My body, my choice? Not so much for federal workers. Masks and coerced vaccinations are the new norm in the Biden Administration.
President Joe Biden is reimposing mask mandates at all federal facilities, and vaccine mandates as part of a rollout of department-level orders that began with the Veterans Administration earlier this week, proceeded through the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security. Masks must now be worn even by those fully vaccinated.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy of Alaska is not expected to follow the president’s lead on this matter. Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer, said this week the governor will not impose mandates and in the past he has reiterated he will not. His stance is that a governor in Alaska doesn’t have authority to issue statewide mask mandate.
Dunleavy also has a standing administrative order prohibiting vaccine passports for state facilities.
In Anchorage, the new mayor, who on his first day in office wrote an executive order ending mask mandates on city property, said there will be no citywide mask mandate. For a libertarian-leaning guy like Mayor Bronson, there is no question about vaccine mandates. Like Dunleavy, he has always said it is an individual decision.
In the Kenai Borough, Mayor Charlie Pierce put out a strong statement Wednesday objecting to any child being forced to wear a mask in school. He has been a strong advocate for consistent, science-informed policy and personal liberty.
In Juneau, it’s a different story: Anyone entering or occupying an indoor City and Borough of Juneau facility or area of an indoor facility must wear a cloth face covering when required by notice posted by the city manager.
Biden unveiled his mask mandate for two million federal employees on Thursday. The mandate states that anyone who works for the federal government — including contractors — are required to show their vaccine “passport” or evidence of being vaccinated against Covid-19, or will have to be tested for Covid up to two times a week in addition to wearing a mask.
During a press conference, Biden snapped at a question posed by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, who asked why Biden was so inconsistent in his mask mandates, saying just a few weeks ago that fully vaccinated Americans do not need a mask.
Doocy said, “In May you made it sound like the vaccine was to the ticket to losing the mask forever.”
Biden replied angrily, “That was true at the time. I thought people would understand that getting vaccinated made a gigantic difference. What happened was a new variant came along, they didn’t get vaccinated, they were spread more rapidly and people were getting sick. That’s the difference.”