Letter to the editor: Commissioners get it wrong on mask mandate ban


This is regarding the mask mandate ban recently passed by Lewis County commissioners. 

The papers that the commissioners relied on that claim masks don't work against the COVID-19 virus are misinterpreted information. On March 20 of this year, The Cochrane Library (which is the source of the commissioners’ incorrect information) released a statement that says, in part, "Many have claimed that a Cochrane Review shows that masks don't work. This is an inaccurate and misleading interpretation." 

It also states "the reliability of this information as it relates to respiratory illness is generally low." 

Of the countless studies proving that masks prevent the spread of viruses of all kinds, including COVID-19, the commissioners chose this one, full of wrong information. This is not helpful in promoting the health of Lewis County constituents. Let’s hope no Lewis County residents end up in legal trouble or worse because they've relied on the mandate ban as a source of accurate information. 

And friends, speaking of the law and the protections it provides; there are these three constitutional facts: 

Fact 1. Mask mandates for the common good are constitutionally protected, as are the federal mandates regarding compliance with seat belt laws and the many other protections that we comply with, day in, and day out. 

Fact 2. In the same way you can get in trouble for yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, going against a mask mandate that benefits public health is not constitutionally protected speech. 

Fact 3. These various health and safety mandates allow for the full exercise of all first amendment rights, which include freedom of speech, the right to assemble and the right to petition the government. Every lawsuit meant to weaken these constitutional protections has failed. Thank you. Here is my source: https://tinyurl.com/ky2a3m45.  


Ray Chapman-Wilson