Op-Ed: Wearing a Mask is STILL not Pennsylvania State Law

Wearing a mask is no longer about safety, but about Governor Wolf’s autocratic control over your life (see his June 17 press conference). 

After coming under scrutiny for double standards and hypocritical behavior, the Wolf Administration issued more conflicted guidance today demanding that masks be worn.

So much for “my body, my choice…” or is that only reserved for aborting babies?  This slogan goes out the window when it comes to forced vaccinations, contact tracing and compelling people to wear face masks?

What about masks? 

Are they, or aren’t they mandated?

According to the Governor’s press conference on June 17, dithering confusion remains. 

When confronted by journalists, the Governor capitulates often times on this issue, such as during his press conference on Monday, June 8th.

After being asked about the topic, Governor Wolf responded, “uh, they’re not required.”

But wait, he continued: “Let me make sure I said that right, I’m not a lawyer.”

We “ought” to be wearing a mask he said, and stores “should be” requiring a mask, he claims – and he said this while not wearing a mask himself!

Remember that the Governor cannot make laws.

There is NO LAW to wear a mask in Pennsylvania.

Laws are created by two legislative bodies: the House of Representatives and the Senate, who together form the General Assembly.

As a member of the Pennsylvania Senate, no mask bill has crossed my desk.

Just because our Governor thinks it into being, doesn’t mean he can snap his fingers and make it a law. 

This is the same Governor who declared Dauphin County to be in the yellow phase, and demanded that no one meet in groups larger than 25 people. 

In fact, groups larger than 25 were reported and broken up under his mandates. 

But, the Governor lives outside of his own edicts and will be remembered for one of the greatest demonstrations of hypocrisy when he marched with hundreds in a county where he forbade this type of gathering. 

Funerals were strictly limited, weddings ruined, celebrations curtailed, birthdays oppressed, worship services prohibited and much more were forbidden under his proclamations, but he himself is exempt from his own strict rules. 

This means that the Governor’s reputation and credibility is gone and his power is derived from the consent of the people. 

Seeing his Orwellian double speak and hypocrisy reduces the likelihood that such guidance will be taken seriously, since he has trouble living up to his own rules. 

The Orwellian newspeak has bamboozled citizens into thinking that masks are indeed law. 

On April 15th, Governor Wolf suggested that citizens who do not wear masks while shopping be denied service. He further declared that a business can “deny entry to individuals not wearing masks, UNLESS the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food.”

Then why do chain pharmacies, which supply all three – medication, medical supplies and food – have signs on their doors indicating it is state law?

The same holds true for a chain grocery store in western PA, which was recorded physically removing and harassing citizens for not wearing masks, again, under the misguided assumption that it is law. 

And, by the way, the experts disagree with his unscientific mantra that “my mask protects you and your mask protects me.”

The respected Dr. Tien Vo said recently there is no scientific basis to support long-term use of masks. “The person exhales and inhales the same air that the lungs are trying to expel – but the air stays in the mask. The lungs are trying to get rid of toxins.”

Cloth masks in particular accumulate sweat, makeup and beauty products, automotive exhaust, pollen, and other particles floating in the air.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease and environmental health expert with the University of Minnesota, declared that “surgical masks and cloth masks…don’t stop the aerosols…and the virus is basically going right around the sides of these open gaps in the masks.”

This was echoed in the recent updates provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), who have now released new guidance on cloth masks.

Those bandanas and single ply masks you have been wearing? Forget it!

The WHO says that you now need at least THREE layers of different materials including an inner and outer layer, as well as a polypropylene filter in the middle.

However, in the same announcement, the WHO, which changes their collective minds as frequently as our Governor, stated that it is “very rare” for asymptomatic people to spread coronavirus. This was months after they stated that COVID-19 was spread through people with and without symptoms.

So, what are we to believe?

And let’s not forget about the other issue with masks – shaming.

Dr. Rick Costa, clinical psychologist with LSU Health said that pandemic shaming (not wearing a mask) is not effective.

“It’s traumatic and painful,” said Costa. “Get your feelings in check, and take care of you…as opposed to judgement and hatred.”

Do you remember the original basis for a lockdown?

It was only supposed to be for two weeks to avoid overwhelming the medical system. No one mentioned masks at that time.

And not only has the curve been “flattened,” but our hospitals are not overwhelmed, and outside of large metropolitan areas such as New York City, none really ever were.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the overall fatality rate of those infected with the virus – with or without symptoms – is only 0.26%. Does this mortality rate justify closing businesses, locking up playgrounds, cancelling holidays and summer activities, closing churches, and taking away your freedoms?

Using fear and chaos to control a populace is a treacherous path in a constitutional republic. 

It is because of this that I do daily updates at 8pm on my Senator Doug Mastriano Facebook site to answer questions and to update constituents with facts and truth.  This is the way to get through this unprecedented and perilous time.

As Jesus said, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” 

Senator Mastriano represents the 33rd District in the Pennsylvania Senate. The District includes Adams County and parts of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.

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