A Republican county official in New Mexico urged constituents in a video released online Monday to ignore the advice of public health experts and not wear face masks aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.
Couy Griffin, an Otero County commissioner who founded the for-profit Cowboys for Trump organization, claimed — contrary to scientific evidence ― that “the longer you wear the mask, the weaker your immune system is gonna be and the more susceptible you’re going to be to disease or viruses or bacteria or whatever.”
Griffin acknowledged he was “no rocket scientist” or “medical expert,” but said he had “enough common sense to know that you’re not doing yourself any good.”
“I think, in my opinion, I think that we need to take the masks off,” he continued in the footage, posted on the Cowboys for Trump account’s feed. “And you need to quit breathing all that recycled air that’s going back in and out, in and out, because you’re not doing yourself any favors.”
Check out the video here:
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, mandated face masks in public places at the start of July. The state is currently experiencing a record surge in new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states “cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities.”
CDC Director Robert Redfield last week described cloth face coverings as “one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus” that has killed more than 140,000 people in the United States.
In a second video tweeted by the Cowboys for Trump account on Monday, Griffin said he applauded people who choose to wear masks and adhere to social distancing measures. “But I’m not going to,” he said.
Check out the video here:
Griffin garnered national attention in May when President Donald Trump quote-tweeted a video of him saying he’d “come to a conclusion where the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” Griffin said it was meant in a “political sense.”
Earlier this month, the Otero County Commission postponed a meeting after Griffin refused to self-isolate following his attendance at the president’s Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore. Griffin said he would not wear a face mask to the meeting, reported the Alamogordo Daily News.
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