Stopped by Red Racks DAV in Joplin before they opened this morning and met with employees and several members of the DAV board. pic.twitter.com/TKkYHHlndj— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) May 4, 2020
Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who is unfortunately responsible for ushering some 6.137 million of his constituents through a global pandemic despite the fact he is dumb as rocks, dropped by a thrift store full of elderly veterans yesterday and just decided not to wear a mask, because of aforementioned rock-related reasons.
"Stopped by Red Racks DAV in Joplin before they opened this morning and met with employees and several members of the DAV board," Parson wrote in a Twitter thread that accompanied the unmasked photos. "The City of Joplin deemed the business 'essential' during the shutdown and they talked us through the precautionary measures taken."
Those precautionary measures, from the looks of things, involve wearing masks. I say that because of all of the other people in the room with the governor that are doing so. That's probably because the CDC says it's a good idea. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is on board with masks too. Even President Trump, who has long resisted wearing a mask, said just today that he'd wear one to a planned trip to a Honeywell plant in Arizona if he was asked by the company to do so.
As for Parson? "I chose not to," he tersely told a reporter who asked about his lack of a face covering during yesterday's daily coronavirus briefing.
"I think it's up to the individual," Parson continued, as reported by KMOV. "I don't think its government's role to mandate who wears a mask and who doesn't."
Setting aside the fact that Parson himself occupies the highest position in Missouri's government, and therefore it wouldn't be "government" mandating that he wear a mask, but rather his own decision (nice dodge though, Mike), there's the simple fact that the cloth face coverings people have been encouraged to wear are not meant to protect you from the virus — they are meant to protect people from you. COVID-19's primary method of transmission is through respiratory droplets, which fly out of your mouth whenever you cough, sneeze, speak or simply breathe.
The fact that you can be contagious as an asymptomatic or presymptomatic carrier makes this all the more problematic, as you may feel fine, but still be contagious. But putting a barrier in front of your face holes allows it to catch some of those respiratory droplets and helps prevent transmission. If the other people you're with are wearing masks too, everyone is that much more safe.
Here's a helpful graphic for those who understand things better through pictures (and/or pee):
Simple enough, right? And so, the fact that Parson simply "chose not to" wear a mask while hanging out with a bunch of people who, from the looks of things, are among those most vulnerable to COVID-19's worst outcomes based solely on their advanced age, is more sociopathy than it is personal freedom and rugged American individualism. You're supposed to be helping to keep those people from getting sick, Mike. You should be leading by example. While it's true that nobody voted for you, you're the governor now, for some reason.
Parson's dumb mask-less outing comes just a week after Vice President Mike Pence made his own dumb mask-less visit to the Mayo Health Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for which he received fierce backlash from public health experts. And it comes just days after Pence sheepishly admitted during an appearance on Fox News that he had made a mistake by refusing to wear one.
“I didn't think it was necessary," Pence said, "but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic, and I wore it when I visited the ventilator plant in Indiana.”
So even our dumb science-denying vice president has come around. Isn't it about time our dumb science-denying governor did the same?
In other words: Put some pants on and stop peeing all over everyone, Mike. It's fucking gross.