Anti-mask protesters in Florida rallied at a restaurant Monday. The rally came after Florida logged 15,000 new cases in a single day. Doctors advised wearing masks in public to stop the virus. Many studies also prove face covers are useful. Still, many Americans don’t wear masks. They feel masks violate their freedoms.
How the Anti-mask Rally Happened
With over 15,000 new cases, Florida now holds the single-day record for COVID-19 numbers. Gizmodo reports that the protesters gathered at the 33 & Melt restaurant and bar. The restaurant is in Windermere, Florida. An activist named Carrie Hudson owned the place. She also believes that COVID-19 is just a media hoax. Inside, the group wailed against the new rule ordering them to wear masks outdoors.
Gizmodo adds that Hudson enticed more protesters by offering “100 free meals.” Canadian news also streamed the protest on YouTube. According to Gizmodo, the activists echoed President Donald Trump’s talking points on the pandemic.
When county officials responded to the protest, the group yelled at them. Their slogans included “This is America!” They also yelled that they were not living in “Communist China.” The county officials led them out of the restaurant.
Global News identified the protest leaders as Tara Hill and Chris Nelson. They harassed nearby residents who disagreed with them. The residents had asked why their rights needed protection from the pandemic. In response, the protesters yelled at them to stay at home.
Other Claims from the Anti-mask Activists
Gizmodo also noted that Hudson believed COVID-19 wouldn’t spread if the media didn’t talk about it. In a Facebook post, Hudson wrote that they wouldn’t have known about COVID if the press didn’t mention it. “I will never back down, and I love all my guests,” Hudson added.
The group also claimed that COVID-19 has a “99.6% recovery rate.” While not everybody dies of COVID, some people suffer long-term effects like hallucinations. The protesters also stressed that people should take care of their health. However, Gizmodo notes that the nature of coronavirus doesn’t leave people much choice.
Business as Usual in Florida Amid COVID
Despite the surge of cases in Florida, Disney World has reopened. While the park has promised to do all safety measures, the risk is still too high. At present, the United States has 3.3 million cases. Over 135,000 people have also died. Hospitals in several states have reached full capacity. And the numbers rise every day.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also denied the extent of the outbreak in Florida. He has noted the falling death rate since May. However, doctors predict the death rate will rise again very soon. With the high infection rate, the virus might reach older people. They are most likely to die from COVID-19.
What Should the US Government Do?
Without strict quarantine measures, COVID-19 cases will continue to rise in the US. People who refuse to wear masks put everybody in danger. So do people who refuse to practice distancing. If worse comes to worst, the government might have to start lockdowns.