Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who served as Secretary of Energy under former President Donald Trump, is pitching Texas schools on a new product to deal with the state's COVID-19 crisis.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Perry held a lengthy press conference in which he pitched an air-filtration system called Integrated Viral Protection as an alternative to mask mandates in schools.
However, the Chronicle reports that Perry has a financial interest in the company behind the product, and he got snippy when a reporter asked him about how much of a stake he had in seeing its products succeed.
"Well, that's none of your business," he replied to a reporter. "I'm not a public official anymore."
However, Perry insisted that his financial interest in the product was really not why he was pushing the product for schools.
"I appreciate the politics that's being played out there but this is about getting our kids back in school," Perry said. "Allowing them to have that interaction without masks on their face so they can see those reflections. They learn at a very early age those facial contortions — the smiles, the frowns — so it's very important that we don't send a message every day: 'You've got to have a mask on if you're going to go to our schools.'"