Horowitz: North Dakota House passes bill blocking localities, schools from mandating masks

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Why did God give Republicans an 80-14 majority in the North Dakota House? Because with so many liberal Republicans, they need every last one just to get a majority behind the right to breathe freely without government criminalizing our breath with medieval superstitious rituals, such as mandated covering with a Chinese face burka.

The bad news is that 30 Republicans voted to allow localities to mandate mask-wearing. The good news is that Republicans still had a 50-44 majority to pass a new law barring local governments from criminalizing human breathing and appearance without a mask.

H.B. 1323, sponsored by Reps. Jeff Hoverson and Jeffrey Magrum, would prohibit a state or local elected official from forcing an individual to use a face covering or make such a covering a condition for entry, education, employment, or services. This bill would presumably bar local school boards from forcing children in school to wear masks.

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This bill is very important, because even though 12 states currently don’t have a statewide mask mandate, many localities still require them, and it’s almost impossible to find a school district that doesn’t mandate them on children, despite the evidence against both the efficacy of masks and the threat of children spreading the virus.

The bill was given a “do not pass” recommendation by a 9-5 vote in the political subdivisions committee, but in North Dakota, every bill still gets a vote on the floor. It appears that some of those members understood that they were being watched. House Speaker Kim Koppelman, assistant majority leader Scott Louser, and caucus leader Glenn Bosch all voted for the bill.

The bill now moves on to the Senate, where it’s sponsored by Sen. Oley Larsen and will likely get a hearing next month. The chairman of the Senate Political Subdivisions Committee happens also to be the Senate president pro tempore, Randy Burckhard. Republicans have a 40-7 majority in that chamber, but many are known to be somewhat liberal, so conservatives will have to work this vote hard if they want it to pass it.

Gov. Doug Burgum has declined to comment on the mask bill. He implemented a mask mandate on Nov. 14, but allowed it to expire on Jan. 18. As in every other state, there was zero evidence of any efficacy of that mandate. North Dakota suffered from a sharp winter curve because the state had little prevalence of the virus and therefore weak immunity headed into the fall surge. The virus rose and fell with the collapse of the winter curve everywhere else, and the relaxation of the mandate has not stopped the decline.

Despite South Dakota never having a mask mandate and having fewer restrictions than North Dakota, South Dakota actually had slightly fewer cases.

The northern latitude states out West seemed to have the exact same curve, despite different responses and varying population densities.

Clearly, the mask-wearing is a charade and, as the FDA says on its website until this very day, does not work for airborne-transmitted viruses, only to “block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter,” which is not the primary transmission method of the virus. The FDA also says, “Surgical masks are not intended to be used more than once,” guidance rarely abided by as a result of the mask mandate.

Montana’s House of Representatives recently passed a similar bill, HB 257, which would block localities from implementing this inhumane mandate among other restrictions on businesses. That bill passed by a much larger margin, 66-34, because only one Republican voted against it.

Generally speaking, Republican legislators across the country have been shockingly tepid about repealing these mandates, despite the lack of evidence of their efficacy and the moving of the goal posts that are now threatening to continue this inhumane mandate indefinitely. Will the North Dakota bill serve as a turning point?

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