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Stand down, Mo
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Stand down, Mo

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In recent months, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks has enjoyed a far higher profile than he’s seen in the time he’s represented Alabama’s 5th Congressional District spanning the northern border of the state. That may be good for him, since he’s running for a U.S. Senate seat that will open upon the end of Richard Shelby’s term next year, but whether it’s good for Alabama is debatable.

He’s currently being sued by a fellow Congressman for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol with an incendiary speech that may have played a part in the insurrection.

Last month, he signed on as co-sponsor — along with House colleagues Barry Moore, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Louie Gohmert of Texas — to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Fire Fauci Act, which would zero out the salary of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, because of Greene’s dissatisfaction with Fauci’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the weekend, Brooks took to Twitter to ridicule Democratic Texas lawmakers for flying to Washington, D.C., maskless, and gleefully shared his schadenfreude after three of the lawmakers tested positive for COVID-19.

Less than 48 hours later he was on the other side of the fence, firing off a letter to President Joe Biden demanding that the president overrule a decision by officials at an Alabama military installation, Fort Rucker, requiring military personnel on the post to wear masks if they’re not vaccinated against COVID-19. The order is discriminatory and potentially harmful, Brooks said.

“Our soldiers should not be intimidated or coerced by the government into taking an experimental shot that has death and other ill-effect risk associated with it,” Brooks wrote Biden. “Respect the rights of our military personnel and allow them to make their own informed decisions about their healthcare.”

He continued by suggesting face coverings are harmful: “Masks have small fibers that regularly loosen and are lodged in users’ lungs. Some masks have inks and dyes which, when consumed by lungs, have unknown cancer and other health risks,” Brooks wrote. “There is also the unknown risk that, in the heat and humidity of summers in the South, heat stroke risks increase among mask wearers.”

Rep. Brooks seems to want to silence scientists and dictate how the pandemic be handled. He should respect the charge of military leaders to make decisions to ensure the safety of military and civilian personnel at the installations they oversee. And he should be ashamed for mocking those sickened with COVID-19, regardless of their political affiliation.

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