Rep. Jeff Shipley: Coronavirus “Isn’t Even Killing Anybody”

State Rep. Jeff Shipley kicked off his return to the Iowa Statehouse today by claiming the coronavirus hadn’t killed anyone, saying a vaccine would do more harm than good, and doubting the virus could be transmitted by asymptomatic people.

The first-term Republican legislator from Fairfield made a series of peculiar and factually inaccurate statements during a winding, boisterous speech this morning on the steps of the Capitol. He was speaking to a group of about 100 people with the Informed Choice Iowa, an organization that lobbies against mandatory vaccines.

“Oh, nothing can get back to normal until there’s a vaccine. We’ve heard the political leaders say it. We’ve heard the media say it ad nauseam,” Shipley said during his remarks. “It doesn’t matter that this vaccine doesn’t exist. It’s probably impossible to develop a safe vaccine. It’s hardly going to work anyway, and this virus isn’t even killing anybody.”

As of 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon, 570 Iowans had died from COVID-19, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s tracker.

Before downplaying the danger of the virus, Shipley mocked his colleagues in the Iowa Legislature who had shown up wearing face shields this morning. Several lawmakers, including older ones with health conditions, had expressed their concern about returning to the Statehouse in recent weeks.

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“I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on, certainly not in this building,” Shipley said. “I don’t know what to do anymore, but just laugh at it. If you go in there, you’ll see a lot of lawmakers, the men and women we’ve elected to lead our state into health and prosperity and freedom, they’re covering their faces with a plastic face shield. I don’t understand this … Looking ridiculous aside, I don’t understand the scientific validation of some of these things. Seems to me like a lot of in-group virtue signaling … This professional political class that wants them to know they’re better than us. Wants them to know they’re healthier than us.”

Most Democratic legislators wore masks of some sort in the Iowa House today, though some Republicans did as well.

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Throughout other parts his speech, Shipley talked about a potential need to “abolish” governments that implement restrictions like those seen during the pandemic. At one point, Shipley suggested collaborating with Antifa organizations to carry that mission out.

“Make no mistake: if we don’t fix this, if we don’t start respecting freedom and liberty, it will be on you to alter and abolish it,” Shipley said. “And, who knows, maybe our brothers and sisters in Black Lives Matter and Antifa, we gotta find out a way to collaborate. But if there are some institutions that are disrespecting human dignity, they gotta go!”

Shipley also had some thoughts on ventilators and questioned whether the health care system was actually helping those that were infected.

“When someone who’s sick … we’re just going to lock them up in quarantine, throw them on a ventilator, not even pray for them, just wait for them to die and languish while our health care system does nothing,” Shipley said. “This isn’t about helping people, you know this. They told us this was all about ventilators back in March, then we learned the ventilators were killing people.”

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The lawmaker closed out his speech thanking the crowd.

“I appreciate the opportunity to express myself. It’s difficult sometimes. I guess not everyone appreciates freedom,” he joked.

After videos of his comments quickly spread through Iowa political circles, Shipley doubled-down on some of the topics when responding to people online.

In several subsequent tweets, Shipley questioned whether there was actually evidence for asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 and stated that a vaccine for the virus would likely cause more harm than the virus, which has killed over 100,000 Americans, itself.

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However, once blowback continued, Shipley changed his tune and issued a clarification on his comments, seeming to walk some of them back.

“What I meant to say is that the threat of illness is never enough to justify a mandatory vaccine,” Shipley tweeted around three hours after appearing at the rally. “I failed to prepare my remarks and thus spoke poorly, I’ll promise to do better in the future.”

Shipley was first elected to House District 82 in 2018 by just 37 votes in a surprise upset. A libertarian-aligned group helped knock doors for the sauerkraut salesman and stand-up comic from Fairfield, while Democrats felt the district was safe enough and concentrated on other races. Many in the transcendental meditation community around Fairfield and Vedic City supported Shipley, including those who typically vote for Democrats.

Phil Miller, a well-know local veterinarian who lost to Shipley in 2018, is running again this year in a race that is being much more closely watched this time around.

House District 82 covers most of Jefferson County, along with all of Davis and Van Buren counties. It’s been a swing seat in recent years.

