Twitter users erupted in outrage Friday morning after right-wing Republican Congressman Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona posted on Twitter a photo of himself wearing a #ForAshli wristband honoring deceased Capitol insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt.
Gosar, who has referred to the Jan. 6 rioters as "peaceful patriots," is among those who've attempted to martyrize Babbitt — demanding to know the identity of the officer who fatally shot her as she attempted to crawl through a broken window outside the Speakers Lobby.
Here's how Twitter reacted to Gosar's photo:
A fan of someone who joined a mob intent on overturning an election that didn't go the way they wanted, hunting dow… https://t.co/Gc47FrUQJ8— Erik Sherman (@Erik Sherman) 1627639157.0
I hope the sexuality of this image (hands on cell phone held in crotch while thinking of the dead woman who attacke… https://t.co/pOpyTaMPBI— emptywheel (@emptywheel) 1627638123.0
Remember when Obama got shit for talking to a guy who had talked to a girl who had been arrested for shooting a cop? https://t.co/MGzwLzSWeQ— Kai Saunders (@Kai Saunders) 1627638939.0
Just a reminder @RepGosar: Ashli Babbitt was a terrorist NOT a patriot. https://t.co/25rWxhdIyJ— Chris Griffin (@Chris Griffin) 1627638823.0
Sending a dick pic to a dead woman. Paul Grossar https://t.co/u2yg1bGPQv— lucid (@lucid) 1627638655.0
You’re a fucking traitor and ghoul. https://t.co/xOUo6jyBMW— Bruno Tomas, Holding... ... ... ... (@Bruno Tomas, Holding... ... ... ...) 1627638135.0
ISIS and Al Qaeda also believe that their members who die while carrying out terrorist acts are martyrs. https://t.co/S5DO3gT1Mv— Travis Akers (@Travis Akers) 1627634966.0
Gosar is proudly declaring he’s a national security threat. At the least, he should be put on the no-fly list. https://t.co/EGHKhw7uFY— June Day (@June Day) 1627616459.0
A Christian summer camp in rural North Carolina became a coronavirus superspreader.
Families spent around $350 to send their children to the "funtastic" camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they could hike, swim, zipline and be served a "healthy portion of God's word" -- but public officials have traced at least 76 COVID-19 cases nationwide back to The Wilds, reported The Daily Beast.
"There's certainly a possibility that more cases could be identified," said Tara Rybka, public health spokeswoman for Transylvania County, where the camp is located.
The cases were traced to 17 states, including 47 staff members and 29 campers or chaperones who weren't working on site,
"I was surprised that there was an outbreak among counselors," said one mom, Brooke Taylor Jensen "I guess I assumed most had been vaccinated, as I wouldn't have considered sending my son if he hadn't been and from the sounds of it that wasn't the case."
Jensen's 15-year-old son had spent three summers at The Wilds, but he won't be going back this year after receiving an email about the positive tests in previous weeks.
"He loves it and was very disappointed but we were not willing to risk it," she said.
The camp canceled its July 19-24 session after the positive tests but resumed after the one-week pause, promising to take extra precautions to limit the potential spread of the virus, but camp brochures and registration forms on The Wilds' website don't mention COVID-19 protocols or face masks.
"While we have had some campers and staff either test positive or exhibit symptoms at different points this summer," the camp said in a statement, "we plan to continue to safely serve your camper through the remainder of the summer as the Lord allows."
America's latest coronavirus wave, driven by the hyper-contagious Delta variant, has left vaccinated people seething at the unvaccinated for prolonging the pandemic and ensuring the return of restrictions rather than the carefree summer they were promised.
"It's almost like they don't care about the rest of the world. They're being selfish and self-centered," Alethea Reed, a 58-year-old health care administrator in the capital Washington told AFP.
"As somebody who falls in a higher risk category, and has a spouse who falls in a very high risk category, it's really frustrating," said clinical social worker Anne Hamon, 64, adding she was upset she had not been able to convince her own brother to take the shot.
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week recommending that vaccinated people go back to masking across much of the country, the mood was hardening among those who believe their lives were being disrupted as a result of others' choices.
Nationwide, 60.2 percent of US adults are fully vaccinated, far below the 85 to 90 percent epidemiologists now believe is necessary to contain the virus, despite the fact that the shots have been readily available for months.
The average rate masks stark regional differences that correlate closely to political preferences, with the lowest uptake in Republican voting states in the South, and the highest in the liberal Northeast.
Until recently, the conversation around vaccine holdouts had focused on alleviating their concerns, making Covid shots as easy to get as possible, and driving up demand through gift giveaways and prize draws.
Now, though, there is "a shift from understanding to impatience, and from incentives to consequences," former Republican speechwriter David Frum, who recently wrote a piece called "Vaccinated America has had enough" in The Atlantic, told AFP.
Momentum is building for mandates, with Facebook, Google and Netflix saying they will require many employees to get their vaccines.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced the country's millions of federal workers would need to either get vaccinated or submit to regular tests and wear masks, following similar steps taken by California and New York.
While there are many reasons for vaccine hesitancy, ranging from anti-science opposition rooted in conspiracy theories, to mistrust in the health care system stemming from historic racism, patience is wearing thin.
"There comes a point where, when you see a harmful action, the question of why it is happening becomes less important," said Frum.
"Behind every drunk driving incident, there is a personal crisis of addiction. But however sad that story is, you have to be off the road."
In a televised address, Biden acknowledged "many of you in the majority are frustrated with the consequences of the failure of the minority to get vaccinated," but vowed to do more to address the situation, including measures like paid vaccine leave.
- Exhausted health workers -
Traumatized doctors who thought that hospitalized Covid cases were going to be a thing of the past are making emotional pleas.
In hard hit Alabama, physician Brytney Cobia wrote a recent viral Facebook post saying that all but one of her patients were unvaccinated.
"One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late," she said.
Matthew Heinz, a doctor in Tucson, Arizona told AFP that while cases at his hospital were far below their peak from last year, "people seem to think it's done and it's not," and he continues to see a steady stream of younger patients.
Heinz, who is also a local elected Democratic official, said he and colleagues were pushing to implement a mandate for Pima County government workers -- setting up an expected legal clash with the Republican governor Doug Ducey who has issued an order banning such measures.
There are, however, some signs of change among conservatives too.
Fox News stalwart Geraldo Rivera told his viewers this week that the unvaccinated among them were "arrogant" and "selfish," adding that opposition to vaccine passports was "caveman stuff."
Days earlier, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, blasted vaccine holdouts for lacking "common sense," and "letting us down."
Medical sociologist Richard Carpiano of University of California, Riverside told AFP the anger of the current moment is a reassuring sign that, for all the attention grabbed by the vocally vaccine hesitant, a majority of people "believe in science, and know what they need to do."
"That kind of concern, or outrage, depending on how it gets channeled can be effective for things like mobilizing elected officials," he said.
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