‘Two tests a week is wrong’: GOP lawmaker is thrown out of state House for refusing to be tested for Covid

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A six-year Georgia House Republican has gone viral over the “excuses” he made for refusing to abide by a rule stating that every Georgia House member be tested for COVID-19 twice per week.

The hubbub happened a bit before noon Tuesday after Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican, ordered fellow Republican state Rep. David Clark to vacate the chamber because of his refusal to be tested.

“We have a member of this body who has deliberately failed at all to be tested as we begin session, clearly in violation of our testing policy, jeopardizing the health of other members of this chamber,” Ralston said in a now-viral video.

“I’m going to ask that member to be as discreet as possible, to quietly leave the chamber, unless you prefer it otherwise. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’ve been to too many funerals, and I’m getting tired of going to them. All we are trying to do is keep people from dying,” he said.

Watch:

Clark complied with Ralston’s request, but not without also offering his side of the story to the media.

Speaking with local reporters, he first argued that it’s unfair for members of the Georgia House of Representatives to benefit from two tests weekly when there are some teachers in the state who have been unable to obtain a single test.

Plus, he stated, he’s been following safety guidelines and having his temperature checked.

I check my temperature when I come in, when I go in the chambers I wear my mask, I follow the protocols that they want in the chamber. But two tests a week is wrong, on my conscience, when teachers can’t get it and first responders can’t get it,” he said.

Listen:

He later reiterated this point on Twitter:

Clark also vowed to file a lawsuit over the matter.

But the problem is what he said next during his discussion with reporters Tuesday.

You can’t just pick the rules and decide who comes in and who does not come in. Takes it back to right after the Civil War when you had 33 blacks who got elected — Republicans — that get thrown out because of their skin color,” he said.

He referenced the “Original 33,” a group of 33 black men who in 1868 became the first blacks to ever be elected to the Georgia General Assembly — but who were soon after expelled from the body by the Assembly’s white majority because of their skin color.

After their expulsion, one of the expelled representatives, Philip Joiner, tried leading a peaceful march to a GOP political rally in Camilla but was confronted and fired upon by local whites. What ensued is now known as the Camilla massacre.

Listen to the rest of Clark’s remarks below:

While his decision to abstain from being tested because of concerns about unfairness seemed reasonable, or at least to some, his added remarks in which he compared himself to the “Original 33” were deemed abhorrent by many others.

Case in point:

The rest of his colleagues have meanwhile taken Ralston’s side, including House Majority Leader Jon Burns, a Republican, and Minority Leader James Beverly, a Democrat.

Also, Clark is now reportedly officially out of an office.

Vivek Saxena

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