Conservative radio host hospitalized with COVID-19, urges vaccinations

Conservative radio host Phil Valentine has been hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus, with his family saying he regrets not getting the vaccine.

His family said in a statement that he is suffering from “COVID Pneumonia” and is in the critical care unit. He needs breathing assistance but is not on a ventilator, Radio Online reported.

Valentine has hosted “The Phil Valentine Show” for years on WWTN, speaking to his audience for four hours on weekdays.

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"Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an 'anti-vaxer' he regrets not being more vehemently 'Pro-Vaccine,' and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he is back on the air, which we all hope will be soon," his family said in its statement.

"Phil & his family would like for all of you to know that he loves ya'll and appreciates your concern, thoughts & prayers more than you will ever know. Please continue to pray for his recovery and please go get vaccinated!" the statement continued.

Valentine lives in Tennessee, where vaccination numbers are relatively low, with only 39 percent of the population fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

There have been more than 880,000 reported cases and more than 12,000 deaths in the state since the start of the pandemic, Johns Hopkins reported.

The state is resuming almost all its outreach efforts for the vaccine for adolescents after there was backlash over an idea to suspend the program.