Masks: Progressives pressing for mandates, and Berkowitz says he is considering it - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, August 7, 2020
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Masks: Progressives pressing for mandates, and Berkowitz says he is considering it


Pressure from some quarters is bearing down on Gov. Mike Dunleavy to issue a statewide mandate requiring all Alaskans wear masks when in public places.

Since that seems unlikely, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is considering making it a local “cover your face” order for Alaska’s largest city.

During his Friday update, Berkowitz said that Anchorage is in “Condition Yellow,” and that if more cases of COVID-19 arise, he will consider imposing a mask mandate. It was an “or else” warning to the public. Listen up:

“We have not mandated masking to this point,” Berkowitz said. “I would not like to get to the point where we have to mandate masking, but mandating masking is something that is on the table.”

Although the vast majority of Alaskans do not want a statewide mask mandate, according to a recent Must Read Alaska poll, some members of the Anchorage Assembly are pressing forward. for the local mandate at least.

A local mask mandate in Anchorage has already failed to pass the Assembly twice on a vote of 5-6.

Meg Zalatel and Forrest Dunbar pushed the issue during a special Assembly committee meeting last week, and they brought a handful of doctors to support mandatory face coverings for all Alaskans.

Also speaking at the meeting were Reps. Geran Tarr and Zack Fields, who stated that they support a mask mandate but don’t think they could get the governor to change his mind.

[Read the June 18 order for mandatory masks in California]

Rep. Tarr asked the doctors invited to the meeting if they thought it would be helpful for Tarr and Fields to hold a press conference to demand the governor mandate masks, and the doctors answered that they believe a press conference by the two would be helpful.

“Very helpful,” said Dr. Helen Adams, one of the featured speakers. The doctors said that the science is now very clear that masks reduce the spread of COVID-19, and a lot of misinformation is being spread by opponents of mask mandates.

“If you look at the conversations that are happening in places like social media and even on the news, there’s misrepresentation of what we’re looking for,” said Dr. Monique Love Child, an Anchorage pediatrician.

During the phone-in meeting that was not well-publicized, the public learned of the proceedings and called in with their objections, sometimes interrupting the officials and doctors to get their points across. It was apparent that meeting chairman Felix Rivera was not expecting the public to call in and he had to admonish the callers to stop talking over the experts.

Assembly member Forrest Dunbar was not pleased with the public’s participation:

“Wearing a face covering to slow the spread of a pandemic should be the least political policy choice a community makes in a year. Instead our work session attracted people claiming scientists are inflating fatality numbers and the elderly/vulnerable should fend for themselves,” Dunbar wrote. “Do you want businesses to stay open? Great! Then everyone wear a face covering to slow the spread. Otherwise we are going to be back in lock down.”

On Wednesday, June 24, Alaska House Democrats will hold another meeting on the topic in the House Health and Social Services Committee. The meeting convenes at 9:30 am and is accessible to the public at this link.

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Written by

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

  • Democrats are gonna hand control of the legislature and ANC back to Republicans should they do this. At best, I expect them to get ignored. At worst, who knows, though likely not the tar and feathers they deserve.

    The public health establishment has been lying to us throughout this entire affair, and we here in the general public have simply chosen not to play their game any more. And those government officials who have chosen to use their conflicting mandates to force the general public to change their behavior will be removed from office.

    No surprise that Tarr & Fields are playing in this along with the Assembly.

    FWIW, if you look at the numbers in the ADN this morning, increase in numbers of Wuhan Flu cases in AK are entirely tied to an increase in the amount of testing going on. Cheers –

    • “FWIW, if you look at the numbers in the ADN this morning, increase in numbers of Wuhan Flu cases in AK are entirely tied to an increase in the amount of testing going on. Cheers –”

      That couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that generally (that is with some exceptions as specified in the DHSS “Mandates”) tests are only done on folks who display symptoms could it?

      • Wrong. I’m having surgery this week and I have to be tested beforehand. I am symptom-free and have not traveled anywhere.

