The Jewish vice chair of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee, Tom Mountain, is using his personal experience with COVID-19 to appeal to his “fellow Republican men” to get vaccinated.
In an op-ed published in the Boston Globe, Mountain recounted the “debilitating” case of COVID-19 he contracted two days after attending the White House Hanukkah Party in December of 2020. Mountain’s wife, daughter, mother-in-law, and one other family member tested positive for the virus soon after, and Mountain himself was hospitalized twice.
“There were nights I didn’t want to go to sleep out of fear I wouldn’t wake up,” Mountain wrote. “I’ve yet to walk around the block without wheezing.”
Mountain’s plea is in response to a recent PBS poll that showed nearly half of U.S. Republican men do not intend to get the vaccine. The same poll found that only roughly two-thirds of Americans say they have already been vaccinated or are planning to get vaccinated. The numbers are troubling to medical expert and emergency physician, Leana Wen, who said this may not be enough to reach herd immunity.
A claim among some resistant Republicans is that the vaccine came out too fast. But Mountain argues that it was former President Donald Trump who initiated Operation Warp Speed to distribute a vaccine to the public as fast as possible. Now that President Joe Biden is advocating for vaccination, Mountain believes some Republicans are not getting the vaccine out of spite.
‘It’s irrational, even mind-boggling,” Mountain wrote. “And in some cases, it will be fatal.”
As the vaccine rollout continues and more Americans become eligible, Mountain is urging Republican men to acknowledge the serious threat of the virus and reconsider their decision as to whether or not to get vaccinated— If not for themselves, then for others.
“At this point I’m not willing to gamble (again) with my life or my family’s lives,” Mountain wrote. “I’m getting the COVID vaccine, and I won’t hesitate to twist the arms of my conservative middle age brethren to do the same.”
Jewish GOP leader wants Republican men to reconsider getting the COVID-19 vaccine