Rep. Zulkosky: It's not enough to recommend masks, they must be mandated by governor - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, June 24, 2021
HomePoliticsRep. Zulkosky: It’s not enough to recommend masks, they must be mandated by governor

Rep. Zulkosky: It’s not enough to recommend masks, they must be mandated by governor

The Left is turning up the pressure for a statewide mask mandate in Alaska.

Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, who chairs the House Health and Social Services Committee, wrote this week that Gov. Mike Dunleavy should enact a universal mask mandate, and not leave it up to local communities. It’s been an ongoing theme with the Bethel Democrat, who recently wrote again on the topic, stating that simply asking Alaskans to do the right thing is not enough.

Alaskans won’t wear masks voluntarily, was the message. There have to be legal consequences if they don’t.

“It has become abundantly clear that simply asking people to do something, when you have the legal authority to save lives and the capacity of our medical system, is not leadership. It has not flattened the curve of COVID-19′s spread in Alaska. We need decisive action, taken now, to protect our public health and our economy. Alaskans are worth it,” she wrote in the Anchorage Daily News.

“As Alaska grapples with a record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases week after week, increasing hospitalizations that strain our state’s medical capacity and we continue to witness unnecessary loss of life, failure to enact statewide protective measures that mitigate harm to Alaskans on the promise of a future vaccine is nothing short of negligence,” Zulkosky wrote.

She also wants the governor to reinstate capacity limits in buildings and enact other economy-killing restrictions.

Dunleavy has stated that these mandates are best left to local governments, but he has recently reinstated some travel restrictions and travel testing requirements to protect villages from the import of the virus by those visiting Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Masks are mandated in Anchorage at the local level, as they are in many communities.

Since the coronavirus appeared in Alaska in March, 24,419 Alaskans have tested positive for the virus and 99 deaths have been attributed to it, a death rate of less than 1/2 of 1%. 129 Alaskans are currently hospitalized because of serious conditions caused by the virus. During the summer, the number hospitalized was below 10. Overall, 584 Alaskans have been hospitalized for treatment, sometimes because their oxygen levels had dropped or they had become dehydrated, at other times because they developed serious complications and needed a ventilator.

Zulkosky has held several hearings on COVID-19 over the past few months, and her conclusion that a statewide mandate on masks is needed has been unwavering.

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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

  • Hey Tiffany, what is going to be? Tribal sovereignty or government control? It seems you only want the Governor to “control and dictate” the things that YOU want. What if he were to say, “there is a mask mandate and a curfew in BETHEL only”. Would you then be in agreement? I doubt it. Why don’t you get with your tribal leaders and slam your area shut and ruin what economy that you have left in your region. The rest of us will wear our masks in public and live our lives.
    And, you indicate there “has to be legal consequences?” You must be joking. There aren’t legal consequences for people looting my property, crapping in the streets (none of these folks where masks by the way, and would never have “legal consequences” if there is a Governor’s mandate), panhandling, shooting up in the streets, etc. etc. etc.
    And, since when did you or anyone else listen to the Governor? Is this the final attempt to get the Governor to shred the last of his constitutional values and crawl into the left’s tent? I don’t think so. At least I hope he doesn’t.

    • well said

    • One way to get this under control is to have a 2-week lock down and I mean lock down except for emergencies.Then anybody coming in to Alaska will go straight to a quarantine are for two weeks period no exceptions. Them we could chase down the outbreaks and deal with them. Yes would not be fun but we could get back to some sense of normalcy. We would have to continue the 2-week quarantine coming into Alaska but the state could open up. This is reaching we could cover everybody s income with some PFD money. I normally would not propose this but this virus is going to be with us for a very long time. The vaccination cure all will be slow to roll out and it does not help 100% of the population and we do not know if it works for the long run.

      • That could end or control it pretty fast but good luck getting a hard-core lockdown in place (or enforced) in independent-minded Alaska. Too many believe its either fake news or not serious.

      • Would not lock it down. I worked an isolated site with no one coming or going and the first five cases popped 6 weeks in. Birds, dogs and other animals carry it. Asymptomatic people carry it. It is out there, 99.99% minor for most. For those at risk we need to protect and for the rest we need to return to work.

      • Right, the lockdowns worked so very well in March and April., right? And it was only supposed to be for a couple weeks, right? Yet here we are 9 months later contemplating doing the same thing again.

        One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing time after time hoping for a different outcome.

        OTOH, there are some very effective things you can do: keep your vitamin D levels up, take zinc supplements, and look into the use of UVC (currently used to sanitize hospitals, mass transit, and airliner cabins) to sanitize air volumes in buildings and rooms with high ceilings. They can also be installed in HVAC systems. Not too expensive.

