The owner of a grocery store in Pennsylvania has posted a flyer claiming that the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax to harm President Donald Trump's re-election.

Mark Wenger, owner of Wenger's Grocery Outlet in Mifflinburg, asked customers to respect people in his store who do not wear a face mask as the pandemic rages in the United States. “It is their choice for their health,” Wenger wrote, adding that wearing a mask can increase levels of carbon dioxide. (The Mayo Clinic states on its website that for healthy adults there is no risk to wearing a face mask.)

Wenger suggested that Democrats were to blame for the pandemic's economic devastation. As evidence, he falsely quoted New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as saying, “It's vital that governors maintain restrictions on businesses until after the November elections because economic recovery will help Trump be re-elected. A few business closures or job losses is a small price to pay to be free from his presidency.”

Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet that the quote was fake. “They tell lies because the truth isn't on their side,” she wrote. Reuters also reported that the tweet was “fabricated.” “Ocasio-Cortez never tweeted this,” Reuters wrote.

“A lot of these same people support LGBTQ,” Wenger continued, presumably referring to people who take the pandemic seriously. “This life style is sin in God's eyes and spreads deadly diseases and sickness. Are they really concerned about people's health???”

While Pennsylvania has reported more than 7,300 COVID-19-related deaths, Wenger insisted the disease was no worse than the flu, which killed an estimated 34,200 people in the United States last season, according to the CDC.

The Daily Item reported on some of the response to Wenger's flyer. When asked for a comment, Wenger refused.