House Democrat wants masks mandated for all - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, July 12, 2020
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House Democrat wants masks mandated for all

BUT STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST SAYS THE MASK DATA IS MIXED

Rep. Zack Fields, District 20 downtown Anchorage, believes all Alaskans should wear masks while in public and that quarantines should be enforced. His expert witness, an emergency room doctor from Anchorage, endorsed that view during a hearing today that occurred telephonically. Their comments came during a joint House committee meeting of State Affairs and Health And Social Services.

Andy Elsberg, M.D., a doctor from Anchorage’s Providence Medical Center, urged the mandating of face coverings in public spaces and to enforce quarantine measures for travelers entering Alaska. He didn’t say whether that enforcement should be by gunpoint or imprisonment.

And he had harsh words for the federal government’s handling of COVID-19 and agreed the directives on face masks have been confusing.

In regard to masks, “The reality is that the federal government has not put out a coherent message and you (as legislators) can’t control that. And there has been a lot of pandering to certain demographics, that with information, instead of sticking to a (unitelligible) response,” Elsberg said.

But at a Tuesday evening town hall meeting hosted by the Governors Office and moderated by Dr. Anne Zink, the public received a different message from a state epidemiologist who said there is no clear proof that the public wearing face masks will prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Epidemiologist Anna Frick said that the CDC has issued a recommendation that everyone in public should wear a cloth face covering.

“This is something that is kind of new to us to recommend. The data is pretty mixed on how well this works. It depends a lot on the fabric that you’re using and how well the mask fits you but at this point we think it probably provides some benefit,” she said.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • “… but at this point we think it probably provided some benefit.”
    She might as well have added: “But tomorrow we will have a different opinion, and the day after that, a different one yet.” This is why we have so much confidence in their authorative statements.

  • Talk about a petty tyrant. I do not think the young Representative Fields has thought very deeply about this.

  • Bunch of bull

  • Try and force people to wear masks and see how far that gets you, control freak. People have lost their minds. It is a virus, it isn’t a virulent virus, get on with your life.

  • There is no evidence that mask wearing by the general public is necessary. Absolutely not! It should be a personal choice. Also, quarantine of healthy people is outrageously stupid, and harmful to society.

    • Yeah, it seems we Republicans dont actually stand for personal freedom these days or ever really; seems like our priority is cronyism. We say democrats are tyrants cause they fearfully want to protect their elders; then we go and say women should not be allowed to have abortions, as if its because we care about life, as we also support war. I really don’t know what has happened to our beautiful Republican party. Perhaps libertarians have the right idea.

      • If you cannot see the difference between killing a completely innocent child and killing in war then your judgment is out of whack.

  • No thanks Zack, I’m good

  • They work great at trapping bacteria. May all the idiots walking around with them get a good case of strep.

  • I wonder if Dr. Elsberg provided the legislature with all of the scientific evidence that shows masking the public with a piece of fabric significantly reduces ICU admissions and mortality from this virus? That it reduces them from their already very low numbers to something lower still.

    To use his MD to support criminalizing the act of publicly showing your face, he must have a wealth of scientific data that has convinced him this is the only way. Can we see it please?
    Because many physicians are having a hard time finding it. I am not asking for ER or Inpatient PPE studies, I am looking for real evidence in favor of population level public masking with random cloth coverings. Those of us who can’t find that evidence are understandably leery of using our medical degrees and reputations to put our fingers on what appears to be a very political scale.

    I’d also like an explanation of how New York’s data, made public a few weeks ago, might impact the continued support for this type of masking policy or for quarantines for that matter. NYC hospitals were not flooded with essential workers or others groups forced to be out in public. Odd.

    From CNBC:
    “”If you notice, 18% of the people came from nursing homes, less than 1% came from jail or prison, 2% came from the homeless population, 2% from other congregate facilities, but 66% of the people were at home, which is shocking to us,” Cuomo said.

    “This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” he added. “We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”

    Cuomo said nearly 84% of the hospitalized cases were people who were not commuting to work through car services, personal cars, public transit or walking. He said a majority of those people were either retired or unemployed. Overall, some 73% of the admissions were people over age 51.”

  • “Probably and Some”, are not a good enough reason for any sort of mandate.

  • Sorry ole little Representative Fields there is no law that you can reference to mandate wearing of mask but we do have a thing called the Constitution behind us. Wearing a mask is an individual choice so go sit in the corner and be a nice little boy.

    • I wore one for 36 hours straight a few days ago. So did everyone else around me. I did get a little scab on the bridge of my nose though.

      • Your reply has no sense

  • Protect those at risk. Provide good guidelines. Then.. trust your people to be grown ups and do the right thing.

