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14 members of Texas family test positive for COVID-19 after virus denier’s party

Coronavirus

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 23: An employee of the Berlin-Mitte district health office wearing PPE protective gear demonstrates taking a throat swab from a city employee during a press opportunity at Berlin’s first drive-in Covid-19 testing facility the day before its opening during the coronavirus crisis on April 23, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is seeking to expand its Covid-19 testing capacity in order to test not only health and emergency workers and people with Covid-19 symptoms, but also other parts of the population who might be asymptomatic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

DALLAS (KXAN) — A Dallas man who hosted family members in June, believing COVID-19 was a hoax, now regrets that after one relative died and 13 others tested positive for the virus, including one on life support.

According a report by NBC, Tony Green invited his partner’s parents to his house for a party on June 13. Green admitted that no one wore masks, saying he thought “the mainstream media and the Democrats were using it [COVID-19} to create panic, crash the economy and destroy Trump’s chances at re-election.”

The next day, Green felt sick. Two days later, his partner of nine years and parents did as well. However, his partner’s parents — whom he considers his in-laws — still went to Austin for the birth of their first grandchild, the report says.

Two other family members went to Austin with them. Both of them got sick as well as the newborn’s parents. The newborn didn’t, Green said.

Everyone tested positive for coronavirus. Green and his partner’s father, Rafael Ceja, were admitted to a hospital on June 24, and later, Rafael Ceja’s mother was admitted to the same hospital. She had been one of the family members who had traveled from Dallas to Austin.

Ceja’s mother died of COVID-19 complications on July 2, Green said. She was in the room next to her son. Only 10 family members could attend her funeral two days later.

Ceja is still on life support, according to a GoFundMe page that Green set up.

Two of Ceja’s sisters, one of his nephews and a brother-in-law had all contracted the virus, bringing the total number of infected family members to 14, Green said.

Twelve family members have either recovered or are in various stages of recovery, he said.

“I cannot help but feel responsible for convincing our families it was safe to have a get-together,” Green told NBC News in a phone interview. “There’s a lot of things that I would have done differently.”

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