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Texas bar owner bans masks to prevent ‘virtue signaling’ – and kickstarts an online firestorm

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A bar owner in Elgin, Texas, has implemented a new rule for his business: no entry with a mask.

“Due to our concern for our citizens, if they feel the need to wear a mask, then they should probably stay home until it’s safe,” read a sign posted outside Liberty Tree Tavern.

Speaking to 9News, bar owner Kevin Smith said he’s following social distancing guidelines so the masks are unnecessary.

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The bar’s Facebook page shared an article on the story, adding the comment: “Just trying to break this cycle of fear and virtue signaling. The CDC, Surgeon General, and even Fauci say, these mask do nothing and can even cause more harm. The county mandate has been lifted, the sun is shining, let’s get back to living our lives without fear!”

The comment section filled up with a mix of reactions.

“PATRIOTS!!” one person wrote. “I will be there this weekend to support [your] business. THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP TO THE MADNESS!!”

While there were supportive comments, others questioned the wisdom of the rule.

“So a Veteran comes to your bar wearing a mask for his/her own personal safety, ban or no ban???” asked Thomas Salmela.

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“How about gratitude that people even want to come to liberty tree? With or without masks?” wrote Deaniel Plumley. “Gratitude that you’re healthy enough to run your business? Gratitude that you even still have a business! A lot of people have lost a lot during all this.”

“I have cancer,” wrote Denise E. Nicole. “For 2.5 years a mask has helped keep me healthy and alive during near nonstop chemo. Nice to know I’d be unwelcome, judged, maybe even bullied at your restaurant.”

The city of Elgin has a little over 10,000 residents. According to health data, 52 of those residents have tested positive for coronavirus.

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CNN host goes off on Trump as COVID-19 surges: ‘The president is peddling debunked illogical crap’

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During a segment on CNN this Monday, anchor Brianna Keilar had some harsh words for President Trump and his response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, starting out by saying that the U.S. is "losing its battle" against the virus.

"...the people who are supposed to be in charge of the national response to the pandemic instead are escalating their attacks on doctors," she said, pointing out that up to 60,000 Americans are testing positive for the virus, each day.

"They're doing this even though they won't mandate the use of masks which are proven to save lives," she said. "They're doing this because the President is continuing to make claims that the only reason the U.S. has a surge in cases is because of an increase in testing."

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WATCH: White House uses Fauci’s words to praise Trump – hours after trashing him

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Literally hours after providing reporters with a list of what an anonymous White House official called mistakes Dr. Anthony Fauci has made over the year on coronavirus, the White House turned the tables to use the veteran immunologist's words to praise President Donald Trump.

On Sunday in a statement to CNN the White House outlined "the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things."

Calling it a "new campaign of deception," CNN reported Monday morning that "the White House is trying to destroy the reputation of one of America's most respected public servants, Dr. Anthony Fauci, for telling the truth about how bad things are getting."

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FAILURE: Here are 470 ways Trump failed to protect America from COVID-19

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Crises have a way of sorting the good presidents from the bad.

Historians consistently rank Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt among the top three presidents for their handling of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II.

By contrast, the string of catastrophes that trailed George W. Bush, from Iraq to Hurricane Katrina to his obliviousness to warning signs in the housing market before the 2008 crash guarantee that he will have a permanent place in the bottom tier of presidents.

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