I’m grown tired of the Daily Outrage stories. “Trump said this! What an asshole!” “McConnell did this! What an asshole!” There’s just so fucking many of them, each of them more shocking and morally reprehensible than the next. Honestly, if you made me king for a day, I’d channel Travis McGee, who had similar thoughts (from The Empty Copper Sea; go read the quote): I’d go through the land in disguise, rewarding the good and lopping the heads off of the assholes. By the time I was done, the place would look like a macabre bowling alley.
I have violent thoughts, I know. Usually, I just move them aside and try to continue conducting myself in a civilized fashion. Who knows what lurks inside the hearts and minds of men, indeed?
But this one is special. This guy…well, I honestly don’t know what we, as a civilized society, should do with this one.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Andrew Lewis (R-Plague Rat) is a special kind of asshole. On May 27, he announced on his Facebook page that he had been “secretly self-quarantining” for a few days after being tested positive for COVID-19. He began feeling ill the second week of May, was tested on May 18, and told he was positive on May 20. He chose not to go public “[o]ut of respect for my family, and those who I may have exposed.” He said in the comments on his Facebook post that he privately told family members and some who might have been exposed, and said members of his staff “who met the criteria exposure was immediately contacted and required to self-isolate for 14 days from their date of possible exposure.” At least one fellow Republican, and possibly two more, were advised that Lewis may have infected them, and they should self-quarantine.
Bad enough, right? He decided who he should and shouldn’t know about him breathing the Coronavirus on everyone and everything he encountered. But it gets better.
Lewis told his Republican caucus’s Human Resources Department. He did NOT tell any Democrats. Neither did the GOP caucus. So the House Democrats who came into contact with him didn’t know he was blowing his Corona breath in their faces. Democrats found out…yesterday.
No one told them.
For almost a week.
Like many in the Rattus Norvegicus Caucus, Lewis didn’t participate remotely in legislative business, and he refused to wear a mask. The idiot who was told to self-isolate, Russ Diamond (R-Sewer Rodent) has openly boasted that he goes in public without a mask. Apparently masks are for sissies. (No word if Macho Man Russ Diamond is currently battling a scorching case of COVID-19 as you read this. He says he’s fine, and intends to keep showing up, unmasked and apparently untested.)
Democrats are not happy. Democrat Kevin Boyle, who chairs a House committee that both Diamond and Lewis breathe all over, says he is outraged that he and his fellow Democrats were not told. Most Republicans, he says, refuse to wear masks in the committee. “Whoever knew this in the Republican leadership and did not inform the broader membership and staff, they need to resign immediately. This is outrageous and immoral.” Boyle intends to get tested within a day or so. Boyle’s committee has been at the center of a pitched battle between Democrats and Plague Rats over the state’s response to the pandemic. Boyle added:
If it was known yesterday that members were either positive or in quarantine, we needed to know that yesterday. We absolutely need to know more. There needs to be transparency about this. These members are pushing us to reopen the state. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Another Democrat, Malcolm Kenyatta, who is on the same committee, says: “I am livid. … They were derelict in their duty when they did not alert us to this immediately. … They put our health at risk, they put our families at risk, and Speaker [Mike] Turzai should resign, period.” Kenyatta and his partner have been tested.
Turzai was primarily responsible for informing his Democratic colleagues. He did not. But his spokesrat, Mike Straub, said that their primary concern was following CDC and HIPAA guidelines (oh, really?), and protecting Lewis’s privacy.
Here’s one of the fun exchanges on Lewis’s Facebook page. Robyn Traverso Briggs wrote:
I just found out my husband was in a Judiciary meeting with you and he just found out today that you were tested positive. You never notified the Democrats. What is wrong with you? You put my whole family and four children in danger. You put everyone around you in danger by not notifying all involved.
I’m not sure whether Briggs’s husband is a representative or a staff member. Doesn’t really matter, does it? Here was the almost-immediate response from a plague rat named Rufus Lydia Peachey:
[O]h quit it I don’t care if you had it and you did not tell me, if I get sick I get sick I will survive I am not worried at all nothing. I am more worried about the people losing their job and losing their house ,then I am about getting sick[.]
Plague rats are not known for their literacy. But more importantly, Peachey’s reply shows just how little these vermin care for anyone else’s health and well-being. It’s more important to bring home Stacks of Tasty Money.
(From what I understand, rats like the taste of money. Wonder if Lewis, Diamond and the rest of their horde like to chow down on yummy Benjamins?)
And yes, if you did the math and realized that Lewis didn’t self-quarantine anywhere near the recommended 14 days, you’re right. But, it’s okay! Lewis says he had a mild case and he feels fine!
Bet he isn’t wearing a mask today, either.
Read Democratic Rep. Brian Sims’s Twitter thread on the subject.
Maybe while you’re reading, you could play this loud in honor of the plague rats and other Republican vermin scampering around the halls of our various legislatures.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.