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As Gov. John Bel Edwards, right, watches, Interim Asst. Secretary Office of Public Health Dr. Joseph Kanter updates the status of the state in regard to COVID-19 Oct. 22, in Baton Rouge.

Kudos to the Legislature for seeking to terminate Gov. John Bel Edwards’ emergency order. Universal mandates do more harm than good and trample our liberties in the process.

The Great Barrington Declaration, signed by tens of thousands of scientists and doctors worldwide, recommends "focused protection": Protect those at risk while allowing everyone else to go about their lives. This approach provides protection where needed and avoids the devastating physical, mental and economic damages caused by lockdowns. Among these damages are 10,000 child deaths per month around the world, according to The Associated Press.

The efficacy of masks outside of a clinical setting has been questioned by the New England Journal of Medicine. Nature magazine has also published an article questioning whether masks may actually increase the rate of spread — particles caught in a mask don’t disappear, they may re-aersolize and spread further than they otherwise would have.

The point is that the harms inflicted by mandates are both large and real, while the benefits are iffy. And what are the odds that politicians will stumble upon the right things to impose upon us at the right times in a complex, evolving situation? The governor needs to stop pandering and get out of our way.

JOHN FOSTER

engineer

Baton Rouge

Our Views: As we’re not out of the woods, masks still in order