A video of a passenger who refused to wear a mask on board a JetBlue flight bound for New Jersey in the US has gone viral, after she live-streamed her heated exchange with airline staff.
The woman filming the confrontation, Bevelyn Beatty, uploaded the eight-and-a-half minute long video to her Facebook page last week. It is understood the altercation occurred after Ms Beatty was asked by airline staff to wear a mask on board the flight but refused to do so.
“We do not have to wear a mask … you’re a liar from the pit of hell,” Ms Beatty can be heard screaming at the masked JetBlue staff members.
“You don’t have to wear a mask … if you don’t want to you don’t have to wear that mask. This is not China, this is the USA.”
Ms Beatty, an anti-abortion activist, made headlines earlier this month after she was arrested for an unrelated incident when she threw paint on a Black Lives Matter mural outside of Trump Tower in New York, as well as recording herself defacing two more murals.
During the confrontation with the JetBlue staff, Ms Beatty said the airline had no right to ask her or anyone else to wear a mask, repeating that she will “not wear a mask”.
“We won’t do it … we will never do it,” she yells at the camera.
“We will not wear that mask. Wake up and smell COVID. This is what they do, they terrorise Americans and enforce their laws on you. You are an American and you are free. I don’t want to wear a mask, that’s my right. We know what our rights are … how dare you tell somebody that it’s the law they got to wear a mask.”
In May, JetBlue announced that every passenger boarding one of their aircraft will need to wear facial coverings over their noses and mouths through all phases of travel, including check-in, boarding, in flight, and deplaning. The announcement made them the first US airline to deem personal protective equipment mandatory for passengers.
“This is a shared space where we have to be considerate of others,” Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement to Condé Nast Traveler at the time of the mask review.
“We are also asking our customers to follow these CDC guidelines in the airport as well.” It is understood that the only flyers exempt from the JetBlue rules, according to the airline’s statement, will be small children who “are not able to maintain a face covering.”
The video, which has been viewed by more than 1.6 million viewers, had many jumping to Ms Beatty’s defence over her anti-mask stance.
“Stand your ground … It’s not a law to wear a mask,” one of her 222k followers commented on the video.
“We need more people like you in this world,” another added.
Others however, labelled the rant as “arrogant”, “disgusting” and “disorderly”.
“They should be banned for life put these kind of special people on a FAA banned 4 life list,” one person wrote.
“Have some respect and wear a mask not for you but for other people,” another added.
“Kick her out of the airport, its private property … you are not supposed to wear a mask because you are being told to, you are supposed to wear a mask to protect yourself, your family and other fellow citizens.
“It’s the airline law. If you cant agree with that go home. Absolutely amazing restraint and resilience shown by the ground staff.”
News.com.au has contacted JetBlue for comment.