Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is one of outgoing President Donald Trump's most loyal followers in Congress.
Gaetz's response to the pandemic that's killed over 300 thousand Americans and upended daily life in the United States reflects that.
The Congressman has frequently parroted Trump's lies that the threat posed by the virus is sensationalized by the media, and that safety precautions recommended by Trump's own officials—such as compulsory mask wearing and stay-at-home orders—are an effort by Democrats to stifle Americans' freedom.
In the early stages of the outbreak, Gaetz wore a gas mask on the House floor in what many saw as a move mocking protective measures. After one of his constituents died of the virus days later, Gaetz insisted that he was being "quite serious."
As recently as this month, Gaetz was admonished by New Jersey's Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, for attending a packed gala for the New York Young Republicans in defiance of local virus precautions.
Now, a new video of Gaetz partying maskless is circulating throughout the internet, featuring Gaetz singing karaoke, despite evidence that singing heightens the risk of virus transmission.
Here's @mattgaetz on Saturday night pretending COVID doesn't exist and living his best life while people are dying and losing their homes.
He got the vaccine ahead of doctors and nurses. pic.twitter.com/qhR89YRR7Q
— 🇺🇸 Anthony Walker (🔥 Hot Medic 🔥) 🇺🇸 (@anthonycwalker) December 22, 2020
The tweet erroneously stated that Gaetz took one of the vaccines for the virus—which was recently offered to members of Congress—but Gaetz denied this before poking fun at his performance.
I didn't get vaccinated and have no plans to be.
Having relatively recently tested positive for antibodies, I'm no risk to anyone.
Not my worst rendition of Wagon Wheel. https://t.co/zyMl0Ut9Oj
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) December 22, 2020
As usual, Gaetz was about the only one laughing.
Matt Gaetz would rather be a celebrity than a leader. https://t.co/lRRnpUnvf0
— Leftist Kvlt Truthiness Machine ☭ (@LeftistCult) December 22, 2020
"im going to set the example of being an idiot, by claiming and saying things that are not known to be true, but will be believed by at least a few hundred people, one or two of which may die." https://t.co/0fmW5ZWIS9
— Kevin Ganett (@GanettKevin) December 22, 2020
Rocket Scientist Matt Gaetz doesn't seem to be aware that he could still be a carrier. He is one special kind of stupid. Good thing he's in public office. https://t.co/J77xm4X4Kz
— Terry Daniel (@voiceoversbytd) December 22, 2020
— Zachary is a lefty boi 🏴🚩 (@ZachthePolitic) December 22, 2020
— Ecofriendly Beer Drinker (@EcofriendlyBeer) December 22, 2020
I wonder how many people you exposed, since you obviously were positive at some point. I wonder how many of those people died?
— 🆘🇺🇸🆘 OregonBlue 🆘🇺🇸🆘 (@MaineAlessandra) December 22, 2020
Some conservatives felt Gaetz was leading by example, and cited their reasons for falsely believing the virus doesn't pose a threat to most Americans.
Same here. I've got antibodies and no intention to get vaccinated.
— Julie10128 (@julie10128) December 22, 2020
Yes. The important thing is to have a strong immune system. Glad to hear that you have antibodies.
And yes, not bad singing.
— Antonio Zazueta (@TonyZeta) December 22, 2020
We all need to get up and dance that's for sure let's do it Go Matt
— 🇺🇸TRUTH SEEKER🇺🇸 (@TeresaDuley) December 22, 2020
According to a Microsoft-Harvard live tracker, over 700 of Gaetz's constituents have died of the virus.