Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey was removed from the Illinois state capitol Wednesday afternoon after he refused to wear a face mask.
The Illinois House booted Bailey from the legislative session with a bipartisan vote after he refused to wear a face covering in violation of newly adopted chamber rules. The state adopted rules earlier that day requiring all staff members and visitors to wear coverings over their noses and mouths due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bailey was asked to comply with the rule. He responded: “I will not.” Democratic Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch then beckoned security to whisk Bailey away, The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday. (RELATED: Illinois Governor: No End In Sight For Masks, Social Distancing)
The House voted 81-27 to remove Bailey.
“The representative has shown a callous disregard for life, callous disregard for people’s health,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during a daily briefing Wednesday in response to a question about the Republican’s stunt. “You just heard a doctor tell you why to wear a mask in the first place. It’s to protect others. So clearly, the representative has no interest in protecting others.”
Bailey, a critic of the state’s stay-at-home orders, filed a lawsuit in April challenging Pritzker’s extension of the state’s economic lockdowns .
“My lawsuit asks the court to find that Gov. Pritzker overextended his power by issuing additional ‘stay at home’ orders after his original disaster proclamation, which expired on April 9th, 2020,” Bailey said in a press release. “Enough is enough. I filed this lawsuit on behalf of myself and my constituents who are ready to go back to work and resume a normal life.”
A judge blocked Pritzker’s stay-at-home extension in April, granting a temporary restraining Bailey sought.
The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board pushed back against the governor’s edict in a May 6 post, writing that Pritzker is “being more than just cautious, he’s moved the goalposts. Governor Pritzker’s stated goal was to get the outbreak under control, not eradicate Covid-19 completely. We don’t want his pursuit of the perfect outcome to unnecessarily delay the restarting of activities.”
More than 4,000 people have reportedly died in Illinois so far from coronavirus, or COVID-19, making it among the states with the highest death toll.
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