Florida’s Palm Beach County made face masks mandatory this week amid a surge in coronavirus cases, prompting a furious response from residents, including one who rebuked county commissioners for “practicing the law of the Devil”.
The board approved the order, which is in effect indefinitely, with a unanimous vote on Tuesday, WPEC reported.
Several people lashed out during the meeting’s public comment session.
“They want to throw God’s wonderful breathing system out the door,” said one woman, identified only by her first name, Sylvia, according to the report.
Another woman named Whitney, who identified herself as an essential worker, strangely explained that she does not wear a mask for the same reason that she does not wear underwear, the outlet reported.
“Things have to breathe,” he said.
“You are all practicing the devil’s law,” added another woman named Cristina, promising a citizen arrest for those who go against “freedom of choice.”
“Each and every one of you who obeys the laws of the devil will be arrested,” he said.
Then he accused lawmakers and doctors of being part of the “Deep State.”
What happened to Bill Gates? Why is Hillary Clinton not in jail? Why are all these pedophiles who are demanding that everyone listen to their rules, why are they not in jail? Oh, is it because you are part of them? Are you part of the Deep State? she yelled, citing a term used by conspiracy theorists for a perceived secret government.
“The Deep State is sinking, and if any of you are in the Deep State, it is sinking.”
A man named Butch, who called himself an American patriot, also criticized the commission, urging them to honor the Constitution and listen to “we the people.”
A woman named Cindy even argued that the coronavirus should not be considered a pandemic, according to the report.
“This is a planned demic,” he said. “This is totally political and you know it and I am asking you to put aside and desist from the political agendas with which they ‘propagate’ you so that you stay and try to hold us hostage as American citizens.”
Another woman warned commissioners for passing “these orders or laws of the communist dictatorship.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Fahmy, medical director of Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Palm Beach County, told CNN that he was disappointed by the response from community members.
“The response we got from a common sense mandate that occurred in Palm Beach County is really regrettable,” he said. “We know scientifically that masks have been shown to prevent infection and transmission from one sick person to another. And the fact that people are struggling so much against wearing masks is discouraging. Wearing a mask not only protects you, it also protects those around you. ”
Florida reported 5,004 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, down from Wednesday’s record 5,511, but the increase in cases the Sunshine State has seen in the past two weeks continues, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Overall, the state has seen 114,018 coronavirus cases and 3,327 deaths, according to the latest figures from the Florida Department of Health.
Palm Beach County has specifically reported 11,704 cases and 486 deaths.