‘No Constitutional Right’ To Go Maskless: Maryland Governor Expands Covid-19 Compliance

‘No Constitutional Right’ To Go Maskless: Maryland Governor Expands Covid-19 Compliance

Maryland mask
‘No Constitutional Right’ To Go Maskless: Maryland Governor Expands Covid-19 Snitch Line. Photo: A pedestrian wearing a protective mask passes shuttered storefronts in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York,Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Masks are required in all indoor and outdoor public spaces in Maryland and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said residents have “no constitutional right” to refuse to wear one during the covid-19 pandemic, just as they have no constitutional right to drive drunk.

Effective Thanksgiving eve, Maryland police began expanding covid-19 compliance and deploying “high visibility compliance units” across the state.

Additional state troopers will be assigned in every county to investigate any reports of violations of state law, Hogan said during a Nov. 23 press conference.

These high visibility compliance units will be detailed to popular downtown and Main Street areas in Baltimore City, Bel Air, Towson, Salisbury, Silver Spring and others around the state. 

Hogan addressed those who refuse to follow the advice of public health experts, focusing on the absurdity of refusing to wear a mask.

“It’s sort of like saying I have a constitutional right to drive drunk,” Hogan said. “I have a constitutional right to not wear a seatbelt or to yell ‘fire!’ in a crowded movie theater or to not follow the speed limit.”

Hogan asked the public to think about those who have died from the virus.

“You know, we’re talking about a quarter of a million people dying already. More than the Korean War, the Gulf War, and the Vietnam War together,” he said.

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Clearly frustrated, the governor reminded the public of the Spanish Flu pandemic. The 1918 H1N1 flu outbreak infected 500 million people, a third of the world’s population. An estimated 50 million died worldwide including 675,000 in the U.S., according to the Centers For Disease Control.

Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 269,692 people in the U.S. including 4,569 in Maryland. African Americans make up about 31 percent of Maryland’s residents, according to the U.S. Census, but account for 35 percent of coronavirus cases in which the patient’s race is known.

“Which part don’t you understand? There’s no constitutional right to walk around without a mask. We did it in 1918. I don’t know why we can’t do it now,” Hogan said.

Maryland ranks No. 10 in the U.S. for the most active coronavirus cases — 179,720. The state has had 2,000 or more cases per day for nine of the past 13 days, Baltimore Sun reported.

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