Skip to comments.Lawmaker says his ant-mask statement wasn't mocking Levine's anti-discrimination plea
Posted on 07/30/2020 9:46:11 AM PDT by lightman
HARRISBURG One day after Pennsylvanias top health official forcefully denounced transphobic attacks against her, a Republican lawmaker co-opted her call for acceptance to address hateful and intolerant comments directed towards the unmasked community.
Rep. Russ Diamond of Lebanon County released a statement Wednesday that mimicked remarks Health Secretary Rachel Levine made in response to recent demonstrations of harassment against her. Diamond has been one of the loudest opponents of Levines order requiring most people, barring a health issue, to wear a mask while in public.
Your actions perpetuate a spirit of intolerance and discrimination against unmasked individuals and specifically individuals like myself who are outspoken about it, Diamond wrote on official House letterhead.
The sentence, like many in his statement, pulled directly from Levines own remarks on discrimination and harassment against the LGBTQ community. As the face of Pennsylvanias coronavirus response, Levine has been repeatedly ridiculed and attacked on social media and, at times, in public for being transgender.
Diamond denied he was mocking Levine, though in a text message to Spotlight PA he falsely equated being transgender to a lifestyle choice. When asked if he was comparing discrimination against transgender people to the treatment of people who choose not to wear a mask, Diamond said he just thought it was ironic.
The release accurately speaks to those who have attacked, maligned, and threatened me, as well as others, since I first questioned the ridiculous mask policy months ago, Diamond said. Her policy allows for exceptions that apply to a lot of people, yet all we hear is you MUST wear a mask.
Mike Straub, a spokesperson for House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R., Lancaster), said in a statement, As we have said on numerous occasions, discrimination in any form is wrong. Rep. Diamonds letter is his own statement. We will continue to work to rebuild and restore Pennsylvania to the benefit of all of our commonwealths residents.
Jason Gottesman, spokesman for Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre County, issued this statement:
All members of the House of Representatives both Republican and Democrat are elected individually and have the tools to communicate individually without carrying the endorsement of any one caucus or the whole House. Discrimination in any form is wrong and we continue to encourage all members to communicate professionally and courteously.
Democrats were quick to criticize Diamond, who has generally refused to wear a mask when inside the Capitol, including during committee meetings when lawmakers sit in close proximity.
In a statement, Gov. Tom Wolf called on the House to formally reprimand Diamond over what he called a thinly veiled attack on the LGBTQ community and Levine.
To equate any disrespect for those not wearing masks to the decades of disrespect, threats, and violence against our LGBTQ community goes far beyond the hallmarks of a decent society, Wolf said. For these actions to come from a legislator elected to fairly represent all his constituents is simply unforgivable.
Senate Democrats tweeted this statement: The hateful transphobic abuse being hurled at @SecretaryLevine is a disgrace. Pennsylvania and its citizens are better than that. We stand with Dr. Levine and against any and all who have hate in their hearts.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health called on Republican leaders to take aggressive action right now to show Pennsylvania that this is not acceptable behavior from our elected officials.
Dr. Levine and the Department of Health continue to work and collaborate with everyone on both sides of the aisle because COVID-19 is not political, and those trying to make it political are doing a disservice to the very people that elected them, department spokesperson April Hutcheson said.
Diamond, first elected in 2014, has seen his profile grow since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic among people who oppose Wolfs handling of the public-health crisis and dont want to cooperate with the statewide universal masking order.
In March, he sponsored a resolution to terminate Wolfs disaster declaration, which was advanced by Republican leaders and passed by GOP lawmakers and a handful of Democrats. Wolf argued that he was within his constitutional rights to approve or veto the resolution, a dispute that ended up in the state Supreme Court. The justices ruled in Wolfs favor.
Diamond has also introduced a resolution urging Levine to resign from her position as health secretary, in part, because she removed her mother from a personal care home as coronavirus cases peaked in long-term care facilities. Levine said she did so at her mothers request.
