Ken Weyler: GOP Rep believes Covid vaccines 'control us', stalls $27M federal vax aid

Weyler battled with NH health commissioner to stall vaccine funding, spewed misinformation claiming 'I don’t consider the CDC a credible source'


                            Ken Weyler: GOP Rep believes Covid vaccines 'control us', stalls $27M federal vax aid
Rep Ken Weyler of the New Hampshire State Legislature doesn't consider CDC a credible source for information on Covid or vaccines (Ken Weyler/Facebook)

With Covid-19 cases continuing to spike in parts of the US, the Republican Party appears keen to prevent any efforts to stomp out the pandemic. The latest example comes from New Hampshire, where a state representative is holding up $27M in federal funding for vaccines because he believes it will help the government "control us." Rep Ken Weyler is now at the center of a contentious battle in the state, which has also drawn the ire of New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu.

While Weyler refuses to support vaccinations in New Hampshire, down in Florida, the state has taken its war on science to a whole new level. On September 21, the new surgeon general ruled that masking and quarantining would now be at the "sole discretion" of parents and not schools. Meanwhile, Mike Lindell and General Michael Flynn are busy touring the nation promoting dubious cures under their 'ReAwaken America' tour. At the same time, the Biden administration is attempting to increase vaccination rates, through mandates which have so far not been received well.

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In New Hampshire, Weyler's dangerous rhetoric ultimately led to a party-line vote to delay requesting the federal government for additional funding. It has also led to calls for Weyler to be removed from the fiscal committee, but those threats don't appear to have dampened his spirit. Instead, Weyler has doubled down on Covid misinformation, saying he had "links from reports from all sorts of credible sources," which he believed were more credible than the CDC. 

New Hampshire's State Rep. Ken Weyler supporting Rick Perry during his 2012 presidential campaign. (Twitter)

Who is Ken Weyler?

A veteran politician of nearly 30 years, Weyler has represented the 13th district since 2010. Before that, he served in the State House of Representatives from 1990 to 2008. Born in Boston, Weyler graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963, before attending the US Air Force War College and serving in the military. He served in the Air Force from 1963 to 1969 and in the reserves till 1993. Between 1988 and 2001, he also worked with American Airlines.

He now lives in Kingston and has become a major political force in the New Hampshire legislature. A member of the GOP leadership, Weyler leads the House Finance Committee and is "staunchly conservative". NHPR reported that "he’s also blunt and has espoused conspiracy theories and false information over his legislative career." The peak of which has come during the pandemic, especially in recent months. But even before, he's made some truly controversial statements. 

Rep. Ken Weyler speaks in the New Hampshire State House of Representatives in 2019. (@NHHouseGOP/Twitter)

During the 2010 special election, he said, "mental illness is an elaborate racket." He also sued the federal government over the Affordable Care Act and voted against a bill to prevent housing discrimination against domestic violence victims. In 2016, he also reportedly called public assistance to Muslims "treason", and noted, "terrorist attacks of the last twenty years have been by Muslim fanatics." 

Weyler battles vaccine aid

Weyler ended up in an argument with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Lori Shibinette on Sept 17. She told the legislature that 90% of hospitalizations stem from unvaxxed people, to which Weyler responded, "that is in doubt." He added, "People I’m hearing from, working in emergency rooms, are saying 90 percent of those admitted have had the shot." The back and forth ended with the vote for funding to be delayed, despite Shibinette calling Weyler's statements "misinformation".



 

 

Later that day, Gov. Sununu issued a statement saying, "As elected officials, we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, and we absolutely cannot contribute to the spread of misinformation — it is dangerous and wrong." Nonetheless, Weyler doubled down on his rhetoric. In an interview with the NH Journal, he said, "Why is there such a push to get everyone to get this shot? I’ve been doing this for 24 years, and I know when I’m not getting the full story. When [Shibinette] made such a definitive statement about the 90 percent, well, they have very little data."

In another interview with NHPR, he asked, "They want everybody to get the shot. Why? Are they getting paid off by Big Pharma? Is there something in the shot that’s going to help them control us?" He added, "I don’t consider the CDC a credible source, or Dr. Fauci a credible source." Hours after that NHPR interview, two leading Democrats in the State House wrote a letter to Speaker Sherman Packard and asked him to remove Weyler from his leadership role. "By publicly stating that he does not trust state officials, Representative Weyler is directly harming efforts to work collaboratively to slow the spread of COVID and using his platform as Chair to misinform the public," they wrote. Reportedly, Packard has talked to Weyler but isn't removing him just yet though. 

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