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Pennsylvania's GOP House Speaker Blasted For Using Virus Death Stats To Push For State's Reopening

Mike Turzai, Pennsylvania's Republican Speaker of the House, was widely criticized online this past weekend for a tweet which seemed to suggest the state was safe to reopen because most people who would die are already sick.

Turzai tweeted an infographic showing the pre-existing conditions of those who have died from the virus.


The image was part of his campaign for "Reopening Pennsylvania."

Many online interpreted Turzai's post as a signal that the state should re-open, since only people with those conditions would be at risk (which is also incorrect).


Multiple Twitter users wondered what else Turzai could possibly mean.



Turzai's Chief of Staff told Huffpost the Speaker was "simply reporting public health data that the Pennsylvania Department of Health should be reporting to the public, but is not."

But it certainly didn't seem that way to most people who saw the post.



The conditions that Turzai mentioned in his tweet are not rare among Americans.


Pennsylvania Republicans such as Turzai have long fought to protect life in all its forms, but apparently this is where they draw the line.

This is far from the first time Turzai has put his foot in his mouth when it comes to the global pandemic.



Pennsylvania's reported death toll had already risen to 582 by the time Turzai posted his tweet, with health experts warning that cases of the virus could spike if proper precautions are not taken as states reopen.

Hopefully Turzai takes these warnings seriously for the sake of his citizens—even those with hypertension.