Dick Farrel, a longtime conservative radio host from West Palm Beach, Florida, who publicly opposed the coronavirus vaccine, died this week of complications from COVID-19. He was 65.
WPTV reports the former Newsmax anchor, who urged people not to get vaccinated as recently as June, changed his opinion after contracting the virus and entering the hospital three weeks ago. A close friend, Amy Leigh Hair, told the NBC affiliate that Farrel convinced her to get the vaccine.
“I was one of one the people like him who didn’t trust the vaccine,” she explained. “I trusted my immune system. I just became more afraid of getting COVID-19 than I was of any possible side effects of the vaccine. I’m glad I got vaccinated.”
Farrel’s death comes after he spent the past year advocating against getting the coronavirus vaccine. The right-wing radio host also frequently criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci and shared his skepticism about the severity of the pandemic.
According to the Daily Beast, Farrel made a Facebook post on July 1 claiming to personally know two people in critical condition with COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.
“Vaccine Bogus Bull Shid!, Two peeps I know, got vaxxed, now have Corona, hospitalized critical. Thank you Moderna, FOR NOTHING!” he said. “Why take a vax promoted by people who lied 2u all along about masks, where the virus came from and the death toll?”
Meanwhile, on July 7, he called Dr. Fauci a “power-tripping lying freak.”
Farrel’s death arrives amid an increasing surge of new COVID-19 cases, particularly in Florida, which on Friday reported its highest number of new daily COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic at 22,783.