Seventeen Republicans and one independent Friday voted against a House resolution condemning QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory that has been a central vector of misinformation about the coronavirus, on the same day the president said he and his wife had tested positive for the virus.
QAnon, which took root on anonymous message boards in 2017, holds that Trump is battling a cabal of deep-state saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for sex. The oft-mutating philosophy has captured the imagination of a new corps of pro-Trump congressional candidates, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is all but guaranteed to win her race in Georgia. Her Democratic opponent, in a deep-red district, exited the race last month.
The baseless worldview has been identified by the FBI as among the extremist views “very likely” to motivate violence. Its adherents, according to law enforcement, have been arrested in numerous incidents, including two murders, a kidnapping, vandalism of a church and a heavily armed standoff near the Hoover Dam.
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan was the independent who voted against the resolution. The 17 Republicans who rejected it came from 12 different states. They included Rob Bishop of Utah, Steve King of Iowa, Paul A. Gosar of Arizona and Daniel Webster of Florida. Andy Harris of Michigan, also a Republican, was recorded simply as “present.”