Governor Tim Walz has yet to relinquish his emergency peacetime powers. With executive powers he has mandated all Minnesotans to wear masks outside of their homes. This mandate takes effect Saturday July 25th and is punishable with a fine and misdemeanor charge.
Walz states, “If we can get a 90 to 95% compliance, which we’ve seen the science shows, we can reduce the infection rates dramatically, which slows that spread and breaks that chain”. If citizens fail to comply, a $100 fine and misdemeanor will be charged. Businesses that do not enforce the mandate will be fined $1,000.
This statement comes in contradiction with several scientific studies which prove masks available to the general public are not nearly effective enough to prevent the spread of covid-19. While masks have the ability to prevent the spread of large droplets, 97% of particles are not stopped. This is largely due to the fact that most masks are not properly fitted to their users.
Additionally, the World Health Organization has stated, “At present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID-19 and in healthy people in the community) on the effectiveness of universal masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.”
The decision received pushback from Republican representatives who do not wish to use government regulation to encourage mask use. Overcoming the coronavirus pandemic is a bipartisan effort. However, the status of personal liberty has been brought into question with continued health regulations. Republicans have questioned the constitutionality of Walz’s emergency powers in court with little success.
For the time being, Walz will hang onto his peacetime powers and continue to ignore more pressing issues in Minnesota.
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