A Tennessee conservative radio host who mocked vaccinations and spread misinformation about COVID-19 has been hospitalized with COVID and is said to be regretful he wasn’t a vocal enough advocate for vaccines, the New York Times reports.
Phil Valentine of 99.7 WWTN-FM in Nashville is receiving supplemental oxygen for COVID pneumonia, according to his family, after months of mocking the virus on air.
“They say he is still not getting well.. please pray for me,” his wife, Susan, said Saturday in a tweet from the station. “I am at a breaking point.”
According to the Daily Beast, Valentine had repeatedly explained that he did not want to get vaccinated, writing in a December blog post that he wasn’t an “anti-vaxxer” but was “using common sense.”
“What are my odds of getting Covid? They’re pretty low. What are my odds of dying from Covid if I do get it? Probably way less than 1 percent,” Valentine wrote. at the time “I’m doing what everyone should do and that’s my own personal health risk assessment. If you have underlying health issues, you probably need to get the vaccine. If you’re not at high risk of dying from Covid then you’re probably safer not getting it.”
Valentine’s brother, Mark Valentine, wrote on Facebook Wednesday that his sibling was “fighting for his life,” and that he urges his friends to “put politics and other concerns aside and get it.” He then appeared on WWTN-FM in Nashville and reportedly said that his brother was regretful that he didn’t advocate for the vaccine.
“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,’” Mark said.