What kind of a person would go from being hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms for a week and then return to work as normal without telling his coworkers? Kansas House Speaker Ron “;Rona”; Ryckman, that”;s who.

The Kansas lawmaker, a senior Republican from Olathe, a suburb of Kansas City, told supporters in an email obtained by the Kansas City Star about his diagnosis. Ryckman said he tested positive the week of July 13 and was then hospitalized for a week. The problem? He never told Democratic lawmakers in the Sunflower State, and even worse, he attended a July 29 meeting with Gov. Laura Kelly and members of the State Finance Committee, which was held indoors. While attendees were socially distanced in their spacing, Ryckman also removed his mask during the meeting.

Needless to say, those in attendance are outraged. In a statement, Gov. Kelly sternly criticized Ryckman for endangering everyone in the meeting, “;Speaker Ryckman”;s decision to attend the State Finance Council meeting after being released from the hospital, while concealing his diagnosis from those of us in the room and taking his mask off, was reckless and dangerous.”;

Dangerous, indeed. Reckless and cruel, possibly even deadly indifference to his fellow lawmakers. One has to seriously wonder how we arrived at this point where Republicans are so selfish and callous during a global health crisis, one that is now estimated to kill 300,000 Americans by early December.

Of course, Ryckman led the charge, alongside other Kansas Republicans, to limit Gov. Kelly”;s ability to issue public health directives, like closing schools and requiring masks, to keep Kansans safe from the disease.

Ryckman claimed he was cleared by a doctor before attending the meeting, but doesn”;t common sense and common decency dictate that you inform your peers of such a diagnosis? Shouldn”;t they have a choice about whether they want to take a chance on being exposed? It isn”;t like Ryckman was walking around asymptomatic–;the man was hospitalized for a week.

Ryckman called Kelly”;s statement “;fear mongering and public shaming.”; Classic Republicanism, always playing the victim.

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