Arizona GOP holds QAnon hearings attempting to expose so-called COVID-19 'atrocities': report

Arizona GOP holds QAnon hearings attempting to expose so-called COVID-19 'atrocities': report
Arizona State Senator T.J. Shope (R), Image via Twitter.
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Arizona Senate Republicans began a two-day convening of hearings Thursday morning centered around "supposed 'atrocities' committed by public health officials in response to the Covid-19 pandemic," Rolling Stone reports.

Planned by the newly formed Novel Coronavirus South Western Intergovernmental Committee (NCSWIC), "the QAnon-inflected, anti-vaccine circus" according to Rolling Stone, will involve "appearances from a murderers' row of hard-right federal congressmen, including Reps. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, and Eli Crane."

Additionally, the publication reports "The NCSWIC committee will take testimony from a panel of notorious doctors who have touted unproven and discredited treatments for Covid — including one doc who preaches that Covid public-health restrictions were, in fact, 'Satan's Wholistic Health Care Plan.'"

READ MORE: 'Duct tape people to a tree!' Arizona GOP goes further off the rails

In 2021, according to AZCentral, Arizona State GOP Senator Ron Johnson tweeted a false claim saying, "in England, more vaccinated than unvaccinated individuals are succumbing to the disease."

Additionally, Arizona Republican Party Chair Dr. Kelli Ward retweeted the claim.

AZCentral reported, "According to the latest studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention individuals who are unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are vaccinated," adding, "Likewise, vaccinated individuals are five times less likely to get infected and 10 less likely to end up in the hospital if they do."

Furthermore, the publication added "As factcheckers at Reuters concluded, 'Suggestions that higher numbers vaccinated individuals are dying in England than unvaccinated omits context that most of the population has been vaccinated. Evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death.'"

Per Rolling Stone, State Senate president pro tempore T.J. Shope insisted in a "teaser video" for the hearings, he and fellow state GOP leaders would "expose all the atrocities committed during the pandemic response, and Senator Janae Shamp added "she lost her" nursing "job for refusing to take the 'jab,'" claiming "lives and livelihoods were lost for no other reason than horrific government overreach."

READ MORE: How far-right MAGA conspiracy theorists are causing a 'near-civil war within the Arizona GOP': report

Refusing to elaborate further on the "atrocities" claim, Shope said, "Many of our citizens have had an evolution of thought on the pandemic — myself included. And that is why I believe it's so important for those of you feeling this way to tune in. You're not alone."

"Appealing directly to the mindset of conspiracy theorists," according to Rolling Stone, "the NCSWIC hearings promise to reveal hidden truths about the dark reality of the medical establishment, and implore viewers to trust their guts over mainstream scientific evidence."

Furthermore, Rolling Stone reports:

A look at the 'expert panelists' engaged by the committee does not reveal a lineup of overt QAnon proponents. But it shows the NCSWIC committee’s abiding interest in unproven cures and treatments for Covid, as well as the unhinged belief that public health interventions to curb the pandemic were more harmful than the disease itself, which has killed more than a million Americans.

Rolling Stone also notes:

In recent years, QAnon has transcended its origin story, and now lives on as a belief system for nearly anyone who believes that the world is run by nefarious, powerful forces who pose as virtuous, but are actually pure evil, whether they be in government, Big Tech or, specifically, Big Pharma.

READ MORE: 'Unqualified handover': Arizona AG sues Republican county for giving GOP recorder election power

Rolling Stone's full report is available at this link (subscription required). AZCentral's report is here.

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