- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 1, 2021

At least three states have issued permanent crackdowns on individual liberties using the coronavirus health emergency as justification. 

They call them “standards.”

That’s a bit of creative rhetoric; they’re really regulatory controls.

But this is what civil libertarians warned would occur due to lingering mass hysteria over the coronavirus — that government, once possessed of its extraordinary powers that were granted because of extraordinary circumstances, would not let go those extra powers. 

Well, here we are.



“Virginia Becomes the First State to Adopt a Permanent COVID-19 Standard,” Littler wrote in late January.

The story went on to state that on Jan. 27, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam “approved a Final Permanent Standard … for preventing COVID-19 in the workplace … which applies to all employers in the Commonwealth.”

The permanent “standard” replaces the temporary “standard” that had been issued on the heels of the coronavirus, to slow its spread, dontcha know. And the two are pretty much identical — despite the fact the curve we were told was the benchmark for returning to normalcy has been flat, flatter, flattened for some time. So why the permanence? In a word: control.

Face masks? Check. Face shields if face masks can’t be worn? Check, check. Updated and enhanced ventilation systems? Check, check, check.

“The permanent standard will remain in effect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Littler wrote.

And the COVID-19 pandemic will remain so long as the government can extract political capital from it — on that, make no mistake about it.

“As Mask Mandates End, Oregon Bucks Trend With Permanent Rule,” The Associated Press reported, just a couple of weeks ago.

“A top health official is considering indefinitely extending the rules requiring masks and social distancing in all businesses in the state,” AP wrote. Who’s this pinhead? Michael Wood, an administrator with the state Occupational Safety and Health agency.

“We are not out of the [coronavirus] woods yet,” he said.

Not to be outdone, Michigan weighed in with its own permanent COVID-19 regulatory clamps.

“Michigan Bureaucrats Want Permanent COVID Regulations,” The Mackinac Center for Public Policy wrote.

Mackinac continued: “Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just extended emergency COVID-19 rules that all Michigan employers must follow. Among other things, they require businesses to conduct daily health screenings of employees, require masks to be worn whenever anyone could be within six feet of someone else and isolate employees who have a suspected case of COVID. Unless rescinded, these rules will continue until October. But they could last even longer, because the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to transform these emergency rules into permanent ones.”

Remember: These are unelected officials, unaccountable to the people, unable to be removed from office by direct vote.

But they are accountable to the governor’s office. And the state legislators can reel them in and enact quick laws that prohibit such unilateral crackdowns on free enterprise and free citizens. 

The question is: What — or who — will motivate these politicians to act?

First out of fear, then out of “go along to get along” obedience, Americans around the nation have complied far too long with radical leftists who have used the coronavirus to push and press collectivist ideology. Few have resisted; more, thankfully, are starting to resist.

But mass, massive resistance is what’s called for here.

Americans who insist on a government that’s limited have been issuing warnings for months now about the socialist-slash-progressive-slash-Democrat exploitation of emergency health declarations for personal and party political gain. These warnings were largely ignored — and thus, the face mask guidance has moved to face mask requirement, has moved to vaccine recommendation, has moved in some instances to vaccine requirement, has moved to vaccine passport recommendation has moved to — wait for it. And now states led by leftist governors are trying to make this all permanent.

If Americans don’t demand a stop to it now — then when?

First Virginia. Then Michigan and Oregon. The call for permanent COVID-19 “standards” will spread to other states. It’s just a matter of time. So here’s another warning, hopefully to be heeded before it happens: More mandates will then come. Bank on it.

A government run amok with power doesn’t simply cede back the power to the people. Something has to rise to stop it. Well, guess what; that something is you.

• 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. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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