Officials in Florida's Palm Beach were faced with a barrage of complaints as they considered a regulation to make face-masks compulsory in public places as a measure to combat coronavirus.
At the hearing of the Palm Beach County commissioners' workshop earlier this week, the officials were told by one woman they were imposing "devil's laws" and that masks were "literally killing people".
She said citizen's arrests were "already happening", with people rejecting official advice to wear masks.
"Every single one of you that are obeying the devil's laws are going to be arrested," she said, accusing a doctor on the panel of crimes against humanity.
Another said officials would be known as "communist dictators" and were "responsible for misinformation and fearmongering". She then blamed television for "brainwashing" people "from birth", "just like Fidel Castro did over loudspeakers in Cuba".
Another woman railing against the masks told the commission: "I don't wear a mask for the same reason I don't wear underwear. Things got to breathe."
A woman claiming to be a music teacher complained it was impossible to play a saxophone while wearing a mask.
"Masks are meant to be worn for sick people," another said, apparently unaware the virus can transmit asymptomatically.
"Where do you derive the authority to regulate human breathing?" another asked. "God gave us the very breath that we are to breathe... Where do you get the authority to reduce my oxygen?"
The legislation was enacted despite the sometimes angry arguments from the anti-maskers, the Miami Herald reported.
On Friday, three days after the Palm Beach hearing, the United States recorded 45,242 new cases of COVID-19, the largest single-day increase of the pandemic, according to a Reuters tally, bringing the total number of Americans who have tested positive to at least 2.48 million.
Florida state officials told bars to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises after recording a startling 8942 new cases, eclipsing the state's one-day record of 5511 reached on June 24.
President Donald Trump has not appeared in public wearing a mask and has expressed disdain for those who do.
Widespread face mask use could push COVID-19 transmission down to controllable levels according to a British study released earlier this month.
The research, led by scientists at Cambridge and Greenwich Universities, suggests lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of the coronavirus, but that even homemade masks can dramatically reduce transmission rates if enough people wear them in public.
Reuters / Newshub.