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Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert

Photo by Unviersity of Central Arkansas / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Reprinted with permission from 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."

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

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.

Here are some Twitter reactions to Rapert contracting COVID-19.






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Sen. Kamala Harris

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

For months, I've adhered to the conventional wisdom that Joe Biden was most likely to pick Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. She's highly qualified, young but not inexperienced, a woman of color, a talented public speaker, not afraid of a fight, perceived as relatively moderate, and has been through the rigors of a national campaign. Her appeal to Biden was impossible to miss.

And yet somehow, the defenders of President Donald Trump seemed totally caught off guard when the choice came down on Tuesday. They have no unified strategy of how to attack the California senator.

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