Violet Affleck reveals post-viral condition in public plea for 'mask availability'

Violet Affleck is voicing her opposition to the mask bans recently floated by L.A. Mayor Karen Bass.

The 18-year-old daughter of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner spoke during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting, which had nothing mask-related on the agenda. Introducing herself as a “Los Angeles resident” and “first-time voter,” and wearing a mask herself, she warned about the dangers that banning masks would pose to “vulnerable members of our community” — and revealed she was once among them.

“I contracted a post-viral condition in 2019,” Violet Affleck said. “I’m OK now, but I saw firsthand that medicine does not always have answers to the consequences of even minor viruses. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown that into sharper relief.”

The recent high school graduate did not specify the illness she suffered from but continued to discuss the debilitating nature of long COVID.

One in 10 [COVID-19] 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, speaking quickly to fit her presentation into the one minute allowed.

Long COVID can persist for weeks, months or even years after COVID-19 illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most commonly reported symptoms are fatigue, brain fog and post-exertional malaise.

“To confront the long COVID crisis,” she petitioned the supervisors to pursue mask availability, air filtration and sterilizing far-UVC lights in government facilities, including jails and detention centers. She also advocated for the return of mask mandates in county medical facilities.

“We must expand the availability of free tests and treatment and, most importantly, the county must oppose mask bans for any reason,” she continued. “They 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.”

Following a June 23 pro-Palestinian protest outside of the Adas Torah synagogue in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles, Bass suggested she was considering restricting the use of masks at protests. But at a news conference later that week, she cooled on the matter, saying, “At this point, we don’t think that this will withstand judicial scrutiny.”

North Carolina lawmakers in June adopted a mask ban for protests, with a health exception, brought forth in part as a response to campus protests on the war in Gaza, the Associated Press reported.

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