Plano City Council Member, Rick Smith, Spreads Misinformation Online

Plano City Council Member, Rick Smith, Spreads Misinformation Online

All while doing math on the wrong numbers.

Rick Smith is one of four Plano City Council Members who are backed and supported by Empower Texans, the right-wing Dominionist group headed by Midland oil billionaire Tim Dunn. Because of his far-right wing ideology, Smith has to play down the danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to increase to dangerous levels in many areas of Texas, including Dallas County, just to the south of Collin County, where Plano is located. On July 8th, Council Member Smith made the following Facebook post to his personal feed:

Wonder if he can add, too? 🙄

He at least acknowledged that it was “dangerous” for him to be doing math, and then proceeds to attempt to create a percentage, but forgets to multiply his result by 100 to get the actual percentage. He used the total case count for Collin County (3,825), divided by the rounded population of Collin County (1M), and got – 0.003825. Next step is to multiply by 100, and you get 0.38% of the total population of Collin Co. who have contracted COVID-19. Only he forgot that last step, and proudly proclaimed that “0.0037%” (he also didn’t round correctly) of CC had COVID-19. He then used that number to make further inaccurate claims. 

Here are the facts about the COVID-19 pandemic that are specific to Collin County: 

  • 3,825 total cases to-date
  • 50 fatalities
  • New cases, and total active cases are increasing by over 30% week over week. 
  • Deaths are up 25% over the past week.

Rick Smith also wants the virus to spread…for freedumb.

On June 30, the Plano City Council met in an emergency session, at the request of Mayor Harry LaRossiliere, to consider a mandatory mask ordinance. After nearly 4 hours of debate, the proposal failed due to the opposition of Smith and the other three ET-backed council members, Anthony Ricciardelli, Shelby Williams, and Lily Bao.

They opposed any mandatory ordinance with an enforcement measure, such as a fine, and the resultant “ordinance” was merely a recommendation to wear masks indoors when social distancing is not possible. Or not, if you feel like masks impinge on your “freedom,” or whatever the RWNJ excuse is for being unwilling to do a simple, yet highly effective measure to protect others that millions of people all over the world do every day. Ironically, Governor Abbott issued his own mandatory mask order as a state-wide ordinance just two days later, on July 2 – with fines of up to $250 for non-compliance. 

The better thing for the Plano City Council to do would be to encourage compliance with the mask ordinance, talk about how serious COVID-19 is, and discuss contingency plans should Plano, and Collin Co, spike in a similar way to Dallas County, rather than making light of a pandemic affecting thousands of Texans. For his highly inaccurate, and inappropriate for a city council member post, Rick Smith of Plano is Dipshit of the Day

Jeff Quiggle

Vice President of Plano Area Democrats Club

Aside from being the Vice President of Plano Area Democratic Club, Jeff is also Collin County Democratic Precinct Chair, and a member of Texas Democratic Veterans. He lives in Plano.

%d bloggers like this: