Interesting blurb from Montana legislators.... LINK HERE A state lawmaker told colleagues in the Montana Legislature on Tuesday that he believes "mask wearing is a hoax to push government compliance." State Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, made the comments during a Legislative Council meeting to discuss the plan for continuity of government guidance for interim committees. Rep. Kim Abbot, D-Helena, made a motion that would have required everyone entering the Capitol building to wear masks for health and safety reasons during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Thomas, who was the majority leader of the Senate in 2019, had advocated on the Zoom call that lawmakers get tested before going to in-person meetings. But he said he didn't think masks were necessary. "With all due respect to everybody, in my experience watching mask-wearing, it's a hoax to push government compliance more than it is anything effective at preventing disease," he said. "If you're in a nursing home, you wear a very secure medical mask. That works. Out in the public, this stuff has nothing to do with controlling this virus. Just my opinion. I ain’t wearing a mask and I am gonna go to the next meeting I can take in." The council then took a roll-call vote, which failed on a 6-6 tie. Democrats voted in the affirmative and Republicans voted against the motion.Sen. JP Pomnichowski, D-Bozeman, and Sen. Margie MacDonald, D-Billings, both had advocated for the mask requirement with Abbot. A state lawmaker told colleagues in the Montana Legislature on Tuesday that he believes "mask wearing is a hoax to push government compliance." I do think these facemasks are important in the healthcare industry," he said. "Good masks that are properly worn are very valuable, but outside of that, we're wearing all kinds of different masks, and they're not tight, and it's not going to control anything. They're more to show people are complying with the government than they are for controlling any real spread of coronavirus." Thomas noted that he sees people walking around with their noses sticking out from masks, and he also noted that people are gathering in restaurants and other places without masks. Thomas said the Legislature and Montana "needs to start stepping forward towards meeting in person." He said he has a family member who would would most likely die if they caught the virus, but Thomas said that person came to a family function and everyone practiced social distancing. "A little common sense on our part went a long way, and we had a good time," he said.