As reported by Tucson.com:
PHOENIX — A lawmaker persuaded the Arizona House to let businesses ignore mask mandates to stem COVID spread partly by arguing they weren’t needed decades ago to stop the spread of AIDS.
On a 31-28 party-line vote Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House approved legislation that says business owners need not enforce any state, city, town or county requirement for people to wear a mask. The measure now goes to the GOP-controlled Senate...The sponsor, Rep. Joseph Chaplik, a first-term Republican legislator from Scottsdale, said his House Bill 2770 would give businesses the choice of whether to enforce the mandates that many communities already adopted...Chaplik, however, 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.”Chaplik went on to tell colleagues to look at what’s happening elsewhere, as he tried to disprove the claims that masks help prevent COVID-19 spread. “Nebraska never had a mask mandate,” he said. He said the same is true in places like Mississippi and Georgia.“I would think that based on these arguments these states would have dead people piled up all over their state because no one else would be living because no one has masks on,” Chaplik continued.Rep. Bret Roberts, R-Maricopa, made a similar claim. Roberts said he’s heard a figure that something like 90% of Arizona is covered by some local mask mandate, even though there is no statewide mandate.“If they work, how are people still catching COVID?” Roberts asked.
The stupid - it hurts. It's sad that people so criminally ignorant of the basic tenets of science should be elected to positions of authority.
Video of his statement at BoingBoing.
Related article in Scientific American: The Condoms of the Face: Why Some Men Refuse to Wear Masks.
"In today’s refusal to wear a mask, we see echoes of this condom rejection embedded in white masculine ideology... The reason is that eschewing a mask sends a strong social signal, in which the bare face is the performance... The irony is that these men think they're manifesting the ideal of the rugged, individualistic American, when their refusal really traces in part to a fear of what other people will think about them."