Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Should Businesses That Allow Non-Mask Wearers On The Premises Be Sued When People Contract COVID-19?


The Starbucks in this story was in Paju, Korea but it could just as easily have been at a Starbucks in Spring Branch (Houston), Annandale (Virginia) or Palisades Park in Bergen County-- or in a Stabucks that has nothing to do with anyone with any Korean heritage at all. It's another tragic story from the Age of the Trump Virus. The basics should be all too familiar by now: After a woman with the coronavirus visited a Starbucks this month, more than two dozen patrons tested positive days later. But the four mask-wearing employees escaped infection. "With health authorities around the world still debating the evidence around face masks, the 27-person cluster linked to the air-conditioned coffee outlet adds more support for their mandatory use to help limit the spread of the Covid-19-causing virus."

Mississippi became the 34th state with a mandatory mask policy earlier this month. It's not enforced and means nothing at all. States without mandatory mask policies-- along with how many cases per million residents:
Florida- 28,192 cases per million Floridians, 2nd worst in America
Arizona- 27,377 cases per million Arizonans, 3rd worst in America
Georgia- 24,135 cases per million Georgians, 5th worst in America
South Carolina- 21,860 cases per million residents
Tennessee- 21,174 cases per million residents
Iowa- 18,152 cases per million residents
Idaho- 16,826 cases per million residents
Nebraska- 16,567 cases per million residents
Utah- 15,398 cases per million residents
Oklahoma- 13,690 cases per million residents
North Dakota- 13,423 cases per million residents
South Dakota- 13,005 cases per million residents
Missouri- 12,520 cases per million residents
Alaska- 6,575 cases per million residents
Wyoming- 6,225 cases per million residents
New Hampshire- 5,247 cases per million residents

Each of these states has a Republican governor who would rather listen to trump than public health experts. And just for comparison's sake, Spain, the European country hit worst by the pandemic, has less than 9,051 cases per million. And in South Korea, where the first cases was reported at around the same time as the U.S.'s first case and where new Starbucks outbreak is causing a national freakout, there are just 350 cases per million residents. 350-- no commas. Compare that number to these U.S. counties' new cases just yesterday:
Los Angeles- 1,198
Harris (TX)- 784
Sacramento- 815
Riverside (CA)- 800
Miami-Dade- 773
Hidalgo (TX)- 675
Ft Bend (TX)- 606
Meanwhile, the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. all require masks on their premises regardless of state mandates:
Walmart- 5,355 stores
Amazon/Whole Foods- 564 stores
Kroger- 3,003 stores
Costco- 542 stores
Walgreens- 9,168 stores
Home Depot- 1,973 stores
CVS- 9,909 stores
Target- 1,868 stores
Lowe's- 1,727 stores
Albertson's (including Safeway and Vons)- 2,258 stores
Let me go back to the unwritten GOP platform on the pandemic: "Coronavirus is a much-overhyped problem. It’s not that dangerous and will soon burn itself out. States should reopen their economies as rapidly as possible, and accept the ensuing casualties as a cost worth paying-- and certainly a better trade-off than saving every last life by shutting down state economies. Masking is useless and theatrical, if not outright counterproductive."

On Tuesday, NPR's James Dawson reported that "In Boise, the first day of Idaho's special legislative session erupted into chaos before it began. Dozens of unmasked protesters, some of them armed, shoved their way past state troopers to pack the gallery overlooking the state's House of Representatives. The clash was a manifestation of the anger and frustration from a vocal minority of far-right Idahoans that has been compounding over the last several months as the state has navigated its reopening amid the pandemic. To enforce social distancing, the gallery area above the House chamber was restricted with limited seating. But after the confrontation with state troopers, which resulted in the shattering of a glass door, Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke relented and allowed protesters to fill every seat."

Idaho is in the midst of a COVID-explosion, centered on Boise, the state capital. There were 217 new cases yesterday, bringing the state's total to 30,070, which doesn't sound like a lot-- until you realize that's 16,826 cases per million Idahoans, a gigantic number, more than double the rate in Italy and France combined!
The group of protesters included supporters of a far-right militia and anti-vaccine advocates who were at the Idaho Capitol to demand an end to the current state of emergency and blast a proposal that would limit civil liability for businesses, schools and governments.

The bill would also open up those entities to litigation if they don't follow laws and ordinances, including mask mandates issued by public health districts.

"The insanity of this bill is beyond me," said Boise resident Pam Hemphill, during a committee hearing Monday afternoon. "We don't stop our lives, suspend our civil rights and panic each year for the flu."
These people are like rapid dogs threatening to infect the rest of society because they are mentally intellectually incapable of understanding the most basic tenets of epidemiology and consider themselves experts because they read Q-Anon on the internet. What do you do to a rabid dog? Sorry.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, called the legislature into special session last week to take up civil liability issues as well as election concerns from county clerks. They want to be able to count the massive influx of absentee ballots earlier than they can now under state law and have the option to consolidate polling locations to deal with an extreme shortage of poll workers.

The special session is also the result of months of intense pressure and blowback from Little's own party.

One state lawmaker referred to the governor as "Little Hitler" after he ordered the shutdown of nonessential businesses in late March. His lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, who is elected separately and has ties to militia groups, has openly challenged Little's reopening push by visiting businesses that flouted those timelines and welcomed customers back earlier than allowed.

And legislators pressured Little to relinquish control over the state's coronavirus response to regional public health districts, even threatening to come after his executive authority in the future if he didn't comply.

Still, most Idahoans appear to stand by Little. An effort to recall the governor over the summer failed, and three-quarters of registered Idaho voters polled in May supported his handling of the pandemic.
Idaho's rabid dogs have a leader: Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin (R), who is badly in need of psychiatric intervention. When she began her anti-mask crusade last spring, Idaho only had 1,374 cases per million residents. McGeachin, a militia lunatic, should be held responsible for her part in mass murder. But... hey, it's Idaho and if she's on the ballot in 2022, she'll probably be elected. She owns a bar in Idaho Falls, the Celt Pub and Grill which doesn't require masks. I asked one of the employees to describe it to me in terms of the pandemic and he told me the employees where masks but most of the customers don't and acknowledged that most of them are "conspiracy folks" who are hostile towards mask wears who wander in. He said it wasn't specifically McGeachin's fault as much as it is about the people who live in Idaho Falls, which is Idaho's second largest city the county seat for Bonneville County. Hillary only took 20.2% of the vote there in 2016 and the "blue wave" of 2018 didn't reach the county at all. The Little/McGeachin ticket won with 66.6% and the county performed at an R+46 level for Rep. Mike Simpson.

And speaking of idiots, remember the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota a couple of weeks ago? Forbes reported that "More than 70 coronavirus cases diagnosed in seven states across the West and Midwest have been linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which attracted more than 460,000 vehicles over a 10-day period earlier this month, and at least one state health official expects this is just the start of cases linked to the event." Over two dozen were in neighboring Minnesota and the state's director of infectious diseases, Kris Ehresmann said that "Unfortunately, I think this is just the beginning of the cases we will see from Sturgis." I thought it was interesting that the Republican-controlled city council approved the event, even though 60% of the residents of Sturgis opposed it. So far this week (Monday and Tuesday) South Dakota has reported 229 new cases, brining the state's total to 11,505 or 13,005 cases per million South Dakotans.

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, classic idiot

Labels: , , , , ,


At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you think Congress wants to push through a law exempting businesses from liability?


Post a Comment

<< Home