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Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is one of the biggest anti-vax and anti-mask voices in Congress, and she’s falsely claimed that the virus does not affect people without underlying conditions and that children should not wear masks or be vaccinated.
Earlier this week, during a press conference about her temporary suspension from Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, Greene was asked by a reporter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about her statements on the virus—including a tweet that falsely claimed COVID was “not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65”—and their effect on public health.
“Do you feel any responsibility for keeping people in Georgia safe?” the reporter, Tia Mitchell, asked Greene. “You know, there are children, skinny people who have died of the coronavirus.”
Greene laughed at Mitchell’s question. “Tia, you crack me up,” she said. “You know what? I think people’s responsibility is their own, to read the information. And it’s everywhere.” Asked if she believes in science, Greene responded: “I believe in God, and of course, there is science.”
But last week, a five-year-old from her district who had no underlying conditions succumbed to the disease that has killed more than 600,000 Americans and nearly 21,000 Georgians.
Wyatt Gibson, who was just 5 years old and lived in Whitfield County, Georgia, died Friday at a hospital in Chattanooga after suffering a stroke, his grandmother told ABC News. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week with COVID-19 as well as strep and staph infections.
“Wyatt was nothing but pure love and the perfect overload of happiness,” his mother, Alexis Gibson, wrote in a Facebook post.
“We see you everywhere we look Bitty Wy, and I still feel you holding my hand. I know you're here with us, and thank you for guiding us home yesterday with those 5 beautiful rainbows, each one bigger than the last. God’s got you building all kinds of things already.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family cover funeral costs and medical bills, and more than $36,000 has been raised so far.
Pediatric COVID-19 deaths have been rare, but the ongoing surge of cases as a result of the Delta variant has put children and young adults at risk like never before, due to low vaccination rates in adults and the fact that no vaccine has been approved for people under 12 years of age. On Thursday, Arkansas announced that two children have died as a result of COVID-19, the most recent dying earlier this month.
After June saw the U.S. the number of positive COVID-19 cases plummet, cases have surged more than 170 percent over the past two weeks, and the virus is once again destabilizing states with low vaccination rates, like Missouri, Arkansas, and Florida.
In Whitfield County, the northwest Georgia county where Gibson’s family lives and which Greene represents, cases have skyrocketed more than 358 percent in the past two weeks, according to the New York Times. Just 38 percent of the state is fully vaccinated.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden suggested during a CNN town hall that vaccines would be authorized for children under the age of 12 “soon.”
“Soon, in the sense that I do not tell any scientists what they should do. I do not interfere,” Biden said. “So, they are doing the examinations now, the testing now, and making the decision now.”