GOP congressman sells 'back to school' masks after demanding schools reopen

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Georgia Rep. Doug Collins is selling $15 face masks as schools struggle with COVID-19 and coronavirus cases mount.

After pushing hard to reopen schools during a pandemic, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) is now attempting to raise money for his Senate bid by selling face masks as "back to school items you cannot live without."

For $15, plus shipping, supporters can purchase a blue mask, emblazoned with the campaign logo. "Stay safe and support your favorite conservative with this Collins for Senate face mask," the Collins' online shop advises.

Georgia has been among the nation's worst states for coronavirus cases and recently was identified as the state in which residents are most likely to contract COVID-19, according to assessments out of Harvard and Georgia Tech.

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"There are some clear steps that we need to take to improve our status," public health expert Dr. Harry Heiman of Georgia State University told NBC affiliate WXIA-TV last week. "And at this point, we are not taking them."

Collins, like many GOP lawmakers, has vocally pushed for schools to reopen with in-person instruction, despite experts' warnings about such steps worsening the pandemic.

"Giving parents the option to send their children back to school is imperative to ensure students do not miss out on the critical learning opportunities vital for their development," he said earlier this month at a roundtable discussion with officials from Hall County and Gainesville City Schools, about "the need to safely reopen our schools this fall."

Many of Georgia's schools reopened recently with face masks optional.

Collins has previously opposed mask mandates, suggesting instead that people "use common sense, and that’s how we come out of this."

Unsurprisingly, schools in the state have since seen surges in coronavirus cases among students and staff. More than 800 people had to quarantine after several people tested positive in Cherokee County's schools. Days earlier, photos from one of the county's high schools had gone viral, featuring maskless students walking through crowded hallways.

Multiple Georgia schools have already had to close, at least temporarily, following outbreaks.

Collins is set to face off this November with Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and several Democrats in a jungle primary.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.