A Washington state sheriff urged residents to defy Gov. Jay Inslee’s statewide mandate requiring people to wear masks in public — declaring, “Don’t be a sheep,” according to a report.
Sheriff Robert Snaza, a Republican from Lewis County, said people should break the coronavirus safety order during a speech in a church parking lot Tuesday, according to footage posted by a Daily Chronicle photographer.
“In case you guys didn’t hear, Gov. Inslee in his infinite wisdom has decided after over a hundred and some odd days that we should all wear face masks — inside and out,” Snaza declared into a bullhorn while wearing a police uniform and no face cover.
“Here’s what I say: Don’t be a sheep.”
Dozens of people gathered around him are then shown cheering, clapping and waving American flags.
The defiant pep rally came several hours after the Democratic governor ordered residents to wear masks both inside and outside — or face a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail — to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Before the speech Tuesday, the crowd gathered at a billboard that reads “Oh no, a virus! Quick, Burn the Bill of Rights” next to Interstate 5 in Napavine. They had flocked to the sign to oppose a petition circulating to have it removed.
Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer also spoke out against the governor’s order, calling Inslee an “idiot” who is “overstepping his bounds [and] violating people’s constitutional rights,” according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Inslee’s statewide mandate requires people over the age of 5 to wear face coverings, with exceptions in outdoor spaces where people can remain more than 6 feet from each other.