A right-wing radio host from Florida who publicly criticized vaccines told his friends to get vaccinated shortly before he died of COVID-19, according to NBC affiliate WPTV. Dick Farrel, who was also an anchor on Newsmax, frequently railed against vaccines on Facebook. “Why take a vax promoted by people who lied 2u all along about masks, where the virus came from and the death toll?” Farrel wrote on Facebook on July 3. In another post, Farrel raised doubts about the effectiveness of vaccines because he claimed two people he knew who had been vaccinated were later hospitalized with the coronavirus.
Farrel, a fan of former President Donald Trump, frequently criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, characterizing him in a Facebook post as “a power tripping lying freak.” Some of his posts were flagged by Facebook for spreading false information. But Farrel’s friends said he changed his mind about vaccines after he was hospitalized with the coronavirus. “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 this virus is no joke and he said, ‘I wish I had gotten it!’ ” Amy Leigh Hair wrote on her Facebook page.
Mick McCabe wrote on Facebook that Farrel died on Aug. 4 after battling COVID-19 for three weeks.* He was 65.
Correction, Aug. 9, 2021: This post originally misspelled Mick McCabe’s last name.