        • Yep, FredF – That is one of the exceptions – read the mandates so you’ll be able to read what I wrote.

      • Jere,
        What do you make of the days where there are less tests and higher positives than days with more tests and less positives?

        • Should have been to AGIMARC

    • I believe the dangerous animal on this planet has expert attached to its name.

    • I just ran some numbers from the raw data on the dhss website. I took the daily positive tests and the number of tests from the first peak starting on March 25 (the first day with double digit positive tests) and going to April 30 for a total of 37 days. I also took the same data from this latest peak starting May 27 and going to June 21 for a total of 26 days.
      During these times the first peak had an average of 2.53% daily positive results on an average of 520 tests with an average of 10 positive results per day. The second and current peak had an average of 0.76% daily positive results on an average 1708 tests with an average of 13.6 positive results per day.
      Clearly more testing is driving these results. But we also know that during the first peak many who had symptoms were not being tested, we also know that many during this peak who have symptoms are not being tested. We can’t say that the results are entirely driven by more testing, but we can say that more people are being tested and there are more positive results being recorded even while the percentage of positive results per test is dropping.

  • show me an “EXPERT” who says masks are the answer to slowing Corona Virus and I will show you 2 experts with as good or better credentials that say mandatory mask wearing is the biggest crock of hog wash, poppy cock and BS that has ever been visited on the American people.

    • Then why have we been doing it for over 100 yrs to combat infection ?

    • I don’t expect there is ANY ” “EXPERT” who says masks are THE [emphasis added] answer to slowing Corona Virus” so why don’t you go ahead and list your experts? I’d like to check their credentials and proclamations for myself.

  • This is enough. If stupid Anchorage and their little tyrant want to mask everyone then let them look ridiculous and like a bunch of sheep. When you see people alone, in their cars, wearing a mask, that tells me they know nothing of how they work. These are scare tactics they are using trying to force the public to bend to their will. This is no longer about the virus. This is 100% control. I refuse to comply. Healthy people do not wear masks.

  • I will not wear a mask. So if they, Mayor and assembly make it mandatory, I will not comply. Arrest me, I will demand a trial by jury, not a law and even if they say it is, then jury nullification. Then I will take to the Feds for a Federal law suit as to violating civil liberties. Hope Anchorage, those assembly members and the Mayor have a lot of money, cause it will be mine!

    • Calm down. You won’t do none of that.

    • Death might very well be an option. Believing the virus won’t get you because you are free looks to me like a good way to get a Darwin.
      Look, I’m a mask skeptic myself. I haven’t seen solid evidence that masks work as well a some health experts say they do, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that they might be somewhat effective. I don’t have any problem with you not wearing a mask, but attributing mask wearing as some sore of sinister attack on your Constitutional rights seems a bit over the top. m You can always shop in The Valley, where it seems only about half the people are wearing them, and the only places they are required are in health care facilities.
      Just don’t go looking for health care there if you need it.

  • Good luck with that, Mayor.

  • I thought this was all about hospitalizations and overloading the medical system? If we aren’t in danger of that, why are we doing any of this?

  • From a purely pragmatic angle mandating masks in public will have exactly the opposite effect. That is, it will totally backfire . And it is unenforceable! Seriously, the police don’t have enough to do already? Right now people have a good will, and attitude toward restrictions, did they protest against the quarantine restrictions for air travel? No. And the restrictions in businesses? No. But this is too much.

  • People in Florida stopped wearing masks and now 4000 a day get sick.

    • They drink water every day too. See the connection?

      • What do you do, skip a day drinking?

    • Hey Greg,
      What are those 4000 a day getting sick from. An overdose of ‘freedom’? The way the wuhan v is classified as the cause of all ills and fatalities is ridiculous. I don’t believe it for one moment. So much false information and conflicting statements and actions are an attempt to suppress the American people. The weasel (fauci) has contradicted himself so many times, nothing he says should be considered as fact. Trump knows this now. The American people know it now. The escalating ‘numbers’ of wuhan v are nothing more than accessories to leftist BS, not fact. I know you recently moved to Florida. If the truth is really in those “numbers”, why don’t you leave Florida? Safer in Alaska? Probably.
      Why do you think “protesters” and rioters are ‘exempt’ from the scare tactics? Leftist BS is why.

