Ex-lawmaker, governor candidate says face mask order ‘bunch of illogical crap,’ vows to defy state

Published 5:54 pm Friday, July 10, 2020

A former state legislator and candidate for governor said he will willfully disobey Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ new order requiring citizens in some counties to wear face masks and maintain social distancing to curb the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

In a lengthy diatribe on Facebook, Robert Foster wrote that he believed Reeves is acting “like a dictator” and called the health care guidelines “a bunch of illogical crap.”

Foster wrote that he knew his comments would probably upset people, but that if it does, “then you are part of the problem.”

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“But, this guilt trip nonsense claiming that if we don’t all comply with masks that we will cause people to get sick and die, is ludicrous,” Foster wrote. “If people don’t like how I’m running my business, or think it’s not safe, they don’t have to come support my business. If my employees don’t like it, or don’t feel safe, they can quit. That’s how free markets work.”

Foster, who lives in Hernando, ran for governor in 2019 and had been a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives until January.

“Those of us still standing are struggling to survive under the relentless and crushing restrictions still being imposed upon us,” Foster wrote. “So, this isn’t about a mask mandate, this is about Control.”

On Thursday, Reeves announced a state mandate for 13 counties where high levels of coronavirus spread have occurred recently requiring, among other things, that people in public wear face masks. The order included DeSoto County, where Foster lives.