Although Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have all pushed for total masking at public events throughout the pandemic, the trio were caught on camera without the mandatory facial prophylactics as they posed with Magic Johnson at the Rams-49ers game Sunday.
Now, L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger is saying that everyone should enjoy the same freedom as the pampered pols, adding that, in many cases, the blanket mask mandates “don’t make a difference.”
“Masking rules set by the state and county weren’t followed consistently by everyone at yesterday’s NFC Championship,” Barger wrote in a statement Monday.
“Instead, we saw individuals choosing to mask up based on calculated personal risk. Modern stadiums like SoFi Stadium have strong air circulation and all attendees of the game were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Some fans evidently felt this was enough to protect them against COVID-19.”
Barger continued, “Let’s do away with blanket COVID-19 masking policies—they don’t make a difference when they’re not consistently followed or enforced. We need to trust the public to make the best personal decisions for themselves based on their unique risks and circumstances.“
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer begged to differ in a statement of her own Monday, stating that getting rid of mask mandates at mega-events “like Sunday’s NFC championship game… would be would be like eliminating speed limits because so many drivers ignore them and feel that they can assess for themselves the safe speed for their travel.”
Ferrer went on to assure Angelenos that, “At some point soon, transmission will be significantly lower, and we will not need to wear our masks everywhere; unfortunately, we aren’t there yet. And in order to get there as quickly as possible, we should all make our best efforts to layer in sensible protections that keep us, and those around us, safe.”
Barger put the fate of masking to a Twitter poll Monday.
Not a lot of #COVID19 mask wearing @ yesterday's #NFCChampionshipGame. Vaccines/negative test results were required & strong air circulation was in place. Some fans felt this was enough protection. I believe we need to trust the public to make personal masking decisions.Thoughts?
— Supervisor Kathryn Barger (@kathrynbarger) January 31, 2022
Newsom, meanwhile, is claiming that he only took off his mask long enough to get his picture taken with Johnson, telling reporters on Monday, “I was very judicious yesterday, very judicious.”
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