States that don’t want to follow public-health guidelines

The URL says it all. Protestors at the Idaho capital holding a symbolic mask burning, to defend “freedom” and protest “government overreach”. Many seem to have made the judgement that the information they’re receiving is unduly alarmist, and the pandemic isn’t as bad as they’re told, which is their right, of course.

If the majority of people in Idaho wish to not wear masks, nor keep their distance, nor avoid mingling in crowds, or if the state’s Supreme Court determine that state or local prohibitions against such violate state law, then let them work it out.

Meanwhile, all surrounding states that do wish to enforce public health guidelines, with the support of their majorities, should close their borders. All people crossing from, eg, Idaho to Washington should be subject to testing and a 14-day quarantine, at their own expense (not that of the government). This applies to truck drivers and others transiting the state as well, unless they can show that they never left their vehicle.

Air travel, being a federally-regulated activity, should be terminated to such states. In emergency situations, if someone needs to go into such a state, they would be subject to the testing/quarantine requirements upon return, as described above.

Since, in most cases, those states wishing to limit government interference are represented at the Federal level by people who voted against the Biden virus mitigation legislation, specifically citing the unfairness of sending money to state and local governments, they should also be considered to have “opted out” of any distribution of money from the Feds to the states and localities. The additional money available for the rest of us can be used to fund increased law-enforcement personnel requirements at the borders.

Such states might want to keep aside part of their budget to litigate the expected rash of wrongful death lawsuits from citizens who blame lack of state mandates for their relatives’ deaths, too. Or perhaps a public-health scoring of legislative changes in terms of expected deaths that will result, something like the OMB ratings on the expected costs of legislation at the Federal level. You’d want people to be clear that rescinding mandates will result in an expected number of additional deaths, in exchange for their freedoms.

The people in these states are protesting against government overreach. Fine, I too believe in individual choice. Let’s exclude them from national public-health help, as they request, and quarantine them until we can certify that they’re no longer a threat to the rest of us.

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