Virginia House Republicans have an extremism problem, and Delegate Dave LaRock is Exhibit A. LaRock started the month joining two other Republican delegates to ask Mike Pence to overturn Virginia's election results. After attending the January 6 Capitol protests, he told the leaders calling on him to resign to focus on the "colored community" instead. When reporting revealed one of the militia members facing federal conspiracy charges for inciting violence at the Capitol was a supporter of his, LaRock praised him as a "wonderful man." Now LaRock is continuing his effort to undermine the COVID-19 response. Late last week, he wasted time in a committee meeting questioning the safety of FDA-approved vaccines.
See below from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
By Sabrina Moreno, 1/29/21
In August, Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun, filed a resolution endorsing hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 despite various clinical trials by national medical associations warning against its use and lack of efficacy.
On Thursday night, he warned a House Health committee that COVID vaccines rigorously tested and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration with a 94.1% efficacy rate against the virus couldn’t be trusted.
Del. Cia Price, D-Newport News, slammed the GOP member’s sharing of false information — which included unsubstantiated claims of chronic adverse reactions — and called his comments “simply dangerous.”
As of Jan. 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 50 cases of severe allergic reactions out of 26.2 million doses administered. This makes the probabilities of severe allergic reactions a 0.00018% chance.
“There’s legitimate vaccine hesitancy in communities that the gentleman listed, but actual and factual information is key, not fanning the flames that are based on historic events,” Price said, referring to ongoing discriminatory practices in medical care.
In a later tweet, Price wrote that misinformation from a public official is “irresponsible.”
This occurred in the leadup to the Democratic-controlled committee voting on LaRock’s House Bill 2242, which proposed protecting Virginians against being punished for refusing the vaccine and prohibiting the inclusion of information into the state tracking system without informed written consent.
The bill was immediately tabled in a 18-3 vote, with only Republicans voting against the decision to do so.
This isn’t the first time in the last month that LaRock has been lambasted for sharing false information. Two weeks ago, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn stripped the lawmaker from key committee assignments following his support of overturning the election’s results and his baseless claims of voter fraud.
On Jan. 19, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling on LaRock to resign after his role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The Winchester NAACP followed shortly after.
In a letter posted to his site, LaRock called it a “witch hunt” to punish “the patriotic motives of people” who support former President Donald Trump. While he condemned the Capitol attack in a statement, he also reiterated unfounded claims of election fraud.
Earlier this month, LaRock told The Winchester Star that Thomas Caldwell — a Virginia native who on Wednesday was indicted on federal conspiracy charges for attacking the Capitol — “is a wonderful man” he thinks highly of.
In a criminal complaint, the FBI recites a message sent to Caldwell that read, “All members are in the tunnels under the capital. Seal them in turn on gas.”
LaRock said Friday that he was “shocked to hear Mr. Caldwell is being charged with these very serious crimes.”
On Thursday night, before the House committee took a final vote, Del. Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, mentioned the damage that could have occurred without the polio or smallpox vaccine and added “this is a terrible bill.”
LaRock unmuted his mic to respond.
“Mr. Chairman, may I have the last word?” LaRock asked.
Sickles did not hesitate.