The lawmaker has also refused to wear face coverings on the House floor or in committee meetings, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls universal mask wearing one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus.
In a July 12 blog post, Diamond called into doubt the use of masks and social distancing, saying the effects of self-isolation are cruel and inhumane. He said face coverings inhibit face-to-face communication and social distancing guidelines reinforce the idea that people are in a constant state of danger. Diamond did not offer any medical or public-health driven arguments against the use of masks and social distancing in his blog post.
Diamond has also claimed that universal masking is dehumanizing to children, and recently shared a meme that stated, A masked child is an abused child.
Hutcheson, the health department spokesperson, said every public health expert worldwide agrees that in the absence of a vaccine, wearing a mask, social distancing and washing your hands are the best tools for preventing COVID-19 from killing thousands of Pennsylvanians.
This is about saving lives. It is not about infringing on anyones freedom, it is truly about saving lives, she said. If a simple piece of cloth over your face can do that, then we need it.
State Representative Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon Co.)
Governor Tommie the Commie Wolf has called for him to be censured for a "thinly veiled attack on the LGBTQ community".
Wolf's persecution of Lebanon County must CEASE!
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he falsely equated being transgender to a lifestyle choice.
is THIS all about payback to HERSHEY,
after the protection of hesheit’s MOMMY (Hershey official),
but BEFORE the gov and hesheit carried out their
death sentence to conservative elders??
cui bono, transylvania?
Clearly, today's Republicans are incapable of discriminating between stupid and sensible, let alone sane and insane.
he falsely equated being transgender to a lifestyle choice.
Wearing clothes designed for the opposite sex and pretending to be the opposite sex isn’t a LIFESTYLE CHOICE?? How do you get to be this Stupid?? Did I miss out on some real good drugs growing up??
Here is what has been happening in Wolf vs. Lebanon:
1) In late May Lebanon County Commissioners, in a 2-1 party line vote, decide to move in to “green phase” reopening irrespective of what the Governor orders.
2) In early June EVERY County in Pennsylvania is moved into “green” EXCEPT Lebanon, and the Governor and Health Secretary explicitly state that the delay was in retaliation of for the County’s unilateral move.
3) In mid July Governor Wolf announced that Lebanon County would be denied $11.4 M in Federal CARES funding because they did not follow his rules.
4) Lebanon County has filed suit against Wolf.
And now a second arena has opened in the pizzing contest.
“””If a simple piece of cloth over your face can do that, then we need it.”””””””””””
Hey Dr. Chickwithadick, a simple piece of cloth hanging on your face won’t do any good at all. A REAL doctor would know that.
Wont take seriously any medical or mental health advice from a male faggot pretending to be a woman. Also wont be shamed into changing my mind in that regard.
Likening tg to lifestyle choice is false?
No, it absolutely is a lifestyle choice. Genderism is a moronic lie from the perverted heart of Cultural Marxism.
Just as a public figure can’t be slandered the way a private individual can be - neither can this public figure use his peculiar condition as a shield against public mockery. He chose to be a public figure and therefore any attempt to block mockery is a sign that it’s warranted, necessary and should be encouraged.
Richard Levine, before and after
Do we know what doctor cut off Dr. Levins penis?
Has he been charged with a penis hate crime?
>>>Richard Levine, before and after<<<
Before and after what? It’s still the same Dude, just uglier.
Did Richard L Levine ever go by the name Dick Levine?
Was his middle name Les?
Dick Les Levine?
I’m so old, I remember when we used to call people who wanted to cut odd their penis, insane.
I have it on excellent authority that the hospital refused to do “the change” on the basis that he was not of sound mind.
In response and out of sheer frustration he went into an ER bathroom and did a DIY castration.
So in answer to your question “which Doctor?”—Dr. Levine.
If you want liberals to be on your side as a white man, say you are a woman. You will actually get more support than actual white women will. I mean, democrats have always been sexist, and clearly think the best woman for a job is a man.
Ugly man, very ugly women
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