    The fundamental difference between the right and the left; the left trusts government and the right trusts the citizenry. The problem lately is too many on the right have forgotten that.

  • Do NOT be subjected to this sheer and utter tyranny and unhealthy practice of mask wearing …

    Any credible doctor will tell you not to wear a mask for too long. It causes you to breath in exhaled CO2…which any thinking person knows is NOT good. Unless you want a slow, agonizing death.

    You just cannot run from these liberal loons! They are infiltrating our state and politics.

  • If any of ya’ll had doubts that liberalism is a disease, Zack Fields steps forward to reinforce the fact.

  • Would it be rude to urge Zack Fields to dispense with his threats and get his mandate(s) passed so productive Alaskans can respond accordingly?

  • Andy Elsberg needs to go back to being a “ski bum”.

  • CDC is talking out all 3 sides of its mouth on this. They have a study of studies up that says there is no data that supports hand hygiene, face masks, surface cleaning, or respiratory hygiene (coughing into your elbow) having any impact on the spread of influenza virus. There is no data that supports social distancing either.

    Zach wants us to comply because he wants us to comply.

    One of the good fallouts of the current festivities is that all the little fascists step right up and self-identify – Ethan, Zach, Anchorage Assembly, etc. Cheers –

  • It should be a personal choice.
    If wearing a mask makes you feel good, then go for it.
    I refuse to wear a cloth petri dish on my face.
    .
    GCI currently has a guard meet you at door to their store, and refuse to let you in their store to pay your cell phone bill if you’re not wearing a cloth petri dish on your face.
    I told them a month ago that if they were still doing that B.S. when I came back in 30 days to pay my next month’s bill, that I would switch another cell provider.
    Last week I went to GCI to pay my cell phone bill…..and they were, so I did.

    • Pay your bill on line. It’s the 21st century.

      • No

  • The mandatory mask mandate would read something like this.
    If you are a-
    Democrat wear a Blue mask
    Republican wear a Red mask
    Independent wear a Yellow mask
    COVID tracers Brown mask

  • Minor correction, it’s District 20, unfortunately, as that is my district. All Alaskans should be suspicious of Zack Fields and question why he was fast-tracked to his seat after having lived here such a short time. This man is completely out of touch with regards to what is best for our State.

  • Just a matter of a little time before masks are given their rightful place in history. Alongside Hula Hoops.

  • I saw on OANN, “Tipping point” last night, NIH study showed a asymptomatic person that had been in contact with 455 persons (I take that is found from contact tracing?). None, repeat NONE of those 455 were infected. Also from Singapore, shows the virus is only passed on up to 11 days of a person having it. Apparently, the virus is there to be picked up on testing, but not strong enough to infect to others.
    This makes sense. I go to Fred Meyer, Carrs, my favorite gun and ammo shop, and I’d bet, only 1-2% of the people I see are wearing masks. If masks work so well, then why isn’t the Valley, i.e. Palmer a hotbed of infection?

    • They are idiots. Most are wearing the masks in the lower 48.

    • 100% Mike,
      The grocery stores in my area “Littleton Colorado” were not wearing masks until the end of April. Why isn’t my whole community infected?

      BTW I think the new death rate is .3. I believe the flu comes in at .1 but also affects people of all ages where the vast majority of Covid 19 deaths are over the age of 80. Another way to look at it is the average American lives to the age of 78.87 years .

      25% of all deaths weekly are in nursing homes. Thousands of nursing home deaths were listed as Covid 19 with no proof or with other health issues being the primary cause of death.

      Long and short of it is we all got screwed.

    • I read an article on that study. So we are told we have to wear a mask because you can spread it if you are asymptomatic and don’t know you have it but now NIH says that you don’t spread it if you are asymptomatic. To Mask or not to Mask? Dr Fauci in an interview over the weekend said that he only wore a mask to show people what they should do. That doesn’t sound like a scientific reason to wear a mask to me.

      • If you go anywhere near the White House, you will be tested daily with no expense spared – that takes care of Dr. Fauci. So yes, for them it’s all for show to lead by example. For most of us mere mortals who have to take our turns at testing, now it is left to our individual sensibility.

  • Show me the passage in the constitution where the government is granted that kind of authority. Thought so… now piss off.

  • Most reliable medical experts I have read believe the virus is spread most readily thru microscopic moisture droplets produced when we speak, exhale , cough, or sneeze and that this “ cloud” may extend several feet. Therefore it makes sense to me to wear something over the face when in a public place and to make an effort to maintain social distancing!!