        There has been a remarkable lack of vision and imagination on the side of the COVID-porn crowd. Time to try something different. Cheers –

        • We have not had a true lockdown. If everybody kept their distance from each other that would help a lot.

  • If masks worked, the people wearing them wouldn’t be getting the virus. A more ridiculous premise has never been put forth in my lifetime and I have seen some pretty ridiculous things.

    • As I understand your logic: (1) wearing masks is not 100% perfect, (2) therefore, don’t bother earing masks. This is a fallacious argument. Just because something is not 100% effective does not mean it is 0% effective. Wearing a seat belt does not guarantee a person will survive a car accident, but it does increase the odds of survival. The same is true about wearing masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. When all people wear a mask (both infected and those not infected) the transfer of particles declines more then 70%. Nothing in life is perfect or guaranteed. But masks increase our odds of survival.

      • Condoms are 98% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies. Just because the effectiveness is not 100% doesn’t mean you should stop using them.

  • Good luck people will not comply.

  • If masks keep us safe then people who refuse to wear one are only risking their own health.
    “It’s not like viruses can travel through cotton therefor the masked should be safe.” How stupid does one have to be to accept such flawed logic?
    I know America’s IQ has dropped in the last couple decades but this is a new low.
    It’s sillier than the official 9/11 story, ridiculous.
    The Emperor’s clothes look wonderful!

    • Where can I send you an application for The Flat Earth Society lifetime membership?

    • Are you being serious? Do you really not know the facts? The primary reason to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 from an infected person to a non-infective person. So an infected person who chooses not to wear a mask, is not putting himself or herself at risk. Rather they are putting a potentially vulnerable, uninfected person. How would you feel if you were infected and transferred the virus to your grandma, simply because you did not wear a mask?

  • Honestly, reality has escaped the urban population in Alaska.
    Anchorage has had mask mandates for months yet their rate of infection is through the roof?
    If masks worked so well, then why is the virus continuing to spread so fast in their city?
    The only reason that the left is trying to force their virtue signaling on the rural population of the state is because this is the first step towards requiring a mandatory vaccination for the population.
    Many of us chose to live a quarter mile away from our neighbors to enjoy the solitude of the last great state in the union.
    All these posturing politicos are doing is further dividing the rural & urban populations in our state, as now we see who are the real enemies of our personal freedom.

    • You are so right. I suspect doctors and medical staff only wear masks in sterile environments because the muffled sound of their voice sounds more professional. Like an airplane pilot over the intercom. What else you got Steve? Any other big conspiracies you can unravel for us?

    • Your logic makes absolutely no sense. Your conclusion is missing one very important premise. The missing premise is the number of people wearing a mask all of the time while out in public. Too many people are violating the mandate to make any conclusion about the efficacy of wearing masks. Your conclusion would only be credible if all Anchorage citizens always wore a mask, all of the time, and the number of Covid-19 still increases at a rapid rate.

  • The answer to COVID-1984 is 1776! Believe me you don’t wanna be the bureaucrat or Gestapo agent who tries to enforce a “Mask Law” on me.

    • I’m with you, Mongo. It seems that government of the people, by the people and for the people has been swapped for government over the people. 1776 is indeed the remedy for that!

  • Why would this woman be able to recognize leadership if she tripped over it? In her community everything is handed down from the government; PCE, Indian Health Service, SNAP, WIC, and on and on. A few generations of that and self-reliance, perhaps even the ability to think, is destroyed. And how could she know anything about any economy? Leadership on her part would be demanding that the IHS offer Covid therapies and testing for all Alaskans, not just those who are at least 1/32 of a certain bloodline. On the specific point of mandates, Bethel is the very best example of how decisions need to be local; that region has a huge Covid problem but the Lake & Pen region has none, so a statewide mandate would be completely misplaced. I think that someone can be elected, rather than be appointed or hired, and still be a PM. What do you think?

  • These people will feel sorry for themselves when Socialism finally changes to its Communist features. Native communities already been living under socialistic conditions, so they cant tell the difference any longer between Socialism and Communism. Eventually, communism will run out of other peoples money, and it wont be pretty. Socialism is what happens when people replace God with Government security and stability. They trust the government a little too much for their own security and safety, then the people are left in a wake of heartaches.

    • Can you even define what socialism is? I don’t think so. Prove me wrong.

  • Does anyone else notice that those communities in Alaska that have mask mandates also have the highest infection rates?

    • Yeah, you think it has to do with population density?

      • Has to do with phony testing procedures and fear mongering, they never say how many false positive tests come back when they do a village and come back with a hundred cases.

