HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- State Senator Amanda Chase (R - Chesterfield) has responded to questions raised over photos posted to her Facebook page. Those photos appeared to show Chase meeting with supporters during an indoor campaign event at Calabash Seafood in Mechanicsville.
In the photos, neither Chase, nor her supporters, wore masks designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Under Executive Order 63, anyone 10 or older is required to wear masks in Virginia businesses.
The state temporarily shutdown Calabash Seafood last month after an investigation determined restaurant management allegedly ignored COVID-19 safety protocols and later operated without its license for several weeks.
When asked for comment about the campaign event, Chase's office responded with the following statement:
"Democrats like to use the term, 'my body, my choice.' Very popular within the Democratic community. My body is my choice. So, what's the difference in my body, my choice and if I want to wear a mask or not?
[The] Senator feels that is each person's, right and freedom to choose if they feel that they should wear a mask for their safety or not.
It shouldn't be a government mandate or order.
People have freedoms and rights, and to express themselves how they want to go and how they should stand out and how they should choose. So this one is the same way of my body, my choice. My body, my mask. If I choose to wear one or not, and when she becomes governor, she's not going to put any mandate on people and just allow people to make that adult choice when they go out in public what they would want to do or not do."
Neither the Virginia Department of Health nor Calabash Seafood has responded to requests for comment about the event.
In February, Chase announced her intention to run for Governor of Virginia in 2021.