WASHINGTON — It’s not secret that President Trump has publicly flouted public health recommendations for months. He is hardly alone, however, in his reckless disregard for the kind of precautions needed to keep Americans safe. Republicans at all levels of the ballot are united by their contempt for the recommendations of public health experts. And it’s not just a personal risk — their actions jeopardize the health of their communities and all hard-won progress against the pandemic.
GOP state legislators across the country have worked relentlessly to undermine public health restrictions. And they’ve joined Trump in abandoning the simple rules like wearing a mask and avoiding large events that could help slow the spread of coronavirus.
A full accounting of Republicans’ public health misdeeds would overload email servers, but here is a list of some of the most egregious examples:
- GOP Senate candidate Wendy Rogers attended a pro-Trump rally in Arizona that included tens of people without masks. Looks a lot like a superspreader event that happened last week…
- Infamous Arizona anti-masker Representative Walt Blackman was spotted maskless at an event with Eric Trump. Looking at the pictures doesn’t instill confidence that they know how to fend off an incredibly contagious virus. Don’t worry, Representative Anthony Kern was there too.
- Republican candidate Liz Harris decided to tune into the first presidential debate… with scores of her supporters at an indoor restaurant. If she really wants to keep Arizona the “AMAZING” state it is, she should try following public health guidelines and listening to scientists.
- GOP Representative Ann Meyer of Iowa decided to join Team Trump by not bothering to keep her mask on and ignoring public health guidelines.
- Montana Representative Brad Tschida finally decided to listen to scientists about masks: too bad they were fake scientists and the article was flagged by Facebook as false information.
- GOP Representative Chris Humphrey celebrated a North Carolinian’s 100th birthday by putting her at risk for a deadly virus (with an assist from US Senator Thom Tillis). Not the birthday wishes she was hoping for.
- North Carolina Republican Representative John Szoka attended a crowded, indoor campaign event. One slight problem — every attendee appeared to have forgotten their masks.
- In Pennsylvania, Representative Sue Helm welcomed the Trump campaign to town. Unsurprisingly, there were no masks in sight at the indoor event.
- Texas Republican Jacey Jetton had an event with elderly veterans in honor of the 75th anniversary of Korea’s Independence Day. He can be seen maskless and close to these veterans, which seems like the wrong way to honor heroes.
- Texas Representative Matt Shaheen compared a Dallas salon owner who defied public health mandates with Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. In case he forgot his history, MLK Jr. and Gandhi fought to save lives, not end them.
- Lastly, but certainly not least, Texas GOP Representative Tony Tinderholt claimed a mask requirement marks the end of our free nation. A freedom to stay alive and safe seems like an essential freedom to us.
From the statehouse to the White House, Republicans have shown no leadership when it comes to the crises that are impacting Americans’ lives. Democrats will hold them accountable for their recklessness this November.