Port: Lawmaker references COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory in floor debate


MINOT, N.D. — Need another anecdote suggesting that North Dakota’s voters, in many parts of the state, didn’t exactly send their best and brightest to make laws in Bismarck?

Here we go.

Rep. Lori VanWinkle, a Republican from Minot, is one of a wave of newly elected North Dakota lawmakers who have made headlines bringing contentious culture war topics to the legislative session in Bismarck.

VanWinkle, specifically, has a reputation for lecturing her fellow lawmakers with passages from the Christian Bible during floor speeches. That her colleagues are increasingly fed up seems clear from today’s floor session, during which VanWinkle brought up a COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory in the context of a bill expanding worker’s compensation coverage for police officers and firefighters.

The legislation in question is House Bill 1279 . It was introduced by Rep. Shannon Roers Jones, and carried out of committee to the floor by Rep. Jim Jonas of West Fargo.

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