Outgoing President Donald Trump continues to downplay the year-defining pandemic that killed 300 thousand Americans and upended daily life in the United States. As recently as Friday, Trump continued his constant dismissal of safety measures endorsed by his own officials.
In what may not come as a surprise, Republican lawmakers have assisted in this dangerous irreverence, even as dozens of Trump officials and Republicans in Congress contract the disease.
The most recent official to test positive for the virus is Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), who announced on Wednesday night that he'd be following the instruction of congressional doctors and quarantining for the next two weeks. He urged his followers to "all do our part to help prevent the spread of this virus."
But a since-deleted Facebook post from the 73 year old published just hours before adds a grim new layer to his diagnosis.
Upon returning to the Capitol, Wilson slammed Democrats for voting remotely as a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus.
"Today I am in Washington, despite the elements and a pandemic, to vote safely and constitutionally. Unfortunately, House Democrats still stay at home, avoiding their constitutional duty by voting by proxy. This is why I cosponsored the No Pay for Proxy Act. If millions of Americans can go back to work, so can Members of Congress."
The House voted along party lines this summer to allow voting by proxy for members of the House as long as the pandemic continues to rage on. The new rule allows for House members to vote on behalf of up to 10 colleagues if they provide written authorizations and instructions on what their vote should be.
Republicans continue to challenge the precaution in the court system, but it's unclear whether voting by proxy is actually unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court has never ruled on a case regarding it.
Wilson may have deleted the Facebook post, but the internet—as they say—is forever.
The diagnosis didn't earn Wilson much sympathy.
Wilson has said that he's not currently experiencing symptoms.