Biden Team Debates Ineffective Mask Policy; But There’s A Simple Alternative Which Would Save Lives
Biden Administration Debates Failed Mask Policy
WASHINGTON , D.C. (July 22, 2021) - Top White House aides and Biden administration officials are reportedly debating a failed policy of simply urging Americans to wear masks in more settings, but are ignoring a much more effective proposal which was considered by the President's COVID advisory Board, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
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All of the prior efforts of the administration, with its many doctors and other officials, to urge Americans to wear masks haven't been successful, but with a simple stroke of a pen the President can take action which will encourage states to join the growing move towards additional mask mandates.
This is an action he can take immediately, and one which does not require any action by Congress, says the professor, whose other plan for fighting the COVID virus was adopted by the FDA.
Earlier, the Board had before it the idea of having Biden direct executive branch agencies awarding grants (or at least health-related grants) to limit the grants - or at least give preference - to applications from entities, such as universities and hospitals, in states which do have effective mask rules in place.
Incentive To Adopt The Mandate
A similar order covering federal government contracts would greatly increase the incentive to the point where few states would continue refusing to adopt such a mandate.
Since government grants are discretionary, such a directive from the president would be perfectly legal - unlike an executive order for a national mask policy which would be subject to legal challenge - and conditions in grants (e.g., not to discriminate, to protect the environment, etc.) have been used successfully for many years.
Indeed, the law governing the numerous conditions already imposed on federal grants is explained in the Congressional Research Services' "The Federal Government's Authority to Impose Conditions on Grant Funds".
Banzhaf suggests that many entities which depend on such grants - including schools and universities, hospitals and other medical facilities, charitable organizations, etc. - are likely to be reluctant to take even a small chance on missing out on a big federal grant from the Biden administration, and would therefor press their governors very hard to adopt a mask policy.