Conservative radio host who called himself ‘Mr. Anti-Vax dies after COVID-19 battle
TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) – Conservative radio host Marc Bernier has died of complications from COVID-19, his Daytona Beach radio station confirmed on Saturday.
“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. the station said on Twitter. “We ask for privacy for Marc’s family during this time of mourning.”
Before his death, the station’s operations manager, Marc McKinney told the Daytona Beach News-Journal Bernier tested positive for COVID-19 on August 6 and was hospitalized the next day.
“I’m numb,” said Mike Chitwood, the county sheriff. “For me it’s a death in the family.”
Bernier was a vocal vaccine critic on his radio show. “If you’ve listened to his show, you’ve heard him talk about how anti-vaccine he is on the air,” McKinney told the newspaper before Bernier’s death.
In July, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried urged people to get vaccinated, saying “the greatest generation must defeat the Nazis to preserve our way of life.”
“You are only being asked to be shot. So be a patriot, ”Fried said.
Bernier responded to Fried’s comments on his show: “He should say, ‘Now the US government is acting like a Nazi. Get the hang of it! ‘”
“I’m not taking it… Are you kidding me?” Mr. Anti-Vax? Jeepers, ”he told a guest last December.
Bernier is the third conservative radio host to die of COVID-19 in recent weeks. Dick Farrel, a former right-wing radio host in Florida, died of the virus on August 4. Phil Valentine, a conservative radio host in Nashville, Tennessee, died a few weeks later. Both men were vaccine skeptics who changed their tone after contracting COVID-19 and began urging their supporters to get the shot.
Despite being a conservative, Bernier was known to present different perspectives and viewpoints on his show.
“It gives all sides,” Justin Gates, a listener, told the News-Journal. “He’s not going to intimidate and throw punches or take potshots or do odds. This is why it is so popular.