Paul Krugman is predicting that individuals who choose to wear face masks will be targeted with harassment and violence.
Krugman's comment on Tuesday came after a judge on Monday issued a ruling that slapped down the federal mandate which required people to mask up on public transportation.
"A prediction about masking: Soon we'll be seeing many incidents in which those who choose to protect themselves with KN95s etc face harassment, even violence. Because this was never about freedom," Krugman tweeted.
Many Americans oppose mask mandates and believe that people should have the individual liberty to decide whether or not to don a mask.
BlazeTV host Dave Rubin of "The Rubin Report," responded to Krugman by posting clown emojis.
"My view: It was very much about freedom," Robby Soave, a senior editor of Reason, tweeted in response to Krugman's comment.
"I think a lot of people (including me) just don't want to be forced to wear masks in airports and on planes," Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute tweeted.
Virginia Kruta of the Daily Wire commented: "More likely: if we even notice that someone else has chosen to wear a mask, the worst they'll get from us as we go about our business is an eye-roll. This was always about personal risk assessment."
"Preemptive outrage is a key subgenre of Liberal Fiction," Caleb Howe of Mediaite tweeted.
"No-one cares about masks. They never did, never will. The issue was never the mask - it was being forced to wear one against your will. You want to wear a miniature pig as a mask? Go for it," Ian Haworth of the Daily Wire tweeted.
Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon said that he had already heard a story about someone getting hassled for not wearing a mask: "My editor @bethelmckenzie today told me she was verbally harassed for wearing a mask. It’s already happening. And the harasser also just started ranting about CRT … presumably because she’s Black," Sassoon tweeted.
The U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement on Tuesday indicating that it could potentially challenge the court decision related to the mask mandate.
"On April 13, 2022, before the district court’s decision, CDC explained that the order would remain in effect while it assessed current public health conditions, and that the Transportation Security Administration would extend its directive implementing the order until May 3 to facilitate CDC’s assessment," spokesperson Anthony Coley noted in the statement. "If CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health after that assessment, the Department of Justice will appeal the district court’s decision."