A supporter of Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for Arizona governor, has called for LGBTQ+ people to be put into camps to stop the spread of monkeypox.
“We need to quarantine and isolate all the folks of the LGBT community,” Ethan Schmidt-Crockett said in a video posted to social media. “We need to find all of them. We need to hunt them down and put them into isolation camps for their own protection.” He asked why the U.S. government isn’t speaking out against “reprobate fornication.”
Monkeypox, or MPV, is spread largely through skin-to-skin contact, such as that which occurs during sex, but it is not a sexually transmitted disease. The majority of cases in the current outbreak have occurred in men who have sex with men; however, there are cases in other populations as well. The federal government has declared MPV a public health emergency, as has the World Health Organization, and they have recommended that people reduce their number of sexual partners. There is a vaccine against MPV, although supplies have been insufficient, and there is treatment for the virus.
Schmidt-Crockett’s remarks echo those made early in the AIDS epidemic. In the 1980s, right-wing extremists such as minor-party presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche pushed the idea of isolating people with HIV.
This isn’t Schmidt-Crockett’s first anti-LGBTQ+ action. Last month he went into a PetSmart store and demanded it take down a Pride flag. He posted a video in which he claimed the flag “supports pedophilia and child sexualization” and told an employee, “The real rainbow is from God. That’s the rainbow of Satan.” The store left the flag up.
In May, he made a video in which he promised to visit Target stores across the greater Phoenix area during Pride Month to expose what he called the “Satanic pride shrines to children.” He is also an activist against COVID vaccines and masking rules, having founded a group called AntiMaskersClub. Last year he harassed a store that sells wigs to cancer patients because he objected to its requirement for patrons to wear protective masks.
Also last year, he met Lake at a campaign event, and she posed for a photo and video with him and other far-right activists, including Nazi sympathizer Greyson Arnold, CNN reports.
On Thursday, Lake, a former TV anchor, was declared the winner of Tuesday's Republican primary for Arizona governor. She had the support of Donald Trump and has embraced his claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. She defeated a more establishment Republican, lawyer and businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson, and will face Democrat Katie Hobbs, currently Arizona’s secretary of state, in November.
Lake has been called a hypocrite by critics who say she’s changed positions on several matters out of political expediency. For example, she recently attacked drag queens as “groomers” and dangerous for children while having been longtime friends with a drag queen, Barbara Seville, who has performed drag for more than 25 years and has even performed at Lake’s home with her children present. Also, despite working in the media for years, she has now become disdainful of mainstream journalists.
Lake’s campaign did not respond to The Advocate’s request for comment on Schmidt-Crockett’s remarks.
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