Lawmaker: Masks didn’t protect against AIDS - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Lawmaker: Masks didn’t protect against AIDS

March 12th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Lawmaker: Masks didn’t protect against AIDS

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

A first-term Scottsdale legislator convinced colleagues last week to let businesses ignore mask mandates to stem the spread of COVID by arguing that they weren’t needed decades ago to stop the spread of AIDS.

On a 31-28 party-line vote, the House earlier this month approved legislation that says business owners need not enforce any state, city, town or county requirement for people to wear a mask.

Republican Rep. Joseph Chaplik, sponsor of HB 2770, said it would give businesses the choice of whether to enforce the mandates many communities already have adopted and that said consumers then would have the option of deciding if they want to do business there.

Chaplik argued that the mandates are an overreaction and that society has managed to survive other viral outbreaks without masks.

For example, he cited HIV “that was going to wipe our global destruction of human bodies with AIDS.’’

“We heard about that in the 80s,’’ Chaplik said. “Yet no masks were required.’’

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, cannot be spread by air. It is spread through exchange of bodily fluids, normally sexual transmission or sores from open wounds and also can be spread through sharing infected needles.

“It’s about the individual rights of these business owners as Americans,’’ Chaplik argued.

Rep. Joanne Osborne, R-Goodyear, who owns the jewelry store with the family name, told colleagues this is a difficult decision.

“I have had friends die of COVID,’’ Osborne said.

Osborne also said there are other mandates on business that are accepted, like having sprinklers and fire extinguishers. But Osborne, who provided the crucial – and required – 31st vote for the measure, said she had to side with her colleagues.

“I’m no communist,’’ she said.