When Will MI GOP Denounce Conspiracy Theorists?

LANSING — As November gets closer, we continue to see the Republican Party push their extremism and support candidates who are not only out of touch and ill-informed on the national level, but who push dangerous misinformation and conspiracy theories. We’re seeing that here in Michigan as well.

Michigan Republicans continue to nominate a number of far-right extremists for the state House this year, and another on the ballot is Gina Johnsen, in HD 71. Johnsen has posted several long-form videos of herself speaking on Facebook, peddling conspiracy theories about COVID-19 – stating she believes it’s a “myth” that there is no cure (Youtube, The Gist with Gina, May 21), sharing a post that Facebook flagged as “partly false information” on the dangers of wearing a mask (personal Facebook page, May 2) , and stating that she believes a surge is “propaganda” (Youtube, The Gist with Gina, May 8).

Beyond the conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 virus, Johnsen has compared Gov. Whitmer’s “stay home” executive orders to Japanese internment camps (The Lansing State Journal, July 28, 2020).

“People in Michigan who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 know that this virus is real. People who have a basic understanding of our nation’s history know how shameful it is to compare the governor’s lifesaving “stay home” executive order to an internment camp,” said Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.  

Our governor made data-driven, science-backed choices to combat the spread of the virus, save lives, and protect not only the health of people in our state, but our economy as well. Thanks to those actions, Michigan is 7th in the nation in economic recovery. Electing someone to office who doesn’t take this pandemic seriously, and who peddles anti-vaccine conspiracies (sharing on her Twitter that vaccines “are not safe, or effective, for all”),  as well as 5g conspiracies would set us back, and prevent Michigan families and businesses from achieving economic relief. 

“This is another example of an extremist who is incredibly out of touch with their district. Not only does disbelieving the seriousness of this pandemic put lives at risk, it sets our economic recovery back,” said Barnes.

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