As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase, so do calls for a return to mask mandates and other pandemic-era restrictions.
A growing number of public health officials, businesses, and left-leaning celebrities are already pushing for the use of face masks in public — but these calls are being met with hostility by many conservatives who are refusing to comply with any new masking requirements.
In addition to evidence that ordinary face masks are largely ineffective at reducing the spread of the virus, many critics of such mandates have pointed out that even President Joe Biden declared last year that the “pandemic is over.”
While there has been a seasonal spike in COVID-19 cases, the numbers remain lower than at almost any other time since COVID-19 first began to spread.
Nevertheless, influential figures are urging Americans to once again put on masks while in public — including actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who posted a mask-clad selfie on social media along with her plea.
“And we’re BAAAAACCCCKKKK,” she wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “No, not Michael Myers but masking will be. COVID is on the rise. SO MANY friends now are really sick. BE MINDFUL. WEAR A MASK if required or even if you feel unwell and are out in public spaces.”
Her post attracted widespread opprobrium, with psychologist and social commentator Jordan Peterson describing her argument as a defense of “medical fascism.”
Stay at home
If you're scared
But leave the rest of us
The hell alone
Enough medical fascism https://t.co/hLZ8qCdWEK
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) August 23, 2023
Many other conservative-leaning figures offered their take on calls for reimplementing mask use, including actor Kevin Sorbo, who declared: “I’m not wearing a mask. You can stay home if you don’t feel safe.”
Conservative pundit Liz Wheeler encouraged like-minded Americans to stand up in unison against these efforts.
“We don’t have to wait and see if they impose mask mandates again,” she wrote. “If we say NO like we should’ve done in the first place, and refuse to comply, the mandates mean NOTHING. It’s actually up to us, not politicians.”
Some critics went even further in their denunciation of mask requirements.
Graham Allen, another prominent conservative commentator, asserted: “I’ll go to jail before I wear a mask!”