Sen. Scott Cyrway presents this week’s Senate Republican radio address.
Hello. I am Senator Scott Cyrway.
This week, the USCDC released new recommendations that even people who have been vaccinated should wear masks indoors in some parts of the country where infection rates are higher. It said that it based its decision on new research data indicating that vaccinated people can spread the virus. However, it declined to release the data to the public.
Any government that places restrictions on its citizens must justify these decisions with sound logic and communicate the reasons behind these decisions openly and transparently to the people who elected them. Not doing so fosters suspicion and resistance.
Back in March, the director of the USCDC told the public that vaccinated people cannot spread the virus. A few days later, the agency seemed to walk back that idea, but not entirely. Then, in May, it issued guidance saying that vaccinated people could stop wearing masks.
Without releasing the supporting data that justifies their recommendation, that agency now says that even vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors in some areas.
This apparent indecisiveness does not instill confidence in the people who look to the USCDC as the source of the most reliable, expert information. This lack of clarity creates confusion.
In the Capitol Building in Washington, for example, Capitol Police were ordered to arrest visitors and staff caught going without a mask on one end of the building where the U.S. House of Representatives meets. Those caught could face a fine of $500.
Just across the building where the U.S. Senate meets, however, those same police officers have no authority to punish non-mask wearers, because the Senate has no rule requiring the use of masks.
Clearly, the federal government is sending mixed messages to the people who look to it for consistency in its guidance and information.
Among these are Governor Janet Mills who has repeatedly cited USCDC guidance as the justification for her own decisions in setting statewide policy here in Maine.
Before making further decisions including restrictions on Maine people, the Governor should demand that the USCDC get its act together and share its research data with the American people. If that data does not satisfy scientific experts outside of the U.S. government, she should look elsewhere for definitive guidance and expertise.
Maine’s people and its economy have suffered enough under the restrictions placed upon it in the name of science and protection against the COVID-19 pandemic. Before considering any return to the troubling polices of last year, the Governor should have an abundance of unassailable science to justify her decisions and she should share that information clearly and completely with all Mainers.
Again, I am Senator Scott Cyrway. Have a great weekend!