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Mandate Masks NY Condemns Mayor and NYPD Statements Urging Businesses to Force their Customers to Unmask
NEW YORK, March 11, 2023—Mandate Masks NY condemns statements from NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Chief of Department that urge business owners to force their customers to unmask. Everyone has a right to wear a mask. Everyone has a right to protect themselves from COVID-19. The claims that masks encourage crime and make NYC less safe are baseless. The truth is the opposite: By slowing the spread of COVID-19, masks help keep our communities safe.
The statements by the Mayor and NYPD Chief of Department go against science and public health. There is no evidence that forced unmasking will reduce crime. But unmasking, even temporarily, is a public health risk because COVID-19 is airborne. You can catch COVID-19 even if you only remove your mask briefly indoors.
Businesses that force unmasking discriminate against marginalized New Yorkers. No one should be forced to unmask and risk their health and lives in order to enter businesses, especially those at higher risk such as those who are immunocompromised, disabled, and/or elderly. This forced unmasking policy would also disproportionately target and profile communities of color, who are more likely to wear masks according to polls, and have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Masks should not be criminalized. No one should be hassled, whether by the police or by business owners, for protecting themselves from COVID-19. New York officials should not demand that people remove masks in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They should be doing the opposite and doing everything they can to encourage people to keep themselves and their communities safe by wearing a mask. New Yorkers are still dying daily from COVID. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are struggling with Long COVID. We need to protect New Yorkers' lives, not endanger them.
About Mandate Masks NY
Mandate Masks NY is an advocacy organization led by concerned New Yorkers working to get NYC and NYS to mandate masks when needed, provide free masks, and save lives from COVID-19. For more information please go to www.mandatemasksny.org.
Contact: Mandate Masks NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
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