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Gov. Mills suggests Mainers call the cops on violators of coronavirus mandates

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Last week, Governor Janet Mills joined Maine Public to shed crocodile tears for frontline workers who have been put in the curious position of trying to enforce her unscientific mask mandates at their place of employment.

The Associated Press published a story Nov. 14 that includes a quote from Governor Mills who, after updating her mask mandate to require Mainers to wear a face covering in public regardless of their ability to socially distance, said she doesn’t want Maine workers to have to be the “COVID cops.

During the interview with Maine Public, the governor said that too much burden has been placed on workers of public facing businesses to enforce her various mask mandates.

“I don’t want to put it on the frontline workers who are often young people working at minimum wage jobs. They’re not the COVID cops, and I don’t want to put that on them,” Gov. Mills said. “But they can call the police, and they can call the local code enforcement officer or health officer.”

The irony here, of course, is that Governor Mills is complaining about something that she wholly controls, and something of which she should have understood the consequences before doing. She is the one who issued, and then updated, the mask mandate, and since her administration is shutting down businesses that do not comply with her unworkable mandates, employees are tasked with ensuring the arbitrary rules are followed –– or else.

Perhaps frontline employees wouldn’t be tasked with enforcing an unenforceable mask mandate if the governor didn’t issue one in the first place. There’s an idea.

What’s more troubling is that Governor Mills is actually encouraging Mainers to call the police on their neighbors for doing something that violates her orders –– something dangerous like walking your dog alone on a sidewalk.

Don’t the police have better things to do? Don’t they have real crime to fight? Are any departments in the state arresting or issuing tickets to violators of the governor’s mask mandate? How exactly does the governor prefer her mask mandate be enforced?

I have better advice for Mainers. Don’t call the cops on your neighbors. Let the cops fight actual crime in our communities. When it makes sense, wear a mask. When it doesn’t, don’t. And whatever you do, don’t let the governor’s Orwellian mandates get you down.

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the director of communications at Maine Policy Institute and the editor of The Maine Wire. He formerly served as a policy analyst at Maine Policy. Posik can be reached at jposik@mainepolicy.org.

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