‘If I was concerned about my health—and if I firmly believed what the governor said about staying home—I would stay home…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) The Illinois state legislature voted to remove a Republican lawmaker on Wednesday because he did not want to wear a face mask, according to NBC Chicago.
State representatives voted 81-27 to remove Rep. Darren Bailey after he reportedly refused to wear a mask within the chamber.
The vote was bipartisan, with several House Republicans voting in favor of removing their colleague. But Bailey defended his decision not to wear a mask, arguing that he would not “sit in there and be part of just a puppet game.”
Several other House Republicans originally said that they would also refuse to wear masks, but they agreed to wear them after the House passed a vote to require masks within the chamber.
“If we are required, I will play along,” GOP state Rep. Chris Miller said. “I don’t want to be a distraction from the real issues of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s leadership.”
Bailey has been a frequent critic of Pritzker’s shutdown restrictions. Pritzker responded to the state House’s vote to remove Bailey from the session by blasting Bailey as a legislator with “callous disregard for people’s health.”
“I hear that there are people that are planning to show up in Springfield in the legislature not wearing a mask,” Pritzker said. “Think about what that says, right? Because a mask isn’t designed to protect you. It’s designed to protect the people you’re with.”
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin agreed with Pritzker, arguing that the health of the entire legislature is more important than Bailey’s objections.
“We cannot ignore nor compromise the health and safety of every member in the General Assembly, their family members, and every one of our staffers who work tirelessly for us,” Durkin said.
Bailey, however, argued that there is little evidence proving that masks really do protect individuals’ health.
“If I was concerned about my health—and if I firmly believed what the governor said about staying home—I would stay home,” Bailey said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“So, some of these Democrat representatives are buying all in to staying home, so why on Earth are they coming to Springfield to put themselves in harm’s way?” he added.