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It’s unclear exactly how many people Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert has put at risk in very recent days after defiantly refusing to wear a mask around his House colleagues and then testing positive for COVID-19 (which he found out about only because he was scheduled to be within spitting distancing of impeached president Donald Trump).

But it didn’t stop there: ABC News is among the media outlets that reported that Gohmert, apparently unaware of technology including email and texting, returned to his office to inform staff of his diagnosis.

”We can expect, then, that he has spread the virus to some significant extent,” we wrote earlier this week. News that Gohmert, hands-down one of the worst members of Congress, could be some sort of “super spreader” comes as Gohmert has a history of also spreading the racist lie that Central American children who have fled to the U.S. for safety are disease-ridden.

“In response to an influx of unaccompanied minors arriving in Texas in 2014, Rep. Gohmert suggested bringing in the Texas National Guard to ‘stop the invasion… [because] we don’t know what diseases they’re bringing in,’” said The Plot Against Immigrants, a project of Western States Center. Gohmert pushed this racist lie more than once, also claiming that U.S. schools would not be able to educate these children because “we don’t even know what all diseases they have,” Texas Observer reported at the time.

The “diseased immigrant” lie is a racist and tired one popular with Republicans like Gohmert. “Consider, for example, Guatemala,” Texas Observer reported at the time.

“According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Guatemalan kids are more likely than Texans to be immunized for most infectious diseases,” the report said. “Guatemala has universal health care. Vaccines are 100 percent funded by the government … By comparison, one in six kids in Texas is uninsured, and even insured families often must pay for vaccination.”

In fact, as Gohmert lies and claims kids fleeing to the U.S. are somehow bringing danger, it’s the current U.S. government that has created precedented dangers.

We know that migrant children have died under U.S. watch for the first time in many years. We know that even after children died under U.S. watch, border officials ignored a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation to give detained kids and families flu shots. We also know that even as COVID-19 is hitting migrant family jails, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is refusing to release kids and their parents together.

According to the ABC News report, “Republican sources on Capitol Hill told ABC News that Gohmert’s full staff has been in the office in recent days and that, at times, staffers were chastised for wearing masks.” After testing positive, Gohmert then claimed that maybe it was wearing a mask that got him sick.

News Source: alternet.org

Tags: religious right

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West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes found in Los Altos Hills

LOS ALTOS HILLS – The Santa Clara County Vector Control District on Thursday plans to spray a section of Los Altos Hills after mosquitoes there tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The infected insects were collected in the 94022 ZIP code, the district said in a news release.

The area to be treated is centered at Purissima and Roble Ladera roads, and is bounded by Arastradero Road and Stirrup Way to the north, West Fremont Road to the east, Moody and South El Monte roads to the south, and Page Mill and Altamont roads to the west.

The operation is slated to begin at 10 p.m. and will take several hours to complete.

While residents do not need to relocate, they can minimize their exposure by closing windows and remaining inside.

The district said West Nile Virus has infected 7,024 people and killed 309 since it arrived in California in 2003. In 2015, a record-breaking 53 people died of the disease.

Infections can cause fever, headaches, body aches and, in severe cases, significant neurological damage or death. Adults over the age of 50 and those with certain conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and cancer are most at risk for serious complications.

Residents can help prevent the spread of the virus by draining or dumping standing water and limiting outdoor activity during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

District employees are available to answer any questions from the public, Monday through Friday, at 408-282-3114, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Questions can also be sent to [email protected]

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