As public officials in North Carolina consider making wearing masks in public spaces mandatory, Ashley Smith, co-founder of “ReopenNC,” is promoting a shocking new “Burn Your Masks” challenge.
Smith posted a video on the ReopenNC Facebook page where she said, “As you know, we are a group that is completely against mandatory anything. We are for personal liberty and the constitution and personal freedom.” She then holds a blue medical mask, the kind used by many workers in healthcare settings, and reads the description on its packaging, which cautions users, “When properly worn … the mask reduces potential contact by the wearer to fluids but does not eliminate the risk of contracting any virus, disease or infection.” Smith says, “This does not prevent the spread of COVID. This is not a sign of your compassion or how much you care for another human being. This is a sign of control.”She then proceeds to light the mask on fire and burn it in a frying pan.
The challenge is sure to offend medical workers and health officials who depend on masks and other PPE to limit the spread of COVID-19. Governor Roy Cooper said Monday that requiring people to wear masks in public to limit the spread of the virus is “absolutely in the discussion,” and Wake County commissioners also are considering such a mandate. Masks are already a requirement in Durham and Orange counties.