Home>Opinion>Why are Public Bureaucrats Issuing Mask Mandates Again?

Mask worn at Capitol calling for end of State of Emergency. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Why are Public Bureaucrats Issuing Mask Mandates Again?

‘To protect CDC’s public health authority’

By Katy Grimes, May 1, 2022 10:19 am

This story has been updated to add comment from BART Board member Debora Allen.

Only 4 days after U.S. District Judge Kathryn Mizelle’s ruling that the Centers for Disease Control does not have the authority to issue a mask mandate for air travel, or on public transportation, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced that masks will again be required on all public transit within the County, including buses, trains, taxis and ride-sharing services, under  her latest COVID-19 health order.

Judge Mizelle ruled that “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking under the Administrative Procedures Act.” The judge acknowledged in her ruling that one day after taking office, President Biden issued an executive order stating that wearing masks can mitigate the effects of COVID-19 among travelers. Two weeks later the CDC published the mask mandate without without allowing public participation through the Administrative Procedures Act’s notice and comment procedures. (Read the ruling HERE)

Her ruling makes clear that the CDC and Biden administration essentially colluded on the non-scientific, non-medical, non-public health order because they wanted people to comply with their mask orders.

Last week, Bay Area Rapid Transit Board members voted to reinstate the mask mandate “effective until July 18, 2022, unless it is extended by the BART Board.” Why July 18th? Because they can?

Both of these public transit systems have serious financial woes, internal management and union issues, as well as horrific crime and low ridership issues, having nothing to do with masks.

It may take lawsuits from public transit riders in Los Angeles and San Francisco to overturn these mandates.

“The spread of COVID-19 continues to be a significant risk for many in Los Angeles County,” the LA County public health website says. That’s all it says, other than offering guidances for mask wearing.

In February, photos of the NFC Championship game in Los Angeles on social media brought us images of unmasked California Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, posing for pics with Magic Johnson, despite the Los Angeles County mask mandate and SoFi Stadium requirements. And they followed it up with a maskless Super Bowl two weeks later demonstrating the two-tiered system of mask rule enforcement.

The “BART Board of Directors approved a temporary amendment to the District’s Code of Conduct to require riders to wear masks in paid areas of the system with limited exceptions,” with no reason provided. It’s just a dictate.There is no medical, scientific, or actual public health reason provided for the reinstated mask mandate.

“COVID cases are rising and we must keep riders safe, especially folks with health conditions,  immunocompromised, and kids not yet eligible to get vaccinated,” said BART board President Rebecca Saltzman on Thursday.

Notably, “BART police – not station managers – will enforce the mandate,” the East Bay Times reported.

Who are these people issuing face mask orders? Not one is a scientist, virologist, epidemiologist or medical doctor.

Rebecca Saltzman “spent years as a public transit and policy advocate, coalition builder, organizer, and manager with local, state, and national issue-based organizations,” her BART bio says. “Saltzman previously served as Vice-Chair of the Oakland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, where she advised the City of Oakland on pedestrian and bicycle policy and infrastructure.”

Saltzman is a long-time advocate for public transit and bicycles. She’s not a medical professional or scientist.

Other BART Board members include a financial and business management specialist, an East Bay Municipal Utility District employee, a geography and urban planning teacher and bicycle advocate, a retired Oakland Fire Department Chief Officer and Safety Specialist, a Professional Civil Engineer, a civil rights and racial justice advocate, a community organizer with the SF Bicycle Coalition, and a 40-year public servant to elected lawmakers.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is not an epidemiologist, virologist or even a licensed M.D. She does not have a medical degree, but is highly credentialed… Her Ph.D. is in “Social Welfare” from from Brandeis University. She has a Master’s Degree in “Public Health” from Boston University, and a BA in “Community Studies” at UC Santa Cruz.

Following Judge Mizelle’s ruling, the Biden administration threatened to appeal. And then the CDC issued this odd media statement:

“To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week, CDC has asked DOJ to proceed with an appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et alIt is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health.”

“To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week…” is how the CDC media statement opens. To protect their authority.

It is only two sentences into the second paragraph that the CDC acknowledges its actual mission:

“CDC’s number one priority is protecting the public health of our nation.”

News of Judge Mizelle’s ruling spread across the country like wildfire. People in airports, on planes and public transit posted videos cheering at the announcement and of masks being ripped off. Because universal mask-wearing is dehumanizing and malevolent.

This popular decision and nearly universal reaction went viral. But it was only a matter of time before threats of a Biden Administration appeal were leaked, and then filed.

