Who will keep us safe next time? A judge this week effectively ended the federal government’s mask mandate for those using public transportation. Many who are sick of being told to wear masks cheered the ruling. And it is true that cases of the latest variant of the Coronavirus are dropping, and the symptoms appear milder and the rate of death lower. But the judge’s ruling is troubling in that she ruled the Centers for Disease Control lacked the authority to issue the mandate in the first place. If the top government health agency doesn’t have the authority to put in place rules to keep us safe during a raging pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen before, then who does? We saw something similar in Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers’ mask mandate was also thrown out by the court for similar reasons. And in La Crosse County, the former head of county health was essentially run out of town over what some considered draconian rules during the start of the pandemic. So, what happens if we see another, perhaps even more deadly wave of the Coronavirus, or some other illness we haven’t even seen yet? Apparently, our top health agencies lack the authority to issue common-sense rules to promote our health and safety. If they don’t have the authority, then who does? Apparently the best our government can do is tell us we are on our own, and that doesn’t sound like much of a public health policy.