A constituent of Sen. Claire Celsi sent the Democrat legislator from West Des Moines an email on Independence Day (of all days) urging Celsi to make sure masks are voluntary and not mandatory.
The email from the constituent said that emergency orders being used to help protect public health are actually hurting the physical and emotional well being of individuals — as well as violating basic human, constitutional and religious rights.
“Evidence that masks reduce the transmission of viral respiratory infections within community settings is equivocal at best,” it said.
The letter went on to say that it is “unethical and unconstitutional to subject healthy, law-abiding citizens to measures that can result in physical and emotional harm and that impinge on their ability to move freely throughout society.”
It concludes by stating mandatory medicine and mandated interventions such as social distancing and mask-wearing “have no place in a free society.”
Celsi responded, saying she’s followed the issue closely since the pandemic began.
“It is clear that mask usage can reduce transmission levels of COVID-19,” she wrote. “That is why medical professionals, epidemiologists and pandemic experts recommend that people wear masks while in public.”
Celsi said recent studies show places with mandated mask rules and good compliance have flattened the transmission curve.
“I would support requiring masks for all Iowans until a vaccine is widely available,” she said. “I have elderly parents that I want to protect and I have an autoimmune disease that would probably kill me if I got COVID-19.”
She then took it a step further.
“I don’t appreciate selfish people who don’t wear masks in public,” she said. “I have many friends with asthma, breathing disorders and other health conditions. They’ve all been wearing masks in public and have done just fine.
“COVID-19 is much more serious and contagious that (sic) the influenza strains we’re used to seeing. It has a death rate that is 10 times higher. And even people who survive are left with debilitating breathing problems, heart damage and other serious side effects.
“Most of the information you sent me is not credible information, supported by science.”
However, as you can see from this photo during the June legislative session, Celsi was not ALWAYS wearing her own mask in public either.