Yesterday, U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) tested positive for COVID-19. He blamed wearing a mask for contracting the virus. Gohmert announced he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus despite no evidence that it worked.

A staffer from his office said Gohmert discouraged people from wearing masks, saying he wanted to be an example of how to open safely. Other Republican Congressional staffers came forward with similar experiences in their offices.

A state representative in Pennsylvania issued a statement condemning discrimination against the “unmasked community.” He’s “working toward protecting the freedom and liberty of everyone in Pennsylvania.”

On twitter, conservative commentators claim that wearing a mask is not scientifically proven. One guy says the virus is “burning out” despite record numbers of deaths in Florida and Texas. Another says the U.S. has done well in containing the virus compared to the rest of the world even though all of Europe has far fewer than 100 deaths a day and we still have about 1,000. And Herman Cain is still in the hospital after contracting the virus at Trump’s Oklahoma rally.

The silence coming from GOP leaders about all of this is deafening. There are no more adults in the Republican Party. They’ve all left to become anti-Trumpers. The people remaining believe that the goal of the party is to hold onto power, not help the American people. They’re either cynics or idiots.

In North Carolina, all we hear from conservatives is, “Open up.” Open up bars. Open up gyms. Open up schools. Nobody offers a plan. Nobody criticizes the nut jobs who downplay the virus, discourage masks, or refuse to social distance. It’s not about freedom. It’s about safety.

If conservatives were opening up, they would be serious about containing the virus. They would be vocal in disputing Trump’s chaotic and contradictory statements that mislead the American people and encourage his base of idiots to misbehave and put others at risk. They would offer a plan to keep people safe and reduce the spread of the disease. Instead, they’re silent about any preventative measures and spend their time criticizing governors like Roy Cooper who are doing their best to contain the virus and protect the people they serve. The GOP has become the party of dumb people.

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