US President Donald Trump tours a Honeywell International Inc. factory producing N95 masks during his first trip since widespread COVID-19 related lockdowns went into effect May 5, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Anti-mask Republican lawmaker who called coronavirus a "hoax" gets COVID-19

Jason Rapert is a Republican Arkansas state senator who has called face mask mandates “draconian”



Alex Henderson
July 30, 2020 9:05AM (UTC)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Jason Rapert, an anti-gay Republican Arkansas state senator who has called face mask mandates "draconian" and shared articles calling COVID-19 a hoax, has tested positive for COVID-19 after speaking at a church service and other recent events without a face mask.

For the last three months, Rapert has been sharing articles on his social media about how "liberal quacks" are "spreading fear" about coronavirus, about how COVID-19 is the "biggest political hoax in history" and about how the recent face mask mandate ordered by Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is "draconian" and an "overreach of executive power."

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Though Rapert has occasionally mentioned the importance of using masks, he's now in the hospital being treated for coronavirus and pneumonia.

"We have all been doing our best to wear a mask, social distance and be careful like everyone else," Rapert wrote in a statement on Thursday. "This virus is serious and can attack anyone regardless of age or general health…"

Rapert also has a reputation for being a Christianist who introduced a bill seeking to ban gay marriage nationwide in 2017, two years after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide. He also  wanted to defund PBS in February 2020 because gay actor Billy Porter appeared on Sesame Street.

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On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Arkansas had its second and third highest-ever daily tolls of newly confirmed coronavirus cases, at 1,013 and 990 new cases, respectively.


Alex Henderson

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Anti-mask Arkansas Coronavirus Covid-19 Gop Jason Rapert Republican

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