Letter to the Editor: We Have the Right to Be Protected

We have seen during the past several months arguments about the necessity and the requirement to wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our own president – in order to impress people with his masochism – didn’t begin to wear a mask until three months after medical authorities recommended their use. And today, despite the evidence that masks slow the spread of the virus, we have citizens and officials claiming that they have a constitutional right not to wear one. 

With some exceptions in this country, it is unlawful to harm or kill another person. Shouldn’t that same reasoning apply to refusing to wear a mask when the experts tell us that in not wearing one, we could spread a deadly virus? In this country, we have always had the right to isolate people with a communicable disease, and the Constitution gives all people the right to be protected.

Let’s go a step further. Scientists tell us that we have about 30 years before environmental damage becomes irreversible. We have a president who has scuttled environmental regulations enacted during the Obama presidency and has discontinued our participation in the Paris Climate Agreement. Progress toward improving the environment will be slowed by people who selfishly claim that they have a constitutional right not to abide by environmental regulations. This is false: Our Constitution was written to protect the rights, health and well-being of all.

George Krall

La Crosse, Wisconsin