Saturday, November 27th, 2021

Banned By Alaska Airlines Over Masks Lawmaker Now COVID Positive

Banned By Alaska Airlines Over Masks Lawmaker Now COVID Positive ANCHORAGE, AK — An Alaskan state lawmaker who made headlines over her refusal to wear masks aboard airline flights has now tested positive for COVID-19, according to several reports.

In April, Alaska Airlines released a statement saying it had banned Alaska state Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) from their flights “for her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy”. As the Associated Press reports, the move left Reinbold with no easy access to Juneau, which is only reachable by air or water, forcing her to request an excusal from the state Senate until mid-January.

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Now, on top of being unable to fly to Juneau, she’s also stuck at home in quarantine, after she and fellow state Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla) both tested positive for COVID-19, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

In a Facebook post, Reinbold said she was going to “battle Covid head on”, and mentioned that she had been self-medicating for the disease with vitamins and ivermectin. Ivermectin, an antiparasitic, is used to treat worms in humans and animals, and is not recommended for use treating COVID-19, but has been hailed by some fringe groups as an effective cure or preventative treatment against the disease.

“I am blessed to have gotten Ivirmectin [sic] the ‘de -covider’,” wrote Reinbold. “My Vicks steamer has been a God send!”

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Reinbold has a long history of opposing COVID-19 safety protocols, and not just aboard Alaska Airlines flights. Reinbold famously wore a clear face shield at the state legislature after refusing to wear a face mask, the Washington Post reported, and unsuccessfully fought the state Capitol’s mask mandate.

Her actions have also reportedly ostracized her from some of her fellow lawmakers. Anchorage Daily News reports that the Alaska Senate voted 17-1 to remove her from her position at the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee after a series of disputes over COVID-19 in April. In February, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy published an open letter to Reinbold, reprimanding her for spreading COVID misinformation, and saying she had “abdicated the tenants of [her] oath as a public servant.”

“You deceived the people of Alaska about the government’s response to the largest public health crisis of the century,” wrote Dunleavy. “In doing so, you violated the obligation you have, as a member of the legislature, to promoting and protecting public health.”

Both Reinbold and Wilson have been ordered to quarantine at home, away from the state Capitol — which has delayed negotiations during the Alaska Legislature’s special session. The session was convened Oct. 4 to work through budget funding issues related to the state’s dividend fund, and may be jeopardized by their absence, the Daily News reported.

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