A teenage Alabama city council member who voted to end a mask term is encouraging residents to get vaccinated after contracting Covid-19.
“I am going to get the vaccine after I get rid of the virus,” Hunter Pepper, 19, said Friday. “Let’s stop the spread. Let’s do what we can to do our part. I encourage people to get vaccinated. It is a virus that destroys everyone. “
Decatur city councilor said he received two positive Covid-19 tests on Wednesday and treated uncomfortable symptoms, including labored breathing, fever, headache, vomiting and a hoarse cough. He said his condition was improving and he was in quarantine at home.
“The way it hit me, it was like a train. … It’s a terrible feeling, ”he said.
The Decatur board voted in April to lift the city’s mask mandate with only one member voting to keep it, WAAY reported in Huntsville. WAFF, NBC’s Huntsville affiliate, reported that Pepper called the mask warrant “overbroad.”
Asked about the vote on Friday, he said he had never been against masks or vaccinations.
“I am against putting on a big label that says, ‘You have to ….,” he said. “Our country was built on freedom.”
Pepper was 18 earlier this year when he began his four-year term. He said he has received hundreds of death threats since he broke the news.
He said he hopes his post will encourage the inoculations.
The highly contagious delta variant of Covid-19 has increased infection rates across the country and has particularly affected Alabama. The state has hovered at or near the bottom of the country when it comes to vaccination rates.
The Alabama Department of Public Health on Friday listed community transmission as high for the state as a whole, which has recorded 13,048 deaths from Covid-19 since 2020, including 5,867 in 2021.
The Associated Press contributed.