Should COVID Spreaders Be Allowed In Legislative Bodies

Wyoming is the most conservative state in the union. It has no border with Canada so we can't give it away but it should be merged with the Dakotas to form one Trumpist hellhole-- with 2 senators instead of 6. Last year Trump beat Biden in Wyoming 193,559 (69.94%) to 73,491 (26.55%). Trump won 21 of Wyoming's 23 counties. Just 47% of adults are fully vaccinated and daily cases have risen by 89% in the last 2 weeks, while hospitalizations in the same period are up 70%. 5 counties have 25% or fewer adults vaccinated. Would it surprise you to know that these counties are all much Trumpier than the state in general?

  • Campbell Co.- 20% vaccinated (Trump- 86.8%)

  • Crook Co.- 22% vaccinated (Trump- 88.6%)

  • Sublette Co.- 24% vaccinated (Trump- 79.6%)

  • Niobrara Co.- 24% vaccinated (Trump- 85.5%)

  • Converse Co.- 25% vaccinated (Trump- 84.9%)

Yesterday, the Casper Star Tribune reported that the crackpot far right governor, Mark Gordon "made clear Monday afternoon that his office would not be enacting any sweeping virus mitigation policies, deferring instead to the federal government and local officials... Gordon did say he is concerned about the state’s trajectory. New and active cases, along with hospitalizations, are growing exponentially in Wyoming as the dramatically more contagious delta variant spreads nationwide. More than 2,000 virus cases were considered active Friday-- a 1,500-case increase from a month ago. Hospitalizations, too, have surged since March and now match figures not seen since early January. Overwhelmingly, they are people who are not vaccinated... 'On COVID, let me be clear that we are not going to issue any mandates, no mandates will come from this office. No face masks, no vaccination mandates. Fortunately, the issue is not masks, the issue is COVID and the disruption this virus poses to us all.'"

Meanwhile, a couple of states east we find Wisconsin's almost all white first Senate district, the base of 40 year old, morbidly obese state Senator André Jacque, one of the leading anti-vaxxer/anti-maskers in the Wisconsin legislature. Jacque, who has somehow managed to sire 6 children-- poor Renée to have that animal on top of her, if that's how they do it-- is in the hospital, with several family members he infected. He was unmasked in the state legislature last week and probably infected other senators and staffers as well.

Like many Republicans who test positive, Jacque claimed he was only fatigued and not really symptomatic, although he was soon rushed to the hospital with a serious case of pneumonia. Chris Larson: "I hope Sen. Jacque and his family have a full recovery. I also hope others are spared from his irresponsible, selfish behavior and that any people he exposed to COVID or directly infected are taking precautions to stop the spread of this virus. On Wednesday, there was a Joint Senate and Assembly Education Committee meeting held to pursue an imaginary threat [critical race theory]. At the same time, Republicans exposed themselves and the public to the very real and deadly threat they continue to ignore, downplay, and let run rampant. Sen. Andre Jacque presented his bill. He did not wear a mask while speaking or while waiting to speak. Some have been privy to the knowledge of a positive test result since Friday. I, like many others, didn’t get definitive information until a Journal Sentinel article was posted this morning, a full 6 days after the committee. Committee Chairs Sen. Darling and Rep. Thiesfeldt should not sit on this information any longer. They owe it to our neighbors, the staff, and Capitol police who were in the room over those 7 hours to immediately contact every person who was in the committee room on Wednesday so they can schedule a COVID test and follow necessary precautions. Unfortunately, masks were not required or enforced and so the unmasked people packed into the room are at much higher risk."

Unlike Republican legislators, Americans very much favor mask and vaccine mandates. New polling by Ipsos for Axios released this morning shows broad support for state and local governments requiring masks, and most oppose states preventing schools or local governments from requiring masks (the bill Jacque was proposing before he was put in the hospital. 64% of people polled support their state or local government requiring masks to be worn in all public places. Normal people favor this wide wide margins but just 44% of Republicans do. 69% of respondents support their local school districts requiring teachers, students, and administrators to wear masks in schools. Again, just 44% of Republicans agree with Americans on this.

They also found that 55% of Americans support companies requiring all employees to be vaccinated to return to the workplace-- that's nearly eight in 10 Democrats but just three in 10 Republicans.

Respondents were asked a series of true-or-false questions, including whether masks have been shown to limit person-to-person spread of COVID-19, and whether the vaccine is more deadly that the virus itself.
• While most people across party lines knew the facts, Republicans were disproportionately likely to answer incorrectly or to say they didn't know.
• A jarring half of all respondents either said there's no evidence that wearing masks in schools gives children more protection against COVID-19 or said they didn't know.