      • It is peeps around 30 years old. Probably unmasked protestors. I live isolated in my new RV. Mask up when I go to Walmart.

  • SD, sure would be nice if you acknowledge your poll doesn’t have any statistical validity whatsoever. Funny that you’re SD, and what you ignore is standard deviation. Good times.

  • Not wearing a mask. Berkowitz can go pound sand in a rat hole. There exists zero legal way he can mandate this idiocy.

  • What is Mayor San Francisco going to do when primary school campuses open again in mid-August? Those are our cultures petri dishes. This virus will spread through primary schools like fire being sprayed with a heavy mist of JP-4 jet fuel. Masks? A 6′ rule? Now that right there is hilarious!

    • What ever happened to all the Spring Breakers drinking through buttcrack and party days?

  • I discovered that if I wear one of my MAGA hats (I have seven total in different colors), have my hand cannon holstered and ready to fire, and talk loudly about discrimination against law abiding white Americans, the social distancing is easy to do. I’ve had many heated arguments in stores with radical far left mask wearers.who want to scare other customers. But as long as have the necessary tools for self defense, I’ll stand with President Trump and other freedom fighters. If I owned a store the sign on the front door would say: No masks, no protestors and no liberals allowed. Make sure you have enough ammo to protect family and property when the looters come to your neighborhood because 911 calls for help will not be answered by Mayor Berkowitz’s police force.

  • Calling them “masks” is pejorative.

    Please refer them only to progressives preferred term:


  • No Legal or Constitutional authority to mandare wearing mask if I choose to wear a mask then that is my choice but trying to illegally mandate mask wear will fail miserably in Court.

    • You might want to check what has gone on elsewhere in the country before putting up any hard earned cash.

      • We need to be in lockstep with Newsom, Abbott, DeBlasio? Check yourself before you wreck yourself Mr. Puppet Mayor.

  • Wear a BLM t-shirt a you will be exempt.

  • If Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and Gov Dun mandate face masks, then Alaskans will Never Ever catch the flu or common cold again. They are so smart.
    But there is something I don’t understand Mayor B and Gov. G. When I am wearing my face mask and my glasses fog up…doesn’t that mean my breath is escaping? Please explain how wearing a face mask prevents anything!!!

  • Dunbar is a tyrant. Rumors have it he wants to be the next Anchorage mayor, does anyone want this tyrant in charge?

    “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

    ― Rahm Emanuel

    The tyrants are showing their true colors.

