Man, 53, who led protests against Maryland lockdown while refusing to wear a mask tests positive for coronavirus and says he won’t help with contact tracing efforts
- The co-founder of ReOpen Maryland, who organized rallies to pressure Gov. Larry Hogan to lift the state’s stay-at-home order, has tested positive for COVID
- Tim Walters, a former Republican candidate for the General Assembly, said that he had a dry cough for months but it recently worsened
- He said he then began to experience an excruciating headache, a fever and the inability to focus with one of his eyes, which led to vertigo
- Walters, 53, a diabetic who has had mini-strokes, said he went to an emergency room Monday and was diagnosed with the virus
- ‘Here I am months after not wearing a mask at rallies, churches and so on, and so it’s funny how capricious this thing is,’ he said in a Facebook video
- Walters said he doesn’t plan to provide health officials with the people he’s had close contact with for the contact tracing program
A Maryland man who has helped organize ‘reopen’ protests against measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus says he has been sickened with COVID-19.
Tim Walters, a co-founder of the ReOpen Maryland movement, announced this week on social media that he has tested positive.
‘I was diagnosed yesterday at the ER with COVID-19 and here I am months after not wearing a mask at rallies, churches and so on and so it’s funny how capricious this thing is,’ he said in a Facebook video.
The co-founder of ReOpen Maryland, Tim Walters, 53, pictured, who organized rallies to pressure Gov. Larry Hogan to lift the state’s stay-at-home order has tested positive for COVID
Tim Walters, ReOpen Maryland Facebook administrator, makes a speech against stay-at-home restrictions. He drove across Maryland to rally protesters in May of this year
Walters, a two-time Republican candidate for the state legislature, helped organize ReOpen Maryland protests in Annapolis, on the Eastern Shore and elsewhere in Maryland demanding that Governor Larry Hogan lift restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the virus.
According to the Washington Post he declined an interview request from the newspaper, which reported that he said he would not provide any information to public health officials trying to trace the spread of the disease.
‘I will not share anybody’s information with the government. I will not do it,’ he said online.
Supporters of the group Reopen Maryland wave to vehicles filling Church Circle to protest the state’s stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in Annapolis in April
Tim Walters, a co-founder of ReOpen Maryland, said on social media this week that he has had a dry cough for months but it recently worsened. He then began to experience an excruciating headache, a fever and the inability to focus with one of his eyes, which led to vertigo
This is despite public health officials stressing that contact tracing is a key part of fighting the spread of the virus.
Walters emphasized he had contacted people he’d recently interacted with and claims that he believes providing the names could infringe upon people’s rights.
It led to some people commenting on his Facebook page that he was selfish for stating that he would not help contact tracers.
Walters has promised to continue to post videos on his Facebook page about how he is dealing with the virus and has urged people who came into contact with him over the past two weeks to seek medical attention if they have symptoms.
Governor Hogan posted a link to a similar story in the Annapolis-based Capital Gazette to his own Facebook page Friday.
‘Our health experts are strongly encouraging anyone who attended a demonstration or mass gathering to immediately get tested for coronavirus, and they are also advised to avoid contact with vulnerable populations,’ Hogan wrote.
Walters said on social media this week that he has had a dry cough for months but that it recently worsened.
He then began to experience an excruciating headache, a fever and the inability to focus with one of his eyes, which led to vertigo.
In his Facebook video he said that he suspected he might have the virus but was surprised by the toll it was taking on him this week.
Reopen Maryland call on the state to lift the stay-at-home order and reopen the economy. Most protesters rallied from inside their cars as they caused gridlock
‘It was nothing like what I thought,’ he said. ‘The challenge with this is all the symptoms for everybody are completely different.’
He urged those who think they have already had the virus to not ‘make that assumption to the point where you’re being less prudent about how you’re behaving.’
During a Facebook Live video shot on Friday, Walters told how he was on the mend but having trouble eating.
‘My throat is a little raw today because I couldn’t keep any food down yesterday,’ he said in a video recorded in his kitchen. ‘My headache is still with me,’ he said.
Demonstrators demanded that Gov. Larry Hogan lift restrictions that have closed certain businesses in Maryland since the coronavirus outbreak in Annapolis earlier this year