China Daily Global Edition (USA)

Anti-maskers continue to bleed US


Caleb Wallace, who had organized an anti-face mask movement in Texas, United States, died of COVID-19 on Saturday. He was just 30. Before him, H Scott Apley, a Texas Republican official who participat­ed in a mask-burning party had died of COVID-19.

The anti-mask movement, which started during the 1918 flu pandemic, seems to have gained strength during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A century ago, the anti-mask groups said masks prevented people from getting enough oxygen. Today, such groups also claim the vaccines are actually microchips that connect vaccinated people to the 5G network so they can be spied on.

In other words, people are still spreading conspiracy theories in the US despite the great scientific and technologi­cal progress humans have made.

Worse, the anti-mask groups enjoy the support of some politician­s. During the Donald Trump administra­tion, most of those opposing mask wearing were Republican supporters. Even after the incumbent president, Joe Biden, issued an administra­tive order making the wearing of masks in public places mandatory, many people in Florida defied the regulation even though they had to pay a fine for it.

Unfortunat­ely, wearing a mask has become a political, not a health-related, issue in the US. The anti-mask groups are using social networking sites to spread disinforma­tion and attract more supporters. They have formed teams on social media platforms and held discussion­s to spread anti-science messages.

Will Wallace’s death make them change their minds? Probably not. For Apley’s death made no difference to them.

But by spreading lies, the antimask groups are making more people vulnerable to the novel coronaviru­s, which is still to be contained in the US.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States