Sheriff Kevin Thom said that his deputies would not be wearing masks to work Trump’s South Dakota event at Mount Rushmore.
Sheriff Thom said on MSNBC, “In terms of the COVID-19, that’s one aspect of what we’re doing in regards to public safety at the monument today. It’s an outside event, so that lowers our concern. Masks are available for attendees. Masks are optional for our deputies. Generally, they won’t be wearing them. The hand sanitizing stations are available. And we put out a pretty strong message that if you’re uncomfortable with that setting, don’t attend the event. There are other ways to watch it. Livestreaming it on TV, we hope people take advantage of that.”
Sheriff says his deputies won't be wearing masks at Trump's Mount Rushmore event, because of "freedom of choice." pic.twitter.com/widTdVT0L3
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) July 3, 2020
NBC’s Peter Alexander asked the sheriff why the masks were optional when it would be good for public safety and set a good example.
Thom answered, “It’s optional for the deputies. We’ve not had a high number of cases in our area. Again, we believe that our independent nature here, freedom of choice, and if they want to wear a mask, they can. If they don’t want to, they don’t have to. It’s an outdoor venue, and we think that helps with the safety of the event itself.”
The idea that wearing a mask equals a loss of freedom is nonsensical Trump propaganda. What freedom is a deputy losing by wearing a mask? The freedom to get coronavirus?
The real reason that the deputies aren’t wearing a mask is that Donald Trump doesn’t believe in wearing masks. Coronavirus deniers such as Sheriff Thom are the reason why the virus is surging in most of the country.
Just because an area hasn’t been heavily impacted by the virus yet, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be in the future. It only takes one infected person at Trump’s event tonight to trigger an outbreak.
This sort of irresponsible behavior for community leaders is why this pandemic is on the verge of being out of control.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association