Mandatory Face Masks

Friday July 3, 2020, I was interviewed by KHON2 regarding the mandatory ruling that every person in the City & County of Honolulu must wear a face mask.

Due to editing and time constraints, the television station aired a tiny piece of what I had said. I would like to clarify my view as to why I think Mayor Caldwell’s mandate is an overreach of power. Here is the article that was written online.

You can also watch the video on KHON2's website here.

A little background. On July 2, 2020, Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed an amendment to the City & County of Honolulu’s Emergency Order #2020-18. In it, Mayor Caldwell has mandated that, “All individuals within the City shall wear face coverings while outdoors in public space when maintain a physical distance of six (6) feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.”

Within the order, residents can opt out of wearing a mask when; exercising, visiting a bank, if they have a medical condition, if they are a first responders, are children under the age of five years old.

This sounds a lot like what we’ve all been doing for the last month, right? So what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that it forces people to wear masks. We no longer have a choice. As an individual, or a business owner, we cannot make the best decision for ourselves, our family, nor our employees. The City & County is demanding us to wear a mask. It removes our free will.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in wearing masks to protect or most vulnerable and our kupuna. I stated that I wear a mast when I go to the grocery store and when I go out in public. Like many residents, I do this because I’ve made the decision myself to protect those around me.

Studies show that when masks are worn, the rate of transmission diminishes. Yet according to Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task, if all Americans wear a face mask, that could provide a "false sense of security," and cause them to cease practices like "social distancing," vigorous hand washing and avoiding touching your face.

I believe we should follow the President’s guidelines and the CDC recommendations until we have a handle on this virus. The government should not be a parental figure, we should all be able to make that decision for ourselves. I also completely understand that the mandate is due to public safety.

Right now Mayor Caldwell’s Emergency Order states everyone who live in Honolulu County must wear a mask in public. What’s to stop him from stating we must wear a mask at all times, 24/7? It’s a slippery slope. Yes, that does sound extreme, but where does it end?

There is also the question of whether this will be permanent. There is no sunset date written into the Emergency Order.

In April 2020, Attorney General Barr wrote a two paged memo noting that we need to balance public safety with the preservation of civil rights. In the memo he stated,

"Many policies that would be unthinkable in regular times have become commonplace in recent weeks, and we do not want to unduly interfere with the important efforts of state and local officials to protect the public. But the Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis. We must therefore be vigilant to ensure its protections are preserved, at the same time that the public is protected."

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