On Monday, the Columbia Missourian published a scathing letter pointing the finger at Republican lawmakers in Missouri for the state's COVID-19 crisis — and noting that the ongoing deaths and illnesses could keep people from traveling to the state at all.
"For Missouri Republicans who continue to deny the COVID-19 reality, there is an anecdote that could be multiplied, perhaps, by thousands," wrote Arthur Hoffman, a St. Louis based alumnus of the Journalism School. "For a family reunion from four states, the Lake of the Ozarks was chosen for activities that suit all ages" — but one family from Chicago canceled their plans after their pediatrician strongly warned them against travel to Missouri due to a risk to their health.
One recent report found that Missouri had the fourth-highest death rate per capita from COVID-19 in the nation. Some politicians in the state have promoted false claims about the virus, including that it can be treated with a drug formulated to deworm horses. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, has attacked mask mandates even though he himself was infected with the virus last year.
"So, this family of five will not spend four nights at the lake area as planned — all because Missouri is a known hot zone for COVID-19," he wrote. "In large part, that is the result of Missouri's sad Republican leadership taking cues from former President Donald Trump who called the virus a hoax and never took it seriously until far too late. That was a horrible decision Missouri Republicans have never corrected. That horrible decision has cost Missouri its economy and, worse, its residents' lives."
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