Video emerged on Monday of a COVID-denier in California shouting “masks don’t work” into a megaphone while protesting on top of a table of folded sweaters in a Costco warehouse store. The man had a face mask pulled under his chin as he spoke.
“Guess what? They told us 15 days … then they told us 30 days. Do masks really work? Why is it still a problem? If masks really work, why is this still a problem? Because the masks don’t do anything,” the man said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that multi-layer cloth masks can block 50 to 70 percent of aerosol droplets and particles that come out of people’s mouths, the most common way to spread COVID-19.
The protester later claimed that COVID-19 is no different than the common flu and he encouraged the masked shoppers to rise up against the lockdown and mask orders instated by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.
“It is just the flu,” the man continued to say. “We’ve already been exposed to it, folks. Did you know that the CDC in 2019 November, December, they went back and they test some blood from blood banks and guess what? It already had COVID in it. You know why? Because it’s the flu.”
While he is correct that the CDC did detect COVID-19 in an American person’s blood from December 2019, the CDC explained in a January 26 statement that the blood had come from a person who had recently visited Wuhan, China where the coronavirus originated.
President Donald Trump has also compared COVID-19’s lethality to the flu, but infectious disease epidemiologist Adam Kucharski has said that COVID-19 is 10 times deadlier than the flu because its infection fatality rate is 10 times higher.
COVID-19 has killed more Americans in 2020 than the approximately 178,000 Americans killed by flu over the last six years. As of December 14, over 300,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 in less than one year. Also, while the “typical” flu season lasts for a seven-month period from October to April, COVID-19 has no “season.”
Later on, the man says, “Don’t let them do it. You know why we’re under this lockdown right now? Because all the information is coming out about COVID, they know it’s a farce. They know it’s a farce. We must not do this. If you continue, this is the life that you will have.”
The shoppers mostly ignore the man as they continue shopping in face masks. When a woman tries to tell him to stop, he says, “Don’t tell me I don’t have the right!”
“You know, Governor Newsom doesn’t have the right to shut us down and to make you wear a mask. That’s right people,” the man continues. “You know that’s right. You’ve got to stand up for ourselves because this governor is going to keep us locked down until we do something about it. And I want to know: Are you going to let this happen?”
Newsom’s mask order requires state residents to wear masks in most public settings. The governor has also required state regions to restrict business access when the number of COVID-19 patients inhabiting hospital beds in intensive care units goes above 15 percent.
Newsweek contacted Costco for comment.