While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now advises both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks inside certain locations to slow the rapidly spreading COVID delta variant, a California restaurant is fighting back, saying they will “only serve unvaccinated” patrons.
Basilico’s Pasta e Vino Italian restaurant in Huntington Beach, California, put up a sign in its front window that states “Notice: Proof of being unvaccinated required,” the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.
The restaurant has been fighting the mask mandates in that state since the initial breakout of the COVID-19 virus last year.
After receiving threats from a Los Angeles Times story on the eatery, the owners fought back with a post on Facebook in all capital letters, "'LOS ANGELES TIMES' PRINTS AN ARTICLE ABOUT US, AND AGAIN HERE COME THE HATERS, AND WITH IT, THE HARASSING NON-STOP PHONE CALLS, THREATS AND HUNDREDS OF ONE STAR REVIEWS. AND GUESS WHAT? WE AT 'BASILICO'S PASTA E VINO' WEAR IT ALL AS A BADGE OF HONOR!"
The second part of the post berated those critical of the establishment.
"ATTENTION: TINY TYRANTS, WANNABE LITTLE DICTATORS, PRO-LOCKDOWN / PRO-MASK / PRO-MANDATORY VACCINE MINI GESTAPO AMERICAN TRAITORS AND SNITCHES, AND YES ESPECIALLY 'GAVIN PELOSI' AND 'STRONZO FAUCI,’” the second part of the post read. “WE FEEL BLESSED TO GO INTO BATTLE AGAINST ALL OF YOU IN DEFENSE OF AMERICAN LIBERTY AND FREEDOM, SO BRING IT ON!"
According to an October 2020 article on the restaurant from the Orange County Register, California’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is trying to revoke the restaurant’s liquor license, calling it a “disorderly premises.”
At the time, it allowed indoor dining and the employees were not wearing masks, in violations of Gov. Gavin Newsome’s executive orders banning indoor dining and requiring the masks.
That case is still being litigated.
The latest act of defiance comes the same day as the CDC issued new guidance that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks inside of facilities with a “substantial or high transmission” possibility.
“This is not a decision the CDC has made lightly,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a media briefing on the latest guidance Tuesday afternoon. “It is not a piece of welcome news. (This decision) has weighed heavily upon me.”
Walensky said the reason for the change in guidance is due to the more transmissible delta variant of the virus, which she said poses the most danger to unvaccinated and immunocompromised individuals.
According to the agency, transmission of the new variant has increased the number of COVID cases nationwide by 300% from June 19-July 30, leading to more hospitalizations and deaths mostly among the unvaccinated population.
While she said the three vaccines, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna, provide high levels of protection against severe illness or death, vaccinated people can still spread the disease to others, and may even contract the illness, although not as severe.
“Masking right now is a temporary measure,” she said.
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