Thursday, August 13, 2020

Coronavirus Update 8-13-2020: The 7th nominee for the “worst employer of 2020” is … the no-mask mandator

Meet Billy Woods, the sheriff of Marion County, Florida. He loves youth ranches and senior services, and hates face masks.

Earlier this week, Sheriff Woods prohibited his approximately 900 employees from wearing masks or facial coverings while on duty. The Ocala StarBanner quotes the email he sent to his employees, "[W]hen you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn." (His directive also includes anyone entering any of his buildings.) 

In the meantime, central Florida is among the hottest of COVID-19 hot spots, and on the same day Sheriff Woods sent his email, Marion County hit its high for the number of COVID-19 deaths in a single day.

"I can hear the whining now," says Sheriff Woods. "We can debate and argue all day of why and why not. The fact is, the amount of professionals that give the reason why we should, I can find the exact same amount of professionals that say why we shouldn't."

Really? There are an equal number of "professionals" who say we shouldn't be wearing masks and covering our faces as who say we should? In updating its mask guidance, the CDC cited to 19 different recent scientific studies on the efficacy of masks in stopping the spread of COVID-19. There is a medical and scientific consensus that masks work, hard stop. To ignore this evidence is ignorant, reckless, and dangerous. Sheriff Woods will cause the spread of COVID-19, illness, and death.

If you prohibit your employees from taking the one step that everyone (or at least everyone who reasonably believes in science) believes is what we should all be doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, you might be the worst employer of 2020.