Two weeks ago, a baby lookalike of Bernie Sanders took social media by storm. According to a report from TIME, a Bernie Sanders fan, Susan “Souxsie” Lomas, had taken to dressing her baby, 3-month-old Oliver Jack Carter Lomas, as the Democratic presidential candidate, complete with wild white hair and glasses.
At a rally in Las Vegas earlier this month on Valentine’s Day, Bernie and Baby Bernie finally met. Sanders spotted the infant as he walked through the crowd en route to deliver a speech and paused to meet Oliver with a huge smile on his face. Bernie posed with Susan and his baby double for pictures before continuing on his way to give his speech at Bonanza High School, enumerating his ambitions as president and criticizing rival Hillary Clinton as the chosen champion of the establishment.
“Oliver Jack Carter Lomas… I love you dearly, I love you most. I love you with all my heart and soul. I know that God will keep you near since God and truth are here.”
According to a report from the Independent Journal Review, the Lomas family (via Susan’s sister Anastasia) has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay Oliver’s funeral, wake, and burial expenses, in addition to counseling for the family. The account has already surpassed its original goal of $15,000 (now increased to $16,000), thanks mostly to an anonymous donor who gave $12,500 – possibly Bernie Sanders himself? We will probably never know, but it would be nice to think so.
Another post from the boy’s aunt, as per a report from Snopes, expanded on the tragedy and gave a nod to the Bernie Sanders supporters who had delighted in Oliver. The post was made in response to an image meme featuring baby Oliver on a Facebook page dedicated to Bernie Sanders memes.
“I am saddend to share that we have lost our youngest nephew Oliver Lomas on Thursday. For a child to have brought so much love, peace and happiness not only to family but to strangers as well is an amazing quality. You will be greatly missed, but I know you will live in the hearts of everyone.”
“We will keep everyone informed in one form or another on arrangements. Please keep our sister, Souxsie Lomas in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
“We all love you sister. And we can’t imagine how you may feel. But all of our lve is here and will always be here for you.”
Anastasia further indicated that she would be providing information on Oliver’s funeral over the next few days for those who wish to attend.
Before posting her own acknowledgment of Oliver’s passing, Susan retweeted a post from the Bernie Sanders Brigade on Twitter indicating that they would be going silent for a time in honor of her son.
According to the CDC, SIDS affects about 1,500 infants in the United States every year and remains completely unexplained by medical science. It is the leading cause of death in infants under a year old, and although they can be difficult to tell apart, SIDS is a specific medical condition separate from other sudden infant deaths that may go unexplained but tend to occur in unsafe sleeping conditions.
Research into the cause and prevention of SIDS is ongoing, and there are many charities available if one wishes to make a donation, most notably the American SIDS Institute.
Meanwhile, our hearts go out to Oliver “Bernie Baby” Jack Carter Lomas, his mother Susan, and the rest of his family in this difficult time.