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Face masks optional at Pence rally in Pewaukee, Waukesha

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 22, 2020

WAUKESHA COUNTY — Republican leaders in Waukesha County say face masks will be optional, but legal waivers are required for those who plan to attend Vice President Mike Pence’s rally Tuesday at The Ingleside Hotel.

The Waukesha County Republican Party says a crowd of 500 to 1,000 people will have their temperatures checked before entering the event. Fine print at the bottom of the online registration for the rally shows attendees have to sign away their right to sue the president’s campaign and the Ingleside Hotel if they contract COVID-19 at the event.

President Trump’s campaign team has yet to release any details about safety measures for Pence’s ‘Faith in America’ tour launch Tuesday afternoon, but Waukesha County republican leaders said coronavirus precautions are expected to match those of President Trump’s latest rally in Oklahoma where very few attendees wore masks.

Justin Schwartz thinks they should be required in large crowds.

“I don’t know why people think that it’s going away,” Schwartz said about the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’d probably stick to the back, but if I were to attend something like that I would definitely be wearing a mask,” added Jamie Brown of Waukesha.

“I imagine a lot of people won’t be wearing masks,” said State Rep. Adam Neylon.

Neylon, a Pewaukee republican, believes it should be a personal choice.

“At some point we have to live our life,” he said. “We have to be able to live our life and be able to make decisions. That’s what freedom’s about.”

The Waukesha County Health Department warns coronavirus is still spreading in this community with more than 160 active cases. The health department recommends social distancing and following CDC guidance. Waukesha County Republican Party Chairman Terry Dittrich believes both are far more attainable inside a ballroom than an arena.

“Republicans are very concerned as well,” Dittrich said. “We’re very safe for our citizens. We’re watching very closely here in the county.”

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