3rd conservative radio host who condemned vaccines dies of Covid
Category: News & PoliticsVia: krishna • 3 months ago • 6 comments
By: By DAVID KIHARA
Radio talk show host Marc Bernier is pictured in a tent at the White House in 2006. | Ron Edmonds/AP Photo
A conservative Florida radio host who spoke out against Covid-19 vaccines died after a weekslong fight with the virus, marking the third radio personality to die from coronavirus who publicly rejected vaccines.
Bernier was known for inviting differing viewpoints on his show, including Democrats, but had publicly railed against vaccines. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that Bernier had been hospitalized since Aug. 7.
On Aug. 4, another Florida conservative radio host who had criticized the coronavirus vaccine, Dick Farrel, died from Covid-19 complications. Farrel, whose given name was Farrel Austin Levitt, had worked at several radio stations in Florida, including WIOD in Miami and WPBR in Palm Beach, and had served as a fill-in anchor on Newsmax.
He had strongly condemned the coronavirus vaccine, posting on Facebook on July 3, “why take a vax promoted by people who lied 2u all along about masks, where the virus came from and the death toll?” He also criticized Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infection disease doctor, calling him a “power tripping lying freak,” according to The Washington Post, which reported on his death.
But the Post also reports that Farrel had changed his stance on vaccines after he became infected with Covid-19.
Florida has become one of the nation’s hot spots for the virus amid the Delta variant surge. Last week, the state had more than 151,000 new infections and over 170 deaths. There are more than 16,000 people hospitalized in Florida due to the virus.
Last week, Phil Valentine, a 62-year-old conservative radio host in Nashville, Tenn., who had questioned the necessity of vaccines, also died from the virus. Valentine, the son of former six-term Rep. Tim Valentine (D-N.C.), had a nationally syndicated show.
“The people who instinctively believe that the government is the solution to everything are already talking vaccination mandates. This should be a personal choice,” he wrote on his blog in December. “I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I’m just using common sense.”
But like Farrel, he had reportedly changed his position on vaccines after contracting Covid-19. The radio station he was affiliated with, 99.7 WTN, posted a statement on July 23 that Valentine had been hospitalized and “regrets not being more vehemently ‘Pro-Vaccine.’”