Four self-proclaimed anti-vaxxers have died after contracting COVID-19, two regretting their remarks on their radio shows.
Marc Bernier, Phil Valentine, Jimmy DeYoung, and Dick Farrel were all conservative radio talk-show hosts who denounced COVID vaccines on-air, according to the Washington Post.
The most recent death was Beriner, who claimed that he was “Mr. Anti-Vax” in December 2020 when the vaccines were authorized for Americans. However, WNDB, the station that his program was aired on, told listeners that he was being treated in a hospital for COVID in August.
“It’s with great sadness that WNDB and Southern Stone Communications announce the passing of Marc Bernier,” WNDB wrote in a statement. “Marc informed and entertained listeners on WNDB for over 30 years while enjoying a successful 46-year career as a broadcast journalist. He will be missed by many friends, family members, and colleagues.”
Valentine was a popular shock jock in Tennessee who used a song parody called “Vaxman” basing it on the Beatles song “Taxman,” the Post reported. He died Aug. 21.
Farrel, who called Dr. Anthony Fauci a “power-tripping lying freak” died Aug. 4. He had worked for stations in Miami, Palm Beach, and the Newsmax TV channel.
Finally, DeYoung, who was a syndicated Christian preacher who asked a guest on-air if the vaccine rollout was “another form of government control of the people,” died Aug. 15, the Post reported.
Despite their anti-vax remarks, two of them urged listeners to get vaccinated before they died: Valentine and Farrel.
Mark Valentine, Valentine’s brother, went on air on his behalf: “For those listening, I know if he were able to tell you this, he would tell you, ‘Go get vaccinated. Quit worrying about the politics. Quit worrying about all the conspiracy theories,’” according to the Post.
Valentine’s family also issued a statement saying that he was remorseful about mocking COVID vaccines on-air.
Amy Leigh Hair, a friend of Farrel, told the Post, “When he got very sick, he texted me and said, ‘This pandemic ain’t no joke. Get the shot.’ He definitely admitted he hadn’t taken it seriously. At the end of the day, he was sorry about that. I know he changed his mind at the end.”
Over 174 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, accounting for 52.4% of the U.S. population, according to a COVID data tracker.