GOP lawmaker booted from Illinois House session for refusing to wear mask

House lawmakers in Illinois voted this week by a wide margin to remove a Republican colleague who flatly refused to wear a face mask during a legislative session.

State Rep. Darren Bailey was kicked out of Wednesday’s legislative session after refusing to comply with new rules adopted earlier in the day requiring members, staffers and visitors at the Bank of Springfield Center to wear face coverings if they’re medically able, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“I will not,” Bailey, a farmer who represents rural Xenia in southern Illinois, said when asked to comply.

That led Democratic Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch to make a motion for Bailey’s removal, which passed by an 81-27 margin, the newspaper reports.

Bailey, who has sued Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker over his stay-at-home order, later defended his actions as taking a stand against big government.

“This whole thing that it’s concern for other people?” Bailey told the Washington Post. “I don’t buy that at all.”

The new rule is “not about health,” Bailey insisted, but is rather “just another Democrat bullying tactic,” Bailey told the newspaper.

Bailey said he would wear a mask if he was worried about his health, but that’s not the case. The GOP lawmaker isn’t sure if he plans to wear a face covering during legislative sessions moving forward, he said.

“I don’t know,” Bailey said Wednesday. “That’s something where I’ll have to decide whether I go back tomorrow and wear a mask or not.”

Pritzker, meanwhile, did not hold back when asked about Bailey’s removal, accusing him of unnecessarily putting lives at risk, the Tribune reports.

“The representative has shown a callous disregard for life, callous disregard for people’s health,” Pritzker said during his daily briefing. “You just [heard] a doctor tell you why people wear masks in the first place. It’s to protect others. So clearly, the representative has no interest in protecting others.”

In April, a judge granted Bailey a temporary restraining order that makes him exempt from Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday, the Washington Post reports.

European organizations support Nobel Peace Prize for Cuban doctors


Paris, May 20 (Prensa Latina) More than 25 European organizations are supporting the proposal to award the Cuban medical brigades with the Nobel Peace Prize, due to their contribution to globally fighting the coronavirus pandemic, the platform activated in France reflects on Wednesday.

Convened on April 28 by the Cuba Linda and France Cuba associations, the initiative has so far received support by solidarity groups, political forces and unions from France, Spain, Ireland and Italy, and from around 1,000 Internet users in the Facebook page ‘Prix Nobel de la Paix pour les brigades medicales cubaines Henry Reeve’.

Some of the activists who recognize doctors caring for humans infected by the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in several countries advocated for expanding the campaign to an international committee.

The Departmental Union-French General Confederation of Labor in Bouches-du-Rhone, the French-Cuba Committee in Toulouse, the Euskadi-Cuba Association in Spain, Cubainformacion.TV and Communist Workers’ Party of Catalonia and the Associazione Umbra di Solidarieta Internazionalista with Cuba joined to the request for the Nobel Peace Prize for the Cuban doctors in the last few days.

The platform asks for the Nobel Peace Prize for the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics, which since its founding in 2005, has saved hundreds of thousands of lives in regions of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia hit by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and epidemics.

More than 1,500 Cuban doctors, nurses, and health technicians currently in 25 nations, including Europe for the first time, are writing a new chapter of solidarity and altruism in times of Covid-19, which explain the call and defense to the delivery of the prestigious award.


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Harris Introduces Resolution Condemning Use of ‘Wuhan Virus’ as Racist

Senator Kamala Harris last week introduced a resolution condemning the use of the phrase “Wuhan virus” to refer to SARS-CoV-2, the deadly coronavirus that has spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan across the globe, as racist.

Harris introduced the resolution on Thursday, joined by fellow Democratic senators Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. It aims to “condemn and denounce anti-Asian sentiment, racism, discrimination, and religious intolerance” related to the coronavirus, and specifically cites phrases such as “Wuhan virus,” “Chinese virus,” and “Kung-flu.” It also calls on federal officials to “expeditiously investigate and document” credible reports of hate crimes or threats against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities and “investigate and prosecute perpetrators” if necessary.

President Trump briefly referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” defending his use of the term by saying “it comes from China,” but later backed away from the phrase after reports of an uptick in violence against Asian Americans.

“Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it,” Trump said in early March.

“Inflammatory and racist rhetoric from officials at the highest level of our government has contributed to a disturbing rise in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans,” Hirono said last month when announcing plans to introduce the resolution.

The coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan late last year and is thought to have passed from bats to humans through the city’s “wet markets.” Since then, it has spread to at least 177 countries and infected more than 4.9 million people globally. As of Wednesday afternoon, at least 324,900 people have died after contracting it


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