Kelli Ward, the head of the Republican Party in Arizona, told those planning to protest stay-at-home orders aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 to dress in scrubs and masks on Twitter.
Ward also seemed to suggest that some health workers engaging in counterprotests across the country were not really health workers.
"Planning protest to #ReOpenAmerica? EVERYONE wear scrubs & masks - the media doesn’t care if you are really in healthcare or not - it’s the 'message” that matters!'" Ward tweeted on Friday.
The tweet came days after Ward took to Twitter to cast doubt on reports about health care workers who had blocked protesters demonstrating against stay-at-home orders in Denver earlier this month.
The tweet from Ward featured a widely circulated photo that showed a man, who has been identified by several outlets as a health care worker, in scrubs counterprotesting the anti-lockdown demonstration along with other workers.
"Even if these 'spontaneously' appearing ppl at protests against govt overreach (sporting the same outfits, postures, & facial expressions) ARE involved in healthcare - when they appeared at rallies, they were actors playing parts," Ward alleged in the earlier tweet.
EVEN IF these “spontaneously” appearing ppl at protests against govt overreach (sporting the same outfits, postures, & facial expressions) ARE involved in healthcare - when they appeared at rallies, they were actors playing parts. #Propaganda #FakeOutrage https://t.co/PRh2FGjW2Y pic.twitter.com/7XwggmHM4s— Dr. Kelli Ward (@kelliwardaz) April 21, 2020
The Hill has reached out to the Arizona Republican Party for comment.
Matt Grodsky, spokesman for the Arizona Democratic Party, criticized Ward’s comments in a statement, saying, “If anyone’s status as a health care professional should be questioned it's Dr. Kelli Ward’s, considering her unwillingness to promote the advice of health experts.”
“Irresponsible, shameful tweets like this do nothing to help people afflicted with the virus or the health care heroes who are working to save lives,” he continued.
This is not the first time Ward has come under criticism for controversial remarks.
Ward in 2018 said late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhoopi Goldberg signs four-year deal with ABC to stay on 'The View' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden MORE's (R-Ariz.) family timed the release of a statement about ending his medical treatment for brain cancer to hurt her campaign for the 2018 Senate election.
At the time, Ward said in a comment on Facebook that was made hours before his death, “I think they wanted to have a particular narrative that they hope is negative to me.”
She was met with backlash from members of her own party before she lost to Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyFive takeaways from Arizona's audit results The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up MORE (R-Ariz.) in the state’s GOP Senate primary days later.