Letter to the Editor: A Conservative Speaks about Mask Wearing

I was impressed by conservative Republican Karen Hughes’ thoughts about wearing masks. The following are excerpts from her opinion piece published July 1, 2020, in the Washington Post. Hughes was counselor to the president and undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs during the George W. Bush administration.

“When leaders said, ‘We are open for business,’ too many citizens heard, ‘Life is back to normal.’ 

“A recent University of Washington study projected that 33,000 fewer people will die by October if 95 percent of us wear masks in public. 

Yes, we enjoy personal freedom, but we can also choose to do something better for the common good. Wearing a mask should not be a political issue. Calls for masks are grounded not in politics but in lifesaving public-health practices and the science behind how COVID-19 spreads.

“While wearing a mask is not a political issue, it is a moral one. The choice and stakes are clear: the minor inconvenience of donning a mask versus potentially threatening other people’s lives. The options are not equal on any scale of duty, honor, citizenship or service to God and others. Amid a deadly viral pandemic, wearing a mask is the only responsible course of action.” 

Dan Powers

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin