By: Ronda Snyder
State Representative Chris Johansen and his beloved wife, Cindy, came down with COVID in July. The “vultures,” seemingly hoping for bad news, began circling. Crash Barry, a self-described reclusive author, filmmaker and podcaster made multiple posts on Twitter and Facebook about the Johansens’ medical conditions starting on July 23, 2021. These are only a few of the posts Barry made about the Johansens though Barry wasn’t the only one closely monitoring Cindy Johansen’s medical status.
Not only were the vultures circling but people with absolutely no moral compass were commenting on Johansen’s personal Facebook page and taking delight in the suffering of the Johansens. I haven’t redacted any names because these folks decided it was perfectly acceptable to post these comments publicly on Facebook. This is only a small sample of hateful and vile comments on Chris Johansen’s Facebook page.
Robin Wolfe (or Robin Hightower according to her Facebook url) is a regular commenter on local Maine media Facebook pages.
Karen Tripp is another person with whom Maine Journal News is familiar. We wrote an article about Tripp’s antics in February. You can view it here: Altercations Ensued in Belfast at Mask Mandate Protest at which Tripp asked protesters, “Hey if you’re not wearing a mask can I spit on you?”
Audra seems to assume that Johansen’s wife, Cindy, has no free will of her own and her husband is in charge of her medical decisions.
Stanley here isn’t very well informed or very kind. Chris Johansen had Covid and has recovered.
Erika is another one who thinks that Chris Johansen is in charge of his wife’s medical decisions. He’s not in charge of someone else’s medical decisions but perhaps Erika’s partner or someone else decides what’s right for her medically?
While multiple local media reached out to Representative Chris Johansen for comment after his wife’s tragic passing, Johansen spoke only with Maine Journal News. We discussed what transpired with his wife’s illness and what he meant about “conflicting information.” Maine Public’s Steve Mistler wrote an article which was shared and reposted by several local media outlets. Mistler did not speak to Chris Johansen. You can read Mistler’s article HERE. Bill Nemitz from the MaineToday Media conglomerate wrote an opinion piece which touched on the Johansen situation entitled “COVID-19 is highly contagious. So is stupidity.“
While local media implied and its readers inferred that the “conflicting information” was alternative information about Covid-19 from internet sources, Johansen said otherwise. Johansen told MJN “The reason we had concerns about receiving the vaccine was because of conflicting information from the government, the CDC and Dr. Fauci.” Maine Journal News asked Johansen to clarify and confirm his statement and asked “The conflicting information wasn’t what you were seeing about the vaccine on the internet or other sources but your concerns were because of conflicting information coming directly from the government?” Johansen replied “Yes. For example, Dr. Fauci told us masks aren’t necessary then they are necessary then you need double masks. We were told you can’t catch and transmit Covid if you’ve had the vaccine. Then the narrative changed to you can still get Covid but you won’t get as sick if you’ve had the vaccine to you can still transmit Covid after getting the vaccine. You can’t keep moving the goalposts and have people trust you and that is why Cindy was reluctant to get the vaccine.”
MJN asked about his wife’s illness and tragic death. “Cindy was turning the corner on the Covid and showing signs of pulling out of this. Her O2 numbers were up and she was doing much better despite her known diagnosis of asthma. Unfortunately, Cindy had several other medical and health issues which were previously unknown to us. Cindy’s other health issues complicated her recovery when she caught viral pneumonia and Covid pneumonia and passed away on August 11, 2021.” MJN asked “knowing what you know now, would you have received the Covid vaccine? Johansen, “For me, I am relatively young and healthy and knew I would likely recover from Covid and I did. If I had the information about Cindy’s unknown medical issues, I would have suggested she get the vaccine but it would have been up to her.”
MJN questioned Johansen about the heartless and disgraceful comments on his personal page. Johansen responded “I haven’t read a single one.”
MJN asked about the flack he is getting on social media for attending the anti-mandate rally. Johansen replied “I believe that mandating a vaccine is wrong. People shouldn’t be forced to take a vaccine or risk losing their jobs.”