The vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee is battling COVID-19 after attending a largely maskless holiday party at the White House earlier this month. Tom Mountain, 60, has been hospitalized twice in recent weeks and likely contracted the coronavirus at the annual White House Chanukah party. The event took place amid the worst surge in COVID-19 this country has seen since the pandemic began.
“No one can ever say for sure exactly where they got it, but I’ll say this: Before the party, I was in perfectly good health,” he said. “Three days later, I was in the hospital with COVID, and it was all downhill from there.” Mountain also said he regrets ignoring the warnings from his family and wishes he would have listened to his wife, who cautioned him not to go and did not attend herself.
“I didn’t listen to the warnings of my own family, and now I’m paying the price,” Mountain said in an interview with a local news station on Saturday. “It’s not fun,” he said.” I came very close — not once but twice — to them hooking me up to a ventilator.”
Mountain, who is also the vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Jewish Committee, was released for the second time that Saturday after approximately eight hours in the hospital and remains in recovery at his home in Newton with moderate symptoms. “There are good days and bad days, but today I’m having a bad day,” he said. “I have horrible coughing fits, sweating profusely. … I couldn’t even talk on the phone last week, but it’s getting a bit better.”
State Republican official was hospitalized with COVID-19 after attending White House Hanukkah party https://t.co/WIiBq3pWB7
— Boston Globe Metro (@GlobeMetro) December 26, 2020
Mountain said his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and mother-in-law have also all tested positive for the virus.
The White House has repeatedly been criticized for its refusal to cancel a full docket of packed indoor holiday parties that were scheduled during a new wave of fatal cases that has surpassed 3000 a day. A hot spot all its own, the first outbreak from the White House can be traced back to the Rose Garden ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett, although no official contact tracing was ever done on what is now considered a superspreader event.