This is a simple abuse of power and overreach by Governor Northam and this regulatory agency. Neither the Virginia Constitution, nor the Code, nor the U.S. Constitution support the Executive branch imposing a non-legislative, mandatory masking requirement on healthy citizens.
Prior to his death, Justice Antonin Scalia said that the greatest threat to freedom lies within the expansive and unaccountable regulative agencies, and this is a perfect example of this danger that the late Justice warned us about.
That this is a pure and unjustified power grab can be further seen by the current "with-COVID" death toll in Virginia. Just 122 Virginians under the age of 50 have died with a positive COVID testing--comparable to virtually any cause-of-death statistic that can be dreamed up over a six-month span.
Nearly half of the 3,113 reported COVID-related deaths have been among those 80 years and older, with another quarter of all related deaths coming among those 70 and older. My grandmother is over 80 and my family and I take great care to avoid physical contact with her. The facts indicate that this is a real disease that poses a danger to some people, but they also indicate that there is no conceivable justification for forcing all Virginia citizens to live under quarantine conditions for the foreseeable future.
It is also telling that while your department is threatening to unilaterally impose an illegal order on Virginians in the name of public health and safety, unborn children continue to be ripped limb from limb at an astonishing rate in our state. Some 7,000 Virginian babies have been killed in the womb since COVID--twice the reported number of COVID deaths. Until this scourge is addressed and done away with under the law, the Governor's appeal to health and safety will fall on deaf ears across our Commonwealth.