The owner of a beloved Brooklyn brewery spurred outrage Wednesday when he took to Twitter to declare COVID-19 vaccine mandates “a crime against humanity.”
“If you are not speaking out against them, you are a conspirator,” wrote Threes Brewing CEO and co-founder Josh Stylman. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Yours just happens to be unscientific, immoral, and evil.”
Stylman, in a subsequent interview with Patch, called New York’s vaccine mandates “illogical and immoral” and compared them to “segregationist policies” of the Jim Crow South and Nazism.
“I’m not comparing Brooklyn 2022 with Germany 1943,” Stylman said, alluding to the genocide against the Jews at the height of the Holocaust. “My point is that other atrocities start with some group being deemed dangerous for no reason, and then from people becoming fearful and turning on one another from there.”
(Unvaccinated adults are more likely to get COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, making them more likely to become disease vectors.)
Find out what’s happening in Park Slope with free, real-time updates from Patch.
The tweet sparked an almost-instant backlash from Brooklynites — including a medical scientist who worked on COVID-19 therapies and a local City Council member — who shared that they would no longer support the brewery on the basis of Stylman’s opposition to vaccine mandates.
Seth Pollack, a former loyal customer of the Gowanus brewery, told Patch he won’t be going back to Threes Brewing (a point he also made on Twitter, which prompted someone to threaten him).
“I was really disappointed,” Pollack told Patch. “It’s sad to feel that there are misinformed people in the neighborhood who aren’t using their resources to keep us all safe by enforcing a public health mandate.”
Stylman noted he tweeted his opinion from a personal account and said Threes Brewing has always complied with New York City’s mandate that bars and restaurants check vaccine status of incoming customers.
The Brooklyn brewer said he is vaccinated against COVID-19 but has a long held disdain for a mandate, which he says doesn’t take natural immunity,