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Kansas Restaurant Refuses To Abide By Mask Mandate

“I don’t think that there is any science that proves that.”
Laura Kelly sworn in as Kansas governor, promising a new chapter after partisan fights
Jill Toyoshiba/The Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Kansas restaurant approximately 10 miles southwest of Kansas City is refusing to obey the state’s mask mandate because its owner said he “doesn’t believe” that wearing them helps curb the spread of COVID-19.

Don Chilito’s Mexican Restaurant is one of 18 establishments in Mission, Kansas, that have received a visit from District Attorney Steve Howe’s office after non-compliance complaints, according to local NBC affiliate KSHB. Of those 18, only Don Chilito’s is refusing to comply.

Don Chilito’s is a family business owned by Barry Cowden, who maintained that a mask mandate violates his civil liberties. “It’s supposed to be a free country, and we can make our own decisions with what we do in our lives and in our businesses,” Cowden said.

Regarding studies that have shown that wearing masks helps mitigate the spread of the virus, Cowden said, “I don’t believe it. I don’t think that there is any science that proves that.”

Despite not requiring his workers or guests to wear masks, Bowden implements sanitizer and social distancing between tables.

The district attorney sent an investigator to Don Chilito’s in June following complaints who showed him the governor’s order to wear masks.

“He presented me with a five-page order from Gov. [Laura] Kelly, and I gave him my response, which is exactly what I’m giving you … I feel it’s an encroachment and a violation of my civil liberties and rights,” Cowden remembered.

When he asked what the consequences would be if he didn’t comply, Cowden received no further information. Should he eventually face heavy consequences, Cowden conceded he might be forced to wear a mask, albeit begrudgingly.

“I care about my employees, so if that’s what we have to do I suppose we’ll do that. If I do wear a mask, I will of course wear it in protest, and I’ll only do it where need be to protect my livelihood and that of my employees,” he said.

Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a new mask mandate on Wednesday after the state experienced a seven-day increase in COVID-19 cases.

The New York Times on Wednesday reported on a Danish study that found masks did not stop the transmission of COVID-19.

As The Daily Wire reported:

A new study from Danish researchers found that mask-wearers were not protected from becoming infected by the novel coronavirus more than their mask-less counterparts, contradicting the mainstream consensus, including that of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Researchers in Denmark reported on Wednesday that surgical masks did not protect the wearers against infection with the coronavirus in a large randomized clinical trial,” The New York Times reports in a piece titled, “A New Study Questions Whether Masks Protect Wearers. You Need to Wear Them Anyway.”

The Times noted that the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, “did not contradict growing evidence that masks can prevent transmission of the virus from wearer to others,” though its “conclusion is at odds with the view that masks also protect the wearers — a position endorsed just last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Related: NYT: Study Finds That Masks Do Not Protect Wearers, But You Need To Wear Them Anyway

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