Six members of the same family in Florida who refused to get vaccinated against have died despite pleas from a relative who works as an aide for a county commissioner in Palm Beach.
Lisa Wilson, according to her boss — Palm Beach County Commissioner Mellissa McKinlay — worked with a local pastor to convince locals to get vaccinated, and also called on her family to get immunised against Covid.
In spite of her work, Ms Wilson started losing relatives to Covid around two weeks ago, and as the Palm Beach Post reported on Tuesday, has lost six members of family.
“I was in their ears almost every day. ‘You’ve just got to do this,’ ” she told the outlet on Tuesday. “I’m beating myself up. Should I have pushed harder?”
Ms Wilson said of her 89-year-old grandmother, Lillie Mae Dukes Moreland, that she thought her cousins “advised her not to do it,” and told her “she was too old, that it wasn’t safe, that she never left the house, anyway.”
She added that she thought“a lot of them were afraid to take” a vaccine, after reading misinformation on social media.
Whiles vaccines are in fact safe for the elderly and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ms Wilson’s grandmother lost her life within 24 hours of hospitalisation from Covid.
The death came within 48 hours of her uncle, Tyrone Moreland, and not longer after that, her cousins Shatara Dukes, aged 48, and Lisa Wiggins, aged 53, the Palm Beach Post reported. It was believed some of the cases were connected to a family gathering.
Ms McKinlay tweeted on Friday that her aide had suffered five tragedies because of Covid, and “she lost two cousins bringing her family death count from Covid to five in less than two weeks.”
“And she has one more clinging to life on a ventilator,” Ms McKinlay added. “But, yeah, keep cheering about a court ordering a temporary stay. What’s next on the repeal wishlist – our booster seat laws?”
On Sunday, Ms Wilson lost another member of her family, 44-year-old Trentarian Moreland, who for many years was an assistant football coach at schools across Palm Beach County high schools.
Ms Wilson again referred to her aide when addressing a meeting of the county commissioners on Tuesday, and said the losses suffered by Ms Wilson were “sobering”, and called on residents to “just go get a vaccine”.
Palm Beach County has seen 5,563 positive cases and 127 deaths in the past seven days, which numbers falling after a record breaking high in mid-August across the state of Florida, which has recently seen fierce debates about face coverings.