‘I’ve lost my joy’: Anti-vax Republican, who worked for the Trump campaign and embraced QAnon, says she has COVID-19

Lauren Witzke holding a microphone.
Lauren Witzke celebrates after winning Delaware’s Republican U.S. Senate primary, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Dover, Del. Witzke, a political newcomer, defeated attorney James DeMartino to become the GOP nominee for the seat currently held by Democrat Chris Coons. Andre Lamar/The News Journal via AP
  • Lauren Witzke was the 2020 GOP Senate nominee in Delaware.
  • She ran against Democratic incumbent Sen. Chris Coons, winning 37.9% of the vote.
  • She has suggested COVID-19 vaccines are part of a satanic plot.

A Delaware Republican who said coronavirus vaccines were part of a satanic plan to cause “mass death” is recovering from COVID-19, she announced Thursday, saying the illness had caused her to lose “all of my senses.”

Lauren Witzke, a self-styled “Christian nationalist” who embraced QAnon and support from white supremacists, was the Delaware GOP’s candidate for Senate in 2020, receiving 186,000 votes in her failed run against Democratic incumbent Sen. Chris Coons.

In a post on Gab, a social network popular with right-wing extremists, Witzke claimed she was “recovering from this insane bio-weapon called Covid.” The 33-year-old, who has worked as a political commentator for the right-wing Christian conspiracy site TruNews, said she had decided not to tell anyone earlier so as not to alert “the shitlibs in the media.”

“This bio-weapon is demonic,” she wrote. “I’ve lost all of my senses and struggle with constant indifference, brain fog, and I’ve lost my joy.”

In posts shared on her Telegram channel, Witzke blamed TruNews for making her aware of the infection, insisting that nasal swabs were ultimately responsible for her getting COVID-19. “I’m an idiot for submitting to their demands and getting tested,” she wrote, “and yes I know I need a good husband in my life to keep me from making bad decisions.”

She left the company in September.

Prior to her departure, Witzke attributed a June outbreak of COVID-19 among TruNews staff to a “demonic attack” for having hosted far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart writer who now claims to be “ex-gay.”

“I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the TruNews crew all got deathly ill, got very sick, right after they brought Milo on,” she said, as reported by PinkNews.

Witzke currently works with Stew Peters, an online broadcaster who has repeatedly pushed false claims about vaccines. On his program, Witzke herself claimed that COVID-19 vaccinations were a “mass death scale injection” that would precede the end of the world.

Witzke’s Senate run was likewise characterized by an open flirtation with extremists, the candidate, for example, tweeting thanks to white nationalist Nick Fuentes for supporting her campaign, The Daily Beast reported. She also shared racist attacks on Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

In October, a supporter of Witzke’s campaign was convicted of two felonies for pointing a gun at people who were protesting her campaign. The conviction, she maintained, was the product of an “anti-white, and anti-conservative system” that is “coming for us all.”

Before running for office, Witzke worked on the Iowa campaign of former President Donald Trump.

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