Coronavirus: ‘I will not wear a mask,’ Urbana state rep says

An Urbana state representative says he will not wear a face mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 because it would cover “the image and likeness of God.”

State Rep. Nino Vitale, R-Urbana, said in a post and a video Monday morning on his Facebook page that he will go against the recommendation of Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton that Ohioans should wear face masks when venturing out in public.

“This is the greatest nation on Earth founded on Judeo-Christian principles,” Vitale’s post said. “One of those principles is that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. That image is seen most by our face. I will not wear a mask.”

Vitale said in a video alongside the post that no one is stopping anybody from wearing a face mask, “but quite frankly everyone else’s freedom ends at the tip of my nose.”

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“You’re not going to tell me what to do and there’s a lot of people that feel that way. I realize there’s some basic things in life we put in place to have a society, a modern society, but we do have to be careful about how much encroachment we get on personal liberties and freedoms,” Vitale said.

Vitale also said that Champaign County should follow Preble County’s lead in declaring all businesses essential and reopening the economy — Preble County commissioners deemed all county businesses “essential” on Friday and encouraged them to reopen.

“It’s time to do what Preble County did, ignore the unelected Dr. Acton’s orders, open your counties now before it’s too late,” Vitale said. “This is not based on logic, this is based on fear and propaganda.”

Vitale doubled-down on Monday’s comments in a post on Tuesday morning.

“If someone is that scared that they do not want to go out into public because 100 percent of the people are not wearing masks, then that person should stay home, not tell everyone else what they should be doing,” Vitale said.

Champaign County has 15 cases of the coronavirus with one death as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

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