By Sabrina Hornung
Well, Fargo caught the eye of the national news media, and this time it’s not because of a movie that makes us look like blundering idiots. Our local leaders made sure to do that for us in real-time after Dave Piepkorn’s comments during an October 5 city council meeting went viral… uffda.
The meeting ended with two mask mandate options being shut down. Two weeks later Mayor Tim Mahoney utilized his emergency powers and issued a mask mandate as our statewide active cases top out at over 6,000 people, which is approximately equal to the population of Valley City, the 13th largest city in North Dakota, with a 19.7% positivity rate according to the state health dashboard.
Thanks for using your doctor hat Mayor Mahoney. It’s better late than never. Public safety and politics are two entirely different animals. We’re glad to see you finally recognize that... as a doctor.
The aforementioned October 5 meeting caught the eye of Vox journalist Aaron Ruper this past weekend, his tweet described the meeting as “bonkers.” Since then the video has gone viral picking up criticism from news organizations such as “The Daily Beast,” and celebrities such as Richard Marx and Peter Frampton.
Frampton tweeted,” This idiot is the reason the U.S. is going up in cases and many more will die. It has been proven many times that masks work. Unfortunately, a lot of people really do believe the sh*t that this guy is spewing.”
Do we know whether Frampton’s input influenced Mahoney’s mask mandate? One can speculate but someone had to show him the way.
The video clip of the city council meeting in question consisted of Commissioner Piepkorn spouting off a bunch of misinformation, followed by audible disapproval by both his colleagues and the public in attendance.
Once the objections grew louder he threatened the public commentators with, “Okay, here’s how it goes. Once again, if you behave yourselves, you can stay in the room. You’re welcome to. But if you don’t, you’re going to be asked to leave. And if you don’t leave, then the police will escort you out. Is that clear?”
The irony of the situation was, he had no problem enforcing the removal of those who objected to his statement but as the meeting progressed he was insistent that a mask mandate couldn’t be enforced.
Here’s a mask mandate success story that demonstrates leadership at a state level, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered that the state “aggressively enforce” a mask mandate in July, where non-maskers are subject to a $100 fine. Businesses are required to make sure customers are wearing their masks.
The real question is, why is wearing a face-covering in public such a point of contention? Other than the fact that it has become a polarized, politicized topic since this whole “Democratic Hoax” began. Businesses have had signs on their doors enforcing a “No shirt, no shoes, no service” rule for years and no one bats an eye. We wear seatbelts and stop at red lights for our own safety too and no one’s crying about how that’s destroying our freedom.
Maybe we need to approach mask-wearing as an act of patriotism. Think of it as being a good neighbor and think of it as a way to keep your neighborhood safe. Patriotism isn’t a flagpole measuring contest, it’s being a good citizen. It warms my heart to see people posting photos of the masks they’re making for school kids and those in elder care facilities.
Can you imagine the Greatest Generation experiencing this level of division during the time of ration cards and scrap drives? When did we become so self-centered? We’re seeing the personification of the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall” play out before our very eyes. Canada must feel like they’re watching a dumpster fire from the balcony. How embarrassing.
On a real level, has anyone checked on Commissioner Piepkorn since Peter Frampton told him to pipe down? With the way some of our friends are talking on social media we’re surprised that no one has started a gofundme for the commission of a chainsaw sculpture of Frampton to place next to the sculpture of Marge at the Fargo Theatre. Now the real question is, which celebrity will it take to shame Governor Burgum into a mask mandate?
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