  • As the coronavirus began to spread throughout the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for how to stay safe and avoid contracting the virus.
    While they do encourage those diagnosed with or showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus to take appropriate measures, they acknowledge that everyone wearing face masks is unlikely to be very effective.
    So why are so many people rushing to buy face masks?
    Psychotherapist Amy Morin explains that wearing the masks does more for our mental health than our physical well-being, by soothing our anxiety and giving us the illusion of being in control.

    An article in BusinessInsider explains why wearing masks is simply to try and make the mentally weak feel better. There is no scientific proof that wearing masks will keep you or anyone else from getting the virus. In fact, CDC said the exact opposite before changing their recommendation because the general population was freaking out about not enough being done to prevent the virus from spreading.

    The truth is masks are not the answer and anyone who believes they are should buy stock into that bridge to no where in Alaska.

  • Show me an expert that says we must wear a face mask to keep safe and I will show you 2 experts with the same or better credentials that say wearing a face mask is the biggest crock of hogwash, poppycock and BS that has ever been visited on the American people. The same goes for the COVID-19 lock down and just about all the other constitution shredding mandates that have been visited on us.
    Look at all the people rioting in Minneapolis. How many of them are wearing face masks? I don’t hear the MSM complaining at all. I didn’t hear anyone complaining about those thugs not social distancing either.

  • Shouldn’t this guy have a mask on in this picture?

  • “Can face masks help prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19? Yes, face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the virus.” – Mayo Clinic

    100,000 dead Americans, 2974 died on 911. We changed our lives after 911, started wars and through the constitution out the window. You took your shoes off at the airport. 100,000 dead and you can’t be inconvenienced.

  • I’m all for smaller government and less regulation. With that said, private businesses can set their own rules as to mask wearing. Those that mandate masks like Costco will get all my business and those that do not care – or worse, give me dirty looks or prohibit masks altogether can fail and go bankrupt. I hope every single one of anti-mask stores goes under. If you are against masks, enjoy your innocence while you can.

    • con,
      You wish ill on anyone that disagrees with you? And you claim to be righteous? Isn’t that a little extreme? A person may be better off wishing fellow citizens good fortune and asking them politely to ‘mask up’. Or, you are correct on one thing. Just don’t go there yourself and take your masks to a ‘mask friendly’ business. Somehow, when people try and tell me what to do, against my will, that seems to make me more determined to not cooperate, especially when I think I am right. Maybe a little reverse psychology would work. Tell everyone to take their masks off and some will surely put theirs on (that old thing called freedom).

      • On the contrary, I would love to be proven wrong – I wish the “beer virus” and “it will magically disappear” guys were right on the money. Instead, I cowboy up, put on a mask and go to work shoulder to shoulder with guys who arrive from all over the country. Just getting tired of hearing about my friends down South and other countries popping positive tests. I also get the pleasure of stopping by at the hospital (yes I am in Alaska), overhearing “he is COVID positive, out sitting in the car, will be admitting to the ER”.

  • Who made him dictator?

  • There is quite a bit of information out there that would run counter to the opinions that masks help much outside of clinical settings. And it is really questionable if cloth, homemade masks handled by untrained people do anything.

    I would say that it is very questionable that masks offer anything other than some sort of feel good for those people who like to control others.

  • The virus enters through the eyes so we better wear goggles too.

  • If a Face mask works….why are we social distancing,
    and if social distancing works, why are we wearing face masks?

    • Why do we wipe our butts if we put underwear on and pull up our pants?

  • I’m healthy. Haven’t been sick in years and I don’t get flu shots. Wouldn’t bother me to get the virus so I can recover and have anti-bodies to this thing. With this virus coming back in the Fall and no guarantee of a vaccine we might should just share this around and have herd immunity when it comes back

  • It looks like the Anchorage Assembly is voting today (June 2) on a resolution to require masks for employees of ALL businesses! If you want to speak up, 2pm today is the deadline.

    Someone please correct me if I’ve read the agenda wrong. Take a look… Agenda Item 10.B.2. Resolution No. AR 2020-193, a resolution of the Anchorage Assembly recommending the Mayor, by emergency regulation under “Safe Anchorage” Phase 3: Maintenance, require face coverings (masks) for employees at all businesses that choose to operate, as a public health and safety measure, Assembly Members Zaletel and Dunbar. (Addendum) http://publicdocs.muni.org/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=1581&doctype=agenda.

    They’re also voting on extending the Mayor’s emergency powers.

  • Most people do not know this.
    Simply say, “Medical issues” when told a mask is required and I have instantly been allowed to enter everywhere without a mask!!!! without question!
    It is potentially deadly to breathe in your own breath = carbon dioxide!!
    I’m 75 years young and want my immune system to continue to work!!

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