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Violet Affleck, 18, gives speech against mask bans and reveals she had post-viral condition

The daughter of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner is a new voter and she's ready to use her voice

Violet Affleck.
ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

Violet Affleck is raising awareness about a topic that’s close to her heart.

The daughter of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck appeared at a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Meeting on July 9 and urged local officials to oppose mask bans and ensure availability of masks for vulnerable groups.

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In a clip from the meeting, the 18-year-old addressed the board of supervisors and introduced herself as a "Los Angeles resident" and "first-time voter." She went on to share some background on why she's so passionate about protecting others from dangerous viruses.

“I contracted a post-viral condition in 2019. 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,” she said.

Affleck went on to explain the dangers associated with long COVID.

“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, move, see and even think,” she said.

The exact number of people who have long COVID — defined as any COVID-19-related symptoms that persist for over three months — is unclear. But a 2022 study from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that about 7% of people reported having it at some point. Experts have estimated long COVID affects between 5-20% of patients, TODAY.com previously reported.

Long COVID symptoms range from neurological, like brain fog, to cardiovascular, like blood clots, to severe fatigue and chronic pain.

A few years into the pandemic, many people stopped wearing masks in public. However, Affleck urged county officials to ensure that those who want or need extra protection against viruses have access to masks and other preventative methods.

“To confront the long COVID crisis, I demand mask availability, air filtration and far-UVC light in government facilities, including jails and detention centers, and mask mandates in county medical facilities,” she said.

Affleck also called for "(expanding) the availability of high-quality free tests and treatment" and opposing mask bans "for any reason."

“(Mask bans) 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 said at the end of her comment.

Wearing a face mask can lower the risk of transmission of respiratory viruses, according to the CDC.

When Affleck recently graduated high school, her proud mother shared a photo of herself looking emotional at the ceremony.

“Tell me you have a graduate without telling me you have a graduate. 🎓 (bless our hearts 🥺♥️🤣),” she captioned the post.

Affleck and her two siblings have mostly stayed out of the spotlight over the years, but she appeared with her mother at a White House state dinner in 2022.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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