Around 100 people gathered outside Idaho's state Capitol in Boise in a Burn the Mask rally in order to make a statement against the COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday. In a statement by the Idaho State Police, the organizers had permits for the rally, thus no one was arrested. However, the rally is still under review due to the use of open fire during the event.
According to the police, the organizers and participants in the event were informed that open flames were prohibited on the State Capitol Grounds yet they still ignited one inside a barrel during the rally. Footage and photos of the event showed that there were children present and some even participated in the burning of masks.
Burn the Mask
Meanwhile, Darr Moon, a conservative activist, and husband of Rep. Dorothy Moon stated that the rally in Idaho is just one of the several Burn the Mask rallies that were organized by different groups across the state on Saturday. He even posted photos of an event which also happened in Rexburg on Facebook.
Moreover, Moon stated that Idaho has very low COVID-19 infection numbers since it is mostly rural. Thus, he noted that wearing masks and other pandemic restrictions aren't always necessary.
He also said that there are certain towns or health districts that are still mandating wearing masks despite the low numbers in the state. He also emphasized that the state has long flattened the curve and that people should be allowed back to their normal lives and back to work, The Hindu reported.
Based on data by Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center 25% or 1 out of 4 of people in Idaho who had COVID-19 tests was positive. This is a huge drop in numbers since December when two-thirds of those who got tested in the state had positive results. Idaho has reported 1,876 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, NBC News reported.
In response to the Burn the Mask rallies, the state of Idaho said that they "strongly recommend" the wearing of facial coverings but it is not mandated. However, there are still several cities that require it.
The state also noted that indoor and outdoor gatherings have been limited to 50 participants or fewer. Bars have also been allowed to operate but all patrons are required to remain seated and the tables need to be at least six feet apart.
On Thursday, Republican Gov. Brad Little posted a tweet reminding people to continue practicing things that work such as proper handwashing, wearing masks, and staying home when sick, The Guardian reported. Meanwhile, the House State Affairs Committee of Idaho discussed the bill which would prohibit government entities to mandate people to wear masks.
On the other hand, Moon, who was the point person for the Burn the Mask rally at the state capitol, said that they are not against masks but they just want healthy-bodied people to be allowed back to work. He also said that the mandates and executive orders on the pandemic restrictions have put their jobs in jeopardy.
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