If you decide to hop in a car from North Carolina’s 11th Congressional district where Republican wanker Rep. Madison Cawthorn does next to nothing and travel across the Tar Heel State to Johnston County, it’ll take you about five hours—give or take 15 minutes with no traffic. The fact that Johnston County isn’t even remotely close to Cawthorn’s constituency will not be stopping him from taking his anti-science caravan across the state to protest mask mandates in Johnston County schools. There are, of course, more cameras and fundraising asks to make across county lines.
What makes this move so very Cawthorn is not simply his continued promotion of criminally bad public health policy in all aspects of his political career, nor is it the fact that Cawthorn has falsely accused others of swooping into areas they do not live in to meddle in politics, it’s that Asheville—the main city in Cawthorn’s congressional district—has its own mask mandate. Cawthorn failed to move the needle in his own district back on Aug. 9, when he joined anti-mask parents to screech at the school board in Buncombe County, saying: “The greatest threat to our children today does not come from covid-19. It comes from woke, liberal government officials like you who think they are all-knowing and all-wise.”
North Carolina Republicans have very cannily made sure that SB 654 requires public schools to adopt a “face coverings” policy and then vote on that at least once a month for the foreseeable future. Now Cawthorn may be waiting to come back to Asheville and make his protest during the Sept. 20 meeting. In fact, Cawthorn’s future schedule may just consist of touring North Carolina’s monthly school board meetings to “protest,” take a few photos, give a quote to the reporter, press the flesh, and move on to the next town.
All of this comes as pediatric cases of the delta variant of COVID-19 were surging. In the middle of July, while Cawthorn was revving up parents and other MAGA-types in his state, children were making up more than 15% of all new cases in North Carolina. Luckily, while delta variant COVID-19 infections were seeing double the hospitalization rate in the state, this number wasn’t affecting the rate of children being hospitalized. Unfortunately, the more children who contract COVID-19, the more children and others they come into contact with end up in the hospital. It’s the kind of high-level math that Cawthorn and his buddies would learn if they put a mask on and reenlisted in third grade.
Cawthorn has publicly called mask mandates in schools “nothing short of psychological child abuse.” North Carolina “surpassed 11,000 new daily COVID-19 cases” this weekend—something they haven’t done since the peak of the pandemic in January and February. Thousands of people in North Carolina have been hospitalized, and almost 200 new deaths were reported. This family has been destroyed.
That’s four children who have lost at least one parent, while the other remains in the hospital.
As political science professor Chris Cooper of Western Carolina University (in Cawthorn’s Congressional district) told Fox 8, “Clearly this isn’t about representing the 11th congressional district. This is about building Madison Cawthorn’s brand into a statewide and national brand.” Cooper went on to remind the local news in Madison’s district that “he is not somebody who is putting his time and his resources into policy. He’s bragged about the fact he’s built a staff around ‘comms,’ in his words, meaning communications over policy, and we’ve definitely seen that.”
Cawthorn has already shown that he is sociopathic enough to just pretend any popular law he voted against is something he made happen. He can literally tell you he is being censored for saying something he is telling you—while not being censored—and keep whatever passes for a straight face. Telling misinformed parents that their kids are better off without masks during a pandemic is just par for the course. In fact, Cawthorn has promoted violence before with no repercussions, and promoting death by virus is likely far too abstract a concept for his tiny mind to care much about. So far, most school boards across the state have not bowed to the pressure of morally bankrupt liars like Cawthorn.
Hopefully, Congress will bring Cawthorn to account for his actions on before, during, and after Jan. 6, 2021.
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