The state Senate of North Carolina voted on Wednesday to ban masks in public spaces, citing concerns of illegal activity. State Republicans specifically banned wearing masks for health reasons, saying the reduction of masks would help with the crackdown on rioters who aim to hide their identities.

It’s about time that the craziness is at least slowed down, if not literally stopped,” commented Buck Newton (R-Wilson), the bill’s sponsor. The bill passed with a strict party-line vote, with 30 Republicans voting for the bill and 15 Democrats opposing it.

Learn the benefits of becoming a Valuetainment Member and subscribe today!

Section one of the bill states: “The bill would repeal G.S. 14-12.11(a)(6), and individuals would no longer be able to wear masks in public for health or safety reasons.” The second section of the bill focuses on sentencing for defendants that wear masks while committing a crime. Other sections deal with emergency authority of the North Carolina executive branch and local governments, as well as the legality of blocking traffic.

The bill has yet to be made law. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper may decide to veto the bill, but each chamber could override the veto with a three-fifths vote.

This new bill comes just weeks after the pro-Palestine protests at North Carolina-Chapel Hill. During the protest, fraternity members of Pi Kappa Phi defended the American flag.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic ended, the lingering use of masks has been a controversial topic. Some believe that they are no longer useful for health reasons, and may provide cover for those with criminal intentions. Others cite health concerns as a reason to allow their continued use. As recently as nine months ago, several US hospitals, businesses, schools reinstated mask mandates due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The effectiveness of masks has been a contentious debate. While the CDC recommended masks throughout the pandemic, NIH documents surfaced showing that officials skewed data and misrepresented research to promote mask effectiveness.

Add comment