Who is that masked man? Island-born billionaire Tilman Fertitta this week on CNBC's "Power Lunch" called on Americans to wear face coverings in public, saying it was necessary to keep the U.S. economy open during the coronavirus pandemic. Fertitta was wearing a mask at the beginning of the show.
"Our only chance of staying open is the mask," said Fertitta, owner of Landry’s Hospitality empire, which includes Landry’s Seafood House, Rainforest Café, San Luis Steakhouse, Saltgrass Steakhouse, Willie G’s and Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co., among other concepts in Galveston and Kemah. He also owns Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and Kemah Boardwalk.
Fertitta acknowledged he initially had been on the conservative side of the issue, but as COVID-19 cases rise in Texas and more people he personally knows have contracted it, he argues it's the responsibility of everyone to wear a mask to reduce the spread of infection.
Dealing with people who resist wearing masks on his properties is like dealing with drunks, he said.
"If the customer doesn't want to respect other people, then I don't want them as a customer," Fertitta said.
Click here to watch the full interview.
Some people resist wearing masks because they argue it infringes on their rights. Some, based on early federal government advice, believe they don't work. Where do you stand? Have you changed your mind at any point during the pandemic?