He stirred up a big shit storm.
A brewery owner in New York has sparked outrage online after comparing COVID-19 vaccination mandates to the draconian policies of Nazi Germany and the segregation-era South. However, he thinks the reaction was overdone.
“Everyone should have a basic human right to what they decide to put in their own body,” Josh Stylman, 48, CEO of popular Threes Brewing, told The Post. He spoke out against citywide coronavirus vaccination policies, which include requiring restaurant and bar patrons to show proof they have been fully vaccinated before entering.
Controversy began to brew on February 14 after the beer boss tweeted that “vaccination mandates are a crime against humanity” and “if you don’t report them, you are a conspirator”. In a follow-up tweet, Stylman compared the policies to “early sentiments expressed in the Jim Crow South, Nazi Germany, Stalinism, Maoism, and other dark periods of human history.”
However, the restaurateur, who calls himself “pro-vaccine” but “anti-mandate”, said he felt his remarks were taken out of context.
“I’m not deceived enough to think that [the vaccine mandate] it’s like Germany in 1943,” Stylman, who said her grandparents were concentration camp survivors, told The Post. However, the brewer says he sees the parallels when it comes to ‘the banishment from public life’, adding: ‘I heard that from my family’.
Stylman explained, “The press followed him and the doctors followed him. Right now, we’re seeing some of that similar othering without an honest conversation about the vaccine. »
“I haven’t heard a coherent argument as to why it’s not discriminatory,” he added.
The hops boss claimed the vax mandate is particularly problematic because vaccines do not “prevent transmission”.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a growing body of research shows that vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths. In other words, although vaccinated people can transmit the disease, vaccination has been proven to curb the complications of the disease once contracted.
“The only defensible position for not allowing someone to participate in public life would be if vaccines stopped the spread and contagion – which we were assured they would do when released,” Stylman said. , who reportedly received two of the three COVID bites. “It’s more of a personal risk assessment.
The CDC also notes that unvaccinated people are more likely to contract and therefore spread the coronavirus.
On Thursday, employees at Threes Brewing released a joint statement denouncing their boss’ comments.
“We do not support our CEO Joshua Stylman’s comparisons of tenure to historical atrocities based on religion or race,” the workers wrote in the message posted on Twitter. “We believe the comparisons are inappropriate and inaccurate.”
They added that they would continue to comply with vaccination mandates and even listed ways they had previously adhered, including refusing to reopen until all employees had received the vaccine.
Stylman, for his part, says he had no problem with their comments.
“I appreciate their right to do so, and I fully support it, but we are not all on the same page because we are individuals with different points of view,” the bar owner told the Post. “I speak as an individual and a concerned parent, these are not the views of Threes Brewery.”
And while feeling “terrible to have dragged them into this mess, I see a real concern for the future of humanity”, he said.
Stylman has since pledged to open a dialogue with his critics, including Brooklyn City Council member Lincoln Restler. The politician would have planned to organize an event at Threes, but said he would choose a different venue in light of Stylman’s remarks.
“I am deeply disappointed that the co-owner and managing partner is spreading lies and wildly inaccurate information that has undermined the health of our community,” Restler told The New York Times. “Vaccines save lives.”
Stylman is not the first New York restaurant owner to disavow vaccination mandates. After the policy went into effect last December, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop owner Stratis Morfogen uploaded an Instagram post in which the restaurateur dared ex-mayor Bill de Blasio to “come and arrest me.” .
“I’m not going to follow your mandate by threatening my employee family with getting stabbed or losing your job!” he fumed.