The Oregon Health Authority met with a Rules Advisory Committee to address the mandates moving forward. The conference included community stakeholders like business owners and spiritual leaders and lasted for about two hours, according to KATU 2 ABC.
"Permanent means indefinite. It doesn't necessarily mean permanent," Dr. Cieslak announced. "We can repeal it as well, but we are only allowed to have a temporary rule for 180 days, and anything that goes beyond 180 days, we cannot extend it."
Possibilities for public comment on the mandates will come next in the process, according to KATU 2 ABC.
Oregon has had one of the most aggressive and severe responses to the coronavirus. According to data from the New York Times, the state has had 394,569 coronavirus cases and 5,243 deaths since the outbreak of the virus.
"What I've been doing … throughout the pandemic is not just looking how we're doing compared to other states, but look at other countries as well," Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen announced. "As things have played out and ebbed and flowed, we actually compare pretty favorably to most European countries."
Many conservatives have shown contempt over the news of a permanent mask mandate in Oregon.
"Permanent masking, folks. They're doing all the things we told you they would from the beginning, because COVID has made the Left go completely insane," conservative talk radio host Buck Sexton tweeted.
The state's public-health bureaucracy is maintaining the continued goalpost-moving with pandemic mandates, though its reasoning is increasingly tortured. We can play word games all day — "permanent means perpetual, unending, enduring; it doesn't necessarily mean permanent" — yet, again, the simple truth is that until the rule is canceled, a permanent mask mandate is what it sounds like, a mask mandate.
If and when this rule goes into effect, will it ever be repealed? Oregon's public-health officials assure us that it can be. They stop short, though, of promising that it will. And their record of broken promises over the course of the last two years does not inspire confidence. Those of us who worried that pandemic limitations were going to become permanent were blamed for alarmism and conspiracy theorizing. Now — at least in Oregon — it looks like that permanence is coming to pass. Why should we trust that it won't be here to stay?