Ted Lieu responds to viral video: 'Costco has a right to require that customers wear a mask'

Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuThe spin on Woodward's tapes reveals the hypocrisy of Democrats Larry Kudlow defends response to coronavirus: Trump 'led wisely' Lieu on Trump 'playing it down' on coronavirus: 'This is reckless homicide' MORE (D-Calif.) came out in support of Costco and the company's new guideline requiring customers to cover their faces in its stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic after a video clip went viral showing a person arguing with a worker over the preventive measure. 

“#Costco has the right to require that customers wear a mask. Businesses have the right to prevent people from spewing saliva droplets in their stores,” Lieu tweeted early Wednesday. “Because we live in a free country.”

“And because there’s a frickin’ life-threatening virus that’s spread through saliva droplets,” he added. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The early morning tweet by Lieu included footage of an exchange between a Costco worker and a customer who refused to wear a mask at the store. 

In the clip, which has racked up more than 6.69 million views, the customer can be heard saying to the worker off-screen, “I’ll just put you on my three thousand follower Instagram feed. It's mostly locals.” 

The worker, who was wearing a name tag that read “Tison,” then waves to the camera, saying: “Hi, everyone. I work for Costco and I’m asking this member to put on a mask because that is our company policy.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“So, either wear the mask or –”, the worker said. 

“And I’m not doing it because I woke up in a free country,” the customer interjected. 

The worker then starts to take the man’s cart away, to which the customer responds: “So, you’re going to take this cart from me? Full of stuff?”

“Sir, have a great day. You are no longer welcome here in our warehouse. You need to leave. Thank you very much,” the worker says.

“Here, you put it on, I’ll give you my card,” the customer then says to a woman standing next to him. 

The worker then starts to walk away with the cart. 

“He’s gonna take the cart away because he’s a p---- little bitch,” the customer says. “There he is, walking away with all my stuff.” 

“There he goes,” the customer continues, turning the camera to capture people in masks standing in line. “Cause I’m not a f------ sheep.” 

Over the past few days, the worker has been lauded on social media for his handling of the situation, with some demanding he receive a raise.

ADVERTISEMENT

The viral moment comes weeks after Costco announced it would be requiring employees and customers to to wear face coverings in its stores starting May 4 in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“The use of a face covering should not be seen as a substitute for social distancing," the chain also said in statement announcing the move at the time. "Please continue to observe rules regarding appropriate distancing while on Costco premises."