Sen. Trent “Death March” Garner, the father of legislation tying the hands of public agencies on face masks and vaccinations to combat COVID-19, gave a quote for the ages yesterday in response to our story that lawyer Tom Mars plans to sue to challenge the state ban on mask mandates as unconstitutional.


Mars highlights the quote in an article by KNWA here:


So, tens of thousands of dead Arkansans might make Garner reconsider his poorly written law.

KNWA later updated the story, seemingly to soften Garner’s words. Judge for yourself if it helps.


Garner, who said he agrees with the science of vaccines, anticipated legal challenges but stands by the law. He said it would take around a 30% mortality rate, the historical rate associated with confluent smallpox, before he’d consider supporting a mask mandate. He said in this example, dramatic short-term measures were needed.

This, according to Wikipedia, is the death rate of those who contract the worst form of smallpox. At its worst in the plague years, smallpox accounted for about 7.6 percent of deaths. The CDC says it was around 1-2 percent in the early 1900s, which is about where the death rate stands in Arkansas today. Also: If Garner believes in vaccines, why for smallpox, polio and measles but not for  COVID-19.

A 30 percent mortality rate against the Arkansas case count of 360,000 would be 120,000. In other words, 6,000 dead and climbing (and this is likely an undercount) is no biggie to Trent Garner.

Mars has been riding Garner and the Trent Surge mercilessly on Twitter. He notes the CDC’s new mandate of masks on public transportation and says that public transportation includes school buses. (At least one school superintendent has already told a parent that state law overrides federal rules. Shades of Orval Faubus.)

Here’s what the CDC says:


Are masks required on school buses?

Yes, passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems, subject to the exclusions and exemptions in CDC’s Order. Operators of school buses should refer to the Department of Education’s COVID-19 Handbook pdf icon[PDF – 27 pages]external icon for additional guidance.

A driver does not need to wear a mask if they are the only person on the bus.


Legislative silence in the face of the raging virus is inexplicable. Do they hope, like Trump once did, that it will just magically go away?

Untold numbers of parents, not to mention school staff, are nervous and Mars said he’s received plenty of feedback from parents about his planned lawsuit. He posted this letter today.

Still to be resolved: The Garner law’s prohibition of any required face coverings by any public institution — goggles in chemistry labs; face masks for football players and other athletes, welding masks for those who work for public agencies and who knows what else.

The governor should act. Legislative “leaders” should act. Instead, silence. And more people dying.

Does it matter to Garner and the rest of the death marchers in the legislature that an increasing number of children are suffering:

Don’t look for sympathy from Ghoulish Garner. Here’s what he said the other day about kids.