WASHINGTON — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the United States, Republican state legislators continue to ignore both the advice of public health officials and public opinion. Instead of working to combat the pandemic and adhere to safe benchmarks to reopen their states, GOP legislators across the country are advocating for people to go back to work before it’s safe and fanning the flames of dangerous protests organized by wealthy, right-wing donors.
- In Colorado, House Republican Minority Leader Patrick Neville (who likened stay at home orders to a “Gestapo-like mentality”) attended a protest at the state’s capitol opposing the state’s attempt to stop the spread of COVID.
- At a rally to “re-open Arizona,” Republican Representative Kelly Townsend led chants without wearing a mask and Republican Senator David Farnsworth said “Satan is behind” the state’s coronavirus restrictions.
- Despite the continued spread of the virus in Pennsylvania, state GOP Representative Aaron Bernstine joined protesters earlier this week calling on Governor Tom Wolf to ease public health measures before mass testing is available.
- After claiming that “Republicans think the pandemic is serious,” Wisconsin Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos proved just how serious he thinks it is and encouraged people to gather at a protest urging the governor to reopen businesses before medical experts say it’s safe to do so.
“The GOP’s reckless push to lend credibility to these dangerous protests is just another example of their backward priorities during this crisis,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “Republicans have made it clear they would rather cater to their right-wing base than listen to the advice of medical experts. Their lack of leadership threatens to put their constituents at risk, worsen the spread of the virus, and undo the progress states have made to flatten the curve.”