Violet Affleck reveals post-viral illness while advocating for masking against COVID

While some places like Los Angeles and North Carolina have attacked masking, Affleck said masks are protective

By Nicole Karlis

Senior Writer

Published July 10, 2024 1:51PM (EDT)

Jennifer Garner and daughter Violet Affleck are seen on May 11, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images)
Jennifer Garner and daughter Violet Affleck are seen on May 11, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images)

Long gone are the days of mandated masking in public to protect against COVID — but many people still benefit from the practice. Violet Affleck, the 18-year-old daughter of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, spoke during the public comments section of a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting asking for a return of mask mandates in county medical facilities.

“I contracted a post-viral condition in 2019,” she said according to CNN. “I’m OK now, but I saw first-hand that medicine does not always have answers to the consequences of even minor viruses.”

She went on to ask public health officials to consider the effects of long COVID, in which the symptoms of the disease linger for months or even years.

 “One in 10 infections leads to long COVID, which is a devastating neurological and cardiovascular illness that can take away people’s ability to work, see, move and even think,” Affleck said. “To confront the long COVID crisis, I demand mask availability, air filtration and far-UVC lights in government facilities, including jails and detention centers, and mask mandates in county medical facilities.”

She added that the county should “oppose mask bans for any reason.” Indeed, this comes at a time when city officials in New York City and Los Angeles have signaled that they’re open to establishing “mask bans” again after tense pro-Palestine protests. Critics have called these moves a "dog whistle" to squash protest.

In North Carolina, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation that would have banned masking in public, also brought forth in response to recent protests. But Cooper only vetoed the law because the bill included provisions related to campaign financing, not because of the implications for public health. State lawmakers eventually overrode the veto in June, passing a revised version of the law that restored health exemptions for masking.

Affleck concluded that the bans “do not keep us safer, they make vulnerable members of our community less safe and make everyone less able to participate in Los Angeles together."

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