Anti-mask Arkansas senator who called coronavirus a ‘hoax’ gets COVID-19

Anti-mask Arkansas senator who called coronavirus a ‘hoax’ gets COVID-19
Image via Screengrab.

Jason Rapert, an anti-gay Republican Arkansas state senator who has called face mask mandates “draconian” and shared articles calling COVID-19 a hoax, has tested positive for COVID-19 after speaking at a church service and other recent events without a face mask.


For the last three months, Rapert has been sharing articles on his social media about how “liberal quacks” are “spreading fear” about coronavirus, about how COVID-19 is the “biggest political hoax in history” and about how the recent face mask mandate ordered by Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is “draconian” and an “overreach of executive power.”

Though Rapert has occasionally mentioned the importance of using masks, he’s now in the hospital being treated for coronavirus and pneumonia.

“We have all been doing our best to wear a mask, social distance and be careful like everyone else,” Rapert wrote in a statement on Thursday. “This virus is serious and can attack anyone regardless of age or general health…”

Rapert also has a reputation for being a Christianist who introduced a bill seeking to ban gay marriage nationwide in 2017, two years after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide. He also  wanted to defund PBS in February 2020 because gay actor Billy Porter appeared on Sesame Street.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Arkansas had its second and third highest-ever daily tolls of newly confirmed coronavirus cases, at 1,013 and 990 new cases, respectively.

Here are some Twitter reactions to his contracting COVID-19.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.