Story at a glance

  • Multiple members of conservative-leaning media have contracted and died of COVID-19 in recent months after pushing anti-vaccine rhetoric.
  • Marcus Lamb, 64, most recently died of the virus this week.
  • The White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local agencies have all been trying to address vaccine hesitancy and pushback on anti-vaccine messaging.

Another leader in the conservative media space has died from COVID-19 and his death marks a growing trend of like-minded anti-vaccine advocates that have themselves succumbed to the virus.

Marcus Lamb, the 64-year-old co-founder of Christian TV network Daystar, died this week after contracting COVID-19 in November. The conservative broadcast network questioned the safety of vaccines and aired a segment that falsely claimed COVID-19 vaccines are, “killing your immune system,” according to The New York Times.

Lamb’s death comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared omicron a new variant of concern, and urged that vaccination efforts be “intensified” for all eligible populations. The continued use of masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing was also recommended as variants continue to emerge throughout the pandemic.

Lamb joins a number of other conservative media leaders who caught COVID-19 and eventually died from the virus after refusing to take a vaccine and flouted anti-vaccine rhetoric. 

A conservative radio host from Tennessee, Phil Valentine, also died of COVID-19 in August. Valentine was an outspoken critic of the vaccine and even released a parody song that mocked it. However, in July he confirmed he had contracted the virus. By August local Nashville radio station WTN, where Valentine was a host, released a statement that denied Valentine was an “anti-vaxxer” but that, “he regrets not being more vehemently ‘pro-vaccine.’” 


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The list goes on, with Florida talk radio host Dick Farrel, who also served as an anchor on right-wing TV network Newsmax, publicly sharing his criticism for the COVID-19 vaccine. Farrel called the vaccine bogus and called Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a, “power tripping lying freak.” 

Farrel died from complications from COVID-19 in August. In a Facebook post, Amy Leigh Hair, a friend of Farrel, said the conservative talk show host texted her while battling the virus encouraging her to get vaccinated. “He is the reason I took the shot!  He texted me and told me to ‘get it!’ He told me that this virus is no joke and he said: ‘I wish I had gotten it!’”

Another Florida-based talk radio host Marc Brenier died of the virus after pushing anti-vaccine views on his show. 

According to The New York Times, Brenier said on his show in June that he was unvaccinated. “I’m one of them. Judge me if you want.” Then in July, he cited an unfounded claim that “45,000 people have died from taking the vaccine.” Later Bernier accused the government of “acting like Nazis” for encouraging COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccines have taken a definitive political divide, with a Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealing that 86 percent of Democrats had received at least one dose of a vaccine, while only 54 percent of Republicans had.

Pushing back on and finding a solution to anti-vaccine rhetoric has been a challenge throughout the pandemic, as skeptics continue to publicly criticize the science. 

Joe Rogan, host of the podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” and who himself contracted COVID-19, has consistently made controversial comments about the pandemic and vaccines. The White House ultimately got involved and communications director Kate Bedingfield told CNN, “I guess my first question would be, did Joe Rogan become a medical doctor while we weren’t looking? I’m not sure that taking scientific and medical advice from Joe Rogan is perhaps the most productive way for people to get their information.”

The White House, CDC and state and local agencies have been attempting to overcome people’s vaccine hesitancy, as roughly 74 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC says that side effects after taking a COVID-19 vaccine are normal and temporary and getting the shot outweighs the known risks, which are rare.


BREAKING NEWS ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

SUPER ATHLETE REFUSES VACCINE, DIES TRAGICALLY

MODERNA CHIEF PREDICTS VACCINES COULD STRUGGLE AGAINST OMICRON

TRUMP’S WHITE HOUSE DOCTOR CALLS OMICRON A MIDTERM ELECTIONS TRICK

DOCTOR WHO DISCOVERED OMICRON EXPLAINS THE SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR

EXPERTS PREDICT AN ALARMING SURGE OF US COVID-19 CASES THIS WINTER

Published on Dec 02, 2021