Yet another conservative radio host who publicly spoke out against COVID-19 vaccines has died from the coronavirus. Marc Bernier, 65, a prominent conservative radio host from Daytona Beach, Florida, died Saturday after a nearly month-long battle with the virus. He is now the third conservative radio host to die from COVID-19 after publicly questioning the need for vaccines. Bernier wasn’t just a vaccine skeptic, he had even characterized himself as “Mr. Anti-Vax” at one point.
Bernier’s death was announced Saturday night by WNDB, the radio station Bernier had been a part of for three decades. “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,” WNDB said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Bernier had expressed views against vaccines long before COVID-19. But he solidified that stance as the vaccines for the coronavirus started rolling out. “I’m not taking it,” Bernier said late last year. “Are you kidding me? Mr. Anti-Vax? Jeepers.” He also tweeted that the U.S. government was “acting like Nazi’s” because officials were urging people to get vaccinated. That was his final tweet, published on July 30. He was hospitalized on August 7 after he was off the air for a week. “If you’ve listened to his show, you’ve heard him talk about how anti-vaccine he is on the air,” Mark McKinney, WNDB’s operations director, told reporters after Bernier was hospitalized.
Benier died a week after Phil Valentine, a 62-year-old conservative radio host in Nashville, died of COVID-19. Valentine had expressed skepticism of the COVID-19 vaccine but reportedly changed his mind and urged friends and family members to get vaccinated from his hospital bed. Earlier, Dick Farrel, a 65-year-old conservative radio host from Florida, died of COVID-19 on Aug. 4. Farrel, who was also an anchor on Newsmax, frequently criticized vaccines on Facebook but his friends said he changed his stance on the issue after he was hospitalized. “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.