Sen. John Barrasso on Friday criticized AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron for not requiring theater-goers to wear masks while in the chain’s theaters.
Barrasso, speaking on CNBC, said Aron’s decision didn’t make sense.
“He’s in the business of trying to get people to come and see a movie, I think people are going to be reluctant to spend their money to sit in a confined space for a couple hours breathing the same air with a lot of folks who aren’t wearing masks,” Barrasso said.
Aron told Variety that his decision was based on political concerns rather than public health issues.
“We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” Aron said. “We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks. When I go to an AMC feature, I will certainly be wearing a mask and leading by example.”
Barrasso likened the movie-going experience to being on an airplane where masks are required.
“You are talking about a confined space where people are there for extended periods of time and breathing the same air. It’s like being on an airplane. I was on two flights yesterday getting back to Wyoming,” he said.
“When that happens and the increased risk is there, people ought to be wearing masks in those situations,” Barrasso said.
The senator went on to say he was concerned about an “explosion of lawsuits” from individuals exposed to the coronavirus in different business settings and protections should be there for those businesses “that are following the prescribed guidelines.”