There are a lot of mixed feelings floating around about elected representatives hurrying to get the COVID-19 vaccine. While there’s a lot of appreciation for our public figures getting vaccinated on camera to help the general public feel safe in taking the shot themselves, there’s also a lot of frustration that those who downplayed the virus are first in line, while the constituents who believed them can’t access it. Representative Matt Gaetz has, in particular, been criticized for his behavior during the pandemic — and now he says he will not be vaccinated.
A video of Gaetz apparently partying and having a karaoke night with friends has been shared around social media, with plenty of criticism. While much of America is avoiding gatherings, the Florida Representative who wore a gas mask on the House floor to mock COVID-19 precautions is free to party, and if he gets sick, his health care package — included as part of the salary and compensation provided to him by the American people — will ensure he receives the kind of care that most of his constituents won’t be able to access.
One Twitter user pointed this out, saying Gatez is “pretending COVID doesn’t exist and living his best life,” and making a reference to the fact that many elected officials are getting the vaccine before even those healthcare workers on the front lines. Gaetz quoted this tweet, denied that he is among those who have already taken the vaccine, and declared that, in fact, he doesn’t intend to.
I didn’t get vaccinated and have no plans to be.
Having relatively recently tested positive for antibodies, I’m no risk to anyone.
Not my worst rendition of Wagon Wheel. https://t.co/zyMl0Ut9Oj
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) December 22, 2020
Gaetz recently lashed back against reports that he had told others on Capitol Hill he’d had the virus — insisting that he only had the antibodies, not the virus itself. Gaetz did not say whether the antibody test followed an earlier positive test for the virus that he’d chosen not to disclose, or if it was a precaution of some sort, despite his persistent participation in the downplaying of the severity of the virus.
The CDC warns that a positive test for antibodies may not mean a person is protected against reinfection with the virus, or against passing it on to others.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com