- Jan 15, 2021
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Creating a vast network of law enforcement officials empowered to enforce these mask rules will of course provide a handy new excuse for monitoring and surveilling citizens.
Meanwhile, deputizing federal agents, state authorities, and local cops to enforce transit mask rules will open up all sorts of new police harassment and abuse opportunities.
Only targeting people without masks might not seem to leave a lot of room for discriminatory enforcement. But the CDC order doesn't just stop at people not wearing masks. In fact, it leaves a lot up to officials' discretion.
For instance, travelers can take masks off while eating, drinking, or taking medication—leaving room for a lot of individual judgments in how long it's reasonable or appropriate to remove a mask for during these activities, as well as misinterpretation in whether someone is allowed to have a mask on or off at a given moment.
The CDC order also says it's not enough to simply wear a mask—it has to be a certain kind of mask. It can't be a bandana, scarf, ski mask, or balaclava. It can't fit too loosely or too tightly. It can't contain an exhalation valve or be made from knitted fabrics, leather, plastic, or vinyl.