‘It’ll start thinning out the herd’: Pueblo Mayor defends comments made at city council meeting

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PUEBLO, Colo. — A controversial comment about COVID-19 by the Pueblo mayor at a city council meeting has heads turning.

“There is an easy way to end it, and there is a difficult way to end it,” Mayor Nick Gradisar said. “We’re obviously in the Darwinian phase of our battle against this virus, and I guess if there’s any upside to that. It’ll start thinning out the herd a little bit in terms of who it is going to affect. I’m going to encourage everybody to continue to get vaccinated and get your boosters if you need to.”

The mayor on Wednesday did not apologize for his statement and said he could have rephrased it, but doesn’t regret saying it. The comment came after a group of people not wearing masks disrupted the meeting.

“So I should have probably just said, as the result of which would be a thinning of the herd and that is trying to get people to be realistic here that that’s what is going to happen if you’re not vaccinated you’re going to get COVID and if you get COVID there will be some mild cases but some people will die,” Mayor Gradisar explained.

He wished he hadn’t expressed his own political views in the statement saying if thinning the herd was a good or a bad thing.

“For the most part, the people who are refusing to get vaccinated are refusing to try to slow the spread of the virus are conservative republicans so as a Democrat that is an upside if we get rid of republicans but if you are a republican I would think that would be a downside,” Mayor Gradisar added. “Acting like this is a violation of your rights and you have to wear a mask that is the least intrusive thing we can do and it certainly beats the heck out of what we had to do last year in terms of limiting capacity and closing down businesses.”

On Wednesday, it was the last day for city employees to receive a $500 incentive if they showed that they were fully vaccinated. At this time, the city doesn’t have a requirement for its employees to get vaccinated. The mayor encourages people to get vaccinated and wants citizens to continue to be careful and cautious until the end of the pandemic.

“Americans come together for a common cause to fight a common enemy and we aren’t acting like American’s now, this has been way too politicized,” Mayor Gradisar added.

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