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Michigan Republican who fought COVID-19 lockdown diagnosed with coronavirus

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Tom Barrett photo from campaign website

Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett, of Michigan, has been diagnosed with COVID-19. While another in the millions of Americans diagnosed with the deadly virus wouldn’t usually make the news, this lawmaker was one of many conservatives who waged war against the Michigan governor for instituting a lockdown as the coronavirus killed hundreds across her state in April.

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According to the Detroit News, “Barrett said he was notified of his test results Sunday afternoon. The Michigan Army National Guard implemented a screening policy for all soldiers one week prior to their departure for training events, the senator said in a statement. He tested positive Friday.

The Republican said he was told about his test results Sunday afternoon when the Michigan Army National Guard mandated screening for all of its soldiers prior to training. Barrett is in the Michigan Army National Guard.

“Thankfully, I do not have any significant symptoms at this time, and I will be self-isolating according to medical guidelines,” said Barrett. “I have done my best to make contact with those I have been around in the past couple weeks so that they may also seek medical advice.

It’s unclear how many other leaders were exposed to the virus.

Michigan’s legislature voted to limit the powers of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because she closed down the state after a particularly large outbreak of COVID-19. Groups gathered with weapons at the state capitol and demanded the lockdown end.

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“We feel that we have a balance of power in state government, and we need to put more legislative control into that power balance,” he said in April after introducing the bill along with Reps Jason Sheppard (R-Temperance) and Jason Wentworth (R-Farwell).

“After that happened, when the governor tightened up some restrictions, that’s why you saw the backlash,” Barrett said last week. “The governor is no longer acting in a rational way.”


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