COVID skeptic tests positive, becomes a believer

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As a Republican and Trump supporter, Eli Gorsic of Hyattsville, Md. was skeptical about the coronavirus until he tested positive last year. (Courtesy of Adhy Silva/Unsplash)

By Osaretin Iyare
Special to the AFRO

President Biden has announced new coronavirus vaccine mandates targeting millions of Americans, ordering all businesses with over 100 employees to compel their workers to get the jabs or face weekly tests.  

Biden signed an executive order compelling all federal employees to get vaccinated, a move he hoped would serve as a model for state governments. 

Mixed reactions trailed the Sept. 9 announcement. For Eli Gorsic, a federal employee, the president’s order occurred when it became imperative to kick COVID-19 out of America. 

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Gorsic in 2020 tested positive for the coronavirus. He was hospitalized for about a month in intensive care. Gorsic, 42, had severely damaged lungs from years of smoking, he said, and saw the coronavirus latch onto his pre-existing health condition and almost snuff out his life. 

The father of four and native of Hyattsville, Md., feared the worst. He could only connect with his family via video conferences during his ordeal and believed he would never hold 4-year-old daughter Daphne in his arms. Gorsic described his experience as harrowing. He would not wish on his worst enemy, he said and was grateful to the health professionals who treated him and the thousands of other people on the frontlines.  

With over 42.3 million positive cases recorded to date in the United States, Gorsic counted himself as lucky not to have been among the 682,000 and counting deaths. 

He called on all citizens to collaborate with Washington in the vaccine drive. Gorsic said he was a skeptic of the coronavirus at first, being a Republican and a Trump supporter. He accuses the immediate past administration of not doing enough to contain the virus. 

Gorsic is now an advocate of immunizations, citing what he described as the largely successful vaccine rollout, and also said he believes in the science. Others, said Gorsic, should shut out the disinformation campaign.. 

He blamed the radical left for sowing discord in the efforts of the government. Gorsic said the news of some Los Angeles Police Department employees suing the city over its vaccination requirement as violating their constitutional right only serves to derail the momentum. The police in their role to “protect and serve,” he said, should be the first in line and model the proper behavior for others to follow.

As for stories that the vaccine has side effects that leave the recipients worse than before, Gorsic countered that none of these claims have been scientifically proven as all vaccines have been FDA approved.  

In light of the recent withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan and the 9/11 memorial, Gorsic believes the country should rally together and defeat the coronavirus. 

The writer is a graduate student in the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication. 

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