One woman has died and a man is on life support following an unmasked social gathering which infected 14 family members with the coronavirus last month.
The event’s host, Tony Green, now says the consequences were “a harsh lesson in the reality of Covid-19”, having earlier doubted the threat posed by the virus.
“I admit I voted for Donald Trump in 2016. I admit travelling deep into the conspiracy trap over Covid-19,” Mr Green wrote in a column on Dallas Voice. “All the defiant behaviour of Trump’s more radical and rowdy cult followers, I participated in it.”
He added: “I believed the virus to be a hoax. I believed the mainstream media and the Democrats were using it to create panic, crash the economy and destroy Trump’s chances at re-election.”
“I am calling myself out first, but now this is personal, and I fell on my sword,” wrote Mr Green. “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.”
Mr Green and his partner did not wear masks, and neither did their parents, during the party on 13 June.
“We just felt the worst was behind the country because everything was easy, things were reopening and none of us were experiencing any symptoms,” he wrote.
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They woke up feeling sick the next day, before their parents became sick two days later.
Mr Green was admitted to hospital on 24 June alongside his father-in-law – who was put on life support, and his father-in-law’s mother – who died with Covid-19 on 2 July, reported NBC News.
“I cannot help but feel responsible for convincing our families it was safe to have a get-together,” added Mr Green. “There’s a lot of things that I would have done differently.”
Mr Green later created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the family — but it has since been deleted amid criticism.