Violet Affleck Reveals Why She’s Often Seen Wearing A Face Mask In Public

Violet Affleck is using her voice to advocate for public health. 

The 18-year-old daughter of actors Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck delivered an impassioned plea during the public comments portion of a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, which was captured on video and shared on X, formerly Twitter.

During her speech, Affleck — who was wearing a face mask — opened up about a medical condition that has impacted her life. 

“I contracted a post-viral condition in 2019,” Affleck, who spoke quickly to fit her message within the allotted minutelong time frame, revealed. “I’m OK now, but I saw firsthand that medicine does not always have answers to the consequences of even minor viruses. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown that into sharper relief.”

Violet Affleck, with her mother, Jennifer Garner, as well as with her father and stepmother, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
Violet Affleck, with her mother, Jennifer Garner, as well as with her father and stepmother, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Getty

“One in 10 infections leads to long COVID, which is a devastating neurological and cardiovascular illness that can take away people’s ability to work, see, move and even think,” Affleck said. “To confront the long COVID crisis, I demand mask availability, air filtration and far-UVC lights in government facilities, including jails and detention centers, and mask mandates in county medical facilities.”

She also advocated for more free testing and treatment opportunities, while adding “most importantly the county must oppose mask bans for any reason.” “They do not keep us safer, they make vulnerable members of our community less safe and make everyone less able to participate in Los Angeles together,” she concluded. “Thank you.”

Although it’s unclear what condition Affleck contracted, post-COVID symptoms can include fatigue, symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort, fever and respiratory symptoms, including difficulty breathing or shortness of breath and cough, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings added that post-COVID conditions are common and have “caused widespread unemployment and billions in lost wages.”

Data shows that COVID cases are steadily rising this summer, due to variants that may be more contagious and better at bypassing vaccine protection than previous ones.

Affleck’s speech comes on the heels of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ (D) announcement in June that she was considering banning masks at protests, according to The New Republic. Bass’ announcement came as a response to a pro-Palestinian protest near a Los Angeles synagogue that made international headlines, per The Guardian

Both outlets note that other political leaders, such as New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, both Democrats, have supported the idea of banning masks at protests and on public transit because they feel the masks offer anonymity to people who wish to engage in antisemitic behavior. 

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told USA Today that “bans on the use of masks strongly inhibit one of the options that public health has to reduce the impact of pandemics in our population.”