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Three of the Texas State Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C. last week to prevent the state’s GOP-led legislature from passing a election reform bill have contracted the coronavirus, prompting condemnation and, in one case, disbelief from their critics.
The three were part of the entourage that jumped onto a private jet with no masks on but a case of beer handy last Monday to protest what they falsely claimed was “voter suppression.”
Their stunt attracted widespread criticism from the center and right, not only for their refusal to abide by democratic norms and voters’ wishes (voters had elected Republicans, not them, into a majority), but also for their mask hypocrisy.
Days later, it’s now clear that their critics had a point:
— Jasper Scherer (@jaspscherer) July 17, 2021
On Friday, one of the the Texas State Democrats tested positive for the coronavirus via a rapid test. The following morning, two additional Democrats tested positive as well via rapid tests. All three were reportedly vaccinated.
“The three who tested positive on the rapid tests will receive a PCR coronavirus test, a more sensitive and accurate COVID-19 test. The positive members will isolate for 10 days before taking a follow-up test,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Meanwhile, there’s reportedly been a sudden change in the entourage’s behavior.
“There was a notable increase in the use of face coverings among lawmakers and Democratic staffers at their Washington hotel Saturday morning. Since members arrived late Monday, masks have been used sparingly as they moved through the lobby and held meetings around the city,” the American-Statesman reported.
Considering how much Democrats lecture everybody else about wearing a mask, critics have been quick to bash the entourage for their “super-spreader” behavior.
#COVIDIOTS is trending.
They must be talking about the Texas Democrats.
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) July 18, 2021
Texas Democrats are #FugitiveSuperspreaders
And complete buffoons.
— #ThePeoplesSpeaker™️ (@SpeakerTimJones) July 18, 2021
Three Texas democrats tested positive for COVID in DC.
Let’s be clear: I wish them well & hope they have a speedy recovery.
Texas democrats endangered lives on their reckless, maskless, binge drinking trip to DC.
They’ll lose seats in 2022 because of it.
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) July 17, 2021
SUPER SPREADERS!!!!! https://t.co/LWdQsz9f8J
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) July 17, 2021
Laws — like masking on a plane — exist for a reason. Very disturbed by this reckless behavior, which happened in the process of subverting democracy. Everyone remember the day July 12. https://t.co/lU8l4iCACM
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) July 17, 2021
This would be called a super spreader event if it was Republicans who got COVID after not wearing masks on a plane.
Science for thee, not for me. pic.twitter.com/Vh3qsNlFSt
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) July 17, 2021
But not every critic believes them. Texas Rep. Briscoe Cain thinks the positive tests are a “gimmick.”
“I say prove it. I think it’s an excuse to avoid coming back. They want a reason to do a 14-day quarantine; they don’t want to come back and do their jobs. If they really have it, prove it,” he told Fox News.
As for the Democrats flying unmasked (and with beer), Cain pointed out that doing so was illegal.
“My reading of federal transportation law and mask mandates is that the mask rule applies to private charters regardless of whether you’re vaccinated. Humorously, a local ordinance in Washington, D.C. also prohibits a person from importing an alcoholic beverage into the District of Columbia without a permit,” he said.
The outspoken Texas Republican also had tough words to say about his colleagues’ false claims of cover suppression.
“It’s disingenuous, they’re lying and they are playing games with the people of Texas. Anyone that reads it realizes it doesn’t criminalize mistakes. It expands voting access, it expands hours, and protects our elections. That’s it,” he said.
President Joe Biden has also been lying about the election reform bill that Texas State Republicans have been trying to pass:
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 14, 2021
Thanks to the “bad faith” behavior of his colleagues, Cain said he feels there’s “no reason to negotiate with them” anymore.
In fact, “he hopes the legislature can pass an even stronger bill when they return,” according to Fox News.
In the meantime, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, who’s been demanding that his Democrat colleagues have the decency to at least forgo their daily pay while they’re effectively vacationing in D.C., tried chartering a plane home for them.
“In an effort to further compel House Democrats to return to the State of Texas, I am chartering a plane that will be on standby in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. I am demanding all of our colleagues in D.C. to contact my staff immediately in order to secure their seat on the plane and return to Austin in order to do the state’s business. The State of Texas is waiting,” he announced in a statement last Thursday.
As of Sunday morning, not a single Democrat had boarded the plane.