A Washington state sheriff has urged residents to defy a statewide mandate by Gov. Jay Inslee which requires people to wear face masks in public.
“Don’t be a sheep,” Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza told a cheering, unmasked crowd adding that his deputies would NOT be enforcing the rder. it
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“In case you guys didn’t hear, Gov. Inslee in his infinite wisdom has decided after over a hundred and some odd days that we should all wear face masks — inside and out,” Snaza declared into a bullhorn while wearing a police uniform and no face cover.
“Here’s what I say: Don’t be a sheep.”
Dozens of people gathered around him are then shown cheering, clapping and waving American flags.
The defiant pep rally came several hours after the Democratic governor ordered residents to wear masks both inside and outside — or face a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail — to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Before the speech Tuesday, the crowd gathered at a billboard that reads “Oh no, a virus! Quick, Burn the Bill of Rights” next to Interstate 5 in Napavine. They had flocked to the sign to oppose a petition circulating to have it removed.
Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer also spoke out against the governor’s order, calling Inslee an “idiot” who is “overstepping his bounds [and] violating people’s constitutional rights,” according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Inslee’s statewide mandate requires people over the age of 5 to wear face coverings, with exceptions in outdoor spaces where people can remain more than 6 feet from each other.