Everyone wants to show the happy videos of people getting vaccine shots.
The Governors in the 12 states that haven’t passed mask mandates especially want to get in on this hopeful news. They will crow about how Their President got them the vaccine. Not said, but implied, is that their refusal to pass a state-wide mask mandate was justified before and is not necessary now.
The experts say we will still need masks for months and we should NOT relax the mask protocols. I've watched the discussions on MSNBC shows with Dr. Vin Gupta “Face with medical mask!” @VinGuptaMD, Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD @PeterHotez, Dr. Rob Davidson #WearAMask @DrRobDavidson explaining this, but I know it's not enough. Here are some ways to use the vaccination press conferences to pressure 12 Governors to pass mask mandates.
Have the top medical experts tell the Governors behind the scenes, “You don’t get to be part of the vaccination press conference unless you pass a mask mandate.”
People in the public health medical community still want to believe that Governors will respond to facts and science. They won’t.
Withholding good PR at a press conference isn’t withholding their vaccine, just the reflected success of a vaccine.
But since most public health experts don’t want to be this direct, and the window for these first press conferences is closing, I suggest:
PREPARE THE MEDIA for asking Governors why there is no mask mandate now and why they still won't pass one.
This is especially important now that Trump botched the vaccine roll out!
First prep the experts to point out the EXCESS DEATHS that will happen because there is no MASK MANDATE. When the Governor still doesn’t respond with a mandate, post photos of DEAD NURSES to call out the GOVERNOR for NOT pushing a mandate before.
REPEAT. THIS. MESSAGE.
VACCINES won’t be enough for months, but a MASK mandate can happen now!
Governors can save lives, but refuse to.
If the Governor says. “I’m not against masks. I’m BEGGING PEOPLE to wear a mask, I just don’t think a mandate is the way to go because …”
Prepare for lame answers.
“Governor, I just spoke to OUR STATE’s top expert, he said, “Without a mask mandate an extra [XXX] people will die in our state. Why are you still refusing a mask mandate?”
Prepare for his lame answer.
(If he quotes someone who is NOT an infectious disease expert (like Scott Atlas) prepare with details on that person’s lack of expertise in this area.
If he brings up lame economic "I have to balance things" prepare with economic experts calling BS.
“I spoke to an EXPERT who explained the false choice between the “inconvenience” of masks and how it might “hurt the economy” vs people getting sick and dying from COVID-19."
The thing is that reporters don’t have to go into “gotcha” questions because politicians are prepared for those, they just need to make it clear what the failure to pass a mask mandate means in terms of human deaths.
Start a Death Clock in each state showing numbers of deaths because there is no Mask Mandate.
"Researchers estimated that mask mandates would have produced a 40 percent reduction in deaths, nationally. (Link to MIT study)
“The results hold up,” Chernozhukov says. “Controlling for behavior, information variables, confounding factors — the mask mandates are critical to the decline in deaths. No matter how we look at the data, that result is there.”
BTW, I'm basing my follow up questions on actual responses I've seen from Nebraska Governor Ricketts @GovRicketts.
If a public health group wanted to get a mask mandate passed they would create a specific plan that included different kinds of pressure for each Governor based on the source of their power and weaknesses.
For example, in Nebraska they would quote University of Nebraska Medical Center @UNMC, infectious disease expert Dr. James Lawler and question the advice of Ricketts' health advisor, Dr. Antone, a bariatric surgeon.
The reporters would be prepared to push back on Ricketts' lame answers to serious questions (as shown here responding to Becca Costello @becca_costello with NET News @NETNewsNebraska @becca_costello
I'll allow my human rage to come out for a moment.
The public health medical community is too f'ing polite to Governors whose actions lead to unnecessary deaths.
They can’t just put the truth out there. They also need to attack the diseased messages and messengers like white blood cells going after pathogens.