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A Washington Post senior critic-at-large scolded Americans cheering on the repeal of the federal mask mandate for airlines and transit, calling citizens who support the ability to now remove face coverings both “selfish” and “childish.”
Robin Givhan began by painting a mental image of the scene onboard U.S. flights, as passengers “reveled in the knowledge” that despite being required to fasten their seatbelt, turn off their phones and refrain from smoking on their “grueling hour-and-20-minute flight,” they could now remove their masks.
“The long, torturous nightmare of government overreach, which is how so many aggrieved passengers viewed the mandate effecting public transportation, has come to an end. Maybe,” Givhan wrote.
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Pointing to social media posts of passengers becoming angry and violent over mask rules – Givhan didn’t acknowledge that this aggravation came from both sides of the mask debate – the Post critic said the attitudes of mask critics was as if the time before mandates on planes was a nonstop party straight of out of “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
“…the cheers about being set free — as if a mask was equivalent to a straitjacket — surely must sound insensitive to those who are still feeling quite trapped because of poor health, work circumstances or the risks faced by those within their inner circle who are immunocompromised,” Givhan later added.
In one eyebrow-raising analogy, he said it was “impossible” to hear the cheers in response to the judge’s order and not draw an analogy to residents of Shanghai, who have been locked in their homes for weeks as they face food and medical shortages. According to Givhan, airline passengers should express “a quiet murmur of relief” or “maybe even gratitude” for not being in their shoes.
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Philladelphia City Hall Clock Tower in Philladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Sunset
“But for the moment, there are squeals of unbridled delight, which aren’t so much a reflection of just how onerous the mask mandate has been but rather just how childish and selfish so much of the country has been in dealing with it,” the critic-at-large added.
Givhan also took aim at the judge who made the ruling, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who she claimed “studied economics and philosophy and who consulted a dictionary for enlightenment” rather than a medical body responding to science.
“And that doesn’t seem like cause for raucous cheers. Not at all,” the piece concluded.
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Numerous other outlets have sharply criticized the judge for her legal decision, likening her to “Donald Trump” in disguise, and calling her “clueless” and “inexperienced.”