Incoming Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend (R) has indicated she will not comply with a new directive requiring anyone entering the statehouse to wear a mask, suggesting it is her right to spread the coronavirus in public.
Capitol Media Services reported that Townsend said Senate President Karen Fann, also a Republican, has no authority to issue such a directive.
“I’ve already told them where I stand,” she said. “What are they going to do? Arrest me?”
What can be done, if the rules are followed, is simply refuse to allow Townsend into the building.
“They’re going to physically block me from the building?” she asked. “Well, that’d be fun,” promising to invite a reporter there when she attempts entry.
Arizona Republic columnist EJ Montini wrote in a Monday op-ed that Townsend “is asserting what she seems to believe is her God-given right to spread illness.”
We are a year into the pandemic. COVID-19 has killed more than 8,000 of our brothers and sisters in Arizona, some of them no doubt constituents of Townsend, who most recently was a member of the Arizona House.
When Townsend made her defiant proclamation to Fischer approximately 2,600 individuals nationwide were dying from COVID-19 each day or, according to The Washington Post, a death every 33 seconds.
But Townsend says it is her right to ignore the mask rule at the Legislature, allowing her to possibly infect another person to be infected by another person. This at a time when our health system is strained to the breaking point.
Apparently, it is too grave an imposition on Townsend’s “rights” for her to serve as an example by taking this small precaution. If not for herself then perhaps as a show of respect and appreciation for the doctors, nurses and other health care workers who risk their lives in an effort to save others devastated by COVID-19.
Image credit: Screengrab / azcentral.com and The Arizona Republic / YouTube