A school advocate and State Senate hopeful from Fairfield County is facing backlash after firing off an unpopular tweet about healthcare workers amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
JT Lewis, who lost his younger brother in the Sandy Hook shooting, was criticized on social media after stating that the pandemic is what the healthcare workers “signed up for.”
“Unpopular take: didn’t nurses and doctors sign up for this? I have respect for the great job they’re doing but this is exactly what they signed up for,” Lewis posted in a since-deleted tweet on Tuesday, April 21.
Lewis received a significant response to the tweet, largely negative, though it garnered more than 1,000 likes and hundreds of retweets before the Senate candidate deleted the message. He tried to do damage control the following day stating that he supported health care workers on the front lines.
“I thank them for the great work they’ve been doing, as I stated earlier,” he posted. “And my tweet made no mention of and was not referring to the fact that they are very ill-equipped to fight the virus. God bless nurses and doctors!”
A cacophony of nurses, first responders, and others targeted Lewis on Twitter after he posted the message, criticizing him for his comment.
"You would never say this about an American soldier or a cop killed in the line of duty, how come you think you can say this about healthcare workers," writer and filmmaker Jesse Hawkin posted.
Lewis is challenging Sen. Tony Hwang for the 28th Senate seat in Fairfield County. Michelle McCabe, another candidate for the seat, also took to social media to take a jab at Lewis.
“Our nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers signed up to do this job…,” she posted in response. “WITH the appropriate equipment and resources. They are heroes. #HealthcareHeroes."
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