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How COVID-19 has impacted Alabama government

COVID-19 has heavily affected the Alabama political world.

State Rep. Joe Faust, R-Fairhope, is in the intensive care unit at Thomas Hospital, recovering from COVID-19. Faust is age 80. He represents House District 94 in the Alabama House and is one of the latest Alabama lawmakers to contract the virus.

Faust spoke with WKRG reporter Debbie Williams by phone on Monday. Williams said that Faust sounded like he was doing well. Faust told Williams that he was getting very good treatment from the nurses and staff at Thomas. Faust is one of 2,079 Alabamians currently hospitalized battling COVID-19.

COVID-19 has heavily affected the Alabama political world.

On Thursday, former State Sen. Larry Dixon, R-Montgomery, a former chair of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, died after complications from COVID-19. Dr. David Thrasher, a critical care pulmonologist in Montgomery, told APR that Dixon was exposed at a social gathering.

Before he went on the ventilator Dixon reportedly said: “We messed up. We just let our guard down. Please tell everybody to take this thing seriously and get help as soon as you get the virus.”

State Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, also had a serious bout of COVID-19. McClendon said that he and his wife El both got COVID. McClendon chairs the Senate Health Committee.

Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, is currently quarantining after testing positive for the coronavirus. His wife Carolina had previously tested positive for the virus. To date, neither of them reported serious symptoms.

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State Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, had a very lengthy battle with COVID-19. Price was in the ICU twice, including a stint on a ventilator. Price’s wife, Lee County Revenue Commissioner Oline Price, also contracted COVID-19 but her case was relatively minor.

Alabama Republican Party chief of staff Harold Sachs died from COVID-19 on Nov. 10 after a battle with the virus.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth tested positive for the virus earlier but did not develop serious symptoms.

The Alabama Legislature halted the 2020 legislative session in March over rising COVID-19 cases. When the session resumed in late April, the public was barred from the Statehouse and all the Legislature dealt with were the budgets and local bills.

On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, will demonstrate a remote voting system that House members will use in the event social distancing requirements remain in force when the 2021 Regular Session begins on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

At least 272,229 Alabamians have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic reached Alabama in March, and 3,892 Alabamians have died.

Correction: An earlier version of this report stated that Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth’s Deputy Chief-of-Staff Jess Skaggs had contracted COVID-19. He did not. .

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Brandon Moseley
Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,297 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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