Pennsylvania lawmaker demands respect for 'community' that refuses to wear masks


GOP state Rep. Russ Diamond said those refusing to wear masks are being discriminated against.

A Republican state lawmaker in Pennsylvania penned a lengthy statement demanding respect and tolerance for those who refuse to wear masks to stop the spread of the coronavirus — even though they are violating pubic health directives intended to keep the public safe.

Diamond said he has faced "multiple incidents" of harassment for not wearing a mask.

"Your actions perpetuate a spirit of intolerance and discrimination against unmasked individuals and specifically individuals like myself who are outspoken about it," Diamond wrote in a press release to "address hateful comments towards [sic] the unmasked community," posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday.

Diamond lamented that "unmasked individuals still are being denied access to public accommodations in places in Pennsylvania," adding that he has "no room in my heart for hatred."

"We all need to foster that spirit of acceptance and welcoming to unmasked individuals and celebrate the wonderful diversity of our commonwealth," Diamond wrote.

Diamond has been railing against the use of masks — which public health experts say are one of the most effective tools for stopping the spread of the deadly coronavirus — for months.

He's been blatantly ignoring Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's statewide mask order, which was put in place to stop the spread of the virus.

"Shopped sans mask. Bought TP. Got $1.99 gas & Batdorf take-out. So much winning," Diamond posted on his Facebook page in May.

Earlier in July, he told a local Pennsylvania television station that masks "do more harm than good" — an absolutely false comment.

Diamond also tweeted an image on July 9 that said "a masked child is an abused child" — a tweet he later deleted.

Diamond is one of a number of both state and congressional Republican lawmakers who have refused to wear masks.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) had refused to wear a mask, including in the U.S. Capitol.

On Wednesday, he tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to widespread condemnation from his fellow member of Congress, who were angry that he recklessly endangered the health of everyone in the building, including members, his own staff, and other employees in the Capitol complex.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.