By Corinne Murdock |
Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates now claims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which reportedly flared up recently after a Trump supporter came to do work on his home.
Gates revealed the diagnosis to the Washington Post in an article published over the weekend. After documenting at length Gates’ mental decline from 2020 onward, beginning with stress over the pushback against his decision to enact a mask mandate, the outlet concluded with Gates being triggered by the sight of a supporter of former President Donald Trump.
The offending individual was a worker wearing Trump’s trademark “Make America Great Again” red hat, who’d come over to fix a leaky pipe at Gates’ residence. Gates told the Washington Post that he’d felt “anger swelling in his chest,” and had to leave the room where the worker was to take some “deep breaths” to control his anger.
“It was a trigger to see that hat in my house,” stated Gates.
The Washington Post documented Gates ranting at the funeral last May for former Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel. Gates recounted how an unnamed “prominent” Republican shared that he found election denialism “all very boring,” to which Gates said he “saw red” and thought, “F**k you.”
Gates reportedly began “wildly waving his arms” while ranting, described as “out of control” and disruptive. According to those around him witnessing the behavior, Gates was on “the brink.”
The outburst reportedly caused his wife to confront him. Gates’ wife insisted that he go to therapy, and he said he did.
Gates described Election Day last year as a “war zone,” in reference to the flocks of officials and law enforcement at voting centers following the mass voting machine failures that may have disenfranchised thousands of voters.
Gates told the outlet that, despite feeling relief at giving up his chairmanship in January, he still struggled with the same negative feelings.
This was the second profile piece of Gates in as many months. The Atlantic profiled him in March, though Gates made no mention of his PTSD diagnosis at the time. Gates offered a slightly different version of himself: calmer, less stressed. The words peppered throughout this more recent profile piece — “anxiety,” “anger,” “stress,” “insecurity,” “resentment” — were absent from the one released just several months ago. In that piece, he expressed hopefulness throughout, even in response to uncertain situations he’d faced throughout COVID-19 and the last two elections. The article characterized him as a “leading defender” of elections.
When asked by the outlet whether he felt “threatened” by the demands of former Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, Gates demurred, saying that “threat” was “too strong a word.”
“I felt pressure. I felt like if I didn’t do what she wanted to do, that there would be political ramifications, certainly,” said Gates.
Gates expressed belief that although he considered himself “politically dead,” he felt he could run for office again at some point beyond 2024.
Near the conclusion of his piece in The Atlantic, Gates said that he believed the current political climate is second only in severity to the Civil War.