The vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee is battling COVID-19 after attending a holiday party at the White House earlier this month where he claims ‘hardly anyone’ was wearing a mask.
Tom Mountain has been hospitalized twice in the weeks since he attended a Hanukkah party in the East Wing of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on December 9.
The 60-year-old, who attended against the advice of his wife, believes it was at the annual event that he most likely contracted the virus.
‘I didn’t listen to the warnings of my own family, and now I’m paying the price,’ Mountain told the Boston Globe. ‘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.
‘Three days later, I was in the hospital with COVID, and it was all downhill from there.’
Tom Mountain (pictured with fired Trump lawyer Sidney Powell) has been hospitalized twice in the weeks since he attended a Hanukkah party on December 9 in the East Wing of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Mountain, who also chairs the Newton Republican City Committee, said he attended the first of two Hanukkah parties at the White House on December 9.
The event was reportedly split in two to reduce the scale of the gathering, however the list of guests was still in excess of 100.
Mountain said all guests were required to wear masks while lining up to enter, however he said there were no temperature checks or social distancing protocols in place.
And once inside, he claims ‘hardly anyone’ was wearing a mask.
‘I think that, like many people, I felt as though I was invincible and felt that it wouldn’t affect me and I don’t have to wear a mask the entire time,’ he told WCVB.
Shortly after returning home from DC, Mountain said he began to feel very sick. He went to get tested for COVID on December 11 which he said, ‘unsurprisingly’, came back positive.
The following day, feeling his condition ‘deteriorating rapidly’, Mountain took himself to the emergency room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
‘The fact of the matter is, I was basking in the glow of a major White House event, to which I was invited, and three nights later I’m in the hospital in the emergency room,’ he told WCVB.
Mountain said all guests were required to wear masks while lining up to enter, however he said there were no temperature checks or social distancing protocols in place. And once inside, he claims ‘hardly anyone’ was wearing a mask
President Donald Trump never made an appearance at the party Mountain attended, but did make an appearance at the second party held at the White House later that night (seen above)
Mountain spent the majority of the day at the hospital before being discharged later that night.
However, with his symptoms once again worsening the following week, he returned to hospital on December 19.
‘It’s not fun,’ he told the Globe. ‘They came very close – not once but twice – to them hooking me up to a ventilator.’
He spent around eight hours at the hospital on his second visit and is now recovering at his home in Newton.
Mountain told the Globe he has ‘good days and bad days’ but has recently been suffering ‘horrible coughing fits, sweating profusely’ in addition to being physically unable to talk on occasion.
He says he’d wished he’d heeded the warnings of his wife, who strongly advised him against attending the party, and refused to accompany him to it.
But as both the Republican party’s vice chairman and vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Jewish Committee, Mountain said he felt obliged to attend.
‘I thought it was the right thing to do,’ he told the Globe, adding he was the only representative from Massachusetts.
An image taken by Tom Mountain at the December 9 event shows one guest lighting a menorah
The event included a lot of mingling and huddling together for photographs, before guests sat down for an indoor banquet, Mountain said.
Mountain himself posed up next to since-fired Trump lawyer Sidney Powell during the proceedings. Mountain is seen in the image dressed in a Trump windbreaker, with a bandanna tied around his neck. Neither of the pair were wearing facemasks as they stood shoulder-to-shoulder.
He said he would’ve never attended the party had he known someone was spreading the virus.
‘I was one of those people who thought I would never be a statistic,’ he said to the Globe. ‘But any large gathering like that where you have people from all over the country, somebody’s bound to have it.’
Mountain isn’t the only member of his family now paying the price. In the weeks since, his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and mother-in-law have also all tested positive for the virus.
‘I have to admit I wasn’t the most careful about wearing the face masks,’ Mountain said, ‘but now I’m zealous about it. I have no doubt about their necessity.’
President Donald Trump never made an appearance at the party Mountain attended, but did make an appearance at the second party held at the White House later that night.
The event was held amid the worst surge in COVID-19 the country has seen since the pandemic began.
On December 9, 3,140 people died from the virus – a then single-day record for deaths. Nationwide, 106,000 were also hospitalized – another record.
During his appearance at the second party, Trump made not mention of the dramatically worsening pandemic, but he did falsely proclaim to the crowd ‘We’re going to win the election.’
The crowd responded by breaking into a chant of, ‘Four more years!’
As of December 28, more than 19.1 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and 333,140 have died.