 5/28)
GOP's No-Mask Caucus: 'Can You Smell Through That Mask?'
Call them the no-mask caucus. A contingent of House Republicans continues to defy the recommendations of public health experts and Congress' top physician to wear face coverings to limit the spread of Covid-19, refusing to wear them on the floor of the chamber, in the hallways of the Capitol or when chatting with aides and colleagues -- even when they're unable to maintain a social distance. (Raju, 5/28)
Kaiser Health News:
Hate Unmasked In America
“You are the most selfish f—ing people on the planet.” I jerked my head to the left, where I saw a neighbor glaring at us from his driveway while unloading groceries from his trunk. “Where’s your f—ing mask?” he said. “Unbelievable.” My jaw dropped. I had just walked three blocks home with my toddler and my dad in our leafy, mostly empty Los Angeles neighborhood because my kid had thrown a tantrum in the car. (Almendrala, 5/29)
Scientists Underscore Need For Mask-Wearing, Warn Of Aerosol Spread Beyond 6 Feet
Experts from the University of California San Diego are emphasizing the need for everyone to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while warning that the virus may float through the air farther than the well-known 6-foot spacing officials have asked people to maintain. The researchers, in a Perspective article published Wednesday in the journal Science, warned of the dangers of aerosols emitted by people who are infected by the virus and who don’t even know it. (Finucane, 5/28)