Masks, an instrument used to curb the spread of COVID-19, became the reason for the embarrassment of Arizona Republicans lately.
Republicans tried to oppose the mask mandate just for the sake of it in Arizona, comparing it with its failure to curtail a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), AIDS.
The situation worsened as the Republican-controlled Arizona House passed the legislation by voting along the party lines based on this argument.
The comparison between COVID-19 and AIDS was meant to let the businesses ignore the mask mandates to stem COVID-19 in a state where around 16,000 people have already died due to the virus.
Wearing Masks to Avoid Aids: Does That Make Sense?
Arizona State Representative Joseph Chaplik has recently become a national laughing stock after voicing his opinion that we do not need the mask mandate during COVID-19.
Joseph Chaplik made an absurd point saying that masks were not needed for AIDS and other dangerous diseases’ prevention, so they are not needed in curtailing COVID-19 either.
“We heard about that (AIDS) in the 80s, yet no masks were required.”
Chaplik believed that it is the individual right of these business owners, as Americans, to ignore the local and state mask mandates.
According to him, mask mandates are an overreaction as the society survived the spread of diseases like AIDS, smallpox, and many others.
Democratic Rep. Randall Friese was quick to point out the ignorance of Joseph Chaplik that the spread of COVID and the spread of AIDS are two entirely different processes.
With his physician background, Rep. Randall Friese stressed that masks are a fundamentally “important tool” against the spread of COVID.
Not only Joseph Chaplik, All Republicans Support This:
The stupidity didn’t stop here. The whole Republican-controlled Arizona House of Representatives was convinced to vote in favor of the resolution. This resulted in passing the legislation by a 31-28 vote, mostly along the party lines.
Several lawmakers objected on the basis that the bill ignores the evidence that masks prevent the spread of COVID if properly worn.
Chaplik, however, argued that the states like Nebraska and Georgia never had a mask mandate. According to Joseph Chaplik, the entire population of these states would have fully died if we consider the debate over the importance of masks.
Rep. Bret Roberts made a similar claim. He said that around 90% of Arizona is covered with some type of local mask mandate, if not state mandate, but there has been no visible change in the COVID situation.
Freedom of Choice Vs. Freedom to Live: A Fierce Debate
The debate of the freedom of choice also seems to play an important role in this regard. There is a school of thought claiming that business owners should have freedom of choice while deciding the mask mandate.
On the other hand, it remains a major concern that in case of negligence of one individual, COVID-19 can affect thousands of people, resulting in a chain reaction.
In these circumstances, the government has to curtail some freedom of choice as it affects the masses otherwise.
This concept of curbing this choice in case of a contagious disease also becomes pertinent considering that other people’s right to live is being snatched by those who are exercising their freedom of choice by not wearing a mask.
Republicans Comparing Apples and Oranges to Satisfy their Egos
The spread of COVID and the spread of AIDS are entirely different, and therefore the protection protocols for them are also different. It is rather absurd to find any kind of similarity between them.
AIDS is caused by HIV, which spreads through the exchange of bodily fluid through sexual transmission or infected needles. It does not spread by any other means such as air, water, touch, or smell.
On the other hand, COVID is caused by the respiratory droplets released when an affected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. People can also get the virus by touching a surface contaminated by the virus. COVID enters the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Hence, masks make sense in COVID, but not in AIDS.
Masks have been adopted worldwide as an effective strategy to prevent the spread of COVID.
It is a pressing state of affairs that such lawmakers are present in the State’s legislature, having the authority to make laws that can impact millions of lives.
The effectiveness of the masks is a proven fact by scientific research and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Republicans doing politics on the pandemic is not a new thing.
It remains a basic responsibility of every American to make these types of lawmakers who are sponsoring conspiracy theories regarding the pandemic accountable in the next elections.
Eli is a Political Data Scientist with over thirty years of experience in Data Engineering, Analytics, and Digital Marketing. Eli uses his expertise to give the latest information and distinctive analysis on US Political News, US Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, and Racial Justice equipping readers with the inequivalent knowledge.