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