The owner of Alpha Dawgs, a restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, said he has been facing mounting backlash for demanding customers either show their proof of vaccination or mask up—or be denied service.
Last Friday, Hisine McNeill, owner of Alpha Dawgs, posted a message on the restaurant’s Facebook page that made clear his establishment’s policy on COVID-19 vaccines and masks.
‘To whom it may concern: If you decide to come into my establishment claiming that you are fully vaccinated, I WILL ASK TO SEE YOUR CARD. If you don’t want to provide it then you will have to wear a mask in my store. And if you still don’t want to comply with either then I have the right to deny service. Thank you for your cooperation,” the post reads.
“Again don’t get up here thinking this is a debate,” a follow-up message states. “If you can’t seem to understand what’s being mentioned please don’t come. I’m not endangering others for a few. Have a great day.”
The Raleigh Republican Club shared McNeill’s post, adding the caption: “Should you be in the area…. Eat somewhere else.”
McNeill told local outlet WREL that, following the Raleigh Republican Party’s post, backlash over his restaurant’s mask or vaccine policy increased.
“People [were] trolling my business page leaving fake/false reviews, making claims I’m a Nazi and stuff like that,” McNeill told the outlet.
He told WREL that some of his employees have underlying health conditions, and he believes his decision to require masks or proof of vaccination is the right thing to do.
“We value lives over profit,” reads the most recent post on the Alpha Dawgs page.
People who commented on the Raleigh Republican Party’s post were broadly supportive of McNeill’s freedom to set policies that he believes are right for his business and employees in his establishment.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Raleigh Republican Club and to Alpha Dawgs for comment, but did not receive a response from either by press time.
Last week, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper lifted the state’s mask mandate, but recommended that people who aren’t fully vaccinated continue to wear facial coverings. This followed updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which stated that vaccinated individuals generally no longer need to wear masks in any settings, indoor or outdoor.
The issue of mask mandates and proof of vaccination requirements has become a divisive political issue amid the pandemic, with Republicans often arguing that they amount to infringements on personal liberties.
The relaxation of mask policies has led Republicans in the House to voice their opposition to the requirement that they wear a mask on the House floor, while Democrats—who hold a majority in the chamber—are refusing to change the rules following updated CDC guidance.
Some fully vaccinated people are also not ready to give up wearing masks.
Jan Massie, a retired Alabama educator, is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. She told The Associated Press that she continues to wear a facial covering as an extra precaution.
“I’ve worn a mask where it really wasn’t required,” Massie told the outlet. “Many people, more than I expected, still are, too.”
Some fully vaccinated mask-wearers are still worried about new viral mutations and the off-chance they might contract COVID-19 and pass it along to others, though the risks of both are greatly reduced for those who are fully inoculated.