Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Torrance City Council: No Mask Mandate!

Dear Torrance City Council:

The proposed mask mandate with enforcement by fines is unreasonable, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.

It's unreasonable because the Torrance Police Department is already stretched thin as it is. They have to struggle to enforce other quality of life, property, and public safety crimes and issues as it is. The city police department does not need another code enforcement program to burden local law enforcement officers.

I am aware that the city of Manhattan Beach implemented a citation process for individuals not wearing masks in their city. However, in order to accomplish this unrealistic goal, the Manhattan Beach City Council had to hire a third-party company to issue the citations. Not only that, but within days of passing the ordinance, the city council had to begin implementing exceptions and limitations to the enforcement of this mandate. The poor thinking and reasoning behind the mandate made it inevitable that such mistakes would follow. The mandate should have never been imposed in that city or anywhere else. By the way, the city of Torrance is already facing a $26 million budget deficit because of declining revenues due to the COVID-19 lockdown. There is no money to consider contracting out a third-party outfit to issue citations. This is simply not an appropriate measure to pursue in the city of Torrance. Bear in mind also that some individuals go outside for one walk a day, and often just around their homes. There is no serious reason to impose a mask mandate on those individuals.

This mask mandate is unnecessary. The COVID-19 infection numbers are starting to stabilize. The rising number of deaths has been attributed to the COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and among senior citizens in similar facilities. The solution to stopping the spread of this sickness is not to quarantine or impose limits on the healthy, but rather the sick. Furthermore, I heard one argument in favor of so-called mask mandates based on the fact that Taiwan handled the outbreak of COVID-19 so effectively, that a grand total of 400 people were infected. This drastic reduction in outbreaks had nothing to do with wearing masks in public. The Republic of China (Taiwan) has had frosty relations with Mainland China for decades. When news first broke out in late November 2019 about the outbreak of the Wuhan virus, Taiwan closed its borders with China, and stopped all major trade and travel. Any other citizens from Taiwan or other countries who visited the island nation following that period were immediately quarantined for 14 days. I received a full report of this process from a friend of mine who is studying at Quemoy University in Kinmen Island. It was not the imposition of masks, but the other quarantine efforts which significantly slowed the spread of COVID-19.

The United States struggles with a flu season every year. The mortality rates for the common flu are three times that of the COVID-19 illness. The draconian measures sought by Governor Newsom, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and certain members of the Torrance City Council to combat COVID-19 are simply not justified. As Manhattan Beach city councilwoman Suzanne Hadley shared: "It is not the government's job to protect us from death."

The mask mandate is unconstitutional. The Governor of California has issued one arbitrary and capricious edict after another with no proper authority. Executive decrees based on emergency orders must be clearly defined and time-limited. The latest statewide mask order does not fit under such criteria.

The Torrance city council should reject any further spending or discussion on mandates, promotions, directions, and recommendations regarding the wearing of masks in public.


Arthur Schaper

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