Anti-vax Wayne County Republican is in ICU with COVID-19

click to enlarge William Hartman, then-Vice Chairman of the Wayne Board of Canvassers, has been in the hospital with COVID-19. - WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF CANVASSERS
Wayne County Board of Canvassers
William Hartman, then-Vice Chairman of the Wayne Board of Canvassers, has been in the hospital with COVID-19.

A Trump-adoring Wayne County Republican who spread misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccine has been hospitalized in intensive care after contracting the virus.
William Hartmann, former vice-chairman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, has been on a ventilator since about Nov. 6, according to his sister Elizabeth Hartmann.

Two sources confirmed to Metro Times that Hartmann has been in intensive care since early November.

The status of his health is unclear.

Hartmann, who refused to certify the county’s election in November 2020 after Joe Biden won, downplayed the coronavirus in a February 2020 Facebook post and questioned “all the hullabaloo in the media about” COVID-19. He suggested it was “about the money.”

In the months since then, he has criticized the vaccine and compared government COVID-19 efforts to Nazi Germany.

Conspiracy theorist and former state Sen. Patrick Colbeck shared the news about Hartmann on his Facebook page, leading to a lot of prayers and condemnations of hospital care from his followers, but none of the 115 comments mentioned the importance of the vaccine. Colbeck's Facebook profile picture reads, "I am not vaccinated, I'm in the control group of the experiment."

It’s unclear whether Hartmann is vaccinated, and in a recent Facebook post he falsely suggested it was a violation of his First and Fifth Amendment rights to be forced to divulge his vaccination status.

Hartmann was critical of efforts like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's lottery to encourage vaccinations. On July 30, Hartmann posted on Facebook, “If the ouchie is so great, why do they have to offer bribes?”

Michigan’s hospitals are reaching or exceeding capacity, largely because unvaccinated people are contracting the virus and getting seriously ill. As of last week, Michigan leads the nation in COVID-19 cases.

Of the 1,423 COVID-19 hospitalizations between Oct. 7 and Nov. 5, 72% are unvaccinated residents, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. During the same time period, 76% of the 622 people who have died from COVID-19 were unvaccinated.

To put that into perspective, about 70% of Michigan residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Hartmann’s hospitalization is just the latest cautionary tale in a country where the virus and vaccine have become politicized and scientific research is often dismissed.

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.