Matt Light is among the millions who don’t believe it’s necessary to wear a protective face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The longtime New England Patriots tackle offered his thoughts on the pandemic during an appearance Tuesday on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.” And while Light insists he takes SARS-CoV-2 seriously, he does not believe the cautious reactions of many to the pandemic — including the wearing of masks — are justified.
“I respect anybody’s decision to wear a mask or not wear a mask,” Light said. “The science is real clear on masks, right? There’s no need to interpret it whether it helps saves lives or not, it doesn’t.
“It has no real effect. It makes you feel comfy and warm inside maybe but it doesn’t do anything in the grand scheme of things.”
AUDIO: GHS- Former Patriot Matt Light joins the show to discuss college football, the coronavirus pandemic, and why he would take Bill Belichick over Tom Brady for one season 08-11-20 https://t.co/IC5XVYTpnT pic.twitter.com/JZAVDtTvXb
— WEEI (@WEEI) August 11, 2020
According to Light, United States citizens should hold themselves to what he considers a higher standard, one that does not include automatically following state and federal guidelines on the pandemic.
“I think we’re better than that,” he said. “I think this country was founded on principles that don’t just say, ‘Hey, when somebody tells you to do something, even if you look around and know there’s not a fire, don’t believe them when they say there’s smoke’. Like c’mon, we’re better than this.”
Added White: “I understand that there is a bug out there. There’s a virus and it is causing harm on certain people, no doubt but it does not warrant what we’re looking at right now. The data clearly points to that.”
Make of all that what you will.
At the onset of the pandemic, many American doctors, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, played down the potential advantages of wearing a mask, claiming they are relatively ineffective at preventing either the spread or contraction of respiratory viruses. In June, Fauci said he initially discouraged the public from wearing masks in an effort to make them more readily available to front-line health workers.
Currently, Fauci and many other medical experts encourage the wearing of masks, though they also admit the effectiveness of a mask varies depending on the type. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says masks are a “critical tool” in combating COVID-19.
It’s unclear whether the shift in advice is reflective of a better understanding of the underlying science, a higher confidence in the availability of masks or an acquiescing to public pressure — or a combination of those and many other factors. There also are many doctors who all along have maintained that wearing masks offers neither personal nor widespread benefit amid the pandemic.
As for Light, he’s of course entitled to his own opinion, though potential refusal to wear masks could conflict with local laws in certain areas. Regardless, his views on masks and COVID-19 surely will prove divisive among Patriots fans.
We’ll leave you with a quote from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield on the wearing of masks, as well as a link to information provided by the CDC on protective face coverings:
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus — particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”