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Government & Politics

Fresno City Council Approves Mask Requirement In City Hall; One Member Says It Targets Him

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During a Fresno City Council meeting Thursday, the city council voted in favor of requiring face masks be worn in City Hall.

The Fresno City Council approved a resolution Thursday requiring anyone who enters City Hall to wear a mask. 

Casting the dissenting vote was Councilman Garry Bredefeld. He argued it’s a health risk to repeatedly breathe in one’s carbon dioxide while wearing a mask. Other news organizations have debunked this claim, which circulated on social media. Bredefeld said that the resolution, introduced by Council President Miguel Arias, is an attempt to single him out.

“You guys all do what you want to do, take me off committees, do whatever you want,” said Bredefeld during the livestreamed council meeting. “I will not be silenced, and I’m not gonna follow policies that are not based in science, but it’s just done for you to feel better.” 

However, other council members pointed out that recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and the Fresno County Health Department recommend the use of cloth masks and good hand hygiene to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

The resolution language was amended to take out consequences like committee removal for those who don’t comply. 

Council Vice President Paul Caprioglio noted that with a compromised immune system, he appreciates a mask requirement.

“I know Garry has strong feelings on this, but for the sake of my health, I don’t think I'm asking too much to wear that face mask,” said Caprioglio. 

The resolution passed six to one, and goes into effect immediately. Masks are required for other city employees at work, and for residents entering Fresno businesses.

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