Smug NY Times: Southern GOP ‘Allergic to Science’ for Avoiding School Mask Mandates

Nashville-based writer Margaret Renkl last appeared on Newsbusters after her tasteless New York Times Memorial Day editorial suggesting social gatherings were unpatriotic (except for racial protests). Renkl sneered at her fellow Americans for succumbing to the human urge to gather together:

….many Americans staunchly refused to give up social gatherings, no matter that staying home was the best way to keep the virus from spreading.

Does she truly not remember the dystopian images of the empty streets of American cities in the spring of 2020?

She’s returned with more evidence the coronavirus has affected her empathy, in Tuesday’s “The South’s Republicans Talk About Freedom While People Die.” Renkl led off by taking advantage of deadly natural disasters to flippantly scorn the South and its Republican statehouse leaders.

For those of you keeping score at home, here is where things stand in the 2021 National Calamities Sweeps, Southern Division:

In the ever-expanding Climate-Augmented Natural Disasters event, results cannot yet be tallied. Tennessee and North Carolina are both digging out from catastrophic flooding, while parts of Louisiana were flattened by Hurricane Ida, and most of New Orleans remains without electricity. Ida’s remnants also brought even more rain to areas of the South and beyond that were already dangerously waterlogged.


Finally, in the Colossally Botched Medical Emergency competition, it’s neck and neck across the region as Republican governors double down on efforts to block mask and vaccine mandates, along with every other pandemic-mitigation attempt made by people who are not allergic to science.

Renkl condemned the governors.

….Instead of trying to keep people safe during this pandemic, our leaders offer ludicrous platitudes on the subject of freedom.

Freedom from what? is the real question. Freedom from death is surely at the top of anybody’s priority list. (Please disregard Tate Reeves, governor of Mississippi, who believes Southern Christians aren’t all that worried about death.)

She blamed Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee for not closing schoolhouse doors once again after Covid outbreaks.

….Nor has he allowed school systems to pivot to online learning.

And yet, despite these indisputable indicators of failed public policy, Mr. Lee has no intention of reversing course. Most Southern Republicans don’t, either, and that’s why Southerners will continue to die unnecessary deaths — if not from Covid, then from natural disasters, or self-administered abortions, or gun violence, or any number of other preventable tragedies.

She saw the stubborn failure of Southern states to acquiesce to her liberal wish list and concluded:

And it is long past time to recognize that some matters are too important to be entrusted to state governments anymore….we can no longer trust Republican governors and legislatures to protect public health.

The writer never even brushed past the science for mask mandates in schools — perhaps because the evidence in favor of them is shockingly thin.

Renkl, who unconvincingly claims she loves the South, concluded:

We need to take health and public safety out of the hands of Republicans because this is not a game, no matter how often the people running things down here may behave as though it is. There are no winners in the National Calamities tournament of 2021. Here in the South, especially, there are only losers.

The Midwest and Northern states may now be facing their own coronavirus case increases, while the averages in Southern states are dropping. Don’t expect a nasty lecture from Renkl about Pennsylvania, Colorado, or Virginia.

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