GOP congressman visits school and tells kids to defy mask policy

A Republican congressman from Virginia is telling high school students to disobey their school’s mask policy and refuse to wear masks.

Rep. Bob Good (bio here, photo below), who represents a mostly rural district abutting West Virginia, spoke to a high school government class on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at the instructor’s invitation.

“If nobody in Rappahannock complies, they can’t stop everyone,” he told the 20 students present. “If I was ya’ll, I’d say none of ya’ll wear a mask. What are they gonna do? They’re still going to have school.”

Virginia has a statewide mandate requiring masks in schools regardless of vaccination status.

A local newspaper said his talk “was originally supposed to take place in the high school auditorium, but after Good refused to wear a mask, administrators moved it outdoors to the football stadium.” (Read story here.)

He told the students President Biden and Governor Northam are lying to them about the usefulness of masks, and Covid-19 vaccines are more dangerous than the virus.

The entire medical community has embraced masks as one of the most effective means of preventing the spread of the virus which has killed over 724,000 Americans and nearly 5 million worldwide.

A belief that Covid-19 vaccines kill people is a false conspiracy theory circulating in rightwing circles. In early September, medical experts said there have been no reported deaths caused by the mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines, and 3 deaths caused by blood clots attributed to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (details here). Conspiracy theorists like Good seize on raw data about people who died shortly after being vaccinated and assume, without evidence, that the vaccine caused their deaths.

The school where Rep. Good made his spiel is currently experiencing an outbreak and has 54 students and staff in quarantine.

His remarks weren’t limited to encouraging the students to violate state and school district policies. He also ranted that colleges and universities are “dominated by the left” and would “change their beliefs.” He also said there should be live-feed videocams in classrooms so their parents could watch what they’re being taught.

Good is a graduate of, and former staffer at, Liberty University, a private religious college known for promoting rightwing theocratic political views. He’s one of many Republicans throughout the country who’ve opposed Covid-19 safety measures, and encouraged defiance of efforts to contain and defeat the pandemic. People following their lead have disrupted school board meetings in Virginia and other states.

The school’s position on his appearance is that exposing students to real-life politicians and their views helps them develop thinking skills. School officials said inviting Good doesn’t mean the school endorses his views or positions, but a school board member told the newspaper she thought his appearance before the students was “unhelpful.”

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