Watch Out for the Virus Police.
By Dr. Kevin Barrett
Much of the world is experiencing an episode of mass hysteria—or what some have called “mask hysteria.” Here in the United States, countless fights have broken out between masked maniacs and maskless marauders, which sounds like professional wrestling, except it’s real, if equally absurd.
On Oct. 3, a man was thrown off an Allegiant Airlines flight in Mesa, Ariz. for refusing to don a mask under his face shield. The Associated Press reports that “video shows the man in front choking the passenger, who refused to wear a mask, pulling his hair, and hitting him in the back.” Yet the maskless but face-shielded assault victim was ejected, while the masked assault perpetrator was allowed to stay on the plane.
On Sept. 23, another maskless assault victim, Alecia Kitts of Logan, Ohio, was brutalized and tazed by a school resources security officer at a football game. Ms. Kitts was outdoors, sitting far away from other spectators, and enjoying the high school football game when the officer assaulted her. The police report stated that she has asthma, meaning she has a legitimate reason to avoid masks. Yet Ms. Kitts, rather than the officer who assaulted her, has been charged in connection with the incident.
Exactly two months earlier, on July 23, Coronavirus Czar Anthony Fauci had been photographed maskless while sitting tightly squeezed between two other spectators at a Washington Nationals baseball game. Fauci, needless to say, was not tazed and dragged off to jail.
Supermarkets, too, are witnessing mask vs. maskless confrontations. In July, in a Salt Lake City-area Walmart, a masked man assaulted an unmasked female shopper with a medical condition, injuring her. And in an Illinois Costco, a masked woman assaulted a maskless man, screamed that she had Covid, ripped off her mask, and spat in his face.
The mainstream media (MSM) have downplayed or ignored most of the cases of the masked assaulting the unmasked, while highlighting the reverse. Oddly, the most media-trumpeted stories of assaults by anti-maskers, including the murders of French bus driver Philippe Monguillot and Family Dollar security guard Calvin Munerlyn, were not captured on video, meaning we have to take the MSM’s word for what occurred.
Prof. Mark Crispin Miller of New York University, a noted specialist on propaganda, writes that “yellow-journalistic stories of malicious disobedience, and the concurrent media blackout on the scores of videos, and news reports, of violence against unmasked Americans and countless others all across the planet, the whole nonstop, one-note spectacle hypnotically instructing us, through ‘expert’ after ‘expert,’ that ‘you’ve got to wear a mask’—is a gigantic, and enormously successful, propaganda drive.”
Ironically, Prof. Miller’s course on propaganda recently fell victim to the very propaganda he so ably analyzes and teaches his students to recognize and combat. A heavily-propagandized student, apparently terrorized into Covid conformity, tried to get him fired for mask skepticism—and his administration initially pressured him to stop teaching his propaganda class.
What makes mask-related violence and censorship especially disturbing is that the ordinary, often homemade cloth face coverings people are being forced to wear, under penalty of assault, may not be terribly effective. The virus is vastly smaller than microscopic openings in cloth. That is why some have compared trying to stop Covid with cloth masks to trying to stop mosquitos with a chain-link fence.
The New York Times has reported on the increasing evidence for aerosol transmission of Covid-19 and compared trying to stop aerosol viruses to trying to stop cigarette smoke. Cloth masks don’t stop aerosol Covid any more than they stop cigarette smoke. Could we protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke by forcing smokers to exhale through a piece of porous cloth?
Stopping cigarette smoke or virus aerosol requires specially engineered masks designed to trap extremely tiny particles. The good news is that such masks exist. They are called N95s. The bad news is that there just aren’t enough of them. But why is that?
The Washington Post reports that the N95 shortage puzzles even experts: “Six months (after the March-April Covid crisis) that shortage persists, leaving healthcare workers exposed, patients at risk and public health experts flummoxed over a seemingly simple question: Why is the world’s richest country still struggling to meet the demand for an item that once cost around $1 apiece?” Short answer: The government killed a 2018 plan to build a high-speed N95 manufacturing machine, and now in 2020 private corporations are afraid that, if they ramp up to make N95s, the pandemic will end, leaving them in the lurch with no customers.
Back in February the CDC should have mandated mass manufacturing of free N95s for every American who wants one. Vulnerable populations and their caretakers, as well as ultra-careful types, should wear them. That is the only mask mandate that makes any sense.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.