English media personality and columnist Katie Hopkins, whom the Daily Star describes as a "controversial right-wing blogger" who "has a track record of causing fury on social media", has managed to cause quite a stir online as she appeared to criticize the practice of wearing face masks during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
While UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that masks will be "useful" as part of measures to “come out of lockdown”, Hopkins announced that people will be told this week to wear masks in public, and went on to deliver her opinion on the matter.
This week you will be told to wear masks in public— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) May 3, 2020
It is not for your safety. Or that of others. Masks are ineffective
It is because govt / MSM have made you so FEARFUL of going out, masks are now intended as a crutch. To help you cope.
You are being played #coronavirus
"It is not for your safety. Or that of others. Masks are ineffective", she claimed, insisting that "masks are now intended as a crutch" and "to help you cope" due to the government and mainstream media allegedly making people "fearful".
Hopkins' post evoked a somewhat mixed reaction online, as some netizens appeared inclined to agree with her.
Exactly! The masks are simply panic marketing props.— Mr. Rourke (@HowiesTake) May 3, 2020
Others, however, did not seem convinced by her rhetoric, asking her to back up her claims and even accusing her of "trying to stir up unrest".
I usually think that you have a lot of good stuff to say but on this u are being totally irresponsible and trying to stir up unrest— Scooby (@Scooby17001019) May 3, 2020
can you cite some peer-reviewed research on that? from...scientists?— Nick Stylianou (@nmsonline) May 3, 2020
If masks were ineffective then medical staff wouldn't wear them.— Beaming Penguin (@Majeh19) May 3, 2020
Okay so going out and sneezing in other peoples faces is better ? Get a grip ! Wearing a mask isn’t a big sacrifice is it ? And even if it only helps a little bit - then be human and do it. In Germany we are all wearing masks, and our rates are going down— 🎀 𝒫𝒶𝓂𝑒𝓁𝒶 𝒥♡𝒶𝓃 🎀 (@thepamelajoan) May 3, 2020
Also, when one netizen asked Hopkins whether she herself will be seen wearing a mask, the latter replied negatively.
"My suggestion is those who have a problem with my face stay well away”, she stated. “Preferably in another idiot country".