Guess South Carolina GOP Governor Too Scared Or Dumb To Save Lives With Mask Mandate

Guess South Carolina GOP Governor Too Scared Or Dumb To Save Lives With Mask Mandate

Saturday, South Carolina reported that a child under the age of five had died from COVID-19. The state also reported the most new daily cases so far: 2,239. Young people, who despite the hype are not immune to the virus, account significantly for the surge.

From the Post and Courier:

Since June 1, there has been a 436.5 percent increase in newly reported cases among the 21-30 age group, representing 22 percent of total confirmed cases in the state, the largest percentage by age group.

Friday's positivity rate was also 22 percent.

South Carolina GOP Governor Henry McMaster issued a stay-at-home order on April 7, weeks after other states, and started relaxing restrictions on May 4, weeks before other states. Cases have only trended upward the past two and a half months.

And now a child is dead.

There have been at least 54,699 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Carolina. There are more cases per 100,000 residents than California. Greenville County, where I grew up and my father still lives, had 186 cases on April 7. It now has 6,929, or roughly 10 percent of the county. Multnomah County in Oregon had 233 cases on April 7. It now has 2,730. Oregon as a whole has had 11,454 confirmed cases, and 235 people have died. COVID-19 has killed 951 South Carolinians so far. It's as if listening to science versus catering to Donald Trump's ignorance has drastically different outcomes.

The other day, a friend saw a woman at a gas station in Creswell, Oregon, wearing a mask with the words, "This Mask Is As Useless As Our Governor." She's wrong, but Democratic Oregon Governor Kate Brown doesn't expect flowers or even thanks for doing her job. She's content to keep even the dumbest Oregonians healthy. McMaster, however, still won't issue a statewide mask mandate. During a press conference Friday, he ignored reality and failed to mandate masks, as competent governors have done in more than 20 states.

MCMASTER: The state has a very difficult (time) trying to enforce a statewide mask order because one size does not fit all.

As if proving his point literally, McMaster struggled to keep his own mask from snapping off his face.

MCMASTER: I cannot enforce, the state authorities cannot enforce a statewide mandate for masks on five million people.

It's just too damn hard. That's his excuse. Look, no one's asking for the mask police. Black people especially have enough trouble with the normal police. We've heard this crap before with seatbelt laws, which rugged, individualist Randian idiots also opposed. McMaster insists, despite all evidence, that begging South Carolinians to wear masks in public will do the trick, but we currently live in a world so stupid that people are literally dying on the “no mask" hill. It doesn't help that the president refused to wear one for months. (He finally did Saturday during a visit to to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.)

Local bars react to SC governor's orders on alcohol sales after 11

Here's what McMaster is willing to do: He's restricting the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants past 11 p.m. each night. He seems to think the coronavirus is a Gremlin that you must avoid getting wet or feeding after midnight. He thinks this will help slow the spread of COVID-19 among young people, who tend to make dumber choices the closer it is to last call, but Dr. Anthony Fauci said recently that "congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news" even during happy hour. He's not just a tee-totaling spoilsport. He's a scientist.

Our elected leaders need to listen to medical experts or more young people, including children, are going to die.

[Post and Courier / New York Times / State]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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