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The state of Alabama, as you might have guessed, could very easily walk away with two arms' full of trophies at the Achievement in Coronavirus Denialism and Related Anti-Science Fuckery Awards if such a thing actually existed.
A recent example of this adherence to dangerous inanity is the fact that several college students have now been confirmed to have attended parties and other gatherings in the Tuscaloosa area despite having received positive COVID-19 diagnoses. Per regional outlet ABC 33/40, Randy Smith—the Tuscaloosa Fire Chief—announced this confirmation of what was originally treated as a mere rumor among officials during a council meeting on Tuesday.
"We had seen over the last few weeks parties going on in the county, or throughout the city and county in several locations where students or kids would come in with known positives," Smith said on Tuesday, adding that they were able to confirm these initial whisperings with the help of local doctors and health department officials.
And as additional details started piling up regarding the nature of these parties, the high concentration of displayed stupidity became even more clear.
Per ABC News, who quoted comments provided by a city council member, students were actually attending parties as part of a contest to see who could bag an infection first.
"They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense," Tuscaloosa city councilor Sonya McKinstry said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday night, the Tuscaloosa City Council voted to adopt a mask ordinance, though the ordinance itself doesn't actually go into effect until July 6.
On the whole, the handling of COVID-19 concerns in Alabama has largely consisted of concentrated instances of Trumpian dumbassery. For example, as found in other conservative-leaning states like Florida, it's not uncommon to see or hear people openly condemning any and all containment efforts as part of some made-up conspiracy aimed at worsening the POTUS' image.
But back on Earth, the virus is quite real, with the most recent CDC update showing an estimated 2.6 million total cases in the U.S. alone.