Lockdown Lover Ruben Gallego Told A Marine To 'Shut The Fuck Up' And Get the Vaccine

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D., Ariz.) attends a press conference on June 30, 2020, on Capitol Hill (Getty Images)
January 5, 2024

From business lockdowns to mask and vaccine mandates, Democrats had no problem pushing controversial coronavirus policies. But few were as gung-ho about restrictive measures as Rep. Ruben Gallego.

The Arizona Democrat, who is running to unseat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I., Ariz.), in 2022 told a Marine officer who opposed the vaccine to "shut the fuck up" and get the jab.

"It’s called being a Marine suck it up and deal with it," Gallego, a former Marine infantryman, said on Twitter.

But Gallego did more than just talk tough on social media. He introduced a bill in October 2021 to permit insurance companies to hike insurance premiums up to 50 percent for policyholders who "elected not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine." And early in the pandemic, Gallego pushed fines for businesses that opposed mask mandates. "That gets you to about 90% of the problem and will turn the infection rate around," Gallego said in June 2020.

Gallego’s support for those increasingly unpopular positions could hurt him in Arizona. Though support for mandates was initially high, by October 2022, 63 percent of Americans opposed them for the workplace, according to a Monmouth poll. And even some Democrats have expressed disenchantment with the party over policies to slow the pandemic.

A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is spending heavily against Gallego, said his remarks were "appalling, but unsurprising."

"Ruben Gallego cussed out a service member and threatened to hike premiums if they don’t comply with his COVID extremism," said NRSC spokesman Tate Mitchell. "Gallego has been beholden to the radical fringes for years, and it’s never going to change."

Gallego’s foul-mouthed advice for a fellow Marine came in response to a tweet from Sen. J.D. Vance (R., Ohio), who relayed a conversation he had with the father of a Marine officer who reluctantly got the vaccine.

"Sounds like the officer should shut the fuck up," Gallego wrote in the Jan. 1, 2022, post. "Now you know how it is to be enlisted we had to lots of shit that we didn’t like. It’s called being a Marine suck it up and deal with it."

The military vaccine mandate has proved wildly controversial. More than 8,400 service members were kicked out of the military for refusing the vaccine, at a time of historically low recruitment numbers. Some military officials have said vaccine mandates hurt recruitment efforts, a theory the Pentagon has denied.

Gallego introduced his bill to hike insurance premiums, the Vaccine Accountability and Premium Protection Act, when inflation was at 6.2 percent, a historically high rate. The bill, which permitted the higher insurance premiums for the "duration" of the government’s public health emergency, was submitted to a House subcommittee but never received a vote.

Gallego has not always abided by the strict mandates he publicly supports. In 2021, he was photographed without a mask—and without a shirt—during an all-expenses paid junket to Qatar, the oil-rich Gulf nation that funds Hamas and other terrorist groups.

Gallego’s office did not respond to a request for comment.