To The Editor:

Few would disagree with the statement, “A citizen of a civil society has the freedom to do whatever they wish as long as it does not cause harm to others and as long as they fully understand and accept the consequences of their actions.”

And most would also agree with the well-known (but unattributable) assertion, “Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.”

Yet recently published statements by county and state officials promote freedom with no correlation to responsibility.

“We will continue to support the choice of the individual to keep themselves as safe as possible with their lifestyle choices. There is no reason for people’s freedoms to be infringed upon,” said one elected official.

And another said, “Some of the freedoms that we all have in individual things have to be protected … for everyday people out there. The ones that don’t want to wear a mask should have every right not to wear one if they don’t feel like they want to wear one.”

These proclamations ignore accumulating evidence that wearing a mask can be a significant factor in preventing the spread of COVID 19.

Shouldn’t elected officials be required to demonstrate at least a rudimentary understanding of the interdependent relationship of rights to responsibilities before being sworn into office?