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BREAKING: Tillis Parrots Dangerous QAnon Conspiracy Theory to Downplay Coronavirus Deaths

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

September 24, 2020

BREAKING: Tillis Parrots Dangerous QAnon Conspiracy Theory to Downplay Coronavirus Deaths

Tillis Calls False Assertions About Deaths “A Very, Very Important Point”

Tillis Anti-Vaxxer Rhetoric Matches Voting Record to Make Vaccines Unaffordable

RALEIGH, N.C. - Today, Salon reported that Thom Tillis parroted a false, repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory regarding deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic in a telephone town hall. Specifically, Tillis embraced the false notion that coronavirus deaths are overreported in order to “encourage people to use social distancing.” During the town hall, he called the baseless skepticism of reported deaths “a very, very important point.” Tillis also downplayed the need for widespread vaccination and embraced a “herd immunity” concept that Dr. Anthony Fauci said would lead to an “enormous” death toll.


These fringe allegations have been circulated by online followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, and it is based on a misrepresentation of a Centers for Disease Control study. In fact, experts believe coronavirus deaths are most likely undercounted.


“Thom Tillis is detached from reality, and he is recklessly parroting conspiracy theories that are dangerous to public health,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson. “Tillis has repeatedly voted to cut health care and make vaccines less affordable, and now he is legitimizing a fringe conspiracy theory that will make it more likely that more North Carolinians will get sick and die. He has proven time and time again that he is too irresponsible to be trusted with North Carolinians’ health, and he must be defeated this November.”


Tillis has voted at least seven times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and has supported a lawsuit underway to repeal the ACA through the courts. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a repeal of the ACA would end “the requirement that all insurance cover preventive services, including vaccines, without cost sharing.”  Even for those who keep their coverage, insurance companies would no longer be required to pay for vaccinations with no out-of-pocket costs if the ACA were repealed.

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