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COVID graffiti spray-painted on health official’s mailbox

January 11, 2021 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Graffiti proclaiming COVID-19 as a fraud was spray-painted on the home mailbox of Kentucky’s top public health official in an action that Gov. Andy Beshear denounced Monday as an attempt to “create fear.”

The weekend vandalism occurred at the home of Dr. Steven Stack, the state’s public health commissioner. Stack frequently speaks at the governor’s press conferences in taking a high-profile role in Beshear’s efforts to combat the coronavirus.

“Because of his work, thousands of people are alive today that wouldn’t be,” Beshear said at a press conference. “And whether you agree or disagree with the steps that ultimately I made the calls on, trying to create fear in his family is the lowest form of low.”

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The Democratic governor had a message for whoever is responsible: “The cowards out there that did it, we’re working to find you.”

The words “COVID is PCR fraud” were spray-painted on Stack’s mailbox, Beshear said. PCR is a standard test for COVID-19.

The state on Monday surpassed 305,000 COVID-19 cases and is approaching 3,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Beshear reported 2,085 new virus cases Monday and 21 virus-related deaths. More than 1,700 virus patients are hospitalized in Kentucky.

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Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.