Last week, Kelli Ward went after healthcare workers speaking out against reopening the economy too soon and called them actors.
If that wasn’t enough, she later called on Reopen America protesters to dress as healthcare workers in a tweet, urging them to “#JustWearScrubs” to throw the media off.
The former Senate candidate, and frequent President Donald Trump retweeter, has long been outspoken on controversial issues, including Arizona’s current stay-at-home order. She also regularly takes swipes at the press using her Twitter feed.
Ward’s suggestion is an attempt to push back against the now-viral images of medical workers who confronted protesters demanding businesses open back up despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arizona Democratic Party Spokesperson Matt Grodsky said in a statement, “Irresponsible, shameful tweets like this do nothing to help people afflicted with the virus or the health care heroes who are working to save lives.”
He added, “If anyone’s status as a health care professional should be questioned, it’s Dr. Kelli Ward’s, considering her unwillingness to promote the advice of health experts.”
Her controversial tweet also drew the ire of some healthcare professionals who did not appreciate Ward’s suggestion.
One Twitter user reacted to her post by writing: “WE in healthcare do care about lives. You clearly don’t. Come work with me in an icu for 16 hours wearing the same mask and dollar store rain ponchos…”
As Talking Points Memo reported, Ward is no stranger to non-factually-based conspiracy theories. In August 2018, she publicly suggested fellow Republican Sen. John McCain had timed his announcement of stopping his cancer treatment to intentionally disrupt her Senatorial run. She later apologized and blamed the media after facing backlash for the statement.
Ward also made an unfortunate comment in a Fall 2019 fundraising email, writing that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly would be stopped “dead in his tracks.”
Across the country, protesters are taking to the streets despite the hazard to their health and a continued increase in COVID-19 cases. Arizona currently has 6,716 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 275 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths so far.
The state’s stay-at-home order will expire on April 30, per Gov. Doug Ducey.