A video recorded inside a grocery store in Naples, Florida, has reignited the face mask debate. The viral video shows maskless shoppers and employees at the Oakes Farms Seed to Table Market. One prominent doctor reacted to the polarizing video by saying "let 'em die" about the maskless Americans in the grocery store.
On Wednesday afternoon, NBC News correspondent Sam Brock shared the video on Twitter with the caption: "As #Flordia fights community spread of COVID on a massive scale, this is a 15-second snapshot of a supermarket in Naples. Many employees and customers — even older ones — with no masks on inside. Store sign outside cites 'medical exemptions,' we can't ask questions."
As #Flordia fights community spread of COVID on a massive scale, this is a 15-second snapshot of a supermarket in N… https://t.co/cafKtrm7KJ— Sam Brock (@Sam Brock) 1612380287.0
The tweet was retweeted more than 8,000 times and the video has more than 2 million views.
The video also caught the attention of Cleavon Gilman, an emergency room physician who is "fighting for social justice and humanity." The official White House Twitter account thanked Gilman in December, saying, "You have a partner in the Biden-Harris administration."
Gilman went on a Twitter rant about the maskless Floridians seen at the Naples grocery store. Gilman has since deleted the tweets.
"Let'em die. I'm so tired of these people. No vaccines for y'all," Gilman wrote on Twitter to his 153,000 followers.
- “ER doctor on the Covid frontlines fighting for... humanity” - “Let’em die” https://t.co/kzUE9doVaQ— Sophia (PICK ME) Narwitz (@Sophia (PICK ME) Narwitz) 1612438676.0
In Gilman's Twitter thread about the Naples supermarket video, he also wrote, "I'm working in the COVID ICU tonight! I'm so tired of giving 200% while others in the U.S. can't even help by simply wearing a mask!"
Gilman claimed, "Republicans trying to take my words out of context as if I deny medical care to people that don't wear masks & 'let 'em die.'
"My point is that we can't waste our energy on these COVID deniers.. they are not gonna protect themselves so let 'em die," the doctor tweeted then deleted. "They'll find out the hard way."
Gilman alleged that he treats "every patient that comes through the door the same."
In November, Gilman tweeted, "Just as active alcoholics with terminal liver disease are REFUSED liver transplants... People who don't follow preventative public health measures against COVID19 should be the LAST to get hospital beds."
Just as active alcoholics with terminal liver disease are REFUSED liver transplants... People who don't follow pr… https://t.co/sw1KobpfMV— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon MD) 1606005810.0
On Thursday morning, Brock appeared on NBC's "Today," where he called the Oakes Farms Seed to Table Market grocery store a "stunning representation of COVID neglect."
The store is located in Collier County, which has a mask mandate requiring face coverings to be worn in public until April 13.
The Oakes Farms store does require masks to be worn, but a sign outside the store states, "If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you are exempt."
"We cannot legally ask you about your medical condition," the sign says, according to Brock.
Brock interviewed Alfie Oakes, the owner of Oakes Farms, who doesn't believe that face masks stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks in public settings, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.
New video from a supermarket in Florida shows customers and employees of all ages openly rejecting the rules for ma… https://t.co/rGkNX1fz7P— TODAY (@TODAY) 1612440867.0