Paul Gosar Tells Vaccine Skeptics 'Stay the Course,' Despite Reports He's Had COVID Shot

A clip has emerged of GOP Rep. Paul Gosar encouraging vaccine skeptics to "stay the course," despite reports that he himself has received the COVID-19 shot.

The footage was posted online by Ethan Schmidt of the so-called "anti-maskers club," who makes videos showing him flaunting mask policies and harassing members of the public who are wearing face coverings.

In the short clip, Schmidt approaches the Arizona congressman, who states: "Hey, here's to that anti-vaxxer group—stay the course."

Schmidt replies, "Yeah, anti-vaxxer club," which he uses as a hashtag to promote his videos on Telegram and Twitter.

Gosar has frequently spoken out against vaccine mandates and proposals of vaccine passports in the U.S. In November, he introduced a resolution that aimed to block President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate.

"This is radical government overreach," Gosar said in a statement. "As I have stated several times, there is nothing in the Constitution or the law granting the federal government the power to force anyone to inject medicine into their body as a condition of employment.

"The decision to get jabbed is a choice best made between a physician and the patient."

However, Gosar has previously suggested that he would receive the vaccine when it was offered to him as a member of the public. In December 2020, he told the Arizona Mirror that he did not want to "jump ahead in line" as a congressman, in order to get vaccinated.

In May, CNN included Gosar in a list of the 97 House Republicans who said they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Newsweek has contacted Gosar for comment.

The "stay the course" clip was also shared on Twitter by the Patriot Takes account, where it has been watched more than 75,000 times.

Joe Walsh, a former GOP congressman from Illinois and a vocal critic of Donald Trump, was one of those who reprimanded Gosar for the comment, while sharing the footage on social media.

"Please, rep. Gosar I say this as your former colleague, please don't run for Congress again. Please retire," Walsh tweeted.

In June, a video of Schmidt antagonising staff and customers at a wig store in Arizona went viral.

In the footage filmed at Sunny's Hair and Wigs store in Mesa, Schmidt falsely claims that masks "don't work" in protecting people against coronavirus.

"Do you really not care about cancer patients so much, sir?" one woman tells him, while explaining that many of the store's customers are cancer patients and therefore particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

"I care about health so much that I go around and tell people that masks don't work," Schmidt responds.

Sunny's Hair and Wigs owner Lisa Memberr later told The Arizona Republic that she had been subjected to harassment from anti-maskers, but had also received an outpouring of support from people who had seen the video online.

paul gosar vaccine
Rep. Paul Gosar speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Department of Justice on July 27. The GOP lawmaker made his remarks while being filmed by an anti-mask activist. Drew Angerer/Getty Images