Lt. Governor Dan Forest returned to in-person campaigning with a large crowd this week. In Iredell County, the lieutenant governor hosted more than 100 people indoors. Attendees were crowded ten to a table and without masks, according to WRAL.
Forest has made frequent remarks minimizing the danger of coronavirus and rejecting the scientific consensus on masks and their role in curbing the spread of the virus. The event also disregards state executive orders, issued by Governor Cooper, requiring masks and banning mass gatherings, WRAL reports.
As lieutenant governor, Forest is president of the senate and can preside over the chamber. In practice, he rarely attends. WRAL reporter Travis Fain asked if Forest had been tested for coronavirus given recent news that a Republican state senator with whom Forest had contact last week had tested positive. Forest and his campaign have so far failed to return comment.
Though Forest refuses to wear one himself, the CDC pushes for masks as a major defense against the coronavirus. In Charlotte, CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield said, ”You can’t emphasize it too much that actually face coverings work.” He added, “If all of us would put on a face covering now for the next four weeks to six weeks, I think we could drive this epidemic to the ground.”
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Forest said, “masks don’t work.”
Read the full story on Dan Forest’s latest controversy from WRAL.