Conservative Florida radio host who spoke out against Covid-19 vaccines has died after a week-long struggle with the virus, marking the third radio personality to die from a coronavirus who has publicly rejected the vaccines .
The death of Marc Bernier, 65, who was a mainstay of talk radio in Daytona, was announced Saturday night to be WNDB, the radio station he was affiliated with for three decades.
“It is with great sadness that WNDB and Southern Stone Communications announce the passing of Marc Bernier, who has informed and entertained WNDB listeners for over 30 years. We kindly ask that privacy be given to Marc’s family during this time of mourning, ”WNDB said on Twitter.
Bernier was known to have invited different views on his show, including Democrats, but publicly spoke out against vaccines. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that Bernier had been hospitalized since August 7.
When Florida Democratic Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried in July urged people to get vaccinated on Twitter saying that “the greatest generation had to defeat the Nazis to preserve our way of life, you are only asked get vaccinated. So be a patriot, ”Bernier replied from the platform:“ I should say, “Now the US government is acting like a Nazi. Get the hang of it! ‘”
Fried, who is challenging Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2022, said in a statement Sunday that “My heart goes out to his family and friends.”
On August 4, another conservative Florida radio host who had criticized the coronavirus vaccine, Dick Farrel, died of complications from Covid-19. Farrel, whose first name was Farrel Austin Levitt, had worked at several radio stations in Florida, including WIOD in Miami and WPBR in Palm Beach, and had served as a presenter on Newsmax.
He strongly condemned the coronavirus vaccine, posting on Facebook on July 3, “why take a vax promoted by people who have lied all the time on masks, where does the virus come from and the death toll?” He also criticized Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, calling him a “lying freak who stumbles upon power,” according to the Washington Post, which reported on his death.
But the Post also reports that Farrel changed his stance on vaccines after being infected with Covid-19. He reportedly urged a longtime friend to get the shot and wished he had it himself.
Florida has become one of the nation’s hotspots for the virus amid the wave of Delta variants. Last week, the state recorded more than 151,000 new infections and more than 170 deaths. There are more than 16,000 people hospitalized in Florida with the virus.
DeSantis has also maintained a hands-off approach to the virus, fighting against any attempts to require students to wear masks or companies to require proof of vaccination, although the governor has urged people to get vaccinated.
Last week, Phil Valentine, a 62-year-old conservative radio host in Nashville, Tennessee, who had questioned the need for the vaccines, also died of the virus. Valentine, the son of former six-term rep Tim Valentine (DN.C.), had a nationwide broadcast.
“People who instinctively believe that government is the solution to everything are already talking about immunization warrants. It should be a personal choice, ”he wrote on his blog in December. “I am not an anti-vaccine. I’m just using common sense.
But like Farrel, he reportedly changed his stance on vaccines after contracting Covid-19. The radio station he was affiliated with, 99.7 WTN, published a July 23 statement that Valentine had been hospitalized and “regrets not being more vehement” Pro-Vaccine “.