Family says conservative radio host changed his mind on vaccines after hospitalization with Covid-19

By Paul P. Murphy, CNN

For months, conservative radio host Phil Valentine, based in Nashville, Tennessee, repeatedly posted on multiple social media platforms telling his fans if they weren’t at risk for Covid -19, they should not be vaccinated.

That post changed on July 23, when the Valentine family made a public statement on the Facebook page of their radio station’s Facebook page.

“Phil contracted the Covid virus just over a week ago and has since been hospitalized and is in very serious condition, suffering from Covid pneumonia and related side effects,” the family statement said. , which points out that Valentine has never been an anti-. vaxxer. “(Phil) regrets not being more vociferously ‘Pro-Vaccine’ and looks forward to being able to defend that position more vigorously once he returns to the air, which we all hope to be soon.”

He concludes by urging listeners to continue praying for Valentine’s Day and to “PLEASE GET VACCINATED!” “

Valentine’s hospitalization came after a radio talk show host repeatedly dismissed the severity of the virus and the importance of vaccines in preventing infection.

On December 17, 2020, Valentine wrote on her blog that her chances of contracting Covid-19 were “quite low” and her chances of dying from it were “probably well below 1%”.

“If I decide not to get the vaccine, I am not putting anyone’s life in danger, except maybe people who have made the same decision,” he wrote.

This is because, he wrote, the vaccine is very effective, so there was no way it could infect someone who was vaccinated if they contracted Covid-19.

He also argued that he was not an “anti-vaxxer”, he was just a “logical thinker”.

Valentine has repeatedly posted similar messages of vaccine misinformation and shared misleading information about Covid-19 on social media. He even told his subscribers that they didn’t need to be vaccinated.

A woman posted that her sister had encouraged her to get the vaccine but her “instinct told her not to do it” because she had already had the virus.

“Don’t listen to your sister,” Valentine replied. “If you’ve had (Covid-19), you have natural immunity.”

He told another follower that “only those who were at risk of dying from (Covid-19) should have been vaccinated”.

Health officials and doctors say people who have already had Covid-19 should still get vaccinated. Data from late-stage clinical trials suggests that the vaccines are safe and help protect people who have previously been infected with Covid-19 from re-infection, whether they have had mild or severe Covid-19 infections.

Three months ago, Valentine even attempted to make comparisons between hospital workers who were required to indicate their Covid-19 vaccination status on their job identification badges with Jews forced to wear yellow stars in Nazi Germany. . This indication of vaccination status on the identity cards of hospital workers is common and is made for other vaccines, including seasonal influenza.

On June 20, he even wrote and performed a parody song called “Vaxman” in which he again used it to advance an anti-vaccine program.

CNN contacted Valentine and her radio station but did not receive a response.

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