AZ senator who spearheaded QAnon-linked COVID hearing spread QAnon online

Republican Janae Shamp previously said it was ‘goofy’ to link her committee to QAnon

By: - May 30, 2023 2:14 pm

Arizona state Sen. Janae Shamp. Photo by Gage Skidmore (modified) | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

A Republican state senator who denied that a COVID conspiracy hearing she spearheaded last week that was marketed with a QAnon acronym had anything to do with the dangerous conspiracy theory had, in fact, posted lots of QAnon content on social media — including the very acronym used by the committee. 

A report Tuesday by Media Matters for America showed that Arizona Sen. Janae Shamp has peddled QAnon online for years. Shamp last week co-chaired the Arizona Legislature’s Novel Coronavirus Southwestern Intergovernmental Committee, which held two days of hearings featuring a series of COVID conspiracy theories. 

The ostensible experts who spoke at the hearing had deep connections to the QAnon world and spread misinformation about COVID vaccines, the pandemic response and more. 

The committee had previously faced criticism for its name, which has been promoted in acronym form by the QAnon-friendly political nonprofit The America Project. The acronym, NCSWIC, is also a commonly used acronym in the QAnon world for the phrase “Nothing Can Stop What Is Coming,” alluding to predictions of arrests of members of the “Deep State.” 

Although the official name of the panel spells the word “southwestern” correctly, the committee’s outside boosters intentionally divided the word into “south western” in order to use the acronym in their promotion.

Shamp said that there was no connection between the name of the committee and QAnon, and she called it a “goofy accusation” on Twitter.

But Media Matters for America found that Shamp has used that phrase on her own social media, coupled with QAnon content.

“So, to the Deepstate I ask – how do you ensure the thousands don’t rat you out in order to save their own? You don’t,” Shamp said in a Facebook post last year. “Nothing can stop what is coming. NOTHING.” 

The post featured a video from a popular QAnon channel that made spurious accusations of fraud in the 2020 election. There has been no proof of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. 

And Shamp also shared a Trump campaign sign with the same phrase in July 2021. 

She also boosted other conspiracy theories rooted in QAnon ideology. In May 2022, Shamp shared a video in a Facebook post where she called the on-going COVID pandemic a “ScamDemic.” 

“The World is Waking Up and There Is Nothing They Can Do About It! WWG1WGA,” Shamp said. 

Acronyms are popular among the QAnon community, and the most well known is WWG1WGA, meaning “Where We Go One, We Go All,” a phrase used as a rallying cry among the “digital soldiers” of the QAnon community. 

Shamp appeared to be aware she was posting videos from the QAnon community, at one point sharing a video to her page from a Gab user named “QAnon211” that downplayed the violence of Jan. 6. She credited the user in her upload. 

Shamp also posted another pro-QAnon video which prominently displays the phrase “Where we go one we go all” in the video. 

Among her diet of media includes a number of high-profile misinformation peddlers who have been spreading QAnon content, such as Jordan Sather, who has long been active in conspiracy theory circles. Among other things, Sather in a film called “Above Majestic,” in which he claims that extraterrestrials were behind 9/11, along with other spurious and dubious assertions. In an interview with comedian Jim Jefferies, Sather also alleged that Democratic politicians were using “adrenochrome,” an alleged drug harvested from the blood of children and a tenet of belief in QAnon. There is no evidence supporting the claim.   

Shamp also repeatedly shared content from other QAnon content creators, many of which use phrases such as “We Are the Storm” or the “Great Awakening,” phrases that are popular among QAnon adherents.   

Before last week’s hearings, Shamp downplayed the acronym used by the committee, pointing out that NCSWIC is also the acronym used for the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators. However, as pointed out by extremist researchers on Twitter, one posting by the anonymous Q at the center of QAnon tried to make that agency’s acronym a part of QAnon lore, saying the agency was going to help with exposing the non-existent widespread voter fraud. 

Shamp has toyed with QAnon ideas as well before, appearing at a rally alongside failed Republican Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem outside a South Texas Butterfly sanctuary which was subjected to conspiracy theories of harboring sex trafficking from QAnon conspiracy theorists. 

The sanctuary has had to close multiple times before due to threats it has faced from the conspiracy theories. 

Neither Shamp nor Senate spokeswoman Kim Quintero responded to a request for comment about the posts discovered by MMFA and questions about if Shamp had a role in choosing the committee’s name or the speakers. 

During the two day hearing, Sen. T.J. Shope said that Shamp came to him with the idea for the committee.


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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.