Black Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones on Friday night (October 16) went maskless as he crowd surfed over throngs of adoring Donald Trump supporters — many of whom also were not wearing face coverings.
The move came at a rally in Macon, Georgia, even as the coronavirus pandemic has been especially lethal for people of color. Jones, a conservative Democrat who represents Georgia’s 91st District that includes Atlanta’s northern suburbs, has endorsed Trump for president. He, along with the rest of the members of the rally, flauted guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraging gathering of groups of larger than 10 people at a time.
Concerts have been cancelled around the nation due to the increased coronavirus transmission risk they pose. Trump himself has already famously been infected with the new coronavirus along with many who have attended his rallies.
Afterward, Jones took to Twitter to boast about his crowd surfing, tweeting “Yes, I surfed that crowd! To the haters - stay mad! You’ll be even more mad come November 3rd!” Someone also replied with a video of what happened.
Hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black people and Hispanic or Latino people were both about 4.7 times the rate of non-Hispanic white people, according to the CDC’s report. Non-Hispanic Black people are also 2.1 times more likely to die from the disease.
Herman Cain, a former GOP presidential candidate and Donald Trump supporter who is Black, died in July due to complications from the coronavirus after attending a Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump rally without a face covering.
In April, Jones resigned from his seat after receiving backlash from him announcing his support for Donald Trump. A day later, he took it back.
“Yesterday, I announced my intentions to resign from my office. But shortly thereafter, the outpour of support I received was too great for me to ignore,” he tweeted. “I will not allow the Democrats to bully me into submission. I will not let them win. I will NOT resign. #MAGA.”
Jones also spoke at the Republican National Convention in August.
Photo: Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty Images
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