Far-right Michigan Republican known for anti-vaxxer views hospitalized with COVID-19

It's just the latest cautionary tale in a country where the virus and vaccine have become politicized

By Alex Henderson

Published November 27, 2021 11:30AM (EST)

View of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine vials (Niels Wenstedt/BSR Agency/Getty Images))
View of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine vials (Niels Wenstedt/BSR Agency/Getty Images))

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Time and time again, far-right MAGA Republicans have railed against COVID-19 vaccines, mask mandates and social distancing measures and downplayed the pandemic's severity — only to be hospitalized with the potentially deadly coronavirus. A recent example is William Hartmann, former vice-chairman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan. The Detroit Metro Times is reporting that Hartmann, known for his anti-vaxxer views, is in intensive care after being infected with COVID-19.

The Metro Times' Steve Neavling, on November 24, reported, "William Hartmann, former vice-chairman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, has been on a ventilator since about November 6, according to his sister Elizabeth Hartmann. Two sources confirmed to Metro Times that Hartmann has been in intensive care since early November. The status of his health is unclear."


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William Hartmann has repeatedly attacked Democratic vaccination campaigns from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and President Joe Biden. Whitmer held a lottery to encourage vaccinations in her state, and on July 30, Hartmann visited Facebook and wrote, "If the ouchie is so great, why do they have to offer bribes?"

The MAGA Republican was engaging in coronavirus denial as far back as February 2020. In a Facebook February 27, 2020 Facebook post, William Hartmann wrote, "I was at the Doctor's the other day, yes again, and we were talking about the CoronaVirus. I asked if I should be concerned. He said it's just a virus like any other virus, nothing to be concerned about. So why all the hullabaloo in the media about it. He thinks it's all about the money. Follow the money. Lots of corporations and people are making a ton of money off this thing. Like always wash your hands if you go out. Just be health conscious."

The virus that William Hartmann described as "nothing to be concerned about" has, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, killed more than 5.1 million people worldwide and over 775,000 people in the United States.

RELATED: Jim Jordan hid COVID-19 diagnosis, saying "I don't talk about my health status with reporters"

In addition to his anti-vaxxer and anti-masker views, William Hartmann has been a promoter of the Big Lie — the false, totally debunked conspiracy theory that Donald Trump really won the 2020 presidential election but was robbed of a victory because of widespread voter fraud. Hartmann, in November 2020, initially voted against certifying the presidential election results in Wayne County, but later agreed to certify them.

At this point, the majority of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan are unvaccinated. Neavling noted that Hartmann has "criticized the vaccine and compared government COVID-19 efforts to Nazi Germany."

The Metro Times reporter wrote, "Hartmann's hospitalization is just the latest cautionary tale in a country where the virus and vaccine have become politicized and scientific research is often dismissed."


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