In a recent social media post, State Rep. Jeff Leach of Allen attempted to take credit for the Texas legislature’s banning of some of the most draconian forms of COVID mandates.
“As our family joins with friends and neighbors to celebrate this Christmas season, I am reminded of the days during Covid when we were restricted from being together, and the far-reaching consequences it had on businesses, our children’s education, and Texans’ overall mental wellbeing,” posted Leach. “But we no longer have to live in fear or doubt about our freedom to gather thanks to bills passed earlier this year by the Texas Legislature that prohibit COVID-19 related closures and vaccine mandates! I was an author of this legislation to safeguard our medical freedoms and I helped lead the effort to protect our right to see loved ones, celebrate at our favorite restaurants and social events, and congregate in places of worship. Enjoy spending time with one another in the days ahead!”
While it is true that the Texas legislature passed a bill in 2023 that banned the worst abuses, it’s important to remember that Leach supported most of them at the time.
On June 25, 2020, Leach attempted to shame Texans into wearing masks.
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) June 25, 2020
Matt Rinaldi, now Texas GOP Chairman and former member of the Texas House, posted that “Public trust in mitigation efforts is important & require factually accurate statements and consistent messaging. Mitigation measures won’t help us beat #Covid quicker. It’s quite the opposite. They can help to manage healthcare capacity by slowing the spread.”
In response, Leach said, “Semantics. I don’t love wearing a mask. And no government, at this point, is forcing me to do so. But it helps to preserve hospital bed, ventilator and PPE capacity, all of which are key to keep people from dying.”
Lest anyone had missed it the first time, Leach repeated the message two days later.
Perfect day to be knocking on doors and talking with constituents. (Promise I’m smiling – and sweating – behind the mask.) Have a great weekend my friends … and if there’s anything we can be doing for you – let us know! #HD67 #KeepTexasStrong pic.twitter.com/wDBuWlRMIE
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) June 27, 2020
This followed an April 2 tweet, when Leach echoed disgraced former house speaker Dennis Bonnen, lecturing Texans to stay home.
While one might argue that the above actions were voluntary, Leach also supported more coercive measures.
On March 12, 2020, Leach “fully supported” school closures in Allen ISD and Plano ISD.
Here is my statement on local HD67 school district closures in response to #Coronavirus. We have great leaders at the helm of Plano ISD and Allen ISD. I fully support their decision. More updates to come. In the meantime, stay vigilant — and wash your hands! pic.twitter.com/l9YXZWJlna
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) March 12, 2020
Leach continued that support on March 15, when he praised the districts’ “exemplary leadership.”
With confidence, I can say that @Plano_Schools and @Allen_ISD could not be under better, more capable & exemplary leadership than Superintendents Sara Bonser and Robin Bullock. If you are an educator or have a student in Plano or Allen schools – as I do – rest easy tonight.
Then, on March 18, Leach called the districts “right and wise.”
PISD and AISD have made the right and wise decision to extend school closures to April 3rd. I’m once again thankful for & proud of the leadership of these great Districts and am proud to partner with them as we work together to guard the health and safety of students and staff. pic.twitter.com/EeJdX1snKn
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) March 19, 2020
Similarly, on March 14 he called for canceling the STARR test.
Based on the feedback of countless parents and educators in my District, I strongly believe that the upcoming STAAR tests should be canceled. This morning I sent this letter to Governor Abbott expressing my concerns and asking asking him to do so. #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/DRK8CiIXs8
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) March 14, 2020
Leach faces Darren Meis in the House District 67 primary.