Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib retweeted a post from Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor David Hogg that read “F— a National day of prayer” following news that the president recommended prayer to help calm the public’s coronavirus fears.
“Don’t let this administration address COVID-19 like our national gun violence epidemic,” Hogg posted on Twitter along with a video of Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson speaking about prayer. “F— a National day of prayer, we need immediate comprehensive action.”
Tlaib retweeted the message, which was liked and retweeted thousands of times, to her more than a million followers and responded to the apparent backlash with an explanation that she was not specifically attacking prayer.
“Let me be clear as someone who has been praying through this all & as someone who attended the National Prayer Breakfast,” she wrote. “My retweet was not to be an attack on prayer. It was to bring attention to the need for meaningful action to combat this public health crisis.”
Tlaib added calls for an economic stimulus, testing access for all, expanded sick leave benefits, and a moratorium on utility shut-offs and evictions.
Let me be clear as someone who has been praying through this all & as someone who attended the National Prayer Breakfast. My retweet was not to be an attack on prayer. It was to bring attention to the need for meaningful action to combat this public health crisis.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 16, 2020
Tlaib has been criticized widely in the past for her passionate critiques of the president, which have sometimes included vulgarity.
“We’re going to impeach this motherf—er,” Tlaib told supporters in January 2019, shortly after being elected to Congress.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 4, 2019
Tlaib declined to apologize for that comment, except to say that she’s sorry for causing a “distraction.”
The Michigan congresswoman also sparked controversy on social media recently for endorsing liberal activist and alleged anti-Semite Linda Sarsour’s book while wearing a shirt depicting a world where Israel is wiped off of the map in favor of Palestine.