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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Biden v. Coronavirus: Orders Are Redundant and Further Impede America

On his first day in office, Joe Biden revealed his plan to combat the coronavirus, warning Americans that the worst is yet to come. 

“Let me be clear,” he said. “Things are going to continue to get worse before they get better.” 

Biden signed 10 executive orders pertaining to the virus, beginning with a national vaccination campaign to inoculate 50 million Americans. 

He also emphasized the need for face masks and, though a president cannot dictate what individual states must do, the “100 Days Masking Challenge” requires federal offices and lands to mask up and encourages states to do the same. Facial coverings will also now be required on trains, planes, vessels and intercity busses. 

Another executive order he signed will enhance the nation’s collection, production, sharing and analysis of virus data. 

However, when looking at the data, some of these policies are redundant, unnecessary and will only impede our nation further. 

One example is Florida. 

Gov. Ron Desantis has faced criticism from lawmakers across the country for not mandating masks in the Sunshine State, and allowing the economy to open earlier than other states. 

But, DeSantis said states that remain in lockdown are doing worse. 

“So I  hear people say, ‘Oh, well, Florida is open, and they’re having increased cases,’” DeSantis said. “Well, okay, the states that are locked down are increasing at twice the rate we are. If you look at the per capita cases, in a lot of these states that have closed schools, businesses shuttered, some of them even post stay-at-home orders there, you see a huge increase in these cases.” 

Compared to other states, Florida is doing relatively well. 

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Florida is reporting significantly less cases than states with the strictest coronavirus requirements like Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan and California.

On December 1, per 100,000 residents, Minnesota reported 102; New Mexico reported 88; Michigan reported 69; California reported 37; and Florida reported 32. 

In terms of death rates, Florida also reported significantly less than states with the strictest regulations. 

On December 1, per 10 million, New Mexico reported 115; Minnesota reported 81; Michigan reported 89; and Florida reported 31. 

Additionally, Biden’s executive order requiring passengers to wear face coverings during interstate travel is redundant, as airlines already require masks and ban passengers who don’t comply. 

Thus far, nearly 3,000 passengers have been banned from Delta, United, Frontier, Spirit, JetBlue, Alaska, Hawaiin and Allegiant airlines, according to USA Today. However, the number is likely much higher since American and Southwest don’t reveal how many passengers they have banned. 

And studies suggest that flying is a relatively lower-risk activity due to the high-quality air filtration on airplanes.

To get scientific, planes have what are known as high-efficiency particulate air filters. H.E.P.A is a designation describing filters that can trap 99.97 percent of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size, according to the New York Times.  

While masks can help lessen the transmission, leaving it up to the airlines was sufficient, just like leaving it up to the states to decide. 

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