While the Biden administration and various institutions are hinting at reinstating COVID-19 mandates, it’s not lost on many Americans that the timing is peculiar, to say the least. Just as the 2024 election cycle looms, we’re seeing early signs of a return to highly controversial and divisive policies during the last two election cycles. The question on many minds is straightforward: Are these moves about public health, or is a more calculated political agenda at play?
In recent news, Hollywood studio Lionsgate and Morris Brown College in Atlanta have reinstated mask mandates for their employees and students. Collin Rugg, a journalist, pointed out this timing with considerable irony, posting on the X platform, formerly Twitter, that “COVID-19 mandates are coming back just in time for the 2024 election cycle as early signs are hinting toward what’s to come.”
NEW: COVlD-19 mandates are coming back just in time for the 2024 election cycle as early signs are hinting towards what's to come.
What impeccable timing!
Just days after a TSA whistleblower allegedly reported that mandates would be coming back in October, Lionsgate, a… pic.twitter.com/N8i6ldjQcW
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) August 22, 2023
This revival of COVID rhetoric isn’t just limited to educational and corporate settings. The Biden administration is also ramping up its messaging. A White House official recently announced, “We will be encouraging all Americans to get those boosters in addition to flu shots and Respiratory Syncytial Virus shots.”
Hillary's top priority March 18th, 2020
was "Vote by Mail" in November.
But, there weren't 200 people dead yet from COVID in the USA.
Not 10 dead yet, in Hong Kong or Shanghai.
Not 5k dead total, from C19 in all of China.
— John Cullen (@I_Am_JohnCullen) August 21, 2023
What stands out is the increased media coverage surrounding COVID-19, often citing surges in cases as the pretext for a return to mandates and potential lockdowns. As RedState insightfully commented, “With this information, one can legitimately assume that there is a massive push by powers unknown to phase COVID restrictions like masking and even lockdowns back into place. And what do we have coming up around the corner? That’s right, elections.”
COVID 23: This exercise is about establishing a legal precedent or emergency for vote by mail in 24.
The level of restrictions used will depend on what kind of coordination happens globally.
23 might just be an exercise to keep the fear top of mind and justify 24.
— Mission Accomplished (@MessagesRUS) August 23, 2023
The skepticism here isn’t unwarranted. During the 2020 election, COVID-related mandates were used to push for mail-in voting, a system many conservatives view with suspicion due to its vulnerability to fraud. This voting method could be poised for a comeback if COVID restrictions are reinstated, thereby defusing the possibility of a Trump comeback in 2024.
So why should ordinary Americans be wary of a return to mandates and restrictions? First, there’s a considerable debate about the effectiveness of masks. Jeffrey H. Anderson, former Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, noted that research suggests “Americans’ many months of mask-wearing has likely provided little to no health benefit.”
Moreover, these mandates have been divisive, turning citizens against one another. As pointed out, “Masks are vehicles for virtue signaling. Many wear them to demonstrate their moral superiority — they care so much.” The polarizing nature of this debate shouldn’t be underestimated. It can have real and lasting impacts on community cohesion, turning neighbor against neighbor at a time when unity is sorely needed.
For those on the conservative side of the aisle, the watchword is vigilance. It’s crucial to question the timing and motives behind a return to mandates, particularly as we approach another election year. The stakes are high, and for many, the thought that public health is being used as a pawn in a broader political game isn’t just a theory; it’s a legitimate concern.