North Augusta city council member changes tune on COVID vaccine


North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- A North Augusta City Councilman said that his experience with COVID has him re-thinking his take on the vaccine.

Eric Presnell is still recovering from COVID weeks after contracting it. He told NewsChannel 6 that before getting the virus, he was against masks and the vaccine.

Presnell said like many people, he doesn’t trust the federal government or national media. He believed the vaccine was too new and not enough is known about side effects. He felt the push for people to get vaccinated was nothing more than political propaganda.

Following a night out with his wife and some friends and family, Presnell said he woke up not feeling well. Thinking it was a sinus infection, he went to see his doctor, who tested him for COVID. It came back positive.

Presnell’s wife also tested positive. They began quarantine with both feeling sick. After a few days, his wife was feeling better, but Presnell was still sick.

The difference? His wife is vaccinated and Presnell was not.

“I saw how my wife reacted and she basically was for the most part fine. I was sicker than I’ve ever been and I’m not someone who gets sick,” said Presnell.

He said that while he was fighting the virus in bed, his wife was organizing the pantry and wondering what she could do to keep busy for the rest of her quarantine.

Presnell explained that seeing how his wife bounced back while he was suffering made him a believer in the COVID vaccine. Now he is encouraging people to go get it, saying that as soon as he is eligible, he will be getting it too.

“I see the same articles, I read the same things on Facebook, I hear what the national media and what the government tells us. I can’t change anybody’s mind. The reason I’m doing it is for none of those reasons. It’s because I went through it. And it is bad. And I try to convince people, hey look. If you’re on the fence definitely do it,” he said.

He told us that all he can do is tell people his experience and hope they decide to get vaccinated. He encouraged people to talk to their doctor or an infectious disease expert if they still have doubts.

Presnell said he doesn’t believe the vaccine should be mandated but still hopes people will hear his story and go get vaccinated.

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