Tucker Carlson lashed out at Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on his show Wednesday night, calling her decision to reimpose an outdoor mask mandate ‘nonsensical’ while pointing to research showing that outdoor transmission is very low.
Oregon became the first state to re-impose an outdoor mask mandate Tuesday, when Brown announced that everyone age five and up will have to wear a mask outside ‘where physical distancing is not possible’ starting Friday.
The rule applies to everyone, regardless of whether they’re vaccinated or not.
Carlson, 52, called Brown, 61, a ‘power-mad hypocrite’ who doesn’t ‘care what the facts are.’
‘Kate Brown’s decree is nonsensical,’ he said. ‘First off, if the vaccines work, then why are vaccinated people required to wear masks?
Tucker Carlson called Oregon Gov. Kate Brown a ‘power-mad hypocrite’ on Wednesday night
The governor re-imposed an outdoor mask mandate for her state in a video Tuesday
‘And for that matter, why is anyone required to wear masks outdoors? Outdoor transmission of COVID is so rare that it’s practically nonexistent. That is true whether or not you have been vaccinated.’
Oregon has seen a steady rise in cases as the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus rips through the country. On Tuesday, the seven-day average of cases in the state stood at 2,194, up from just 436 a month earlier.
About 45 percent of the state’s occupied ICU beds are taken by COVID-19 patients, according to state health data.
Brown was clear that her order only applies to places where people couldn’t stay six feet apart.
‘I want to stress, however, that this rule doesn’t mean you have to wear a mask at all times outdoors,’ she said when announcing the mask mandate in a video on Twitter.
‘You do not need to mask up for the fleeting pass on a hiking trail or your morning walk with your dog.’
The state has already imposed an indoor mask policy for children over the age of five, and is requiring all public school staff, health care workers and state employers to be fully vaccinated by October 18.
In April, President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC’s This Week that ‘it’s pretty common sense now that outdoor risk is really, really quite low.
‘If you are a vaccinated person, wearing a mask outdoors, obviously, the risk is minuscule,’ he said.
Infections across the US are up as the more contagious Delta variant rips through the country
Overall deaths are down, partially thanks to vaccines that keep people out of hospitals
Carlson cited Fauci in his argument along with Harvard epidemiologist Mark Lipstitch, who tweeted in April that ‘outdoor masking has notable costs and really no evidence of benefits.’
The risk of catching COVID outside is estimated to be as low as 0.1 per cent, with a leading virologist from the University of St Andrews in Scotland adding that the maximum risk likely sat at around one per cent.
Lipstitch tweeted the comment above a link to a Slate article titled, ‘It’s About Time for Us to Stop Wearing Masks Outside.’
Carlson continued: ‘And a study from Ireland confirms that this is true. Researchers they are considered more than 230,000 COVID cases in Ireland through March of this year, what did they find? They found that only one in a thousand could be traced to outdoor transmission.
‘So as a factual matter, Kate Brown’s order is absurd. But even if you ignore the science and convinced yourself that large numbers of people were catching COVID while jogging, you still would not make people wear masks, because drugstore masks, the kind that everyone wears, do not work.’
The Fox News host also panned the governor’s bisexuality, claiming that it was used to distract voters in 2015, when Carlson says there was ‘not a whole lot going on in Oregon.’
Brown, 61, became the first LGBTQ person elected governor of a US state in 2016
Brown became the first LGBTQ person elected governor of a US state in 2016.
‘He was a dude,’ Carlson said of Brown’s husband Dan Little.
‘That’s fine, of course, but a little bit confusing, how does having her groom at her wedding make Kate Brown an official member of the LGBTQ-exclamation-mark community? No one bothered to ask. That kind of curiosity was forbidden, it was like wondering why we don’t call Barack Obama half-white which he is, it’s not part of the question, celebrate!’
He called the governor ‘a dopey soccer mom who got elected because she claimed she had a girlfriend in college.’
‘Under pressure, she wilted and became irrational, which is exactly the leader you do not want in a crisis, and yet she was the governor, which in the age of corona made her very close to god and she acted like it.’