Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
Today’s anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers are a danger to society. Facts and civil and reasonable argument are wasted on those people who refuse to listen or comply no matter what. You can recognize them as they rant against those who wear masks and choose to be vaccinated. You can hear them shouting and see them assaulting in supermarkets and at school board meetings. You can hear them threatening people who dare to use reasonable precautions to protect their health and the health of the people around them.
Where once they would have accepted these precautions, they now find excuses to reject them. They are emboldened by elected officials who fail to mandate in the public interest. I’m talking about governors like Ducey and DeSantis and others who act as self-appointed medical experts, as did former President Trump, and end by sabotaging a national effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants. School boards and city councils are penalized by the threat or actual loss of state funds when they do the right thing to protect their children and citizens with local mandates. State government forbids local control while at the same time hypocritically spouting a conservative talking point that local government closest to the people is the best government. These elected officials pose as the protectors of “freedom” as they pander to a right-wing base to secure Republican gains in the next election.
Before the next election, it is estimated 700,000 people will be dead from COVID. The base, unable or unwilling to accept the responsibility that comes with true freedom — the responsibility to act without harming others — storms across the country unwashed, unmasked and unvaccinated, aiding the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta and Mu variants.