It’s become an all-too-common and tragic story: a conservative radio presenter tells his audience that vaccines are a load of nonsense. COVID is caught by a conservative radio personality. A conservative radio presenter has passed away. In August alone, it happened to two such figures, including Phil Valentine. And now there’s a third: a Florida radio personality who dubbed himself “Mr. Anti-Vax” because he was so opposed to life-saving medication.
Marc Bernier, who worked at WNDB in Daytona Beach for three decades, died three weeks after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to The Guardian. He was 65 years old at the time.
Bernier was known for inviting those with viewpoints different from his own, including Democrats, on his show. But over much of the last year Bernier had been emphatically against vaccines. Back in December, he told one guest, “I’m not taking it … Are you kidding me? Mr Anti-Vax? Jeepers.” As his own station manager put it after he wound up in the hospital, “If you’ve listened to his show, you’ve heard him talk about how anti-vaccine he is on the air.”
Bernier is the third conservative radio presenter to die as a result of his opposition to a bill that could have saved his or her life. Dick Farrel, real name Farrel Austin Levitt, a fellow Floridian (and Newsmax fill-in host) died in early August after spreading skepticism about the vaccine’s efficacy and disparaging Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to Politico. After testing positive, he changed his mind.
A few weeks later, Phil Valentine of Nashville, Tennessee, argued that immunizations should not be mandated, but rather should be a matter of “personal choice.” He, too, changed his mind after contracting the sickness that took his life. Bernier has now joined them, becoming the second Florida radio personality in a state that is being trampled by the Delta variation and its authorities’ failure to pay attention to it. If you haven’t already, please get vaccinated.