ReOpen NC leader creates “Burn Your Mask Challenge" as response to mandatory mask discussion

ReOpen NC leader creates “Burn Your Mask Challenge" as response to mandatory mask discussion
Mask burning videos popped up on social media Tuesday night in response to discussion of mandatory mask wearing policies. (Source: @TheRealReOpenNC Twitter Account)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The city of Raleigh moved ahead this week with an effort to require masks to be worn inside city limits during the coronavirus pandemic, where social distancing is not possible. Other areas are considering similar regulations, with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper saying recently it’s part of the discussion.

That discussion has drawn a sharp response from the ReOpen NC group that has been advocating for the state to return operations back to normal.

Tuesday night, Ashley Smith, the leader of the organization, announced the “Burn Your Mask Challenge” on Facebook and demonstrated by setting a mask on fire in a frying pan.

“As you know we’re a group against mandatory anything, and we’re for personal liberty and the Constitution and personal freedom," Ashley Smith said Tuesday on Facebook.

In the video, Smith told the private Facebook group of nearly 80-thousand members that masks are a sign of control and pointed out the warning on the side of her box that indicated it would not protect from the transmission of a virus. A couple other videos were available on social media showing mask burning as of Tuesday evening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of face coverings in public settings where social distancing is not an option.

The challenge did create a debate among some about whether the protective equipment should instead be donated to local medical organizations who are on the front line of fighting the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.