64-Year-Old Woman Says She Was Punched For Wearing Mask, Supporting Biden

On Friday evening, a 64-year-old woman in Little Rock, Arkansas said she was knocked down after being punched in the face by men in a Kroger grocery store parking lot. The men reportedly hated her face mask and support of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The unnamed woman said the men began harassing her outside the store. She described them as white "Trumpers," supporters of Republican President Donald Trump.

"Maybe you would not be so ugly if you would take that mask off!" one of the men reportedly told her, according to the police report.

The woman responded, "Maybe you should put one on." Arkansas state law requires face coverings in public places where social distancing isn't possible.

She claimed the men said, "You probably like Biden," and after she said that she did, one replied, "Democrats are baby rapists! Joe Biden is a baby rapist, too!"

One man then allegedly exited the vehicle and punched the woman on the left side of her face, knocking her down and leaving swelling, a bloody scrape and a bruise where he struck her. Another woman helped pick her up from the asphalt and transport her home. The 64-year-old survivor declined medical assistance.

The survivor said she couldn't remember any more details about the men because the incident occurred so quickly. No arrests have been made nor have police mentioned any suspects.

Newsweek contacted the Little Rock Police Department for comment.

Trump facemask Biden Little Rock punch Arkansas
A photo illustration of a punching fist. nito100/Getty

Though it is unknown if the accused attackers are adherents, the claim that Biden and the Democrats are pedophiles is common amongst believers of QAnon, a conspiracy theory that believes, among many things, that the Trump administration will reveal the existence of a top-secret child sex trafficking network run by "deep state" senior Democrats who are determined to stop him.

QAnon believers have accused Oprah Winfrey, Chrissy Teigen, Hillary Clinton and even the online furniture retailer Wayfair of being part of a shadowy international pedophile ring.

Its believers also have a long history of mobilizing against public targets by spreading conspiracies on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube and other platforms. The group's online activities have increased since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, a possible consequence of the upcoming presidential elections and additional time spent at-home as many schools and businesses remain closed.

The right-wing aversion to face masks comes from a range of beliefs: that COVID-19 is a hoax or completely survivable, that masks don't prevent the spread of respiratory diseases and that laws requiring face masks are illegally conceived and a violation of individual freedoms. Many studies show that masks do indeed prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19.

Trump and other Republicans have helped perpetuate anti-mask sentiment with statements and lawsuits against mask mandates. However, Trump himself has shifted from an aversion to wearing face masks to a reluctance to endorsing them and finally, as the epidemic worsened, a suggestion that they are patriotic.

Republican support for wearing masks leaped to 58 percent after Trump wore one publicly for the first time in July.