Republicans in Huntington Beach, California Refuse to Wear Masks, Deny COVID-19 is Spreading
In heavily-Republican Huntington Beach, California, many residents refuse to wear masks, and some claim the COVID-19 pandemic is not real.
Huntington Beach is in Orange County, California, which has a higher rate of infection than neighboring Los Angeles County, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A 58-year-old man, Brad Colburn, told the Los Angeles Times how the coronavirus pandemic is manufactured by the Democrats, but failed to offer any evidence:
I don’t believe it. I don’t believe the rates are rising. They’re inflated. It’s another way of shutting everything down … of the Democrats trying to get what they want. If you don’t want to go outside, don’t go outside.
A resident, who refused to give his name, said he never wears masks:
It hasn’t affected me at all, besides that I can’t go to a bar and have a drink and really kick it with the boys.
Resident Sophia Darr shared her skepticism, but failed to provide any supporting evidence:
I’m not afraid of it. I do think it’s overplayed. I think the media made it something it shouldn’t be. I wear it to respect the other people around me. Personally, I don’t really care.
Enoc Step explained why mandatory shutdowns that save lives are not needed:
People are tired of it. People must be given responsibility for their own actions. Newsom needs to stop being a monarch. How can you fight something that you have no control over?
In May, anti-mask demonstrators converged near the Huntington Beach Pier to protest the science-based, state-ordered shutdown of local businesses that was done to stop overwhelming hospitals, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Fred Smoller, a professor of political science at nearby Chapman University, explained why Republicans in Huntington Beach deny science-based reality:
Their ideology is a lens through which they are viewing the coronavirus. I would imagine many people there see it as a hoax, which the president has encouraged them to do in order to up his chance of reelection. I’m sure there’s quite a bit of animus toward the governor.… They’re viewing [state restrictions] as further evidence of the deep state and of an intrusive government.
Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta said she understood how grown adults are “uncomfortable with the use of face coverings,” but urged them to wear masks anyway:
I can certainly understand that sentiment. However, while there is still much we are learning about this virus, health experts have come out strongly recommending face coverings as an effective measure that helps stop the spread of COVID-19.