Supporters look on after the motorcade with US President Donald Trump entered the Trump International Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia on November 21, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
A maskless Trump supporter thought it would be a good idea to vigorously exhale on two protesters across the street from a Trump golf course during a global pandemic.
“I breathed on you,” Raymond Deskins, 61, declares in a video recorded by a protester near the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia on Saturday. He then turns to another protester holding a camera and breathes heavily once more. “Now call the cops and ask them to come to get me.”
Well, they did.
Now Deskins’ dangerous antics have landed him with misdemeanor assault charges, according to the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident occurred just outside Trump’s National Golf Club near Washington D.C., where the president was expected to play later that day. As has become the norm since the end of the presidential election, protesters lined up near the entrance awaiting the president’s arrival, according to local CBS affiliate WUSA-9.
A now-viral 24-second video shows Deskins wearing a MAGA shirt and a Trump inflatable pool tube, arguing with two protesters. After one woman asks Deskins to back up because he’s not wearing a mask, he responds by inhaling deeply and forcefully exhaling on her. He then does it again to a second woman.
The video caught the attention of the Loudon County Board of Supervisors, which quickly sent a letter to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office asking that they investigate the incident.
“We are in a hundred-year, highly contagious, worldwide pandemic of a deadly virus that has killed more than 250,000 Americans,” the letter reads. “Science has confirmed that wearing a mask is a very effective way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Conversely, not wearing one and not socially distancing is clearly irresponsible. Willfully coughing in someone’s face is clearly dangerous.”
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office told VICE News that after an investigation, the protesters were advised to go to the county magistrate to get a warrant. Apparently, they did, and Deskins was charged with misdemeanor assault on Sunday.
Since the start of the pandemic, several Americans have been charged with assault for intentionally coughing on others. In the last month alone, incidents have been reported by local news outlets in Utah and Boston.
National infection rates of coronavirus continue to surge going into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Today, the New York Times reported that the 14-day average for new COVID-19 cases and related deaths were up 54 percent and 64 percent, respectively.