Is De Blasio politicizing coronavirus to kill vaping? Will Inslee be next?
In a Sunday press conference, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio warned that Americans who engage in smoking or vaping are at a higher risk of obtaining the coronavirus. While combustible tobacco cigarettes are proven to cause respiratory illness which can, in turn, deplete the smoker’s immune system, scientific research shows that vaping does not produce those same effects. But that doesn’t appear to be stopping de Blasio from politicizing Covid-19 for his own political gain.
The trouble is that his devilish strategy may indeed work. While Seattle has quickly become the epicenter of the tragic outbreak, New York is also identifying the second-highest numbers of cases. As a result, Mayor de Blasio as well as Washington Governor Jay Inslee have been appearing regularly on cable news shows expressing their need for more adequate testing while educating the American People of how best to prevent contracting the virus.
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Meanwhile in the background, both men are avid vaping haters. And both men have actively signed executive orders aimed at banning vaping in their corresponding states.
In mid-2019, a mysterious outbreak of “vaping related” lung injuries caused the New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to push for a statewide ban on the sales of all vapor products. De Blasio fully supported the proposal, but federal judges needed a bit more convincing. After Cuomo signed an emergency action implementing a 90-day temporary ban, the courts quickly overturned the Cuomo order. Acting Supreme Court Justice Catherine Cholakis said that Cuomo was over-reaching his authority granted by the state constitution.
That’s when New York Mayor de Blasio jumped in by signing an executive order of his own. On July 1, all flavors of vaping products other than tobacco were officially banned in the city of New York.
Governor Jay Inslee has a similar story. In late September of 2019, he also signed an executive order banning the sales of all flavored vapor products for 90-days. Already aware that he lacked the legal authority to make the ban permanent, he sponsored a bill to the state congress that would do it for him. However, Washington state lawmakers would ultimate refuse to pass the bill.
Both Inslee and de Blasio have long and sorted histories with the American vaping community. Both men appear to be either grossly misinformed about the substantial health differences between tobacco-free vaping and highly carcinogenic smoking or they are very well aware but deep in the pocket of Big Tobacco.
Is the coronavirus the perfect Black Swan event that kills vaping once and for all?
During the EVALI outbreak of last fall, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spent several months doing the same thing that Mayor de Blasio is guilting of doing now. Instead of warning the American People that black market THC-containing cartridges were to blame for the recent surge in lung disorders, the CDC issued multiple, rather generic, press releases discouraging consumers from purchasing all vapor products – strongly implying that nicotine-based vapes were just as deadly as the contraband THC products containing vitamin E acetate as a dilutative.
When the NYC Mayor de Blasio said during his press conference on Sunday that smokers and vapers are “more vulnerable” to the coronavirus, he, too, was strongly implying something that just isn’t true - that vaping is just as deadly as smoking. And even though the CDC would eventually be forced – months down the line – that nicotine-based vapor products had nothing whatsoever to do with the EVALI outbreak of 2019, the damage has already been done. A substantial percentage of the American People wrongly believe that vaping is just as harmful as smoking. Right or wrong, and as utterly misinformed as it was, the CDC’s anti-vaping messaging campaign worked.
The perfect Black Swan event may be heading for the American vaping community, but this time it’s presenting itself as an unstoppable virus affecting nearly every nation on the planet and which has no known cure or vaccine. Because scientists can now confirm that older people and those with diminished immune systems are the most at-risk, politicians like Inslee and de Blasio have a unique opportunity.
If the American People were so easily convinced during the EVALI crisis of 2019 that “vaping kills”, what’s stopping vaping hating government officials like DeBlasio and Inslee from using the same diabolical strategy with Covid-19? Americans fell for it once before. They’ll very likely fall for it again.
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