Doctor Brandishes Gun in Anti-Mask Interview, Says That's What He Carries for Protection

A doctor and public school director from Orange County, California, has said he finds it more useful to carry a gun than wear a mask to protect the public from Covid-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Barke, who is also a volunteer reserve deputy for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, made the statement during an interview with anti-masker Peggy Hall.

"What I do, Peggy, to protect you and to protect others when I'm out in public, so I think better than a mask, this is what I do, I live in Orange County so I carry this wherever I go," the doctor said while brandishing his firearm.

"So I'd rather see someone carrying a concealed than masking up, I think that's better than anything for the public".

What does it mean when the majority of the scientific community and the head of the CDC urges people to wear masks, but the local terd MD spouts this crap...

— Cineaste_C (@Cineaste_C) September 17, 2020

Barke is one of the co-founders of PersonalCare, a primary care medical group in Southern California. He is listed as a family medicine doctor based in the medical group's Newport Beach office.

The doctor is also listed as a doctor in Newport Beach on the website of Hoag Health, a regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California that consists of two acute-care hospitals, 13 urgent care centers and nine health centers.

Hoag has distanced itself from the doctor, saying in a Twitter statement that "he is not an employee and does not hold admitting privileges at Hoag Hospital.

"His personal views in no way represent the views of Hoag or Hoag Medical Staff, and are inconsistent with those of all recognized medical and scientific organizations," the hospital also said.

Barke is also the board chair of the Orange County Classical Academy, a new public charter school which, according to the LA Times, "barely won approval from the Orange Unified School District Board of Education" and opened August 20.

Hall, who interviewed Barke, runs a website called "The Healthy American," through which she hopes to "create a new society of like-minded individuals who support life, liberty, truth and freedom."

On September 16, CDC director Robert Redfield said during a Senate hearing that face masks are "the most powerful public health tool we have."

"We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense. I may even go so far as to say this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine," he added.

PersonalCare, the Orange County Classical Academy and Peggy Hall have all been contacted for comment.

Doctors Masks New York
Kings County Hospital staffers wearing protective masks stand outside the hospital during the 7pm salute to healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic led by Mayor Bill De Blasio and his wife Charlene McCray on April 24 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images