Ohio Attorney General David Yost celebrated the end of compulsory mask-wearing and social distancing in the state by setting fire to a face covering, a move some critics online blasted as “pathetic” and “childish.”
He posted a video to Twitter on Tuesday that showed him dousing a face mask with what appeared to be lighter fluid, then tossing a match onto it. Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 song “Fire” played, and Yost wrote that it was a bit “of a spoof on Jim Hendrix setting his Stratocaster on fire at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.”
“In honor of the expiring health orders,” Yost captioned the video. Some people replied that that there are still local mask mandates in place.
Twitter users pointed out that Yost himself battled COVID-19, and they reminded him of Ohio’s death toll during the pandemic. The state has had more than 1.1 million confirmed cases; some 59,000 Ohioans have been hospitalized and 19,800 killed by COVID-19.
Yost downplayed the anger, though.
“A little-known side effect of COVID-19 is a temporary loss of the sense of humor,” he tweeted, later writing that “a liberal is someone who thinks burning an American flag is Constituionally protected free speech, but burning a paper mask is a punishable act.”
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