This only emboldened the country’s most authoritarian public health officials, proving that it is really only about their authority.


UPDATE: BART Board member Debora Allen contacted the Globe noting that she is the “financial and business management specialist” described in the article. Allen said, “2 Directors (myself and Raburn) abstained from voting on the measure because NO presentation was given to board members on the scientific evidence of masks in the prevention of the spread of the virus.  Our board almost always gets a ‘factual’ presentation from staff on any new initiatives, but this time they took a hard pass. As I questioned staff during the public meeting, we learned that the BART station agents, ambassadors, and police officers all hand out CLOTH masks, something studied and known to provide little to no protection from the virus. I raised this issue along with the enforcement aspects in my questioning before abstaining on the measure due to lack of information.”

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17 thoughts on “Why are Public Bureaucrats Issuing Mask Mandates Again?

  1. Exactly! ‘Protect CDC Authority’ in direct opposition to Constitutional authority of the court. Nothing scientific about it, and contrary to protecting health.

  2. Preamble says: “To provide for the common defence”…from all enemies Foreign & Domestic. I would venture a guess that this Virus is a Foreign invader. 2 ways to at least slow it down – to defend – Masks & Vaccine

    1. Actually, no. Anyway, I don’t see anywhere in the “providing for the common defence” clause the option of depriving citizens of the other inalienable rights in order to achieve that “defence”. Kinda lame, Dave.

    2. Wear your mask (or 2 or 3), Dave and make sure you get ALL your boosters, but don’t force your fears upon the rest of us…
      Both of your “2 ways” are both unproven and unnecessary for the “common defence (sic)”…
      Nice try, though….

  3. Someone (was it Katy? can’t remember now) recently noted the irony that SJW and Fake Doctor Barbara Ferrer feels free to put the screws to the mostly powerless and poor public transit riders with her endless mask diktats. Most riders she supposedly champions have no choice but to use the Metro and are not in a position to tell the Fake Doctor where to get off but have to endure her mood swings and bullying. In fact, having no choice but to Go-Go-Metro is the reason we see riders there in spite of the violent and other crime that occurs not only in the wee hours but in broad daylight, much more often than Metro overseers will admit to the public. Of course such riders can tune her out as many are doing and go maskless, but why take the chance? Also an alarming number of people are still sporting masks down here in SoCal quite willingly. Sigh..

  4. “Provide for the common defence” …. From enemies foreign & domestic. I would venture a guess this virus is a foreign enemy. To defend us: 2 ways: masks & vaccines

  5. The non-MD health director in L.A. County is high on her power trip and there are no studies pointing to efficacy of cloth masks against viruses. Besides, in areas where the LASD handles Metro security, chances are no one will be forced to wear masks by deputies since the L.A. Sheriff won’t enforce personal edicts which are not laws. And the public has had enough. DO NOT COMPLY.

    1. Abe, you are absolutely right about the L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s non-enforcement policy. Hope riders are aware of this. And if Villanueva should prevail in his quest to handle all law enforcement issues on the Metro, the non-enforcement of mask-wearing will continue under his watch. Count on it.
      You are also correct that the public has had ENOUGH of this nonsense and those who retain their sanity will NOT be going back to what they see as unnecessary and repellent, a la the unnecessary and repellent Fake Doctor Barbara Ferrer.

  6. Significant risk, too funny. Notice they do not include factual, analytical data that supports this significant risk. Even the politicians lately with COVID positive colds have stated they are double vaccinated, boosted twice and have a COVID cold. “Scratchy throats.” Haven’t Californians read the data from 2020’s lockdown comparisons? Vote Californians, clean the swamp .Bring back the real CA!

  7. Newsom now includes Medi-Cal for 50+ despite immigration status? Shouldn’t that be determined by legislature, or still one-man rule? Is this repayment to Kaiser for campaign donation?

    1. The illusion that we had a lawful democracy is now gone. They simply do whatever they want.

      These NWO fascists are about to find out that you can ignore the law and flaunt the law but ultimately it is still in force. The wipeout is going to be glorious!

  8. What I noticed with mask mandates is that I would be confronted to wear a mask but blacks walked around and were not confronted.
    No one wanted to trigger the “you diss me-i am going to go all crazy on you.” gene.

  9. “knock knock……….its Dave…………Daves not here” Classic Cheech and Chong!
    This proves it! Dave is NOT here!
    I think he is living in a dis-information bubble.

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