Conservative Nashville talk radio host Phil Valentine, who repeatedly spread misinformation about coronavirus and mocked vaccines is fighting for his life weeks after contracting the virus.
His family said on Friday is hospitalized and is receiving supplemental oxygen while in critical care battling COVID pneumonia. His wife told the station yesterday morning, in a tweet,
“They say he is still not getting well.. please pray for me. I am at a breaking point.”
On Saturday afternoon, Julia Campbell Shirley declined to comment on her son-in-law’s condition before hurriedly telling The Daily Beast:
“I certainly think people should be vaccinated.”
Valentine repeatedly downplayed COVID and dismissed guidance from health officials about the seriousness of the virus and the importance of getting vaccinated.
In a blog post in December, days after doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine was first authorized for emergency use in the US, Valentine said he was simply following the logic in deciding not to get vaccinated.
“I’m not an anti-vaxxer.
I’m just using common sense. What are my odds of getting Covid? They’re pretty low. What are my odds of dying from Covid if I do get it? Probably way less than 1 percent. I’m doing what everyone should do and that’s my own personal health risk assessment. If you have underlying health issues, you probably need to get the vaccine.
If you’re not at high risk of dying from Covid then you’re probably safer not getting it.”
After confirming rumors of his diagnosis on July 11, Valentine was initially well enough to report to listeners about his condition.
“I think I’m on the other side of it. I’m certainly moving forward, it appears, but not in a straight line.”
Valentine defended his decision not to get vaccinated as he began wrestling with the virus, insisting that he had thought the disease wouldn’t kill him.
Valentine’s family shared with the radio station that his battle against the virus had become more dire and he was being hospitalized in critical care.
His brother, Mark Valentine, posted a message to Facebook on Wednesday, suggesting that watching Phil “fighting for his life” had persuaded him to get vaccinated.
“Having seen this up close and personal I’d encourage ALL of you to put politics and other concerns aside and get it.”
A day later, during an appearance on WWTN-FM in Nashville, Mark Valentine said his brother was regretful that he wasn’t a more vocal advocate for getting vaccinated.
“For those listening, I know if he were able to tell you this, he would tell you, ‘Go get vaccinated. Quit worrying about the politics. Quit worrying about all the conspiracy theories.’”
Mark Valentine insisted that while his brother had not been anti-vax,
“he got this one wrong.”
Last month, Valentine wrote and performed a parody song of the Beatles song Taxman, called Vaxman appeared to mocking the vaccines.
“Let me tell you how it will be and I don’t care if you agree,
‘Cause I’m the Vaxman, yeah I’m the Vaxman.
If you don’t like me coming round, be thankful I don’t hold you down.”
Tennessee continues to rank among the lowest in the country for vaccination rates even as cases are rising largely from the highly contagious Delta variant.
Morning Update on Phil: Susan (his wife) asks for prayers “They say he is still not getting well.. please pray for me. I am at a breaking point.” We continue to lift up our brother in prayers & ask that you do the same. Your kindness and support is overwhelming and we thank you pic.twitter.com/GGXZI0MHD4— SuperTalk 99.7 WTN (@997wtn) July 24, 2021
Mr. Phil Valentine is now “hospitalized fighting for his life” with COVID-19— Tammie 🕊 (@tlccourville) July 23, 2021
His family says he regrets not being “vehemently pro-vaccine”
(Photo, handout; via The Daily Beast)