 

by Pat Rynard
Posted 6/3/20

Iowa Starting Line is an independently-owned progressive news outlet devoted to providing unique, insightful coverage on Iowa news and politics. We need reader support to continue operating — please donate here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more coverage.

20 Comments on "Rep. Jeff Shipley: Coronavirus “Isn’t Even Killing Anybody”"

  • Seriously? Does the man not mind being out front as completely uninformed on basic facts? Old story of it is one thing to know that you are not aware of information but quite another to shout out to the world for all to know.

  • They say even a broken clock is correct twice a day. Amidst some crazy claims, Mr. Shipley is correct in stating that the vaccine could be more harmful to the public than the virus, especially if it is mandatory. Just as some people are more at risk when contracting the virus, there are people more at risk for vaccine side effects. When researching the history of past coronavirus vaccine studies, you will find many subjects developed antibodies. However, when faced with the live virus, those antibodies did not protect them. Instead they were more likely to trigger a virulent inflammatory response that left the subjects dead. Those “subjects” were monkeys. We are now skipping animal trials to rush this “protection” to market. Why? I’d suggest reporters follow the money.

  • Four “months” of coronavirus killed 100,000 Americans . Four “years” of World War II killed 400,000 Americans . I guess World War II was not a big deal in his eyes.

  • Yes that’s what I wrote… You could amend it in anyway you like as long as the basic gist of it gets
    said. Thanks a lot

  • A lot of my friends voted for Shipley because he promised action on Smart Meters, which were a hot topic among TMers in Fairfield. In all fairness to him, he authored a bill but it never got to a vote.

    It’s never a good idea to choose a candidate based on one issue. Shipley’s views are not shared by most of his constituency.

  • Thank you Rep Shipley! The freedom fight is not easy and obviously the media will always report with bias. Your speech today was from your heart and the truth is there. You are right on! Thank you, THANK YOU!

  • To N. Cole, a vaccine is taking a risk especially if they rush it. But what is our choice?? Are we to just let our population die? Are we to spend the rest of our lives 6 feet apart and wearing masks? I buried my wonderful Mother yesterday because of this disease and could not hug or even hold anyone’s hand at the graveside service because I was with her when she died. We couldn’t even give her the funeral she and I had planned because of this vicious stuff! Please do not believe this idiot who says people do not die from this. I hope no one in his family has to pay this price because of his belief!

  • What a display of ignorance! Jeff Shipley has never had a disease where your oxygen goes down to dangerous levels and you can’t get your breath or he wouldn’t be talking this way. He must be getting his information from a hotline to another planet because it’s a totally different situation here on earth. I lost a beloved daughter in April to Covid-19. Her husband drove her to the hospital and because he and their adult son also had it he wasn’t allowed to go in with her. Someone came to the car and got her and that was the last time he saw her. Both men have recovered but there were some scary times along the way and it took a long time. This is a cruel disease in many ways as each one of us had to go through this loss alone. Anyone who talks like Jeff Shipley either lacks a heart or isn’t smart enough to know what is going on in the world. He shouldn’t be holding office.

  • There is much research on what’s called Antibody-Dependent Enhancement from vaccines. One of the vaccines that caused these lethal side effects was the dengue vaccine that was forced on children in the Philippines. Here is more information on ADE and how it increases serious side effects and death for those that take these vaccines. Also the new DNA and RNA vaccines have never been used on humans before like Moderna’s mRNA CV-19 vax; they purposely genetically modify our DNA and RNA. These new untested vaccines for coronavirus may have a multi-generational side effect — think thalidomide on steroids — without any cure. https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=vaccine+ADE

  • And those numbers are 1/3 to 1/10 lower than reality per medical pros world wide. This guy needs to be charged with a crime. He must be a real lonely loser if he does not know one person. I know hundreds and counseled thousands. He wants to infect himself on purpose? What a wackjob! Wow, F- Hey Asswipe Google is not med school or college f-ingunbelivable. Negligent Homicide . And to all those who have died I give my deepest apologies from my shit hole country and what it has become. My blessings and sad heart to all the families of victims. I apologize for for this mentally Ill Maniac in his place. Hopefully he will share a cell with Trump soon.

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