    • So true I’ve been saying this for months. Never have worn a mask been living my life and going out, having fun with friends, none wear masks and guess what, no one I know has had this virus or at least if they have they didn’t know. I take care of myself and have always washed my hands regularly, and by the way I’m over 70. Just try to enforce a mandate on me and my friends it won’t be pretty.

      • Thank you Jan for your Earned wisdom, I’m with you. 2 thumbs up.

  • Let’s take this to the next level: I call on the purported President-elect, Mr. Biden, to step in and order everyone in the nation to wear a mask. He’s a tough guy; let’s see how tough. Why waste time with a Governor? I want the Left to own this. (And show me the science, btw.)

  • The places that have been the most aggressive about lockdowns and forced masks are experiencing large outbreaks. Masks don’t work.

    But considering how spineless our Governor is, he’ll probably cave.

    The “party of science” ignores one simple fact. 99% of people who get Covid DONT DIE. If she really wants to save lives, close liquor stores and ban cars. But that might be inconvenient.

    • Ban tobacco and MJ..

  • I am glad there are a lot of folks who agree with me on th mask issue

  • Just put a rabbit’s foot in your pocket. Just as effective as a mask.

  • The governor is, I think wisely, allowing each city and borough decide. Local governance. It’s a thing. A rare thing, but a rare thing.. even more rare? A chief executive of a state, any state, that recognizes that.

  • Makes me happy that all the previous comments have beat me to the punch.

  • Just another democrat (communist) working collectively with other democrats (communists) in cratering a capitalistic society. Masks don’t work. Never worked, but remember- “it’s for your safety” (did we not hear that from TSA after 911..?) . No, I’ll take freedom over mandates and “emergency orders”.

  • Yet another study, that’s just come out, the Danish Study has shown that masks are not effective! There’s no difference in whether you get the virus if you’re wearing a mask or not. Wake up people!!! Do you not see what’s happening? Wearing a mask reduces us as faceless people. It silences is into submission. Keeps us living in fear. This is only the beginning of the tyranny about to unfold. Again I say wake up!!!

    • The Danish study has many flaws, as even its own researcher acknowledge. For instance, some of the participants did not wear their masks all of the time. While wearing masks is not a perfect solution, it is silly to say they are not effective.

  • Tiff, stuff your mask mandate.
    Who knows what your ineffectual “House Health and Social Services Committee” or its “Chair” were doing when CDC awarded Alaska –top– prizes for TB, chlamydia, and suicides, or when AG Barr had to visit Alaska to find out why –in your neighborhood– people are so mean to each other.
    Your crew’s that ineffectual, we wonder what good a “House Health and Social Services Committee” ever was, what terrible thing’ll happen if it disappeared.
    Now you want our Governor D. to be your errand boy.
    You want our Governor D. to make us wear masks because -you know- you don’t have what it takes to persuade your House of Representatives to make us wear masks or tie mask-mandates to some sort of revenue sharing.
    But, it’s not about masks is it, Tiff? It’s about your very own once-in-a-lifetime chance to grab and keep control of our behavior and, ruthless cynic yourself, use our manufactured fear of China flu to do it.
    All in, Tiff? Panting, sweating at the thought of ascending from American representative to American Ruler, a veritable American Caesar-ette, yes?
    Remember, Tiff, a representative can be re-elected, but a ruler will be overthrown.
    Happens eventually, in any culture, even yours…
    Tiff, kindly stuff your mask mandate.
    Go back to doing whatever you did for your buyers, but leaving productive residents the hell alone before it’s totally too late to realize what you grabbed –and can’t let go of– was not a woke lifetime’s opportunity, but a woke grizzly’s tail.
    To Governor D., thank you, Sir, for ignoring Tiff’s trash and paying just a bit of attention to our own.

  • If the governors carry on with this taking of your rights and liberties, it’s all over. Masks now, masks forever.

  • If she is so concerned about saving people’s lives, why not one single word advising them how to improve their metabolic health?
    Seems obvious that she is feigning concern just to push her totalitarian agenda…..control over the masses.
    Concern troll is concerned.
    When there are randomly controlled trials proving that wearing the face diaper makes no difference in whether or not you catch the Kung Fu, that MSM outlets refuse to publish, then you know this mask hysteria isn’t medical but political.
    If them wearing a mask works, then why are they wetting themselves and screaming in terror when they see me without one?

