Daughter of Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner speaks out against mask bans

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Violet Affleck, the eldest daughter of actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, spoke out at this week's Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting.

On Tuesday, the 18-year-old made an impassioned plea regarding the availability of facemasks during the public comment section of the meeting. A video of her comments can be seen in the player above.

She introduced herself as "Violet Affleck, Los Angeles resident, first-time voter. I'm 18," at the meeting with the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration.

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Wearing a facemask, she revealed that in 2019, she contracted a post-viral condition.

"I'm OK now, but I saw firsthand that medicine does not always have answers to the consequences of even minor viruses. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown that into sharper relief," she explained.

Jennifer Garner and daughter Violet Affleck are seen on May 11, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

"One in 10 infections leads to long COVID, which is a devastating neurological [and] cardiovascular illness that can take away people's ability to work, move, see, and even think," she continued. “‘It stands to exacerbate our homelessness crisis, as well as the suffering of many people in our city. It hits communities of color, disabled people, elderly people, trans people, women and anyone in a public-facing essential job the hardest.”

While many feel the pandemic is long gone, it's having a lasting effect on others.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that roughly 18% of Americans have reported experiencing long COVID. According to the Mayo Clinic, long COVID symptoms include fatigue, fever, respiratory issues and symptoms that worsen after physical or mental effort.

Long COVID or post-COVID-19 syndrome occurs when someone experiences "new, returning or ongoing symptoms" about four weeks after getting COVID-19. The Mayo Clinic cited that "some people, post-COVID-19 syndrome lasts months or years or causes disability."

Due to these findings and her health issues, Affleck pushed for facemasks to be more available and touched on other ways people with these conditions can be kept safe.

"To confront the long COVID crisis, I demand mask availability, air filtration and far-UVC light in government facilities, including jails and detention centers, and mask mandates in county medical facilities," she explained.

According to the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health's website, people within the county must wear masks in certain instances. This includes, but is not limited to:

As required in the workplace. As required by current LACDPH Health Officer Orders. In health care settings, when visiting or receiving care, when LA County COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level is Medium or High. If it is required by the site, including some businesses, health facilities, schools, and workplaces. If you are sick with symptoms of cold, flu, or COVID-19, or if you test positive for COVID-19 (even if asymptomatic) and must be around others. 

Affleck also urged that the board help "expand the availability of high-quality free tests and treatment" and to "oppose mask bans for any reason."

"They do not keep us safer, they make vulnerable members of our community less safe and make everyone less able to participate in Los Angeles together. Thank you," she concluded.

The teenager is often seen wearing a facemask while in public.

Affleck is the eldest child of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. The two married in 2005 and separated in 2015. Their divorce was finalized in 2018 after they jointly filed a year before.

The couple have three children together: Violet, Fin and Samuel.

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