Conservative radio host regrets vaccine skepticism after being hospitalized with severe COVID-19 – .

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Conservative radio host regrets vaccine skepticism after being hospitalized with severe COVID-19 – .


Last month, Phil Valentine, 62, sang a song poking fun at the COVID-19 vaccines. Now he is in a Nashville hospital emergency room receiving oxygen treatments and remdesivir injections.

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A Tennessee radio host and vaccine skeptic has switched sides after contracting severe COVID-19.

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Phil Valentine, 62, who hosts WTN-FM radio station in Nashville, has been in critical condition since contracting the virus on July 11.

“He’s positive and he’s scared,” his brother Mark Valentine told Tennessean. “He knows he’s very, very sick. “

Shortly after being diagnosed, Valentine initially rejected his positive test result, telling his brother he was already feeling better.

He said, ‘I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal,’ ”Mark told the Washington Post on Sunday. “Frankly, I stopped worrying about it. “

Confident he would be back to work in a day or two, Phil continued to post regularly on Facebook, joking about his condition and mocking campaigns by Democratic politicians encouraging the public to get vaccinated.

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Phil Valentine had chosen not to be vaccinated because he assumed the chances of his dying from the disease were “well below 1%,” according to a blog post he published in December 2020.

Meanwhile, he continued to post regularly on Facebook, joking about his terms and during a segment of his radio show, told his listeners that he chose not to get the vaccine because he assumed that he would not die of the disease.

“If you’re not at a high risk of dying from COVID, you’re probably safer not to get it. It conjures up screams of horror from many, but it’s true. I weigh the known against the unknown, ”we read on his blog.

“I am not an anti-vaccine. I’m just using common sense.

Last month, he performed a parody version of the popular Beatles song “Taxman,” calling him “Vaxman,” which appeared to mock COVID-19 vaccines, according to the New York Times.

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On June 24, three weeks before his hospitalization, he wrote on Facebook: “Common sense told us that if you weren’t at risk for COVID, you shouldn’t get the vaccine. “

Until about two weeks ago he was “as healthy as a horse,” Mark told the Tennessean, and a “very health conscious guy.”

However, within days, his health deteriorated rapidly, prompting his family to persuade him to register in the emergency room. Medical tests showed the virus caused pneumonia in his right lung, Mark told the Washington Post.

Doctors treating the radio host attempted injections of remdesivir, “tilting” him (turning him over on his stomach so that the fluid could not get to a place in his lungs). They even suggested that she sing in the hope of clearing her lungs.

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“They told him to sing,” Mark told the Tennessean. “He sang in the intensive care unit at the top of his lungs. “

He sang “My Way”, the song that Frank Sinatra made famous and includes the lines “And now the end is near…” and “Regrets, I’ve had a few…”

Valentine is not yet on a ventilator, but has received oxygen treatment. Her condition did not improve or worsen, Mark said.

On July 23, her radio station posted an update on her condition on Twitter, detailing the severity of her situation and her regrets for not being more pro-vaccine.

“Phil would like his listeners to know that while he has never been an ‘anti-vaccine’, he regrets not being more vehement ‘pro-vaccine’, and looks forward to being able to defend this position more vigorously as soon as he is ‘pro-vaccine’. ‘it will be on the air again, which we are all hoping for soon,’ the statement read.

“Please keep praying for her recovery and PLEASE GET YOUR VACCINATION!” ” he adds.

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“He regrets not having been a more vocal advocate for immunization,” Mark Valentine said during a segment on WWTN-FM in Nashville this week. “For those who are listening, I know if he was able to tell you, he would say, ‘Go get the vaccine. Stop worrying about politics. Stop worrying about all the conspiracy theories.

After his brother’s diagnosis, Mark said he and the rest of the family started to think differently about the vaccine. “I changed my mind as soon as I saw what was going on here,” Mark Valentine told the Washington Post. “I immediately went to be vaccinated. “

On Twitter, the Valentine family received outpourings from both sides of the spectrum – on the one hand, support and wishes for Phil’s recovery, and on the other, vitriol from hateful commentators.

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Joe Bonsall, a longtime friend of Valentine, told the New York Times that he spent his Sunday morning blocking comments after his group, the Oak Ridge Boys, posted his support for Phil on Twitter with the hash. #PrayforPhil.

“There are people who say Phil deserved this,” Bonsall said. “But nobody deserves this. “

He and Mark expressed their frustrations with how the vaccine rollout has become a subject of political debate versus a public health discussion.

“If Trump had been elected, the Biden people would not have received the vaccine,” Mark told the Tennessean. “Information has been everywhere. “

“It’s going to hurt people,” Bonsall told The New York Times, referring to people’s refusal to get vaccinated. “It already hurts Phil too. “

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