  • If masks were only mandated when they are likely to have some effect – like on crowded public transport or in crowded indoor spaces with little ventilation (like your own house when people are there) it might make some sense even though you wouldn’t do it but you are not going to catch anything from briefly passing a stranger outside (or in an uncrowded grocery for that matter) so it would be pointless. Masks do not provide enough protection in close contact for extended periods in poorly ventilated indoor spaces and are unnecessary outside and in well ventilated uncrowded indoor spaces. What little protection they do provide requires that they be properly constructed, fitted, worn and cared for (and disposed of). If you feel protected by wearing a mask or seeing everyone in a mask, you are mistaken. You were either never at risk or in a situation where you still are.

    • Although I agree with much of what you just said – masks are indeed to simply protect others, not the wearer. It is a shield – the same as covering a cough or sneeze, keeping droplets from entering the air. Hence if one does have Covid 19 and doesn’t know it, if they are wearing a mask it lessens the chance they could transmit to another person simply by lessening any droplets from entering the air. It is also why surgeons wear masks, keeping droplets that could potentially carry microbes that might endanger the patient, away from the said patient. Masks work, but really are not necessary except in crowded or one on one close contact situations. With that said though, we do not need government making us don a mask.

  • I can’t understand why you’d want to continue to politicize this thing.
    A virus, any virus, doesn’t care whether your political beliefs are left, right or center; your color white, green, brown or red, you’re male or female, young or old, American, Chinese, Dutch etc,; Catholic. Protestant, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, agnostic or atheist. In fact it doesn’t “care” at all, it doesn’t think or plan who its next target may be. It is an equal opportunity enemy. It is not even a living entity. It is simply just a tiny bit of chemical material capable of adhering to, entering and taking over the reproductive machinery of a cell, a human’s (or other critter’s) cell, and reprogram it to reproduce the virus itself. After several days, five to seven on average in the case of the virus causing COVID-19, this makes the human sick, may kill or damage it for life. The infected human obliges by spewing out more copies of the virus when it breaths, coughs, sneezes, etc.. This virus doesn’t have legs, wings, ride on bicycles or in cars buses, planes or trains. It is carried in the air in a manner governed by the laws of physics until it falls to the ground or is picked up on another human to be spread to other humans. It rides humans, to be picked up by other humans; often times before it even gets sick, while still “pre-symptomatic.”. They go about their business passing virus particles on to friends, neighbors, family, strangers – anyone they come close to or in contact with. This is like the chain reaction of a nuclear explosion. Masks do work to lessen the numbers of virus particles a human spews out or breaths in – just not 100%, Masks on both sides work better (probabilities multiply – you did learn that in high school, eh?). Social distancing works; six feet is minimal, nine and twelve even better – again not 100%, washing hands works, avoiding crowded venues works. Do some honest research, forget what you believe or want to be true; get the facts represented by current scientific understanding – the peer reviewed literature is growing rapidly. Alaska may be just getting started, but if we all don’t pull together (as we did when Japan bombed pearl Harbor in 1941) to stop spreading this virus around the consequences are sure to be more severe than if we do.
    In the words of Schultz’s omniscient o’possum, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    • Go find God. your soul is dead while your body is waiting for the physical death. Go find God. You are sprouting off non sense while your friends are dying by suicide. I just left a store passing by over 60 dying souls like yours. Your fear is killing you.

    • I appreciate your sincerity, but not your miss-placed faith in the CDC guidelines. They do not work against the virus. In fact they have prolonged the epidemic, if anything. Good medicine is to prevent using those immune enhancing medicinals and supplements we all should be using. Second, the use of Hydroxychloroquine should be widespread and readily available This medicine, which is nearly 100% effective, is over the counter in many countries. Why is this not happening. Only 9 states even permit Hydroxy, and Alaska is one of them. This is a bona fide cure promoted by America’s Frontline Doctors. It is the criminal what the CDC and Medical Establishment is doing. They are literally killing us. Masks on the other hand are every good at hiding people’s identities, and making them faceless entities. Socially this is devastating. Economically it is ruining our small businesses. When you finally get it, it will be like night and day. The Global-Left is now poised to foist upon us a very dubious vaccine. And they can make it mandatory, if there is no bona fide cure… Shutting down America is the Goal of the New World Order, it’s call the Great Reset. Masks, social distancing, lockdowns, mass testing, contact tracing, and ultimately the vaccine are part of the Agenda, and it’s not a medical one. Use the real cures when people are sick. They don’t need to go to the hospital to be treated.

      • You need to actually look at the reality of respiratory virus action and transmission, Andrew. It’s physics and chemistry mediated by human behavior. Erase your confirmation bias and examine the scientific literature. You, will be surprised if you can manage that chore.

