Alabama Lt. Gov. tests positive for COVID after condemning governor's mask mandate

Alabama Lt. Gov. tests positive for COVID after condemning governor's mask mandate
Office of the Alabama Lt. Governor

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth (R) pushed back against masks when Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) ordered statewide mask mandate amid the state's coronavirus surge and its increase in COVID-related deaths. Now, he has tested positive for coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Ainsworth released a statement confirming his positive COVID status. He revealed that a fellow church member was found to have the virus, which led to the lieutenant governor to get tested. Subsequently, the 39-year-old Republican tested positive for the virus.

"After being notified this afternoon that a member of my Sunday school church group had acquired the coronavirus, I was tested out of an abundance of caution and received notice that the results proved positive," Ainsworth said.

Ainsworth's positive COVID status comes just months after he criticized Ivey for the state's mask mandate as he claimed mask-wearing "infringes" upon the rights of business owners and individuals. At the time, Ainsworth took to Twitter to voice his concerns.

"Wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing are among the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19," Ainsworth tweeted. "However, it's an overstep that infringes upon the property rights of business owners and the ability of individuals to make their own health decisions."

Despite Ainsworth's stance on the state's mask mandate, he claims that he always abided by coronavirus mitigation guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Because I follow social distancing rules and wear a mask both in church and in my daily interactions, the positive result shows that even those of us who are the most cautious can be at risk," Ainsworth also said in his latest statement.

Ainsworth's positive COVID status comes as Alabama faces yet another gradual resurgence of coronavirus. In the last two weeks, Alabama has reported more than 15,000 new COVID cases, according to the state's health department. As of Thursday, October 22, there are more than 177,000 confirmed cases statewide.

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