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Letter: Gov. Herbert, it is past time for a mask mandate

SHARE Letter: Gov. Herbert, it is past time for a mask mandate
Letters to the Editor

Deseret News

How ironic, and how very political. On the same day that Utah’s coronavirus death toll topped 200, with 722 new cases — a one-day record, with the curve showing no sign of flattening — our governor, our Senate president and House speaker all opposed a face mask mandate, and Gov. Gary Herbert chose “not to make this a statewide mandate,” despite his saying, “the trend is going in the wrong direction.” 

A mandate that he should have declared would have been largely unenforceable, but it is well-known that new laws and regulations really begin to have effect because of public pressure on those who ignore them, not because of enforcement. The plus side for Herbert is that many in his political base will applaud his asking Utahns simply to “do the right thing.” Those who are indifferent or resistant will continue not to wear a mask, and will acquire and spread this deadly virus to their families and the rest of us. Older and more vulnerable Utahns will continue in lockdown to avoid those who defy the well-known preventive measures of masks and social distancing.

Herbert, please stop making political decisions that deny the health consequences to your constituents.

Tom Metcalf