Early last week Presidential Candidate, Joe Biden, called on the US President to mandate that masks be worn outdoors, at all times for three months, and possibly thereafter...
A few days later, in his home town, Wilmington, Delaware, he repeated his point: "Every American should be wearing a mask when they're outside, for the next three months, at a minimum."
Why? Because "the estimates are that we will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months if we institute a mask mandate, nationwide, starting immediately."
Later that day, Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, praised him stating that he showed "real leadership" in calling for this mask mandate.
The President, however, ignored Biden's call for mask-mandated leadership, so Biden then called on the 50 state governors to implement the mask mandate for the next three months, again claiming it would save 40,000 lives. That call to action seems to have fallen flat, too.
Why? Why do you think what was described as "real leadership" fail? Why did one of Biden's first opportunities to show his leadership persuasiveness and vitality fail? Why was the mask mandate mangled?
Here are some possibilities that go through my mind. I'm sure you can add others.
1.Biden didn't really believe in the mandate he espoused. For it came across more as a campaign catch-phrase -passionate certainty or urgency was missing. His stated case was limp - "the estimates are that we will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months"-What estimates? Whose estimates? What are the calculations? Why should we believe "experts' estimates" given their previous spotty track record? And if he knows how many are going to be saved, why didn't he tell us the more horrifying number of how many he expects to die from Covid for other reasons.
2.Biden did not include proof in his sales pitch that showed masks to be an ironclad barrier against Covid. Only last month, the Dutch Parliament declined to mandate masks because their team of expert scientists couldn't find proof that masks are foolproof. And earlier this year, Iceland conquered Covid without mandating masks. So, where's the clinching proof? Perhaps he has only the opinion of a few medical experts. Shouldn't we know?
3.Biden lost credibility with his demand that the mask mandate be for three months, ie, ending just after Election Day, Nov 3. Does that pass your smell test? Will Covid deaths coincidentally end on November 3? Surely, if he truly believes in the power of masks and he expects Covid deaths to continue after Nov 3, why wouldn't he change his call to action to remain in place until such time as US Covid deaths are reduced to, say, 3,000 a month?
4.Biden didn't attempt to sell us, the voters. If he really believed in his case, why didn't he seek 15-30 minutes on TV (the Mainstream Media are just waiting to be asked) to explain and persuade we the people? If convinced, we certainly would tell our political leaders to act. Don't you think that approach would have demonstrated "real leadership?"
5.Biden blithely advocated one rule for all. Has he forgotten the old saying: rigidity is stupidity? What guidelines has he thought through that come with his proposal? Why is the mandate that he proposes for everyone outside any buildings, day and night, in high-density cities and low-density rural towns so rigid? does it apply equally to Farmers? Fishermen? Golfers? Tennis players? Surfers? Swimmers? Marathon runners? Mountain climbers? Protesters? Rioters?
6.Biden omitted enforcement guidelines. A law is not a law unless applied and enforced equally and the fines for non-conformity are the same. Will the announced fines be such that they result in the behavior sought? And, who is going to police this mask mandate in an era of Police Defunding and self-destructing cities? Will the mandate apply to Sanctuary Cities excluded from laws by state governments?
7.Biden did not mention a mandate to wear masks indoors. Why is wearing masks indoors not included? Does the virus spread only outdoors? If masks are great life savers outdoors, why won't they work indoors too?
8.Biden overlooked a huge three-punch combo opportunity. Months ago, we were told of the three essentials to beat Covid: wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands. As police will be everywhere throughout our land looking to catch and prosecute those not wearing masks, why not include the other two parts of the Covid Trifecta in the prosecution net? Wouldn't that help rebuild declining state and city finances while keeping more people alive?
As Kamala Harris might then say: Now, Joe that would be "real leadership."
Besides a full business life in retailing, and later, loyalty marketing, the other part of Brian Woolf's life has been filled with diverse interests: particularly speaking (including Toastmasters), travel (including all seven continents), and reading (including history). And he has written seven books sharing what he has learned along the journey. Ask him, two favorite trips? Antarctica and the Nile. Ask him, two favorite books? The Lessons of History (Will & Ariel Durant) and Over the Edge of the World (Laurence Bergreen). He loves learning and sharing.