Roswell doctor adamantly against statewide mask mandate
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Roswell physician says he will not force anyone to wear a mask at his clinic.
KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reported Sunday that Dr. Krafimir Hirstov is likening the state mandate to wear face coverings because of coronavirus to “a dictatorship.”
Hirstov owns Reinecke Medical and Chiropractic medical center. Anyone entering the facility will see a sign that says those who do not want to don a mask “are still welcome.” Hirstov also believes masks are ultimately useless against airborne viruses.
Roswell city officials voted last week not to enforce the state mask requirement.
Dr. David Scrase, New Mexico’s top doctor, said masks do offer protection and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement, the New Mexico Human Services Department called Hirstov’s attitude “shocking” for a medical provider. The agency said it will refer the clinic to the New Mexico Chiropractic Board for possible sanctions.
State health officials say anyone not following the statewide mask mandate may face criminal and civil penalties.