Right Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has aroused anger by comparing people who refuse Covid-19 vaccine to the victim of HIV facing stigma.
Mrs Greene, who represents northwest Georgia in the US House of Representatives, tried to defend herself National Basketball Association (NBA) athletes who have been banned from gambling until they receive the vaccine.
“The fascists NBA will not let Kyrie Irving play to refuse a vaccine … but still they let Magic Johnson play with HIV, “Greene said on Twitter on Thursday, referring to former NBA star Earvin” Magic “Johnson Jr.
But HIV can only be spread between people through direct contact with body fluids such as blood and semen, while Covid-19 is spread mainly by airborne fluid particles that are expelled by infected people when they breathe, cough, sneeze, scream or sing.
Ms Greene’s tweet echoed long-standing popular myths about HIV, whose victims have often been avoided and discriminated against even though they carry little risk of infecting others.
Magic Johnson immediately retired from the NBA when he tested positive for the virus in 1991. Although he later returned to special and international games, some of his teammates opposed it, claiming he could infect them if he was injured during games.
Brooklyn Net’s scorer Kyrie Irving is one of several NBA players who have refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19, which means he is legally barred from indoor events in Net’s hometown of New York City.
In an Instagram livestream on Wednesday, Irving said: “This is not a political thing; this is not about the NBA, not about any organization. This is about my life and what I choose to do …
“This is my life. I can do what I want with this, this is a body I get here. And you say what I should do with my body.
“It’s not about being anti-wax or being on one side or the other. It’s just about being true to what feels good to me … if I’m going to be demonized because I have more questions and take the time to make a decision with my life, that’s exactly what it is. ”
Mrs Greene is known for her intense opposition to Covid worm and vaccine laws, which she has likened to the persecution of Jews by Nazi Germany, and her support for extremist movements such as QAnon, which advocates a military coup and the execution of senior Democrats.
Before standing for Congress, she liked Facebook posts proposed that the House’s Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi be assassinated and in a livestream claimed that Pelosi would soon “die or be imprisoned”.