Face Masks for All

Bernie Sanders is displaying his savvy political instincts and moving the United States in a good direction.

His proposal “Face Masks for All” giving everybody 3 reusable masks- is a masterstroke. The Government buys them, the post office delivers them. The nation gets the message use these without the hostility and law enforcement threats.

Trump’s learning disabilities cripple his understanding the policies that to stop the virus: shutting down the economy creates social distance therefore subsidies should replace the lost income. In that manner the hardships of social distancing become tolerable. A feisty spirit that we are all in this together becomes possible.

Trump foolishly lent the prestige of his office to dividing the nation over the use of face masks. Stifling the outrage that says wearing a face mask is a necessary project.

A sequence of events around the Roger Stone pardon have a surprisingly positive ring. Stone appeared in public with a chic black face mask reading “Free Roger Stone.” Softly, but clearly this archdeacon in the political operators church reminded conservatives that face masks are no socialist plot.

Of equal importance, the black mask was vaguely menacing satisfying Trump’s fear of empathy. You could wear it and be virile.

 Shortly after that Trump wore a face mask in public. Anybody who thought Trump was becoming rational were quickly disabused when he suggested postponing the election adding to the evidence that his favorite government is dictatorship with him in charge.

Now Bernie is urging Congress to say please wear the masks and we will help you do it. Even with a vaccine next year, it will still be 2022 before masks become optional. Creating a consensus around this habit is desirable.

That process is now underway and hopefully will be part of the final deal for the new subsidy package.

A mask is no more a restriction on liberty than insisting persons cover their genital in public or people wear seat belts. It is an opportunity for showing off just like any other clothing which was exactly Roger Stone’s point.

Bernie’s proposal is a chance for our political system to make lemonade. We need examples like this because the vaccine will create tensions with the anti-vaxxers. Fashioning an agreement will be difficult finding a way out of the face mask dilemma would be a good precedent.

With his Masks for All proposal Bernie is showing how medicine with no out of pocket expenses can make governing easier and popular.

Families of state prisoners plead with Cuomo to relieve crowded conditions and stop the spread of the Covid-91 virus.

Pressure is mounting on Governor Andrew Cuomo to actively protect state prisoners from the Covid-19 virus.

Practicing social distancing behind bars, where people line up for everything from showers to meals, and most conversation take place on a face-to-face basis is difficult, if not impossible.

191 persons joined a virtual news conference on March 30th-a startling large number. Parents and friends reported that the individuals locked up in state prisons were terrified.

A conclusion buttressed by a New York Times front page story on the same day Prisoners ‘Terrified’ as Coronavirus Spreads Behind Bars.”  The article warned the virus is taking its toll in prisons across the Country.

Failure to act, will turn “New York Prisons into death camps,” warned Jose Saldana the Director of Release Aging People from Prison the group that organized the news conference. Mr. Saldana was released from NYS prison in January 2018 after 38 years and four Parole Board denials.

His warning was reinforced by a letter signed by public health experts on Friday the 27th urging President Trump to commute sentences for the “medically vulnerable population including persons suffering from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer.”

Conditions in prisons are often compared to cruise ships or nursing homes that have become epidemic hot spots. “These people are housed cheek-by-jowl, they share toilets, showers, and sinks; they wash their bedsheets and clothes infrequently; and often lack access to basic personal hygiene items. Adequate medical care is hard to provide, even without COVID-19” the experts wrote in their letter.

Michelle Lynn spoke up at the news conference on behalf of her father Robert Lynn who is 73 and has been in prison for 37 years. His petition for clemency was filed in 2016; He could go home tomorrow if the Governor agreed.

Saying the virus forced his hand three days earlier, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom “commuted sentences of 21 California prison inmates — including 10 convicted of homicides— and granted pardons to five others” reported the Sacramento Bee.

New York City experienced a rapid rate of increase in Covid-19 cases Robert Cohen said at the new conference. The danger called for “immediate action” explained Cohen, a member of the New York City Board of Correction, and 12% of the City jail population was released.

According to David George, the media contact for Release Aging People, the Governor has been asked at new conferences about protecting state prisoners and said the matter is under consideration, but no decision had been reached.