Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced on Friday that he will not enforce the latest coronavirus mask mandate, which took effect at midnight Saturday. The sheriff’s announcement comes on the heels of an announcement by L.A. County health officials reinstated the mask mandate over a tiny blip of new coronavirus cases in the area.

“We’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late, given what we’re seeing,” Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said on Thursday.

“Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines,” the sheriff said in a statement on Friday.

Villanueva did note that voluntary compliance is perfectly fine, but he won’t use police resources to force the issue.

“The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has authority to enforce the order, but the underfunded/defunded Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will not expend our limited resources and instead ask for voluntary compliance,” Villanueva added. “We encourage the DPH to work collaboratively with the Board of Supervisors and law enforcement to establish mandates that are both achievable and supported by science.”

Mask mandates have never made scientific sense. In fact, the states without mask mandates weathered the pandemic better than those that did.

A study of mask usage worldwide released at the end of May 2021 showed that mask-wearing has had little effect on stopping coronavirus transmission. The U.S  part of the study used CDC numbers to find that 85% of people recently infected with the coronavirus reported wearing a mask “always” (70.6%) or “often” (14.4%). Compared to the control group of uninfected people who were always wearing a mask did not reduce the risk of infection.

The LA County mask mandate is a political stunt that won’t help stem the virus. That’s the reason it’s good to see Sheriff Alex Villanueva say he will not enforce this useless infringement on people’s rights.

Parts of this post were first seen at Flag and Cross