Here’s a fun media thought experiment for you: Do a search on “Joe Biden unity.”
I know, you’ve probably been force-fed that narrative so much over the past few days you’re about to retch, but indulge me here.
There are a few results from the Bernie Sanders-Joe Biden Unity Task Force, which was designed, as the primary season wound down to a halt, to gather the party’s far-left wing into the Biden fold. (He’d probably rather you forgot about that one.)
There are some results for the scattered occasions Biden would call for unity on the campaign trail, which were rather undercut by the fact he’d often call President Trump and his supporters intolerant in practically the same breath.
By and large, however, you’ll get plenty of unearned praise for Biden’s speech on Saturday night, hours after the media reported him as the victor of the 2020 presidential race.
“President-elect Joe Biden declares a ‘clear victory’ and calls for unity in speech” (CBS News). “Joe Biden Offers Message of Unity as Hollywood Responds With Relief: ‘I Clapped’” (The Hollywood Reporter). “San Diego Catholics Respond to Joe Biden’s Call For Unity” (KNSD-TV).
Hollywood clapped and five San Diego Mass-goers at one parish the local NBC affiliate visited approved.
Thank the empyrean, because I was beginning to think it would be nearly impossible after a speech crafted with fighter-plane precision to appeal to unity, harmony, consensus, accord, comity and pretty much every other synonym of that word you could wring out of the thesaurus to find, in a state where Joe Biden won 65 percent of the vote, a few people who supported the speech among Biden’s co-Catholics and in an industry where open support of President Trump would get you drummed out.
But, yes, you get the point: His speech was covered, without exception, at face value by a media that pretended the last two years didn’t happen or that Biden didn’t launch his campaign by repeating the same tired calumny about President Trump’s “very fine people” remark regarding Charlottesville and managed to, on not infrequent occasions, find his way lower.
He’s now going to unify us and, if he has his way, all the little children in America will clap their hands in unison.
Now, do another search: “mask yelling.”
Again, you knew what you’d find, but consider the breadth of it. Videos of masked people starting arguments with unmasked people. Videos of unmasked people starting arguments with masked people.
Articles like this one from Fatherly Magazine: “When to Yell at Someone For Not Wearing a Mask.” Or The Conversation: “Philosophy and psychology agree – yelling at people who aren’t wearing masks won’t work,” which cites John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant.
Or you can wade into the racial morass, as The San Jose Mercury News did: “White woman caught on video yelling obscenities at a Black California Starbucks barista over face mask.”
Joe Biden wants unity. And he’s going to achieve this unity, in one of his first moves, by pressuring state and local governments to implement a mask mandate — because what better place to start unifying America?
On Monday, NBC News reported that Biden would, “in the coming days … begin calling governors and the mayors of major cities from both parties to encourage them to institute mask mandates as the coronavirus pandemic enters a potentially deadlier phase with winter arriving, according to a senior Biden adviser.”
“If a governor declines, he’ll go to the mayors in the state and ask them to lead,” the Biden adviser said. “In many states, there is the capacity of mayors to institute mandates.”
According to a count by non-profit group Masks4All, 33 states currently have some statewide requirements to wear masks in public. (NBC News cites a superannuated July NPR number of “[r]oughly 20” states, which shows rigorous exactitude from a media we’re supposed to give the same trust accorded to science.)
The expectation by the Biden administration is that this will save lives this winter — up to 100,000 in a worst-case scenario, a study published in Nature Medicine in October claimed. That’s if this works, though.
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel doesn’t believe it will. That’s not because of flawed science, but because of the flawed public policy assumptions behind the mask mandate.
“I think masks are quite useful, but they have a place and they’re not the be-all and end-all,” Siegel said. “I’m worried that mandating this with fines and such may actually lead to more of a rebellion against it.”
Siegel also warned that masks are only “the icing on the physical distancing cake,” especially when people need to be in close quarters with one another, there isn’t a situation where it would be the primary mover in lower COVID-19 numbers.
Siegel also took issue with this part of Biden’s COVID-19 plan, as posted on the former Vice President’s website: “Social distancing is not a lightswitch. It is a dial. Joe Biden will direct the CDC to provide specific evidence-based guidance for how to turn the dial up or down relative to the level of risk and degree of viral spread in a community, including when to open or close certain businesses, bars, restaurants, and other spaces; when to open or close schools, and what steps they need to take to make classrooms and facilities safe; appropriate restrictions on size of gatherings; when to issue stay-at-home restrictions.”
“I think physical distancing is more important than masks,” Siegel said. “If you’re 10 feet away from someone, you’re not going to get the virus. If you’re one foot away with a mask, you might.”
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