Vaccine: TV host says ‘don’t take advice from Instagram influencers’
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Marc Bernier, 65, was a radio host in Daytona Beach, Florida who voiced scepticism about coronavirus vaccines. He died on Saturday, August 28, and is the third conservative radio host who railed against the jab to have died of Covid-19 this month.
In a statement, the radio station WNDB, who broadcasted Mr Bernier’s show every weekday, announced the personality’s death.
The station posted on Twitter: “It’s with great sadness that WNDB and Southern Stone Communications announce the passing of Marc Bernier, who informed and entertained listeners on WNDB for over 30 years.
“We kindly ask that privacy is given to Marc’s family during this time of grief.”
Local outlets reported the Rhode Island native was initially hospitalised with Covid on August 7.
On a December 19 broadcast, around a week after Pfizer’s vaccine received emergency use authorisation in the US, Mr Bernier said he refused to take the jab.
He said to a co-host: “I’m not taking it. Are you kidding me? Mr. Anti-Vax? Jeepers.”
In his last tweet, while hospitalised, Mr Bernier shared a post by local Florida politician Nikki Fried urging people to get vaccinated.
Ms Fried said: “The greatest generation had to defeat the Nazis to preserve our way of life, you’re only being asked to get a shot.
“So be a patriot. Turn off the TV and go get vaccinated.”
In response, Mr Bernier added: “Should say, ‘Now the US Government is acting like Nazi’s. Get the shot!’”
Mr Bernier’s death marks the third anti-vaccine radio host to die from Covid in August.
On August 4, Dick Farrel, Newsmax anchor and conservative radio host, died from Covid.
The 65-year-old changed his stance on getting inoculated after he was diagnosed with the deadly virus, a friend posted on Facebook.
Amy Leigh Hair said: “RIP Dick Farrel. 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!’”
Phil Valentine, Nashville, Tennessee radio host on Super Talk 99.7 WTN, died from Covid on August 21.
Writing in December 2020, Mr Valentine said: “What are my odds of getting Covid? They’re pretty low.”
Earlier this year, Mr Valentine tried to draw comparisons between hospital workers who had to indicate their Covid-19 vaccination status on their work ID badges with Jews forced to wear yellow stars in Nazi Germany.
Mark Valentine, the radio hosts brother, told local outlet The Tennessean: “He regrets not being more adamant about getting the vaccine.
“Look at the dadgum data.”
According to the CDC, 204,742,648 Americans have had one dose and 173,832,202 have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
The figures equal 61.7 percent and 52.4 percent of the US’ population respectively.
It comes as the US grapples with a resurgence of Covid due to the Delta variant and low vaccine uptake.
On August 30, the US recorded 280,403 cases and 1,725 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
In total, the US has recorded 39,946,708 cases and 656,393 deaths.
At the time of writing, the US had the highest case total and death toll from Covid in the world.
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