Anti-mask leader who died said he prioritized freedom over health

The leader of an American anti-mask movement, Caleb Wallace, 30, who died of covid-19 after spending nearly a month in San Angelo, Texas, called the pandemic a “tyranny” and made denial statements, contrary to the recommendations of the WHO (World Health Organization) in combating the disease. He campaigned against pandemic measures and left three children and a pregnant wife.

Founder of “The San Angelo Freedom Defenders” group, Caleb organized demonstrations in which he fought to “end covid tyranny” opposing mask and vaccine rules with “ensure constitutionally protected, God-given rights,” reported The New York Post.

“Show me the science that masks work […], that closing schools works. Show me the evidence that lockdowns work,” Caleb said on Facebook in December 2020.

However, studies such as the one carried out by USP (University of São Paulo) show the efficiency of hundreds of mask models, with some of them filtering out almost 100% of particles that may contain the new coronavirus.

‘I care more about freedom than about your health’

His trajectory of declarations against the measures is extensive. In an interview with the San Angelo Live! YouTube channel in October 2020, the anti-mask leader said he was “fed up” with mandatory precautions against fighting the virus. His group even made a list of local businesses that required the wearing of masks, so that members could avoid shopping at these stores.

A month later, it was Caleb’s turn to make denial and anti-mask statements in front of officials in his hometown of San Angelo. “I can’t tell the difference whether I’m free to breathe in the open air or breathe in the back, sucking the air behind this thing,” he is reported to have said referring to the mask, according to NCB’s Texas affiliate Kxan Channel.

“My health has nothing to do with you. As harsh as it sounds, our constitutional and fundamental rights protect that [sua suposta liberdade]. Nothing more,” he said, about not protecting himself against the virus using the mask. “I’m sorry if that sounds so direct and it sounds like I don’t care. I care. I care more about freedom than about your personal health.”

The most recent data show that countries that have adopted strict lockdowns such as Australia and New Zealand, have so far registered 52,612 cases and 1,002 deaths and 3,520 cases and 26 deaths, respectively, for a combined population of 30 million people. The US has 38,877,840 cases and 637,930 deaths since 2020. The data are from Johns Hopkins University.

the infection

According to the Huffington Post, Wallace began experiencing covid-19 symptoms on July 19 this year, but the woman said he refused to be tested and began medicating himself with aspirin, zinc, vitamin C and ivermectin, drugs that have no scientific evidence regarding the disease.

Caleb Wallace became more seriously ill on July 26, when he presented shortness of breath, high fever and dry cough, which worsened the next day, as his wife Jessica, 8 months pregnant with their fourth child, said in an interview with local newspaper San Angelo Standard-Times.

On July 30 he was admitted and days later intubated. He was publicly announced on August 28 by Jessica.

Jessica says she didn’t follow what her husband preached: “I’m from the border town of Del Rio and my views are less conservative.” Jessica wears a mask and said Caleb understood she wanted to do this, even though he said “masks won’t save you”.

The mother of 5-year-old Brooke, 3-year-old Audrey, 1-year-old Kate, and expected September baby, Emsley Jean Wallace, said before her husband’s death that his opinions didn’t take away from her admiration: “No In the end, whether he was a radical conservative or not, he was an incredible man.”