"I really want a miracle at this time": Republican who denied COVID asks for prayers after hospitalization
"I really need a miracle today !!" Byrd wrote Thursday. "My doctor said that if my oxygen levels didn't improve, he had no choice but to put me on a ventilator. Please pray that God would breathe his healing spirit into my lungs !!"
Byrd tested positive for the virus less than two weeks after attending a meeting with nearly 70 House Republicans who attended the House Chamber on November 24. During the meeting, the 63-year-old representative was seen on the floor of the house without a mask.
But it doesn't end there: days before the meeting, Byrd even hosted a dinner with a number of his caucus colleagues at a restaurant to kick off a series of Republican retreats. According to NBC News partner WBIROne of the events was overnight.
Not only has Byrd been seen wearing a mask several times, but he also voted for a House resolution in June insisting that "the mainstream media has made coverage of COVID-19 sensational in the service of political agendas," the Tennessean said . Byrd is the second Tennessee House Republican member to be hospitalized after contracting the virus. Rep. Mike Carter, who also voted for the same legislation, was hospitalized earlier this year with COVID-19.
In addition to being a conservative COVID-19 denier, Byrd, a former teacher and school principal, is also a sexual predator. The representative was charged with sexual assault by three former high school students in 2018 while coaching the Wayne County High School girls' basketball team.
To date, Byrd has still not denied the allegations and instead, when asked about it, has redirected to a statement that he did not commit any wrongdoing as a state legislature. Prior to making his statement, Bryd was asked by other members of the Tennessee House to resign after a secretly taped telephone conversation from the NBC News member WSMVwhile Byrd apologized to one of his accusers. However, he refused to resign, claiming he would fight the allegations.
"I wish I had a revision because I promise you I would have corrected that and that would never have happened," Byrd said on the phone call. "But I hope you believe me when I say that it's one of those things that I think about all the time and I always ask for forgiveness and I hope you forgive me."
From denying sexual assault to denying a deadly virus, who knows what else Byrd has denied in the past. Asking for prayers should be the least of his worries. Unfortunately, Byrd isn't the only Tennessee native with a following who has consistently classified the virus fake news as such. Conservative Pastor Greg Locke also refuses to wear a mask and has not expressed any plans to take a vaccine. "There is no pandemic," he said CNN. "I'm 44 years old. We haven't had one in my life … it's not."
Who knows what it will take some conservatives to understand how deadly this pandemic really is and what the consequences of their actions are.