A Massachusetts Republican Party leader says he thinks he got COVID-19 at a White House Hanukkah event




Holiday decor adorns the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, U.
Holiday decor adorns the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, U.  
  • Massachusetts Republican State Committee Vice Chairman Tom Mountain tested positive for COVID-19 days after attending a Hanukkah party at the White House in Washington, DC. 

  • Mountain said he doesn't know exactly where he contracted COVID-19, but told WJAR that he believes it was likely at the White House. 

  • He said there were about 100 people at the party, and few of them were wearing masks - including himself.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee is recovering from COVID-19, which he says he likely contracted at a White House Hanukkah party earlier this month.

Tom Mountain, who was hospitalized and almost put on a ventilator after testing positive for COVID-19, told WJAR that while it's impossible to know exactly where he contracted the virus, he tested positive three days after going to the December 9 Hanukkah party.

"Lets put it this way: When I went down to Washington, DC, for the White House Hanukkah event, I was perfectly fine," 60-year-old Mountain, from Newton, Massachusetts, said. "And three days later after that event, I was in the hospital at Brigham and Women's ready to be put on a lifesaving ventilator."

The White House Hanukkah party was one of at least 25 indoor holiday celebrations held this year, according The Washington Post, and Mountain shared photos with WJAR showing him posing for a maskless photo during the event.

At the time of the party, public health officials were urging people not to gather for parties and celebrations over concerns that gatherings could spread COVID-19.

"I was one of the naysayers," Mountain told WJAR. "I am no longer a naysayer."

Mountain, who attended the event to represent the Massachusetts Republican Jewish Committee and wore a "Trump" jacket, said more than 100 people attended the three-hour party in Washington, DC, including President Donald Trump.

"People would just leisurely and gingerly take off their mask to mingle, to schmooze. I don't even think some people wore masks the entire time," he said. "And again, I was guilty as anyone else. I just wasn't wearing a mask."

Mountain told WJAR that after he tested positive for COVID-19, at least four of his immediate family members also contracted the virus.

He told The Boston Globe that weeks after contracting the virus, he's still experiencing some COVID-19 symptoms, including a cough.

The White House did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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