More than 15 months into the pandemic, anti-mask confrontations are still happening in New York City and a video of one incident on the subway has gotten a lot of attention online.
A maskless subway rider was seen on a video posted Monday yelling at an older, masked woman who said he should be fined for not wearing a mask on the Q train. The man can be heard chanting "1776" while the woman asked him to respect his elders. He responded, "I respect freedom."
The man was widely criticized on social media. One commenter on Instagram said, "The irony of this man shouting freedom and chanting '1776' while wearing a shirt with a Union Jack is very funny."
The maskless man has also received some strong words from the Acting CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
"This is outrageous. Number one, the guy's a jerk," new MTA boss Janno Lieber said at a news conference Monday.
"Every New Yorker who gets on the subway knows that one of the first principles is you treat others respectfully, and this is like an incredible, egregious violation of basic human decency and respect," he added.
While face coverings are no longer mandated by the city (though they are strongly recommended indoors amid the rapid spread of the delta variant), the MTA still requires all riders to wear a mask or they may be subject to a $50 fine.