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Denver city councilwoman says call to spread coronavirus at Trump rallies was 'sarcastic'
A Democratic city councilwoman in Denver said Tuesday she was being "sarcastic" with a retweet appearing to call for anyone with coronavirus to attend rallies for President Trump.
Her office has dismissed calls from the Colorado Republican Party to resign.
Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca last week responded to a tweet that said, "For the record, if I do get the coronavirus I'm attending every MAGA rally I can."
She responded: "#solidarity Yaaaas!!" with laughing emojis.
The original tweet has since been deleted but was preserved by multiple screenshots.
Her office called it a "sarcastic tweet" in a statement released Tuesday.
"Councilwoman CdeBaca made a sarcastic tweet on Twitter to call attention to the Trump administration's downplaying of the coronavirus as a 'hoax,' no more dangerous than the common flu," the statement said, according to ABC affiliate Denver 7.
"Rather than conservative outlets making a four-day-old tweet their focus on Super Tuesday, they should focus their energy on demanding a competent federal response to this public health crisis instead," her office added.
The Colorado Republican Party called on CdeBaca to resign over the tweet.
"There can be no room in our politics for wishing harm on Americans who have different political beliefs," Colorado Republican Party Executive Director Lx Fangonil said in a statement. "Democrats in Colorado and across the country need to condemn this evil statement."
CdeBaca dismissed the backlash as "mostly out-of-state conservative media who have targeted her since even before her election to office," according to Denver 7.
Nine deaths and 60 identified cases of coronavirus have been reported so far in the U.S., although no cases have been confirmed in Colorado.