While there are plenty of people out there who aren’t happy they’ve been asked to wear a mask when they go out in public, Ohio GOP lawmaker Nino Vitale is objecting on religious grounds. The state representative made his stance loud and clear in a recent Facebook post, which was found and posted on Twitter by the Ohio Capital Journal‘s Tyler Buchanan.
Vitale has long been a critic of Ohio governor Mike DeWine’s order to lock down the state in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Raw Story. He’s also been quite outspoken over the last few weeks that the facemasks that people have been told to wear won’t help avoid infection. In his most recent post, he didn’t cite what he called faulty science behind wearing masks as why he was refusing to don the protective gear. What he did say was that he didn’t want to wear a mask because it violated God’s teachings.
“This is the greatest nation on earth founded on Judeo-Christian Principles. One of those principles is that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. That image is seen the most by our face. I will not wear a mask.”
Vitale then reportedly went on to encourage his followers to ignore recommendations from the Ohio Health Director, Amy Acton. Acton has been a prominent voice in the state since the coronavirus outbreak began across the country.
Vitale pointed to a county in Ohio that has reportedly ignored most of the state’s recommendations when it comes to trying to keep its citizens safe and healthy. The lawmaker then alluded to the fact that Acton wasn’t elected as the reason his constituents shouldn’t listen to her instructions.
While he pointed to his religious beliefs as the reason he won’t wear a mask, he also once again talked about how he doesn’t believe the masks are protecting anyone anyway. He also made a claim that has been making the rounds since the outbreak first started — that COVID-19 is no more serious than a regular strain of flu.
“This is not based on logic, this is based on fear and propaganda and every statistical, data-driven study done in the last 2 weeks says death counts are low, the models were wrong, and this is more like the flu.”
Vitale’s comments come amid increasing pushback across the country on the regulations that have been put in place in various states as a response to the outbreak. Some of that pushback has even come from President Donald Trump, who – some critics believe – looks at the whole situation as “a big game.”