A Georgia state Representative was refused entry to the House chamber on Tuesday because of his refusal to take a COVID-19 test. After he was asked to leave, a state trooper escorted Rep. David Clark from the House floor, according to a report from The Atlanta Georgia Constitution.
Current House rules say that Georgia House members are to be tested twice a week for COVID-19. and Clark has reportedly gone three weeks without one.
Speaker David Ralston, a fellow Republican, decried Clark’s behavior in a statement:
“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.”
Clark compared his refusal to be tested to his right to wear his American flag socks:
“The speaker is becoming a dictator. Where does this stop? The government can’t do this. They can tell me next that I can’t wear American flag socks because the make people feel uncomfortable. It’s ridiculous.”
A defiant Clark vowed to return tomorrow again without a COVID-19 test:
“I’m going to show back up tomorrow and try to get in. I’m going to show up every day and work for my constituents.”
Many of Clark’s colleagues applauded after his removal. “We have standards and rules to help members and staff stay safe,” Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, another fellow Republican later said. “The speaker made the right call.”
“I’m not falling in line,” Clark said. “They have no right to do this.”
This is hardly the first time a Republican lawmaker has caused a stir for not following pandemic protocols.
Virginia state Senator and 2021 Gubernatorial hopeful Amanda Chase, a Trump-backing Republican in the State’s 11th District, has been forced to sit in a plexiglass box during legislative sessions because of her refusal to wear a mask or take any pandemic health and safety guidelines seriously.
Sen. Chase has been forced to sit inside a quarantine box that she sarcastically calls her “freedom square” because she consistently refuses to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chase has gone so far down the Trump rabbit hole that she is seen as politically toxic and has even been kicked out of her local chapter of the Republican party.
But as many (or most) of her Republican colleagues have distanced themselves from her, Chase has become more and more popular, even something of a hero, with the extreme, Trump-supporting, wing of conservative politics.
“All year, she has stood shoulder to shoulder with members of far-right militant groups and conspiracy movements,” according to The Daily Beast.
“She’s playing the hits for the extremist crowd, lying about the vaccine, knowingly taking donations and ‘security’ help from neo-Confederate and QAnon-linked extremists, and calling on President Donald Trump to overturn his election loss by declaring martial law.”
Chase did not respond well to what she views as negative coverage of her “freedom box,” going after a reporter on Facebook for covering the story.
Kelly Weill, a reporter for The Daily Beast, claims that Chase took to Facebook to put her “on blast,” for describing the plexiglass box as “wobbly.”
Chase has a long history of extremist views that critics believe put her right in line with President Trump’s alternative reality agenda.
She once claimed that removing the state’s Confederate monuments is “erasing history,” posted that Joe Biden is “not the President” and that he didn’t win the election, is a staunch anti-vaxxer and perhaps most bizarrely that she is “antifa’s number 1 target” and that they were planning to dismember her.