Hugh McQuaid / ctnewsjunkie
Protesters outside Pegasus Manufacturing (Hugh McQuaid / ctnewsjunkie)

Anti-mask protesters have become a fixture at Gov. Ned Lamont’s public appearances in recent days. More than a dozen turned out for a press conference at a Middletown manufacturer Wednesday.

While Lamont was inside Pegasus Manufacturing touting expansions to an employer assistance program, the protesters were outside with megaphones, flags and a snare drum.

Aaron McCool, 36, of Naugatuck said he was not convinced of the efficacy of masks and wanted to talk to Lamont about why his three-year-old daughter was required to wear one at school. He said the state’s virus containment policies should be debated by the legislature not imposed by executive order.

“We were content to go rally at the Capitol. We were content to rally at the governor’s mansion, right? He wouldn’t address us there. So now? That governor, would-be king, is not going to be allowed in public. If he goes to piss in the park, I’m going to be there,” McCool said.

Asked about the mask requirement in schools, Lamont said parents and teachers are anxious about the virus spreading at schools and daycare centers.

“Look, it’s not something you harshly enforce, you don’t do that, but it gives those who are instructing at the daycare some confidence that they’ll be able to make sure those kids are wearing masks and doing it safely. Believe me, the kids are pretty good about wearing the masks. I sometimes worry about the older brothers in college or some of the fathers,” he said.