Utah anti-masker cites George Floyd's 'I can't breathe' plea for not covering face: 'Unimaginably insensitive'
George Floyd began trending on social media on Monday, September 14, after a news clip showing anti-mask protesters in Utah using Floyd's name to justify their cause went viral. Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed in police custody in May after a former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for over 7 minutes while Floyd pleaded with him to let him breathe.
In the ABC4 News clip, which is being widely circulated on social media, a woman named Shauna Kinville from St George can be heard saying: "When George Floyd was saying 'I can't breathe,' and then he died, and now we're wearing a mask and we're saying 'I can't breathe,' but we're being forced to wear them."
Several Twitter users shared the video slamming the woman and the anti-mask protesters for comparing their circumstances to that of Floyd's.
Jaw-dropping full report on Utah anti-mask protest. pic.twitter.com/lfpLj4cWkz— Tommy X-TrumpIsARacist-opher (@tommyxtopher) September 13, 2020
One user wrote: "Did she really just compare george floyd death to a fuckin mask." While another added: "This video is such a wild ride. Goes from comparing breathing in a mask to George Floyd's death and saying that child molesters love masks so no one should wear them." A third said: "This looks so ridiculous that I can’t believe it’s real. Lady tried to compare George Floyd not being able to breathe to her not being able to breathe with a mask."
Did she really just compare george floyd death to a fuckin mask... pic.twitter.com/CLYAubeYRG— Josuke (@PlayboiAkira) September 14, 2020
This video is such a wild ride. Goes from comparing breathing in a mask to George Floyd's death and saying that child molesters love masks so no one should wear them https://t.co/ZpV1QnNT8j— G̡̗͎̱̦͈a̤̺̠̼v͇̳̖͘i̹͇̫̺̩͔͘ͅṇ̢̭̤ (@gavi_boii) September 13, 2020
This looks so ridiculous that I can’t believe it’s real. Lady tried to compare George Floyd not being able to breathe to her not being able to breathe with a mask. https://t.co/F2ft1Nkff1— Anthony 👨🏽💻 (@AnthonyWArroyo) September 14, 2020
Nearly a thousand people in St. George had showed up for an anti-mask demonstration late last month after schools reopened in Washington County. The protesters reportedly stated that their children being forced to wear masks in classroom was illegal and unconstitutional, while many complained that they were not able to live their normal lives amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Many local residents reportedly also called the concerns about the deadly virus "overblown," while several others attempted to float the conspiracy theory of the virus being a "hoax."
A woman in the viral clip also appeared to compare people who wear masks to molesters, saying: "I'll tell you another reason I hate masks. Most child molesters love them."
Another Twitter user slammed the anti-mask protesters, saying: "White people love pretending to be oppressed. Comparing wearing a mask in a global pandemic to George Floyd is unimaginably insensitive and idiotic."
President Donald Trump also had an anti-mask stance till May, and often mocked his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, for wearing one. The Republican, however, late in July, spoke in favor of wearing masks in public as a safety measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump, on July 20, had tweeted, writing, "many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can't socially distance."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also advised wearing masks in public to curb the spread of coronavirus. “We are not defenseless against COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said. "Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities."