Masks Matter

This week we are watching in real time as the inevitable result of science-denial plays out in the Republican party. And we saw Tom McClintock’s response, leaning into the fallacy that Donald Trump has some special ability to defeat science and medicine, and ignoring all that we’ve learned about the coronavirus this year.

As President Trump was airlifted to Walter Reed Memorial with moderate COVID-19 symptoms, we learned about Senators, advisors and journalists who appear to have been infected in the Rose Garden, when the President nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And although the vast majority of coronavirus infections are asymptomatic, we learned that a surprising number of Republicans are symptomatic. As this article reports, Hope Hicks, Ronna McDaniel, Bill Stepian and Kellyanne Conway, among many others, tested positive and all are experiencing symptoms.

This Business Insider article explains why that might be. As it explains, “emerging research suggests masks could help reduce viral inoculum: the dose of virus that people ingest or inhale. That, consequently, could reduce the amount of virus replicating inside a patient — their viral load.

Higher viral loads, some research suggests, could lead to worse infection outcomes.” The many maskless faces at the Rose Garden event may have not only spread the virus; it may have resulted in more severe infections for those who contracted it. Notably, as this article reports, while Senator Mike Lee, “who did not wear a mask at the White House event, said he had ‘symptoms consistent with longtime allergies’[, Senator] Tillis, who did wear a mask, said he has no symptoms.”

Science doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not. Magical thinking won’t prevent the spread of a deadly virus. But the GOP and politicians like Tom McClintock still cling to their science-denial. They pretend that COVID-19 poses a negligible risk, and ignore the fact that 210,000 people already have died as a result of this dangerous highly transmissible virus, and many others may be damaged for life. They insist that wearing a mask is a personal choice, and ignore the harm they do when they refuse to take that small step to protect other people and help our country heal. Tom McClintock and those like him can’t work effectively for the people they serve because they refuse to face facts and listen to the scientists who are trying to save lives.

California’s 4th District deserves better. We deserve a representative who sees our challenges with clear eyes and takes meaningful action to fix them. We deserve a representative who truly cares about what happens in this District. We deserve a representative who will fight for us.

Join us, as we fight to send Tom McClintock back to his own District, and to finally stop him from selling us out, one vote at a time. To learn more about the alternative, visit

Because we know, as Margaret Mead said, that “a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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