Wrestling Star ‘Mr. USA’ Says Getting Vaccinated Isn’t a Political Decision – NBC10 Boston

Legendary pro wrestler “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas is fully vaccinated against COVID, and he said it wasn’t a decision he made with any political implications.

“Joe, you’re doing a good job,” the WWE Hall of Famer and 1980s wrestling superstar said Friday, referring to President Joe Biden, when we ran into him at a gas station in Massachusetts.

“Trump, thank you for speeding up the process,” Atlas added, referring to former President Donald Trump.

The first Black winner of the World Tag Team Championship along with Rocky Johnson — father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — Atlas said he believes everyone should be patriotic, like when he was younger and “we did what was right for the country, not what was right for me.”

As millions of New Englanders prepare to travel for Thanksgiving, states are experiencing a surge of COVID cases and hospitalizations — Maine hit all-time highs for both this week.

Officials in Massachusetts and nationwide are pushing for the unvaccinated to get their COVID shots ahead of the holidays. Cases are on the rise — above 2,500 in Massachusetts for each of the last three days — and the Bay State’s positive test rate is above 3% for the first time since February.

Doctors say there’s more testing, but there are othe reasons for the rising numbers.

“There’s more potential for circulation,” said Dr. Lin Chen, director of the Travel Medicine Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital.

We could see a post-holiday surge like we did last year, even with vaccines and booster shots, she said. And that’s an obvious concern.

The coming wave of holiday passengers is the first big stress test for airlines since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“I think we should plan for such happening again, and it makes sense, because people are gathering more and the larger the number of people gathering, the higher the risk there is,” Chen said.

She added that loosened restrictions are likely playing a role in the rising numbers, and that means wearing masks and washing hands frequently remain important.

Many people we spoke with, like Atlas, already got their shots.

“The only people who get in trouble are those that don’t want to follow the rules,” the wrestler said.

More on COVID in Mass.