There are way too many Americans who either think COVID-19 isn’t a big deal or that it’s a straight-up hoax, even as cases are on the rise in many states. While not every single person refusing to wear a mask or cancel their giant wedding ceremony are Donald Trump stans, there does seem to be a correlation between states or counties that voted for him and the rise in coronavirus. Maybe because Trump himself seems to barely ever wear a mask and has been incredibly dismissive of the virus and the over 150,000 dead under his watch.
The pandemic can’t be laid entirely at Trump’s feet. There are a lot of people who have failed to protect the citizens they’ve been sworn to look after, from governors to Congresspeople and even the local sheriffs.
Raw Story reports that it’s the sheriffs who are comprising the most obvious group of people who should have worn their masks and didn’t, because a lot of them are now coming down with COVID-19 after publicly saying they would not be helping to enforce lockdown or police people covering their faces.
It’s a complicated issue, because policing would likely fall hardest on Black and brown communities and a public mask requirement enforced by law could easily be used as just another way to fine and imprison people.
On the other hand, some of these guys want to be famous for refusing to take coronavirus seriously and that’s a big problem. Take Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Arizona. Lamb was tested for COVID-19 before going to meet Trump at the White House. And he has it. He thinks he caught it doing a meet-and-greet with supporters after being interviewed on Fox News about his rejection of Gov. Doug Ducey’s extending stay-at-home orders.
Florida Sheriff Mike Chitwood refused to enforce mask orders and he tested positive for the virus on Friday, and in a thread on Twitter in early July he at least admitted that the public should be doing something about community spread even if the government won’t. You know, the government he is a part of:
I've said I'm not in favor of a govt-enforced mask order. I don't believe it's my deputies' job to enforce mask-wearing on people. But I believe the private sector- grocery stores, restaurants, retailers of all kinds- are in a position to create a mask mandate that makes sense.— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) July 8, 2020
It's clear now that our government is so overwhelmed by this crisis, that it's up to the people to solve it. I hope we are up to the task.— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) July 8, 2020
“I am encouraging anyone who is not feeling up to par to get tested,” he told reporters after his diagnosis. “I have no idea how I contracted this and that is a lesson in itself: Anyone can catch this.”
Yup. Even if you have a badge and a gun. Another unnamed Sheriff in California has tested positive, according to the Guardian, and another named Vernon Warnke has done a 180 as cases surged in the state.
“Wear your masks, do your social distancing, wash your hands,” he said. “Please take it seriously.”
This was very different from what he wrote on his Facebook page two months ago, when he claimed Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered lockdown to make Californians “dependant [sic] on government assistance so he could maintain this control once this ‘pandemic’ is declared over.”
Trust me, at this point absolutely no one is depending on the government.