MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The controversy over mask wearing continues after Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide mask mandate on July 15, requiring facial coverings to be worn in public places when in close contact with other people.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC and other local and national health professionals say wearing a face mask is one of the most effective ways to control the spread of COVID-19. However, some people in the River Region think otherwise. They believe that forcing someone to wear a face covering is an infraction on our constitutional rights.
“It is detrimental to your health; it does not protect you,” said Prattville citizen Aizik Ouellette. “When freedom falls, tyranny rises and that’s what’s happening. Tyranny is rising and not enough people are standing up for their freedoms.”
“There’s plenty of science to show that masks are dangerous,” said Kam Ouellette from Prattville. “People are touching them, they’re taking them off, they’re setting them on their dash, their hanging them on their mirror, they’re throwing them on their kitchen counter. It’s actually a public health hazard to have people mandated wearing masks.”
Montgomery citizen Jennifer Leary said she has been immune compromised and has suffered from asthma since she was 18 months old and that wearing a mask has caused her to live in fear.
“We need to build ourselves up, build our immunity’s,” Leary said. “We need to stop all of the foolishness that we have done with mask wearing. In Costco I almost passed out and finally I just said this is enough I am not doing this anymore.”
“The fourth amendment guarantees us our right to our property and our body is our property,” Ouellette said.
“Every person should be able to decide their health decisions. That’s why we have this huge debate about Roe v. Wade right? My body, my choice. Have we forgotten that?” said Montgomery citizen Cedric Coley.
Some anti-maskers say information from health organizations is contradictory.
“We’re supposed to be trusting the WHO the CDC the FDA and all of these to give us truth. Not opinions, truth,” said Montgomery citizen Jason Reid.
Meanwhile Health experts continue to see a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitals continue to be overwhelmed. As of Sunday, Montgomery County has a total of 5,057 confirmed cases and 124 deaths.
“The sad thing is it could be avoided if people wore masks. It is tough. I get pretty emotional about this,” said Dr. David Thrasher a Montgomery-area Pulmonologist.
“The bottom line is masks do prevent infections and masks do save lives,” said State health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
“95 percent protection from something as easy as this cloth,” said Montgomery-area Pulmonologist Dr. William Saliski.
Ivey’s mask mandate remains in effect until 5 p.m. on July 31, unless amended.