Wisconsin Congressman Has Coughing Fit At Mask-Optional State GOP Convention

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) suffered a coughing fit from the stage of the mask-optional Wisconsin GOP convention Saturday to the nervous laughter of the largely maskless audience.

“It’s time to talk about Donald John Trump,” Grothman said forcefully before a coughing spasm interrupted his speech. The avid Trump supporter even loosened his collar at one point while coughing, finally saying: “Yup. Okay.” 

People were warned in a handout not to attend the Republican Party of Wisconsin convention if they were “not feeling well” or experiencing symptoms such as “coughing.” 

There was no immediate word from Grothman about how he was faring later. But photos posted Saturday of him touring a local farmers market and a police station without a mask revealed him as someone unconcerned about catching — or spreading — COVID-19. 

The convention in Green Bay drew about 300 people. It was controversial in the community because the large in-person gathering threatened to spread COVID-19 in the county with the second-highest number of cases in the state.

“There are a lot of people here who are very excited to support President Donald Trump,” the party’s executive director, Mark Jefferson, told WBAY-TV.  “That’s why they wanted to have a convention. They wanted to have it in person.”

Extremely few attending wore masks or appeared to maintain recommended social distancing. The convention did offer free masks and hand sanitizer.

But people attending were warned that they assumed liability if they became ill from COVID-19 at the convention. 

“As with any public activity, there are risks assumed,” stated a flier handed out to people as they entered the convention building. “By attending the RPW State Convention you acknowledge and assume any potential risk and liability for your own health.”

The big news was Grothman. He managed to continue his speech after coughing about “all the wonderful things Trump has done.”

“It is a disaster for this country if he loses,” he warned. “Marxists have always been opposed to the family. It shows what danger we are in if we would lose.”

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