WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Marc Bernier, a conservative radio host who has referred to himself as “Mr. Anti-Vax”, passed away at 65 after a three-week ordeal with COVID-19.
- Bernier is the third anti-vaccine on-air personality to have succumbed to the deadly virus in August.
- Phil Valentine, 61, passed away from the virus on Aug. 21 while Dick Farrel, 65, passed away from the virus on Aug. 4.
Several personalities have publicized their anti-vaccine stance on-air. But this August, three hosts who have spoken against the vaccine have succumbed to the virus. The third was Marc Bernier, 65, who hosts a weekday WNDB radio show from Daytona Beach. Bernier, who has called himself “Mr. Anti-Vax”, passed away after a three-week ordeal with COVID-19.
According to a report from the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Bernier was hospitalized on Aug. 7.
Late on Saturday, station officials announced 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.”
Bernier, who was originally from Rhode Island, had long been outspoken about his anti-vaccination stance. His views, according to Attorney Mel Stack, who regularly advertised on Bernier’s show, were based on the effects of the vaccine on people close to him, and not related to politics.
The News-Journal report on Saturday recalled Bernier’s statement about the vaccine a week after Pfizer received emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.
Bernier said during the Dec. 19 show, “I’m not taking it. Are you kidding me? Mr. Anti-Vax? Jeepers.”
One of the frequent guests of Bernier’s show, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, considered Bernier’s passing “a death in the family.”
Over the last 15 years, Chitwood’s appearances on the show almost always led to disagreements with each other. But the sheriff clarified, “You don’t have to agree with everything a person says for them to be your friend. I don’t think a lot of people get that.”
A week prior to Bernier’s passing, 61-year-old Phil Valentine, a Nashville-based conservative talk radio host at SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, also succumbed to the virus. Valentine was also vocal about his skepticism over the vaccine. He then fell ill from the disease for over a month before he passed away on Aug. 21.
Even weeks earlier, 65-year-old Dick Farrel, a conservative radio host who anchored for Newsmax, passed away from the virus on Aug. 4. The Queens native had also voiced his doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine, but reportedly changed his tune upon testing positive for the deadly virus.
A friend of Farrel’s, Amy Leigh Hair, posted on Facebook on Aug. 4, “Covid Took One Of My Best Friends! 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!’”
Source: New York Post