Republican pushes conspiracy theory vaccinated people get ‘very, very sick’ and die

On Monday, at a hearing of the Louisiana House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure, one GOP state representative claimed she knows of doctors who are warning people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine can get "very very sick" and die from it.

"Rep. Valarie Hodges, a Denham Springs Republican, claimed her doctor's friend, who is also a doctor, told patients not to take the COVID vaccine because they could get "very very sick and possibly die from it." She said she's worried the U.S. will require vaccines for certain forms of travel," reported Sam Karlin for The Advocate. "Aly Neel, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Health, said Louisiana has not had a confirmed death tied to the COVID-19 vaccines. Severe side effects from all three vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are rare."

In the course of that hearing, two anti-vaccine bills were advanced in committee by the Republican majority: one to give lawsuit immunity to businesses for not imposing vaccine mandates on employees, and one that would prohibit denying people access to hearings, permits, or government programs based on vaccine status.

In recent weeks, Hodges has also sought to advance a bill that would require subjects like American exceptionalism and national sovereignty be taught in schools — which critics say is a retread of a shelved bill by Rep. Ray Garofalo, a lawmaker who landed in hot water last month by claiming schools should teach the "good" parts of slavery.