Eye on Jacksonville reached out to Danny Becton after seeing a post on social media. He was responding to a constituent who was upset with his stand against the mask mandate in Jacksonville. During our call with Mr. Becton, he shared that most of his constituents shared his feelings about the mandate. There were few who did not stand with him and this one writer was very interesting to him. He took his time to respond after many hours of research and careful consideration to his response. Eye felt it was worthy of a Guest Post. Enjoy and feel free to comment.
Email to Council Member Becton
Dear Mr. Becton:
I understand you voted against the mandatory mask rules, saying it would not work. Do you have a better idea? What medical school did you attend? Let me assure you that I favor government overreach if it saves my life. If I die from this virus, I will have my family notify you of that so you can think it over.
Listen to the experts and stop this right-wing foolishness!
Response from Danny Becton
Thank you for reaching out to me. Having a medical degree has been no panacea for having all the answers as the forecasts and prognostication of things to come scenarios have not panned out, not even close. No more than a financial professional with CFP®, CRPC® behind their name can tell me with certainty what the stock market is going to do today, tomorrow or a month from now. It is the analysis of the facts and the willingness to alter one’s opinion when faced with those facts (even if you have been wrong) that I do take into account when making decisions.
As for my path forward, the virus is no Death Sentence for that it is hysteria and false acclaims. I feel we are doing MORE than ever has been done before in defense of any disease but I support educating citizens to social distance, wash our hands with sanitizer when one feels it necessary and to avoid activities and being around people which concerns you. These are the things I support, but to mandate forced requirements like masks (minimal benefit and possible negative consequences) and the other government mandates over personal responsibility, I do have a problem with that.
As for you and I, we will die one day, that is inevitable. From what? It could be a number of things that you and I take risks everyday around. It might not be Covid-19 but the Flu H1N1 Virus as noted below or an auto accident that if you had not been in a moving vehicle, would never have happened. Additionally, from the things we eat where cardio vascular disease is the #1 killer and 48,742 people die every day. Do you want government to tell you what to eat and not eat? If shutting down our economy is your answer without understanding how that impacts and destroys the lives of others through increase deaths from suicides, drug use, depression and the financial ruin of individuals and families to no fault of their own, don’t count me in. On this Independence Day, I value personal freedoms that millions of folks have died for and given to me, over Socialism and the decisions dictated to me from the hands of bureaucrats!
Information on why I support no mandate
“In review of this mask mandate, unfortunately, I feel that this mandate is overreaching and without conclusive benefit to out-way the negative consequences for which I see and have researched. I, along with many of my constituents, see this differently as more of common sense gone amok at the expense of personal responsibility and freedoms. As noted, 99.9% of citizens are not sick with the COVID-19 virus. Wearing a mask, restricts air flow and has additional negative health affects if one routinely is breathing in their own carbon dioxide. Masks have NO benefit for people who are not sick as agreed in Brian Hughes response. It only provides “a false sense of security” (Dr. Fauci’s words, not mine), as the real culprit is the hand to face touching for which wearing a mask encourages. In witnessing a man while waiting on a haircut the other day, with a mask on, I saw him no less than six times touching his face to adjust his mask and scratching his face/nose where the mask was clearly uncomfortable & caused irritation. The mask was not a benefit but it was clear to me beyond those health concerns, that masks are not the answer but could be part of the problem.
We can also go into the numbers but time is limited here. Yes, testing positives from a sample of only people getting tested has risen a bit as more testing is being performed. Still minuscule by comparison to the total number of people out there. In addition, per those getting tested, it’s only individuals with symptoms of some sort that are getting tested and those who are now in fear because of the hype, not the vast number of people that are asymptomatic, and not sick. Therefore, when you test people of a sample of that nature, you would expect to see a larger percentage of those people with some type of illness (flu, cold and viruses) because they have signs of some type of symptom or concern. If I along with others who are not sick go and get unneeded tests, then we can drive down the numbers and lower the percentages. This would show the numbers more accurately.
As far as deaths, I asked how many have died in the past thirty days from COVID-19? No answer provided and it was acknowledged that our medical facilities are not even close to being overwhelmed. Actually, during the height of the pandemic, hospitals have been laying off medical professions. So, as it was reported that since its inception 67 deaths have occurred in our County because of this virus, we do know these numbers are again minuscule by comparison and over inflated as most victims had other conditions that killed them but tested positive for COVID-19. Not necessarily what killed them but by poor definition, a COVID-19 death anyway. In putting this in perspective, are you aware that 225,000 to 250,000 die every month (2.8 Million Per Year) in this country from many reasons. Where does COVID-19 rank on that list. I provided that information below. While I nor anyone likes to lose a loved one or see any loss of life, this is part of the journey that everyone takes. It should also be noted, by the numbers, COVID-19 is not a “Death Sentence”. Actually, it’s far from it.
Let me add one additional thought, in 2009 there was the H1N1pdm09 Pandemic. Estimates from the CDC show that from then till 2018, in the US, 100.5 million people have been infected, 936,000 hospitalized and 75,000 deaths. Where has the hysteria been over the years for this concern. Why were we not social distancing, where was the washing and sanitizing of our hands PSA’s, why did we not close and limit businesses and require the wearing of mask then? While this illness has treatments, it still does not have NO cure.
It seems we have left common sense at the door and lack critical thinking but would rather focus on inaccurate forecasts, ignoring the FACTS. This has gotten to a point of irrational thought and emotional fear stirred up by the hatred politics of today and the fear mongering that people are depending on to keep us watching and tuned in. For those forecast and speculation, from the very beginning, they have not been correct about any of their supposed outcomes.
While I take illness and public health, safety and security matters seriously, I am not so quick to give up my personal rights and liberties for which millions of Americans have sacrificed so dearly. With that said, I will continue to do my homework, research the facts and as much as possible, remove the emotional decisions that lead us to making poor decisions and to NOT give up my personal freedoms because a professional tells me that they have all the answers and that government has all the solutions. I do however, respect your rights to take any special precautions for yourself that make you feel safe and well.”
For more about Council Member Danny Becton, go here: Becton’s bio