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Republican in the hospital with COVID-19 after suggesting virus is a ‘hoax’ and preaching at maskless church service

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Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert (R) has a known history of downplaying the coronavirus, even pushing narratives on social media that describe it as a “hoax.” Now, he’s contracted the virus after appearing as a guest preacher at Sanctuary of Hope church in Branson, Missouri about two weeks ago.

According to a post on his Facebook page this Thursday, Rapert is in the hospital “after being diagnosed with pneumonia and testing positive for Covid-19.” The post adds that he’s “responding well to treatment.”

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“This is a difficult time for my family, but we know that God is with us always,” Rapert said. “We’re sincerely grateful for the many prayers of love and support that have been expressed on our behalf.”

“We have all been doing our best to wear a mask, social distance and be careful like everyone else. This virus is serious and can attack anyone regardless of age or general health,” he added.

As the Friendly Atheist points out, no one seems to be wearing masks at the church service he participated in.

Just as late as this past week, Rapert spoke out against his state’s mask mandate, saying that he opposes it in principle and that it’s “an overreach of executive power without consultation with the members of the Arkansas legislature.”

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“I understand the governor has expanded authority during a declared state of emergency, but with most people already complying where necessary and the death rates, hospitalization rates and positivity test rates all hovering just below 1% in our state – I believe this mandate was ill timed and not necessary,” he wrote in a Facebook post on July 16.

The Friendly Atheist’s Hemant Mehta writes that while he takes no pleasure in Rapert’s illness, he would like to see him lose an election.

“…this is a guy whose party has dragged its feet on protecting people from the virus, and who himself was recently in a church where precautions were ignored. What did he think would happen?”

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Amy Coney Barrett: Religious conservative US Supreme Court pick

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated Saturday to the US Supreme Court, is a darling of conservatives for her religious views but detractors warn her confirmation would shift the nation's top court firmly to the right.

A practising Catholic and the mother of seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and a young son with Down's Syndrome, Barrett is personally opposed to abortion, one of the key issues dominating the cultural divide in the United States.

As a federal appeals court judge since 2017, she has taken positions backing gun rights and against migrants, women seeking abortions and former president Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform that Republicans have been trying to dismantle for years.

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Senate Republicans attempt to brand Amy Coney Barrett as the ‘Notorious ACB’

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The campaign arm for Senate Republicans is raising money by attempting to brand conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett as the "Notorious A.C.B."

The scheme is an attempt appropriate Ruth Bader Ginsburg's famous nickname -- The Notorious R.B.G. -- for a jurist nothing like the late Supreme Court justice.

T-shirts with "Notorious A.C.B." are being given out for donations between $25 and $5,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The website where the T-shirts are sold says the money will go to the "Supreme Court Defense Fund."

"Democrats will do ANYTHING to stop President Trump and Senate Republicans from filling the Supreme Court vacancy," the website argues. "Protecting our Majority has never been more important. HELP!"

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2020 Election

Joe Biden responds to Trump picking Amy Coney Barrett for the US Supreme Court

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Democratic 2020 nominee Joe Biden released a statement shortly after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the United States Supreme Court.

"Election Day is just weeks away, and millions of Americans are already voting because the stakes in this election could not be higher. They feel the urgency of this choice – an urgency made all the more acute by what’s at stake at the U.S. Supreme Court," Biden wrote.

"They are voting because their health care hangs in the balance. They are voting because they worry about losing their right to vote or being expelled from the only country they have ever known. They are voting right now because they fear losing their collective bargaining rights. They are voting to demand that equal justice be guaranteed for all. They are voting because they don’t want Roe v. Wade, which has been the law of the land for nearly half a century, to be overturned," he explained.

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