Headline RoundupAugust 23rd, 2023

Rising COVID-19 Cases, Revived Mask Mandates Spark Debate Over Response

Summary from the AllSides News Team

With COVID-19 cases reportedly rising across the U.S. and some institutions reinstating mask mandates, the public is again debating how to respond.

The Data and Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 12,613 COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the week ending Aug. 12, a 21.6% increase from the previous week. Cases remain roughly 90% lower than their January 2022 peak. Public health officials in New York City and Los Angeles have reported increases in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. Several colleges throughout the U.S., as well as some Hollywood studios, have reinstated mask mandates.

Focus on Prevention? Many on the left and elsewhere remain concerned with "long Covid" and public health measures to combat COVID-19's spread. CBS News (Lean Left bias) highlighted the potential for "a so-called 'Tripledemic' of Covid-19, the flu and RSV", and how "health officials are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and the flu." 

Avoid Social Disruption? A writer for National Review (Right bias) argued that mask mandates and other government-encouraged health measures are pushed by a "cadre of professional meddlers for whom the illusion of safety under Covid restrictions was vastly preferable to all the risks that attend liberty." The writer framed masking as ineffective and "a signifier of tribal identity and cultural tastes," and highlights how "vaccination reduces the severity of illness but does not prevent transmission."

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