        • It has to do with reduced immune system efficacy due to perpetual mask wearing. Wearing masks for so many hours a day results in oxygen deficiency, and CO2 overload as well. This whole drama, exacerbated by the propaganda surrounding it, is creating a lot of anxiety in people, and as we all know, stress, too, can make you susceptible to illness. It’s like a perfect storm to instill panic in the gullible, and bring about more government control over our lives.

          • References to the peer reviewed science on health effects of mask use, please? There should be a voluminous body of same since surgeons and all other OR personnel have been wearing masks for hours per day for many decades. They must all be zombies from carbon dioxide poisoning and oxegen deprivation.- completely messed up..
            You’re welcome to apply your thoughts to your own behavior should you every need to be treated in such a facility by such a damaged collection of personnel.
            No one is saying most people need to wear a mask 24/7 – essentially only when engaged in activities which present a danger of exposure to or from others or oneself. No one is expecting or suggesting this will be a permanent feature of American life.

            If, in the late 1930s and 1940s, Americans had behaved the way some of us are now Germany and Japan might have won the second World War. Are you old enough to remember the sacrifices we were asked to endure back then?

  • The quickest way to cure the covid problem on the YK Delta is too launch a full investigation into Zulkoski’s boss, Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
    The old saying, ” follow the money” could never be truer.

    What’s going on out here with YKHC’s billing policies should have a long list of YKHC executives in the State penitentiary.

    Buck up Governor, you’re not going to get more than 33% of the votes out here, no matter how much free stuff you throw out here.

    Don’t believe me, check out Gov. Parnell.

    • Willy, might I remind you that Darren Deacon ran a shoe-string campaign against Zulkosky two years ago and got 41% of the vote. She is vulnerable and is just grandstanding now.
      I agree with your assessment of follow the money.
      This is a scamdemic – the fear mongering is entirely political at this point. When we didn’t know much about this thing, a political reaction was warranted – but now that we “know” so much more, all we are able to do is political manipulation? Yeah, the disease is real, but not as bad as feared. The only way this virus will be “stopped” is for everyone to get it or resistance to it via vaccine. Big Pharma is drooling – but no one is talking about possible side effects. I’m sick of disruption and prevarications.
      I love this discussion – many of you beat me to my opinions. Gov Mike, stand tall.

  • Rep Zulkosky – I have had no problem donning a mask as needed or when a private business has asked me to do so. I do not need the government telling me how to do that. How dare you tell me I am not able to make a common sense decision. I also cover my mouth when I cough and my nose when I sneeze. No government assistance there either. Amazing. But given our public school system has spent decades teaching students not to think but simply accept being told, I do somewhat understand your confusion.

  • Why isn’t tiffany wearing a mask in that picture? Shame! Do as I say, not as I do, I guess. Like many others, I was forced to take a wuhan flu test while traveling INSIDE Alaska. We wouldn’t receive our results for two weeks, meanwhile we are going here and there, possibly spreading the virus like Typhoid Mary! This whole thing is a boondoggle. And I never did receive the results to my test.

  • Search for ‘Association of Country-wide Coronavirus Mortality with Demographics, Testing, Lockdowns, and Public Wearing of Masks’ for the history of effectiveness of mask wearing and subsequent cv mortality per capita. Countries where mask wearing is essentially custom have had essentially no deaths per capita. You may be surprised at the difference between early recommendation to wear masks and waiting ’til after 60 days of pandemic in a country e..g. the USA where we’re at 779 with only ten countries higher.

  • “The weight of evidence we examined from both historical and modern analyses of the 1918 influenza pandemic favors a scenario in which viral damage followed by bacterial pneumonia led to the vast majority of deaths,” says co-author NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “In essence, the virus landed the first blow while bacteria delivered the knockout punch.” August 13, 2008 NIH

    Bacteria builds up on masks not regularly cleaned (most masks).

  • It’s called community spread folks and it is happening weather you believe in masks or not. It is happening with or without restrictions and lockdowns. We always knew this would happen, we should not be alarmed. Particularly in light of a 99.95 percent recovery rate by infected individuals. We locked down initially to flatten the curve to allow healthcare providers to ramp up in anticipation of the community spread that is now naturally occurring. The problem with that strategy is that hospitals are for profit businesses that rely on operating at close to maximum capacity on a regular basis. This is the same formula that EVERY successful business employs. With so many folks trying to get procedures done before the end of the insurance year and hospitals not wanting to miss out on all that “business” we are told that our healthcare system could be overrun. We can’t have it both ways. Small businesses should not be put out of business because of the healthcare business model. If the government can mandate small for profit business closures then they should also mandate that hospitals forego their business plans to address the pandemic so they are not overrun with COVID patients. Again, we can’t have it both ways. So which is it going to be?

  • “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

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