A conservative radio host in Tennessee who urged listeners to not be vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 has modified the monitor and urged listeners to get the shot after contracting the virus and being in “very critical situation” Hospital.
In an announcement posted on social media, Phil Valentine’s household described his situation and stated, “Please maintain praying for his restoration and PLEASE get a VACCINE!”
The household additionally stated the WTN host “has by no means been an ‘anti-vaxer'” however “regrets not being an ‘advocate’ ‘and appears ahead to being extra forceful when he returns the air all of us hope shall be quickly ”.
Nonetheless, Valentine, 61, has downplayed the necessity for vaccines and sing a song known as Vaxman, within the tune of Taxman, George Harrison’s Beatles quantity in opposition to state taxation.
“Let me let you know how it will likely be,” he sang, “and I do not care for those who agree as a result of I am the Vaxman, sure, I am the Vaxman. For those who do not like me coming over, be grateful that I am not holding you. “
Because the delta variant of coronavirus spikes circumstances within the US, rural and largely Republican-led states are shedding vaccination numbers and have grow to be hotspots for infections that pressure well being sources.
Republican politicians and influential far-right broadcasters, together with Fox Information presenters, have begun calling on folks to get the shot.
Tennessee is tracked solely by deep South states on vaccination charges and has seen political disputes over entry to youth vaccination and, in a single case, an assault by a lady who shouted “no vaccine” when she allegedly tried to mow down well being employees along with her automobile .
On Saturday, knowledge reported to the Guardian confirmed that Memphis authorities imagine 80% of recent Covid circumstances within the metropolis are of the Delta variant.
A Methodist College Hospital nurse stated, “To see affected person after affected person undergo this, particularly on the level the place we even have one thing that has been proven to be efficient … It is simply unhappy to see we’re again at that time are.”
In December, Valentine wrote on his weblog that whereas former President Donald Trump ought to obtain extra credit score for supporting the speedy growth of Covid-19 vaccines, “the vaccine shouldn’t be for everybody”.
He added, “If I select to not get vaccinated, I’m not placing the lives of anybody else in peril, besides perhaps individuals who made the identical alternative. Since this factor is 95% efficient, there isn’t a method I can infect somebody who has been injected. That is if I even get the virus. “
Breakthrough infections are doable. Well being officers say those that have had Covid-19 ought to nonetheless get vaccinated.
Valentine additionally wrote that he was “not an anti-Vaxxer. I solely use frequent sense. What are my probabilities of getting Covid? They’re fairly low. What’s my probability of dying from Covid if I get it? Most likely far lower than 1%. I do what everybody ought to do and that’s my private well being danger evaluation.
“In case you have any well being issues, you’ll possible have to get vaccinated. Until you might be at excessive danger of dying from Covid, you might be in all probability safer to not get it. That screams horror in lots of, however it’s true. I weigh the identified in opposition to the unknown. “
CNN reported that Valentine was additionally “attempting to make comparisons between hospital employees who needed to present their Covid-19 vaccination standing on their work playing cards with Jews compelled to put on yellow stars in Nazi Germany.”
Harsh rhetoric in opposition to proof of vaccinations or different public well being measures has unfold. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right Georgia congresswoman, just lately apologized for evaluating masked mandates to Nazi actions.
On Thursday, Valentine’s household stated he was affected by Covid pneumonia and its unwanted effects. He’s within the hospital within the intensive care unit, respiratory with assist, however is NOT on a ventilator.
They added, “Phil and his household need you all to know that he loves you and values your worries, ideas and prayers greater than you’ll ever know.”