Tony Green is a gay Republican from Dallas who spent months calling the coronavirus pandemic a “scamdemic” and making fun of people who wore masks. Then he and his entire family got coronavirus, some had to be hospitalized, and one died.
Now, in an essay for The Dallas Voice, 43-year-old Green admits that he was wrong.
“I admit I voted for Donald Trump in 2016,” he writes. “I admit traveling deep into the conspiracy trap over COVID-19. All the defiant behavior of Trump’s more radical and rowdy cult followers, I participated in it. I was a hard-ass that stood up for my ‘God-given rights.’”
On June 13, Green and his partner threw a big party for their family, during which nobody wore masks or practiced social distancing.
The next day, Green woke up sick.
The day after that, Green’s partner was sick.
Then Green’s partner’s family started getting sick. First it was his elderly grandmother. Then it was his dad, his mom, his brother-in-law, and his sister, who had just given birth.
Pretty soon all 14 people who attended the party were sick, each testing positive for coronavirus.
But the nightmare was only just beginning.
“My father-in-law and I both went to the hospital on June 24,” Green writes. “The virus had attacked my central nervous system, and the staff stopped me from having a stroke.”
His partner’s elderly grandmother was admitted to the hospital on June 25. By July 2, she was dead.
He continues, “On the day of her funeral, which was July 14, five more of our family members tested positive for the virus. That evening, my father-in-law was put on a ventilator.”
During the ordeal, Green created a GoFundMe page to raise money for his family, but he was forced to end the campaign after his mother-in-law, whom he originally duped into thinking coronavirus was hoax, said she wouldn’t accept any help from him.
“It is with heavy heart and deep regret but I must inform each contributor that I am compelled to end this fundraiser and refund each donor,” he wrote on the page, adding his mother-in-law “refuses to accept this money.”
Green says he has been eaten alive by guilt ever since.
“You cannot imagine my guilt at having been a denier, carelessly shuffling through this pandemic, making fun of those wearing masks and social distancing,” he writes. “You cannot imagine my guilt at knowing that my actions convinced both our families it was safe when it wasn’t.”
He concludes his essay with a plea to others who still aren’t taking coronavirus seriously.
“For those who deny the virus exists or who downplay its severity, let me assure you: the coronavirus is very real and extremely contagious,” he says.
“Trust me, you do not want this virus. And you do not want your loved ones suffering and dying from this because you are taking a ‘political stand’ or protecting the economy over their lives.”
“I am calling myself out first,” Green adds, “but now this is personal, and I fell on my sword. And I promise you, if we continue being more worried about the disruption to our lives than we are about stopping this virus, not one American will be spared.”
Reprinted by permission of Queerty.
Graham Gremore is a features editor at Queerty.