Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) got schooled on Twitter after he argued against mandated face masks and compulsory vaccinations aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus:
There is no authority in the Constitution that authorizes the government to stick a needle in you against your will, force you to wear a face mask, or track your daily movements.
Can you imagine the signers of the Declaration of Independence submitting to any of these things?!
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 5, 2020
Many tweeters reminded Massie of President George Washington’s decision to inoculate the Continental Army against smallpox.
Others called out the GOP congressman for appearing to rail against wearing masks, which public health experts worldwide have said is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to curb COVID-19.
Oh I love history.
A lesser known fact: George Washington’s bold decision to vaccinate the entire Continental Army against smallpox. It was the first mass inoculation in military history, and was vital to ensuring an American victory in the War of Independence.
— Walter A. Clyburn Reed (@deerretlaw) July 5, 2020
Why do people who write things like this never seemed to have bothered to study even cursory history?
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) July 5, 2020
Given that the Founders saw many epidemics in their lifetimes, I would imagine that telling them they could stop disease by something as simple as wearing a mask would have been seen as some kind of miracle.
Can you imagine any of these snowflakes surviving Valley Forge? https://t.co/PLRBPtEOuq
— Julie DiCaro is writing a book (@JulieDiCaro) July 5, 2020
It’s time for Constitutional Law 101.
“Congress shall have power to . . . provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States.”
Saving tens of thousands of lives = providing for the general welfare.
You’re welcome. https://t.co/8pSFpRXX8F
— Teri Kanefield (@Teri_Kanefield) July 5, 2020
I mean it’s not like there’s a law that says the government can force you to do something you don’t want to do like pay taxes or die in a war. https://t.co/Fotb4i7J3z
— Gene Wu (@GeneforTexas) July 5, 2020
George Washington would not allow any man to serve under him if he wasn’t vaccinated against smallpox.
Cute tweet but try again.
— YS (@NYinLA2121) July 5, 2020
The Preamble of the Constitution says its purpose is to, among other things, “insure domestic Tranquility” and “promote the general Welfare.” Vaccinations, masks and tracking during a pandemic do just that.
My Lord, the dopes who make their way to Congress. https://t.co/be0q6Xqa7L
— Clyde Haberman (@ClydeHaberman) July 6, 2020
I don’t think the Founders considered there’d be vehicular homicide laws for drunk drivers, either.
Are you suggesting we get rid of those too?
— Melissa Jo Peltier (@MelissaJPeltier) July 5, 2020
Let’s see. The government makes you:
wear a seatbelt.
Drive below the speed limit.
Wear a motorcycle helmet.
Have auto insurance to operate a car.
And on and on.
This guy is an actual GOP Congressman. Such stupidity. https://t.co/cF39NkXI33
— Augustus (@Augustus709) July 5, 2020
There’s nothing in the Constitution about stop signs either, so keep the pedal to the metal, patriots! https://t.co/BPdjsqg9yH
— Trey Stokes, Cooler King (@TreyStokes) July 5, 2020
none of these people believe a single thing they’re saying.
the one unified force driving the discourse in this country is to be as stupid and outrageous as possible. that’s the game. that’s all there is. https://t.co/dCVifLx4Rx
— j_christley (@j_christley) July 5, 2020
The first paragraph of the constitution explains that its purpose is, amongst other things, to “promote the general welfare”. (The 10th amendment clarifies that it is the states that have authority.)
Research estimates that mask mandates add a trillion dollars to the US economy https://t.co/bqenYXRTn0
— Jeremy Howard (@jeremyphoward) July 5, 2020
I can actually. Because Washington did indeed inoculate his troops against smallpox. You should look it up.
— kristin treado (@krtmd) July 5, 2020
You have never read the Constitution or you wouldn’t be this wildly uninformed.
— Greg “Wear Your Mask” Proops (@GregProops) July 5, 2020
It’s really horrifying to see people so opposed to helping others. You are an awful person.
— Main Street Muse (@MainStreetMuse) July 5, 2020
Actually there is
“Under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people”
Under most if not all state laws the governor can do a lot during a state of emergency like mandate masks
— Eric Garcia (@EricG1247) July 5, 2020
What kind of an idiot are you?
You’d be arrested for leaving your house without pants.
You CAN be required to wear a mask.
(You fucking insufferable doofus.)
— Evan Handler (@EvanHandler) July 5, 2020
You’re supposed to be a leader. Then lead by encouraging people to wear a mask and socially distance because it saves lives and it’s the right thing to do.
— Abbie Guttenberg Youkilis (@AbbieYoukilis) July 5, 2020
Grow up. I’ve already lost a family member to Covid because of you babies. And btw, you unread fool, at the heart Federalist papers was that the rights of citizenship also bring with them responsibilities to other citizens. So they would wear masks & call you anti-American.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) July 5, 2020
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.