8 people were cited or arrested during a church event in Moscow, Idaho, a town with no COVID-19 deaths or hospitalizations.
A total of 8 people in Moscow, Idaho were either cited or arrested this week for not wearing masks during an outdoor worship in front of city hall.
Around 300 people were assembled outdoors to sing psalms during a “flash psalm sing” event organized by Christ Church. The Moscow city police’s daily activity log said that those arrested were apparently violating a “public health emergency order.”
Moscow Police Chief James Fry told local reporters that the department had been “very lenient” with enforcing the public health order, “but at some point in time you have to enforce.”
Christ Church senior pastor Douglas Wilson explained that the Moscow City Council had extended its mask mandate to January 2021, even though there have been no deaths or hospitalizations. The county as a whole had only 346 total cases to date.
The pastor wrote in his blog: “This was not an assembly of scofflaws. It really was a peaceful protest, a petition to our city government for a redress of grievances, and a religious assembly, all in one. Everything about it was proper.”
He also pointed out the hypocrisy of the situation, mentioning a wedding where Moscow’s Mayor Bill Lambert officiated. “At least one of our council members was in attendance, as was law enforcement,” Wilson said. “Masks, however, were not in attendance.”
Coronavirus is a serious public health concern and President Trump has encouraged Americans to wear masks, but the incident in Moscow Idaho is a clear example of government overreach.