QAnon-supporting congresswoman-elect decries mask-wearing at her orientation as COVID cases surge

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A Republican congresswoman-elect from Georgia who has expressed more support for the QAnon conspiracy theory than for CDC guidelines on COVID-19 mitigation told her orientation class that face coverings are ‘oppressive.’ 

Marjorie Taylor Greene, 46, tweeted Friday that she told her fellow newly elected representatives that ‘masks are oppressive’ and that people from her state don’t wear them inside gyms and offices. 

‘My body, my choice,’ she wrote.

Also Friday, the U.S. recorded 1,389 coronavirus-related deaths and 181,194 positive COVID-19 cases, the most cases of any day since the pandemic began in March. Positive cases in Georgia have risen about 35 percent compared to figures from two weeks prior.

Congresswoman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene was photographed November 13 arriving at her freshman orientation on Capitol Hill with a mask hanging from her ear

Congresswoman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene was photographed November 13 arriving at her freshman orientation on Capitol Hill with a mask hanging from her ear

Greene was seen leaving the Capitol wearing a mask, which is required in all House areas with some exceptions

Greene was seen leaving the Capitol wearing a mask, which is required in all House areas with some exceptions

Greene arrived on Capitol Hill with a stars-and-stripes mask hanging from her ear and was later seen leaving the U.S. Capitol with it on, Yahoo News reported.

The Representative-elect had a ‘pretty fiery’ back-and-forth with officials briefing the class on the House’s mask rule, fellow Republican freshman Madison Cawthorn told reporters.

In July Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi started requiring members to wear masks in all House areas except when delivering speeches or eating. 

The Republican-controlled Senate has instituted no mask requirement. At least six senators and two House members have tested positive for coronavirus.

Greene has voiced opposition toward masks for months. In a since-deleted tweet from September she argued that children should not wear masks. 

Greene tweeted November 13 that she told her orientation class that 'masks are oppressive,' and a fellow freshman Representative-elect said she got into a 'fiery' back and forth with officials explaining the House's mask rule

Greene tweeted November 13 that she told her orientation class that ‘masks are oppressive,’ and a fellow freshman Representative-elect said she got into a ‘fiery’ back and forth with officials explaining the House’s mask rule

She claimed wearing face coverings is ‘unhealthy for their psychological, emotional, and educational growth’ and said ‘forcing boys to wear masks is emasculating.’

The Center for Disease Control has continued to urge all Americans over the age of 2 to wear masks in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Greene posted a video Saturday of her workout in a Washington, D.C. hotel room, complaining that ‘NOTHING is open bc of Democrat tyrannical control’ in the District. 

On November 13 the U.S. recorded 181,194 positive COVID-19 cases, the most cases of any day since the pandemic began in March

On November 13 the U.S. recorded 181,194 positive COVID-19 cases, the most cases of any day since the pandemic began in March

The U.S. tallied 1,389 coronavirus-related deaths on November 14 after rising steadily since the summer

The U.S. tallied 1,389 coronavirus-related deaths on November 14 after rising steadily since the summer

Several Twitter users replied that gyms are indeed open in D.C., though at limited capacities. 

A look into Greene’s social media history also reveals Islamophobic statements. She called elections of Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar the ‘Islamic invasion of our government.’

And in several instances she voiced support for the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that a global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is plotting against President Trump while running a massive sex-trafficking ring. 

Greene, far right, with Republican Representative-elect Byron Donalds on Friday. The House requires mask use in most situations, while the Senate has instituted no requirements for face coverings

Greene, far right, with Republican Representative-elect Byron Donalds on Friday. The House requires mask use in most situations, while the Senate has instituted no requirements for face coverings

QAnon lore commonly holds that Trump will soon arrest thousands of cabal members in an event known as ‘The Storm.’ 

In 2019 the FBI labeled QAnon as a potential domestic terrorism threat, and the major social media platforms have banned its promotion. 

In August Greene tried to distance herself from QAnon, telling Fox News that the conspiracy ‘wasn’t part of my campaign. She said that once she ‘started finding misinformation’ she ‘chose another path.’ 

That same month Greene won a primary runoff in Georgia’s deep-red 14th Congressional District, prompting President Trump to declare her a ‘rising Republican star.’   

WHAT IS QANON?

Origins: Q Anon started on fringe website 4chan, where a poster calling themselves Q left messages claiming to be a senior federal official and purporting to reveal a ‘deep state’ cabal intent on bringing down Donald Trump. Q grew out of the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy that top Democrats were involved in pedophilia and cannibalism from the basement of a Washington D.C. restaurant, but quickly picked up steam with ‘Q’ leaving ‘clues’ and claims that Trump was going to bring down the deep state. Whenever the conspiracies turn out to not be true, followers rationalize that the inaccuracies are part of Q’s larger plan.

Who is Q?: There may now be multiple people posing as Q on the anonymous 4chan boards

A QAnon believer blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam with a homemade armored tank in the name of the movement, and later pleaded guilty to terrorism

A QAnon believer blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam with a homemade armored tank in the name of the movement, and later pleaded guilty to terrorism 

Hoover Dam: In June 2019, 32-year-old Matthew Wright, a QAnon supporter, blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam in Arizona with a homemade armored vehicle in a 90-minute stand-off. He pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and has written two letters to Donald Trump from jail, which include the sign-off, which has become the QAnon motto: “For where we go one, we go all.”

Michael Flynn: Trump’s former national security adviser became a martyr figure for QAnon believers after he took a plea deal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, admitting he lied about his Russia contacts. QAnon conspiracy have spun Flynn pleading guilty into him being a persecuted victim of the deep state – and some even claim he is ‘Q.’

Many believers put three star emojis next to their Twitter handles. But the retired three-star general has denounced any connections to the group and pulled out of participating in an event after finding out it was hosted by a QAnon believer.

QAnon believers make former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn out to be a martyr after taking a plea deal with Robert Mueller

QAnon believers make former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn out to be a martyr after taking a plea deal with Robert Mueller

QAnon Political Candidates: Jo Rae Perkins, 64, won the Republican primary in Oregon in May to run for a Senate seat against incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. “I stand with Q and the team,” she said when asked about her interest in the group. She insisted she goes to QAnon message boards as a “source of information” and claims media focuses too much on the group. Perkins won 49 per cent of the vote against three other Republicans.

Marjorie Taylor Greene came in first place in the Republican primary in a deep-red Georgia district, and will enter an August runoff. She has admitted to believing in several QAnon conspiracy theories.

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