Alabama Democrats fundraise off Republican COVID illnesses, lie about Ainsworth’s position on masks
A Friday morning email from Alabama Democratic Victory distorts Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth’s (R-AL) position on following health and safety protocols, while also fundraising off of Ainsworth’s current illness.
Ainsworth on Wednesday afternoon announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and as of Friday, he is still asymptomatic. However, Ainsworth’s wife, Kendall, has also tested positive and was exhibiting “mild symptoms” as of Friday.
Alabama Democratic Victory’s email was funded by its state-registered PAC, Alabama Democratic Victory Fund. Alabama Democratic Victory is the political arm of the Alabama House Democratic Caucus, which even shares the same public P.O. box disclosed at the bottom of Friday’s email.
With the subject line “GOP Lt. Gov. and COVID-19,” the email began by mentioning Ainsworth’s diagnosis, as well as saying a Republican state senator recently contracted coronavirus.
“Indeed, we wish them a speedy and full recovery, but we must also point out the big ol’ elephant in the room, as they say,” the email’s first paragraph concluded (emphasis added in the email, not by Yellowhammer News).
The email then continued to mock Ainsworth’s opposition to a one-size-fits-all mask mandate while also completely fabricating his position on mask usage and social distancing.
“[H]e doesn’t believe in science and doesn’t understand that wearing a mask is about social responsibility and public safety,” the email incorrectly claimed.
Ainsworth has stressed that he personally wears a mask and social distances whenever possible; he has also encouraged others to voluntarily do so and modeled mask-wearing on his social media pages and in a PSA.
“I think everybody needs personal responsibility. … I think it is smart to wear a mask,” Ainsworth said on Thursday’s broadcast of FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show.”
This is not a new position for him, either. Ainsworth has been consistent for months on the issue.
“Wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing are among the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, and I have tried to set a public example in those regards,” the lieutenant governor said in July. “Masks should be worn to combat further outbreaks…”
Unfortunately, Alabama Democratic Victory’s fundraising email subsequently spouted even more falsehoods.
“Just like Trump, when confronted with hard facts that don’t fit his partisan narrative, Ainsworth doubled down after his diagnosis and said he stood by his original position,” the email said, ignoring what Ainsworth’s “original position” actually is. “This, as scientists are warning of an impending massive spike in cases and deaths. So, you have to ask yourself- is that sound leadership? Is that responsible? What kind of example does that set?”
It added, “This is why it’s time to break up the Republican Supermajority in Alabama and elect Democrats who believe in facts, science, truth, and are committed to doing everything it takes to protect people during a crisis. Republicans continue to mismanage the pandemic and think that downplaying the reality of the virus will benefit them politically. It’s time to send them packing.”
It should be noted that the state’s mask mandate — which the Democratic email touted — was put in place by Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, along with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
“Donate NOW to the Alabama Democratic Victory Fund and let’s elect leaders who will do the right thing and set an example for others to follow,” the email proclaimed. “The GOP will continue to suffer the consequences of it’s own hubris, but it should be abundantly clear to anyone paying attention that they are failing the people of Alabama.”
The bottom of the email concluded ironically by saying, “Facts and Science Matter,” and “#WeAreInThisTogether.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn