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GOP Lawmaker Sued By Former Staffer For ‘Reckless’ Approach To COVID-19

A former staffer for Rep. Doug Lamborn is suing the Republican congressman from Colorado for taking a “reckless and dangerous approach” to COVID-19, allegedly risking staff being infected by the virus. 

In the lawsuit, filed Thursday by former aide Brandon Pope in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Pope also claims Lamborn retaliated against him “for seeking to protect employees from unsafe conditions.” Pope was fired last December.

According to the lawsuit, first reported by NBC News, Lamborn “did not require employees in the District Office to wear masks, claiming that he would not allow House Leadership to dictate how he ran his office, and he did not permit all employees to social distance.” 

After Lamborn and other staff tested positive for the virus in the fall, the congressman “refused to implement or follow reasonable and responsible COVID-19 protocols,” according to the lawsuit, including by not telling staff that they had been in close contact with employees who were infected. 

Lamborn tested positive for the virus last November, his office said at the time.

“The workplace safety allegations made by Mr. Pope are unsubstantiated and did not result in the termination of his employment,” said Lamborn spokesperson Cassandra Sebastian. “Congressman Lamborn looks forward to full vindication as all facts come to light.” 

More than 584,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.