John Pierce, an anti-vaccination advocate and lawyer representing people arrested for allegedly participating in the January 6 Capitol riots, has contracted COVID-19 and is reportedly on a ventilator.
When Pierce failed to appear at a Wednesday court hearing for Capitol riot suspect Shane Jenkins, his colleague Ryan Marshall told the judge, "Mr. Pierce is in the hospital, we believe, with COVID-19, on a ventilator, non-responsive," The Independent reported.
Pierce has publicly made comments against the COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.
On August 17, Pierce tweeted, "The entire 82nd Airborne couldn't make me get an experimental government vaccine stuck in my arm."
And on July 28, he tweeted, "This whole thing is just beyond ridiculous at this point. Take your mask off and live your life. We are Americans. I can't even believe this has to be said. If you want to do something about COVID, tell your Congressman to man up and declare war on the [Chinese Community Party]."
On July 4, he called the Army vaccine mandate "a final-phase designed-purge of Patriotic Americans from the Army."
He added, "Prepare for anything and everything at this point. This goes deeper than anything I thought even a few months ago. No one should be taking any of these vaccines, least of all the military".
On March 23, Pierce tweeted, "I personally think anyone who trusts the government to shoot some vague, unknown 'vaccine' in their arm for a virus with origin of a CCP biological weapons lab is taking a very big risk."
Pierce temporarily served as the lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old charged with killing two men and injuring a third during a late August uprising in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Pierce was fired as Rittenhouse's attorney over a financial disagreement.
He is representing at least 17 clients who are suspected of participating in the January 6 Capitol riots. In a January 9 tweet, Pierce referred to riot arrestees as "patriotic Americans being wrongfully detained."
Trump supporters invaded the Capitol on January 6 seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Five people died during the insurrection and roughly 140 police officers were injured. The police injuries include a broken spine, a lost eye, lost fingers, brain damage and multiple cases of PTSD. Four Capitol Police officers have died by suicide since then.
Ransacking the Capitol, the rioters shattered windows while trying to access congressional chambers, smeared feces in the hallway and stole computer equipment, potentially constituting a national security breach.
Newsweek contacted Pierce for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.