Infamous COVID-19 denier Mak Parhar, who gained a platform and following the past two years within both the flat Earth and anti-mask movements, died at his home in New Westminster, B.C., on Thursday just days after stating he felt ill across social media. The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death but has not determined a cause yet.
Parhar, 48, first began gaining notoriety after falsely claiming hot yoga could fight off COVID-19. His hot yoga studio, Bikram Yoga Delta, had its business licence revoked by the City of Delta following his faulty claims that hot yoga could destroy the coronavirus.
Back on Oct. 22, Parhar shared in a now deleted video to his followers on Twitch that he was suffering from fatigue, a cough and body chills, but he refused to link the symptoms to what he called “CON-VID.”
A day before he died, Parhar coughed throughout a Facebook video where he told his followers that he is now taking ivermectin, a horse deworming drug, which is often asserted by anti-vaxxers as non-pharmaceutical relief against COVID-19.
Despite health authorities in the U.S. and Canada having issued prominent warnings about taking ivermectin, Parhar claimed in his Nov. 4 Facebook video, “I did take that and I felt about 40 or 50 percent better.”
Outside of his hot yoga studio scandal, Parhar faced several other controversies during the pandemic regarding his resistance to quarantine guidelines. Mak was charged with violating the Quarantine Act when a video of him posted online at a Vancouver anti-mask rally showed him bragging about refusing to self-isolate after returning home from a flat Earth conference in South Carolina.
Condolences flooded in on social media from Parhar’s supporters on Friday, with some commenting that he leaves behind a wife and daughter.