- The Washington Times - Friday, September 11, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a tweet, put out this advice to help people protect themselves from the dangers of smoky wildfires, such as the kind sweeping through California and Oregon and other points West: “Wearing cloth masks in public can help slow the spread of #COVID19, but cloth masks won’t protect you from small particles in #wildfire smoke. Limit your time outside when it’s smoky.”

And all the Twitter followers go: LOL.


“Lol. What?!!” wrote one. “That’s insane! It [is] literally the opposite. The particles from the fire are tremendously larger than the China virus particles which can go through the mask material weave like a mosquito through a chain ink fence. What the heck [h]ave you guys been drinking up there?”

That was just the beginning.

“C’mon @cdcgov,” another tweeted. “[T]he only ppl buying that are those voting for a guy with advanced dementia. CV virions are 0.125 microns while most smoke particles can be seen with the naked eye. Pls stop lying to us. Masks don’t work for CV.”

Another, replying to @CDCgov: “If this makes sense, public education has failed you!”

Another: “Aren’t the particles of c19 even smaller than smoke?”

Another: “The only consistency in the CDC communications, is the inconsistency.”

Another, drawing a parallel to a satire news site: “Are you guys competing with the @TheBabylonBee?”

Another: “I. Can’t Even.”

Another: “Obviously CDC stands for ‘China Disease Center.’ “

Another. “No.”

Another: “Something very hokey here. If masks are good enough for the virus, then they are good enough for P-10 particulates.”

And yet another, touching at the deeper root of the matter: “I’m an American and I feel so betrayed by the CDC. I am sorry that none of you horrible people will ever face any real consequences for the damage you’ve done to your own credibility.”

Of course, the CDC might respond by saying that COVID-19 mask mandates are meant to protect others, not self. But the last tweet strikes a nerve.

If health bureaucrats in the federal government can’t be trusted, why should American citizens cede their individual rights to follow their advice?

Quick answer: Citizens shouldn’t.

In this country of rights coming from God, not government — in this country where the Constitution limits what government can impose on the people, and where individuals possess the ultimate power over the politicians — it’s not incumbent on citizens to show why they deserve their rights. It’s incumbent on government to show why it’s necessary to cede them.

The coronavirus has flipped that relationship.

COVID-19 has blotted out the ability of citizens to demand answers of their government, and instead has instituted a very anti-American practice of government simply ordering, and citizens simply obeying, without question — without allowance for questioning, and fact-checking and truth-monitoring.

As the months have gone by, the orders have changed — completely flip-flopped in some instances. And who will be held accountable for the mistakes? For deceptions? For outright politically motivated lies?

As the Twitter poster wrote: “[You] people will ever face any real consequences for the damage you’ve done to your own credibility.” Or for the damage done to the country.

Health bureaucrats don’t belong in charge of U.S. policy, the U.S. economy, the U.S. education system. They are not elected. They are not accountable to the people. And no amount of humorous backlash on Twitter can erase that somber point.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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