One of the Alabama delegation’s most ardent anti-mask figures, Congressman Barry Moore, R-Alabama, recently tested positive for COVID-19, coming at the tail end of months upon months of vehement opposition, criticism and protest to preventative measures to stymie increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Three weeks prior, Moore joined a crowd of maskless House Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, in protest of the reimplemented mask mandate in the House chamber, office buildings and meeting areas.
“We just went over to make a simple statement,” Moore said during a Facebook live feed of the protest. “Somehow or another, COVID seems to stop as you cross the middle of the rotunda, going towards the Senate. No mask required, none of the silliness we have on the other-side at the House of Representatives.”
Moore’s anti-mask tirades continued on Twitter and in the Alabama press in the days following his appearance among the protesting in the Rotunda. At the same time, positive cases in Alabama continued to climb upwards.
“‘For your own safety, Democrats are forcing mask and vaccine mandates on Americans. Yet they ignore that 40% of illegal immigrants released in Texas have tested positive for COVID,” Moore wrote in a Twitter post Aug. 12. “Democrat policies aren’t meant to protect you – but to control you. Don’t fall for it, America.”
Three days before his positive diagnosis, Moore penned an opinion piece in the Gadsden Times criticizing Washington D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser’s citywide indoor mask mandate, accusing her of breaking it and delaying the start date of the mandate as to not interfere with her birthday, and further criticizing “draconian mask mandates” implemented by Democrats.
“To no one’s surprise, Democrat elites are shamelessly showcasing their ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ motto yet again by breaking their own mask mandates,” Moore said in the piece.
The apparent bottomless contempt Moore has for mask mandates extends equally to vaccine mandates and passports, recently materializing in Moore criticizing U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin— in a press release Aug. 5 — over the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate for members of the military.
“It is absolutely reckless that Secretary Austin is considering a blanket mandate for active-duty military to receive a vaccine approved only for emergency use to protect against a virus with well over a 99 percent survival rate,” Moore said. “Our fighting men and women are disproportionately younger, healthier and significantly less at risk from the coronavirus than the general population, and recent reports show that almost 70 percent of our men and women in uniform have already voluntarily taken the vaccine. Our service members shouldn’t be unnecessarily forced into taking the vaccine just because overreaching politicians want to continue intervening in the private lives of the American people.”
Back in April, Moore voiced ardent support for the “No Taxpayer Funding for Vaccine Passports Act” introduced by U.S Representative Matt Rosendale, R-Montana, and co-sponsored by 24 other House Republicans, that would have banned the use of federal funds to create or implement any form of vaccine passport.
“Americans should have the freedom to choose whether or not they accept the COVID vaccine,” Moore said in a tweet on April 13. “And I’m proud to stand with @RepRosendale to preserve that right.”
In his positive diagnosis announcement Friday, Moore maintained that while he believes that “every American has the freedom to make their own health-related decisions, I encourage talking with your doctor about the different vaccines and therapies available and making an informed decision about the prevention and treatment that is best for you.”
Moore has yet to say whether he was vaccinated or not.
That Saturday, he was quoted in an article from The Daily Beast as stating: “I’m not sure that me wearing a mask, whether you think I should or not, really is going to help anybody,” referring to the previous day, when he was diagnosed, that “If I died of COVID yesterday, I wouldn’t want to force my beliefs and opinions on anyone.”
Alabama remains one of the lowest vaccinated states in the U.S, with 36.3 percent of the state’s population vaccinated, according to ADPH. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients are increasing, and positive cases continue to remain high.