At a glance
- Claim: As of August 2021, there are no rules that require the wearing of face masks in the United States.
- Rating: FALSE
- The facts: There are US states and territories that still have rules requiring the wearing of face masks, in general or in specific settings. Some states have reinstated mandates amid the threat of the more contagious Delta variant.
- Why we fact-checked this: The post containing this claim has over 6,300 views, 717 reactions, 50 comments, and 88 shares, as of writing.
An August 17 post on the Facebook page “Doc Ron Ang Malakas” falsely states that there are no face mask requirements in the United States, among other things. As of writing, the post has over 6,300 views, 717 reactions, 50 comments, and 88 shares.
The post says: “Pakita ko lang sa inyo yung KALAYAAN na tinatamasa sa US. Walang sekyu… walang facemask/face shield requirements…walang QR code.. walang bgy or militar or pulis na manghuhuli.. walang nag mandate na required ang bakulam at testing… walang gaya ni Dutae na nananakot ng mga mamamayan… MALAYA! Kalayaan!! FRREDOM!”
(Let me show you the freedom enjoyed in the US. No security guards, no face mask/shield requirements, no QR code [for contact tracing], no barangay, military, or police making arrests, no mandates requiring vaccines and testing, no one like Rodrigo Duterte who threatens people. Free! Freedom!)
The post by “Doc Ron Ang Malakas” also has an accompanying video of Ron Samaniego, a physical therapist who also goes by “Dr. Ron.”
The claim is false.
There are still US states and territories that require the wearing of face masks, as a general mandate or in specific settings. Some states have reinstated mandates amid the threat of the more contagious Delta variant.
A US News & World Report article on August 13 titled “These States Have COVID-19 Mask Mandates” lists the following US states and territories: American Samoa, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, US Virgin Islands, Virginia, and Washington.
The article also provides links to the applicable regulations for each state or territory.
The American Association of Retired Persons, an organization advocating for Americans aged 50 and above, also has an article updated on August 16 titled “State-by-State Guide to Face Mask Requirements,” which has a summary and links to each US state’s regulations involving the wearing of face masks.
Rappler has also fact-checked Samaniego at least once before. (READ: FALSE: COVID-19 tally in PH manipulated by doctors) – Percival Bueser/Rappler.com
Percival Bueser is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program, a five-week exclusive and hands-on training on detecting, investigating, and verifying online misinformation and disinformation.
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