  • With respect, we ask Mayor Berkowitz to withdraw mandatory masking from the table.
    It seems unfair to burden the Berkowitz administration with the singular accomplishment of aiding what history will remember as the greatest, most unpopular American Hoax.
    Why invest such dark effort to find a table (and jails) big enough for mask mandate miscreants, recalls, individual and collective noncompliance, jury trials, jury nullifications, vocal protests, and every other unnecessary, unwanted, unintended consequence of enforcing a grossly unpopular mandate to support a grossly epic hoax
    when the opportunity is here to lead Anchorage’s cultural and economic renaissance?
    What do bums, productive residents, anti-lock-down ralliers, Trump ralliers, anarchists, rioters, arsonists, looters seem to have in common?
    Their ranks aren’t decimated by consequences of mask-free, non socially distant life,
    Dire false predictions notwithstanding, mandatory masks were never, in living memory, “on the table” for any other disease including SARS, AIDS, MERS, Ebola, Bird Flu, measles, chicken pox, Swine Flu, and plain ole yearly flu.
    What changed? Why now?
    … The suspicious timing and number of China flu “outbreaks” in an election year,
    … mainstream media and government officials constantly misleading, lying to people about China flu, knowingly mismanaging (with fatal comsequences) what few options they had do to mitigate China flu, connection of inflated China flu statistics to groups getting more money,
    … government officials and mainstream media’ continuing attempts over 4 years to depose the President, disrupt the economy, demoralize and disenfranchise America’s people,
    … rising China flu stats meaning somebody, some group gets more money, some unelected official, gaggle of unelecteds gets more power, permanent power,
    … and the startling realization that China flu stats may -not- be meant to go down, not with so much money at stake, not with so much power to be seized –and held– by government officials, not with consequential national elections coming up.
    Recall Rahm Emmanuel’s “never allow a good crisis go to waste”… this is a perfect crisis, no?
    Perfect, because, like global warming, it seems engineered to drag on forever. Why? Nobody, in or out of government, knows which statistic, which unelected official’s permission is required –or acceptable– before productive Americans will be permitted, however temporarily, to reclaim their lives and rebuild their economy.
    In other words, global warming by consensus didn’t work well, so now we get epidemiology by consensus?
    Epidemiology, Saul Alinsky style, “Pick the target, freeze it, —personalize it—, and polarize it.”?
    Who wants to be remembered for that? Where does it stop? Who stops it, constituents who decide, no mas? Who wants to be remembered for such turmoil?
    Mr. Mayor, seems like we have our fair share of natural earthquakes, landslides already…
    Pretty sure starting a great big social earthquake, landslide, drafting everybody into the Masked Avengers Army, risking an onslaught of zombies wearing “Trump 2020” masks, is a really bad idea, but very sure it’s not your idea because you’re way better than that.
    If nothing else, just remember: herd immunity-good; herd mentality- not so good.
    Rav todot…

  • Who the hell goes to Los Anchorage these days anyhow? To hell with Anchorage and its two-bit Mussolini Mayor.

    • I go there a lot less than I used to. I was there today and driving in on the Glenn I saw more police cars shaking down Valley commuters than ever before. Apparently APD is looking for easy marks to pull over instead of looking for real criminals. And who can blame them. They’ll be thrown under the bus by leftist Berkowitz and the leftist assembly should any harm come to a resisting criminal. I predict crime in Anchorage is going to go way higher as the Ferguson Effect keeps the police out of high crime areas like Mt. View and Fairview and out on the Glenn, where the likelihood of a negative encounter is much lower.

    • Amazing,…..The virtue signaling and compliance in lockstep with Newsom and Abbott…….🤡🤡

  • Virtually ALL of the experts, and especially those pushing masks, stress the point that social distancing is the most important part and a mask DOES NOT replace social distancing. Not touching your face and washing your hands are also very important. If you choose to wear a mask there is a procedure in how to don and doff the mask, virtually NOBODY follows the correct procedure for donning and doffing their masks which makes the wearing of a mask MORE dangerous than not wearing one.
    Add to that when the “experts” talk about wearing masks the words “may”, “possibly”, “probably”, “can”, and “might” are littered throughout what they say. Needless to say the words “may”, “possibly”, “probably”, “can”, and “might” are not definitive words…”experts” should be definitive in what they say or what they say isn’t the definitive word on the matter.

  • The mask people are wearing do not protect you from getting the virus!
    You will need the N-95 resp. Mask to be protected!!
    If you feel safer then go ahead mask up!
    But just because you are afraid and have fallen for this crap… don’t expect everyone else to do the same!
    Ask yourself this more people in America have died due to the Flu. Did you wear a mask this last flu season??
    Hmm bet not!!!

  • Thank you Megan Mazurek at KTVA for pressing the Mandate for Face Masks in Anchorage. KTVA has an agenda with their Voting segment to push issues in favor of Mayor B.
    Megan…if you want Alaskans to wear face masks begin with yourself, and wear one to cover that face of yours during your studio broadcast!!!
    Mazurek and KTVA are an extension of Mayor B.

  • “progressives” is another word for socialist/communists. Call them for what they really are and quit sugar coating it.

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