Rep. Andy Biggs has been one of the most vocal supporters of letting the pandemic spread unabated.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) urged people to feel "empowered" to travel for Thanksgiving. But public health experts are urging the exact opposite, warning hospitals could be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.
In a pair of Monday tweets, Biggs wrote: "This Thanksgiving week, whether you decided to.... stay home or visit family; fly or drive; social distance or hug your loved ones, You should feel empowered to do whatever is best for you and your loved ones."
"No member of the mainstream media or bureaucrat should ever take away your birthright of freedom," he added. "Kudos to all of the Americans making these free decisions this week. Stay safe, stay well, and stay free."
With record-breaking numbers of new coronavirus cases cropping up across the country, and hospitals running out of space and resources, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to avoid Thanksgiving travel this week.
"More than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last 7 days. As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with," the agency warned. "Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."
Despite these pleas, the Transportation Security Administration reportedly screened more than 3 million passengers over the weekend — a fact shared approvingly by Biggs on Monday. Travel experts predict that as many as 50 million people will travel by the end of the week — only a slight drop from 2019.
This is not the first time Biggs has contradicted public health experts and opposed steps to curb the pandemic's spread.
In April, he claimed that people who did not want to reopen the entire economy "don't understand rules of economics." He scolded doctors for focusing on death tolls, rather than jobs. He even suggested that health officials urging social distancing should "be quarantined without a government paycheck" to "see how they like it."
Subsequently, he accused the governor of Illinois of violating "religious liberty" by limiting in-person gatherings and House Democrats of bringing about the end of "representative government" by letting members temporarily work remotely during the pandemic.
Biggs has mocked mask mandates and praised Donald Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas, who has advocated for a dangerous "herd immunity" strategy of letting lots more people get sick and hoping enough people become immune to end the pandemic.
He has also tweeted conspiracy theories, baselessly claiming last week that "to accept at face value the COVID-19 reported positives, hospitalizations, and deaths is beneath anyone's common sense capabilities."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.