By Velena Jones

PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — A controversial post by a local politician challenges what health experts have said about the need for face masks.

In a Facebook video, Placer County District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler compares wearing a face mask to the red ribbon used to support AIDS awareness, claiming that it does not help solve the issue.

“Let me introduce you to the 2020 COVID-19 edition of the red ribbon the face mask,” Uhler said in the post. “Thinking you are going to be protecting yourself or somebody else, you might as well be walking around wearing one of these.”

Uhler encourages those who are at high risk to wear face masks but believes it is unnecessary for everyone else.

“The mask is designed to protect the wearer, however, the mask is not designed to stop something from out of my mouth and into the environment around,” he said.

His comments have got the attention of around 25,000 people since it was posted on June 10. He has received both support and backlash.

READ ALSO: Best Way To Reduce Coronavirus Transmission Is By Wearing A Face Mask, Study Finds

“I think it is really irresponsible to be saying something like that to the public because it is just not a symbol,” said Placer County resident Stephanie Heniret.

Local Roseville shop owner Shayni George doesn’t require her customers to wear masks inside her store.

“If I’m told to wear a mask, I wear a mask but I’m not going to lie, I do get kind of resentful,” she said. “I have a chemistry degree, for me, the science is not there.”

Researchers out of California and Texas claim wearing face masks is the most effective way to stop the virus. The study cited infection rate trends that dramatically declined only after face masks were made mandatory in New York and Italy.

Another study from Cambridge and Greenwich universities suggest 100% use of masks when paired with lockdowns, could stop the virus until a vaccine is available.

“They are effective if everyone wears them. If I’m the only one wearing them and no one else is I’m not going to be protected against coronavirus, said Heniret. “The more masks we wear the less droplets are going to get in the air, and the less droplets in the air the less infection.”

While masks are strongly encouraged by Placer County, they are not required. According to the county’s website, face coverings may protect others from infection. Wearing a face covering may help prevent the spread of droplets that might be infectious.

“Let’s not be afraid to live our lives. We have had nine deaths in Placer County. We are a county of 400,000 people,” Uhler said.

As of Friday night, there were 344 cases confirmed in Placer County.

Velena Jones

Comments (13)
  1. mark stein says:

    this guy is a pompous jerk. just another politician who think he knows everything

  2. Agree. The deal here is to boycott all merchants who won’t wear masks.

  3. Greg Thornton says:

    he has it exactly…backwards. Masks keep your
    cooties in your own self, which protects OTHERS!

  4. Steve Jenkins says:

    I think people who wear masks are scaredy cats. And they look ridiculous. I wear one when required but I am not gonna live in fear. The numbers in my area dont show a huge risk of death. In fact its quite small when you compare it to other causes of early death. If the numbers change or i see more deaths, then so will my behavior. . .

    1. XYZ says:

      Since everything with you is vanity, here’s a thought: aggots eating your diseased lungs look disgusting. don’t come anywhere near me or mine, maskless, or else. You are alive because your 1918 ancestors wore masks. And the virus travels everywhere. Low IQ included. Thankfully.

      1. Steven C Jenkins says:

        Or else what? You are a drama queen.

  5. Chuck Snodgrass says:

    Uhler was voted out of his supervisor position…any wonder why? Kirk, do us a favor, take a long vacation through November.

  6. XYZ says:

    Sir Moron’s forebear’s WORE MASKS and survived the 1918 Flu Pandemic, and their ungrateful descendent mocking masks, hopefully the upcoming surge takes him out. Too many people in political power influencing behaviors that will kill others.

    1. Robert Jenkins says:

      Calm down. You are talking like everyone around you is dropping like flies. I bet you don’t even know anyone who has died from covid-19. Do you? And if you do, the odds of them being over 80 yrs old is almost 50/50. and the rest of the deaths are of the 70 years or older age group. And even those are relatively rare. I’m not saying this isn’t serious, I’m just saying you talk like everyone without a mask is going to die or going to kill someone. And that the numbers just don’t require that kind of emphatic response.

  7. Mark Alforon says:

    Kirk Uhler is not just an idiot — he’s dangerous. There is a mountain of scientific evidence that firmly refutes his claims, but he doesn’t understand the science, and doesn’t even seem to want to understand it. The quarantine measures negatively impact his business interests, he doesn’t like that, and so he’s trying to rationalize why the quarantine measures are wrong. If he were just some random citizen, his behavior would simply be childishly idiotic. Unfortunately, because of his influence and effect on Placer County residents, his behavior is harmful, exposing many residents to dangers they need not be exposed to.

    1. concerned says:

      show us the mountain of evidence.

  8. Read the science” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, June 30, 2020 https://www.pnas.org/content/117/26/14857

    “…the airborne transmission route is highly virulent and dominant for the spread of COVID-19…analysis reveals that the difference with and without mandated face covering represents the determinant in shaping the trends of the pandemic.”

    “We conclude that wearing of face masks in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent interhuman transmission, and this inexpensive practice, in conjunction with extensive testing, quarantine, and contact tracking, poses the most probable fighting opportunity to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, prior to the development of a vaccine.”

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