Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared Monday that Americans have no “constitutional right” to go maskless during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s sort of like saying I have a constitutional right to drive drunk, I have a constitutional right to not wear a seat belt, or to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater, or to not follow the speed limit,” the Republican governor said during his coronavirus press briefing.
“We’re talking about a quarter of a million people dying already — more than the Korean War, the Gulf War, and the Vietnam War added together,” he continued. “Which part don’t you understand? You wear the mask. There’s no constitutional right to walk around without a mask. We did it in 1918, I don’t know why we can’t do it now.”
Mr. Hoganannounced that Maryland State Police is deploying “High Visibility Compliance Units” across the state with a special focus on bars, restaurants, and venues to ensure compliance with state regulations ahead of the holidays. State police are also expanding their 24/7 COVID-19 Prevention Hotline, where members of the public can report unsafe activities and public health order violations.
Marylanders will receive an emergency alert text message reminding them of the restrictions on Wednesday at 5 p.m.