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Boebert dodges COVID-19 questions on safety, public health in wake of Trump diagnosis

October 2, 2020, 11:24 am
Lauren Boebert (background) with maskless supporters on Friday (Jason Salzman photo).

The congressional campaign for Lauren Boebert, a Rifle restaurant owner who violated COVID-19 public health orders, declined Friday morning to comment on whether the nation needs a more stringent national plan to combat the virus after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the disease.

Lauren Boebert

The campaign for Boebert, a Republican seeking to represent most of the state’s Western Slope in Congress – including the western two-thirds of Eagle County — also declined to respond to whether she will change her anti-regulation tone and behavior on the disease in light of the president’s diagnosis. Health officials say Boebert is “stoking mistrust” on COVID-19.

Besides the Garfield County cease and desist order aimed at Boebert’s Shooters Grill in May when she reopened in violation of state public health orders, her campaign received a public health order warning from Pitkin County last month when supporters at her Aspen fundraiser reportedly did not properly social distance or wear masks.

Asked Friday morning by RealVail.com to comment on these issues beyond Boebert’s “power of prayer” tweet in support of the Trumps, Boebert campaign spokeswoman Laura Carno replied:

“The campaign won’t be responding to you as you’ve made it clear you are an opinion piece writer and not an objective reporter. For example, this is an opinion of yours — not reporting, not a question. An opinion,” Carno emailed, citing factual statements about Boebert’s previous violations of COVID-19 public health orders.

Carno did not respond to a follow-up question on whether the campaign is denying the facts about those previous orders and warnings.

State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs.
Diane Mitsch Bush

The campaign for Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative for Routt and Eagle counties who is taking on Boebert in the Nov. 3 election, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the same set of questions sent to Boebert’s campaign.

“Wishing the President and First Lady a speedy recovery,” Mitsch Bush tweeted Friday morning. “My thoughts are with them.”

Boebert also tweeted her support for Trump, who has endorsed her unlikely campaign after she upset five-term Republican Scott Tipton in the 3rd Congressional District that includes 29 of Colorado’s 64 counties.

“I believe in the power of prayer. Let’s hold the First Lady, President Trump and their family in prayer through this time,” Boebert tweeted Friday morning. “We have a country to save & we need you full strength, @realDonaldTrump. Rest up & let’s get this done!”

Mitsch Bush, a social scientist and statistician, said in an interview with RealVail.com in May that Boebert is missing an “underlying foundation” of science. Boebert reportedly dropped out of high school in Rifle but later earned her GED.

“Ignoring science is what we’ve seen writ large in [the Trump] administration … and that’s one of the reasons we are in the fix we’re in now,” Mitsch Bush added back in May, referring to the economic shutdown of the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 205,000 Americans in just seven months.

Boebert’s campaign on Friday also declined to comment on whether Trump’s diagnosis should prompt support for the Affordable Care Act, which legally prevents health insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions such as COVID-19. The Trump administration is seeking to overturn the law in court, with a Supreme Court hearing looming in early November.

Boebert has previously criticized the law but still has not issued any sort of policy plan on how it should be replaced. It’s estimated more than 20 million Americans will lose coverage during the raging COVID-19 pandemic if the SCOTUS sides with the Republican ACA challenge.

Finally, asked again to disavow right-wing militia groups and violent white supremacy organizations such as the Proud Boys, who have attended protest events where Boebert was also on hand, her campaign did not respond.

Trump, who told the Proud Boys – labeled by his own FBI as a violent extremist group – to “stand by” rather than stand down at Tuesday’s presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden, finally disavowed all white supremacist groups Thursday after a wave of criticism.

Boebert’s campaign, first asked to comment on Trump’s Proud Boys statement Wednesday morning, once again declined to weigh in on violent militia groups and the growing anti-government, anti-regulation rhetoric in the Republican Party.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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