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Business owners rally against Harris County mask order

HOUSTON – Around 60 people gathered to protest the Harris County mask order in downtown Houston on Saturday.

The group held an event called, ‘Unmuzzled Freedom Rally.”

Steven Hotze was a speaker at the rally.

“This is not a pandemic,” Hotze said. “If this was a pandemic, why didn’t all of us get the virus?”

About a dozen people in favor of the order also showed up. Bucky Rea was one of them.

“If you think that this [mask] takes away your freedom, wait until you try COVID-19,” Rea said. “The mask doesn’t protect me; the mask protects you and it’s just basic civil decency.”

One counter-protester, Norman Earle, had his sign ripped in half by Dr. Hotze.

“And he’s a politician… an upstanding citizen?” questioned Earle. “I’m peacefully protesting. This is insane, absolutely insane.”

Business owner Tex Christopher said it is his right not to wear a mask.

“It’s not my responsibility to take care of your health,” Christopher said.

Christopher also extended his advice for those in high-risk of contracting COVID-19, like the elderly and immunocompromised.

“You need to stay at home,” Christopher said. “You need to take precautions and you need to take your vitamins.”

About 12 Houston police officers were present during the rally.