New Hampshire Lawmaker Blames Colleagues for House Speaker’s COVID-19 Death
Rep. Dick Hinch, the newly elected speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, has died of COVID-19. His colleagues are blaming each other.
The 71-year-old Republican was sworn in on December 2 at an outdoor ceremony where a large number of his conservative colleagues did not wear masks.
“Hinch created a separate seating area for the roughly 80 Republicans who refused to wear masks when all House elected members took the oath of office,” reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu called Hinch’s death a “tragic and cautionary tale” about ignoring personal pandemic precautions. “For those who are just out there doing the opposite just to make some ridiculous political point, it is horribly wrong,” Sununu said at a news conference yesterday.
Some have been more explicit in blaming reckless legislators for Hinch’s fate.
“Those in our caucus who refused to take precautions are responsible for Dick Hinch’s death,” tweeted Republican Rep. William M. Marsh, a retired doctor.
It’s not clear when or where Hinch caught the virus. But “in the weeks leading up to his death, Hinch was at the center of a tense controversy between Republican and Democratic state legislators about a lack of adherence to public health guidelines by the GOP members,” notes The Washington Post.
In November, he and other state Republican lawmakers were photographed at multiple indoor gatherings without masks. One of the events, on November 20, featured a buffet meal and was responsible for at least four state lawmakers getting COVID-19, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said.
New Hampshire isn’t the only state in which lawmakers have been battling COVID-19 outbreaks.
There have recently been “a slew of COVID-19 cases in the Ohio General Assembly,” notes WOSU Radio. Three Pennsylvania lawmakers have tested positive for the virus this week, as did Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. Legislatures in North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Indiana have also this week reported new cases among state lawmakers.
Every one of these cases was ushered to the ante-room of the execution chamber by Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. When Trump was elected and Obama was a lame duck my friends asked him to commute these sentences. His counsel laughed and refused. https://t.co/u9ei6VYgBc
— David Menschel (@davidminpdx) December 11, 2020
The federal government under Donald Trump has executed more individuals in recent months than had been executed in the preceding 60 years. The death penalty is inhumane a
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