Jonathan Van Ness Fires Back At Bernie Sanders Staffer Who Joked About Him Dying Of AIDS

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has clapped back at a Bernie Sanders campaign staffer who tweeted a repulsive ‘joke’ about him dying from AIDS-related illness.

Ben Mora, who worked as a Michigan regional field director for the campaign, was fired this week after The Daily Beast revealed that he ran a private Twitter account bashing other candidates and their supporters.

In the messages, Mora described Pete Buttigieg as “what happens when the therapist botches the conversion” and Elizabeth Warren as a “dumb Okie” and “adult diaper fetishist” who “looks like s**t”.

In one message, Mora shared photos of Van Ness in a modeling shoot, writing: “Jonathon Van Ness trying to look hot while Daddy Ronald Reagan watches him die of AIDS.”

The tweet was posted in September 2019, days after Van Ness spoke about living with HIV for the first time.

The tweet referenced comments Van Ness had made in 2018 criticizing Bernie Sanders’ style when Van Ness had quipped: “Ronald Reagan, could he be bothered to mention HIV/AIDS? No, but he could be bothered to put some gel in his hair, and I just feel like that is a thing.”

“This is the tweet a former Bernie staffer tweeted from a locked account,” Van Ness – who is backing Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic race – responded on Twitter. “How many senior Bernie staffers saw these tweets for months and promoted their behavior? It’s commonplace I endure this by extreme Bernie supporters daily. The change has to come from inside their campaign.”

He added of abuse on the platform: “It’s constant. As an HIV+ queer person IF I do have to support Bernie should he win the nomination I want to experience the “loving coalition” right here on Twitter. I’m done taking it & not calling it out. Bernie supporters need to check eachother.”

Van Ness asked how many high-level Sanders staffers had seen “these tweets, knew they were coming out, PROMOTED him, gave a weak sauce call to not bully, and only fired him when it came out.”

The TV star added: “My long-standing wish for Bernie to engage in skin/haircare seemed to have worked bc honey he’s looking much more polished this time around.”

Since calling out Mora, Van Ness has been besieged by hateful messages insisting he is a “capitalist pig” who “deserves the joke at his expense.”

He responded: “Fuck Twitter,” including screenshots of the harassment.


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