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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Two months ago, Tony Green — right-wing author and columnist for the LGBTQ website Dallas Voice — still bought into the claim that COVID-19 was a "hoax" designed to hurt President Donald Trump. But that was before he became seriously ill from it along with members of his family, and now, Green is urging others to take the pandemic seriously so that they won't have to suffer a similar fate.

In a recent column, Green (who voted for Donald Trump in 2016) recalls that in May and early June, he was still describing the pandemic as a "scamdemic."


"I believed the virus to be a hoax," Green explains. "I believed the mainstream media and the Democrats were using it to create panic, crash the economy and destroy Trump's chances at reelection. And so, believing the pandemic to be a hoax, my partner and I hosted family members on Saturday, June 13. On Sunday, June 14, I woke up sick."

Green, author of the 2019 book Maxed Out: The Criminal Justice System Running Amok, continues:

By Monday, June 15, my partner and my parents were all sick. That same Monday, my in-laws traveled to witness the birth of their first grandchild; they took with them my father-in-law's mother and one of my partner's sisters. That night, my father-in-law became ill. Then, my mother-in-law and their daughter began feeling sick. So, they cut their trip short. Two days later, my father-in-law's mother got sick. The new mommy and daddy got sick too. We all tested positive for COVID-19. Only the newborn was spared.

On June 24, Green notes, he went to the hospital; COVID-19 "had attacked" his "central nervous system, and the staff stopped me from having a stroke." Then, on July 1, his father-in-law's mother died from COVID-19 pneumonia — and on July 14, Green adds, "five more of our family members tested positive for the virus. That evening, my father-in-law was put on a ventilator."

Green describes the coronavirus symptoms that he now has first-hand knowledge of.

"Imagine the sound and vibration of an old-fashioned electric heater going through your whole body," Green writes. "Imagine gasping for air with every step you take. Imagine rubbing Icy Hot all over your head to soothe a painful headache. Imagine your eyes in a bowl of water while you're still seeing through them. Imagine collapsing and waking up in the ER only to find out COVID-19 attacked your central nervous system, and the doctor had just saved you from a stroke."

That June 13 dinner party, Green stresses, shows how easily and how rapidly COVID-19 can spread.

"You cannot imagine the guilt I feel, knowing that I hosted the gathering that led to so much suffering," Green writes. "You cannot imagine my guilt at having been a denier, carelessly shuffling through this pandemic, making fun of those wearing masks and social distancing. You cannot imagine my guilt at knowing that my actions convinced both our families it was safe when it wasn't. For those who deny the virus exists or who downplay its severity, let me assure you: the coronavirus is very real and extremely contagious. Before you even know you have it, you've passed it along to your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors."

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