U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) isn’t wearing masks on airplanes, but he’s suggested people might start wearing masks to work soon. And he wore one recently at a food drive. What gives?
“I’ll be getting on a plane on Monday and heading back to DC, I have no plans on wearing a mask,” he said Saturday to KNUS radio host Randy Corporon.
Corporon asked Buck if he “ever wears a mask when he’s out in public.”
“I have worn a mask once or twice when I have done food drives, and strangers are driving up in cars and handing food off to me and what not. I have not worn a mask other than that,” answered Buck, who represents a part of Colorado that has more COVID-19 deaths than anywhere in the state. (Listen below.)
It appears, from Buck’s answer, that he understands the benefit of a mask in stopping the spread of disease.
In a telephone town hall Tuesday, Buck didn’t talk about how his fellow air travelers reacted to his masklessness during his trip airline trip Monday.
But, moving forward, he said he expects to see “some precautions being taken in terms of masks and other things.”
And he’s suggested in his radio interview Saturday that perhaps wearing masks could be an alternative to extended stay-home orders.
“The point is, how do we develop a strategy so that we can isolate those most at risk, and at the same time go about our business? Do we wear masks to work? Do we ask restaurants to leave every other table free?”
So where does he stand on masks?
A call to his office wasn’t returned Thursday.
But Buck most likely doesn’t think much of mask-wearing, because the northern Colorado Congressman has become a leader among Republicans speaking out against social-distancing measures implemented around the country, including in Colorado.
“You’re dealing with a lot of hype about fatalities,” Buck told Politico yesterday. “I don’t know anybody who wants to be the person that says, ‘33,000 deaths is okay but 100,000 is unacceptable.’ But that’s what officials are elected to do.”
In his virtual town hall, Buck was optimistic about the reopening of the economy, also acknowledging that everyone has had to give up parts of their normal lives.
“I think everybody has sacrificed,” said Buck on the tele-conference. “My biggest hope is that the athletic gyms and other things can open up, because I really miss getting into the swimming pool and miss doing those things…”
Near the end of the town hall, Buck fielded a question about how to help the community during the pandemic. He suggested a number of different community service activities, but underlined optimism and prayers as the most important contributions.
“I think the best thing we can do is–all of us–is to stay positive, and pray a lot, and ensure that our neighbors know that we care about them and that we are going to do everything that we can to help people,” said Buck.
“If you had [coronavirus], and you have a certain immunity to it, then the doors are much more wide open,” Buck said. “I have been involved–I have not had [coronavirus], to my knowledge anyway–I have been involved in food drives to make sure that here in Weld County, we are able to get food to folks that are shut-in, and helping the food bank,” Buck said. “I think that there are a number of things given what your expertise is. If you’re handy, there are gonna be plenty of people that are shut-in that need help in different ways.”