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Another conservative talk radio host who urged listeners to boycott the COVID-19 vaccine has died from the disease caused by exposure to the coronavirus.
Bob Enyart, a Denver radio host and pastor, died two weeks after he and his wife were hospitalized with what his church called "severe" cases. He was 62.
Fred Williams, Enyart’s co-host, announced his death in a Facebook post Monday.
“It comes with an extremely heavy heart that my close friend and co-host of Real Science Radio has lost his battle with Covid," Williams wrote. “Bob Enyart was one of the smartest, and without question the wisest person I’ve known. All the while being exceedingly kind and humble, and always, always willing to listen and discuss anything you wanted. It was an honor beyond measure to have been alongside him for 15 years and over 750 science shows."
“Heaven’s gain has left an enormous hole here on earth,” Williams added.
Enyart, a provocateur who gleefully mocked the deaths of AIDS victims, had encouraged his listeners not to get any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines because he claimed they had been tested on "cells of aborted babies." (Though coronavirus vaccines do not contain fetal cells, Johnson & Johnson used a historic fetal cell line to produce and manufacture its vaccine; Pfizer and Moderna used a fetal cell line in a very early phase to confirm efficacy prior to production.) He also successfully sued the state of Colorado over COVID-related restrictions on church attendance.
Enyart is at least the fifth anti-vaccine talk show host to die from complications of COVID-19 in recent weeks.
Last month, four conservative radio talk show hosts who had promoted anti-vaccine and anti-mask views succumbed to the virus:
• Marc Bernier, a longtime Daytona Beach, Fla., talk show host who once called himself "Mr. Anti-Vax,” died after he was hospitalized for complications of COVID-19. He was 65. In July, in what would be his final tweet, Bernier compared the U.S. government to Nazis in its push to get people vaccinated.
• Phil Valentine, a syndicated Nashville talk show host who recorded a parody song, “Vaxman,” mocking the vaccine, died following a monthlong battle with COVID-19. He was 61.
While Valentine was in the hospital, his family released a statement saying he “regrets not being more vehemently ‘Pro-Vaccine’ and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he is back on the air, which we all hope will be soon. PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!”
• Jimmy DeYoung, a nationally syndicated Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Christian preacher who said world governments were using vaccines to control people, died in mid-August after contracting COVID-19 earlier in the month. He was 81.
On his "Prophecy Today" radio show, DeYoung promoted the baseless conspiracy theory that the Pfizer vaccine would make women sterile and directed his listeners to misinformation about COVID-19 on Facebook.
• Dick Farrel, a South Florida talk show host who called the U.S. government's coronavirus mitigation efforts a “scam-demic,” died from complications of COVID-19 in early August. He was 65.
According to friends, Farrel's views on vaccines changed after he contracted the virus. "RIP Dick Farrel," his close friend Amy Leigh Hair wrote in a Facebook post. "He is the reason I took the shot. He texted me and told me to 'Get it!' He told me this virus is no joke and he said, 'I wish I had gotten it!'"
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 41 million coronavirus cases in the United States since the pandemic began. More than 662,000 Americans have died.
The overwhelming majority of recent cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been among unvaccinated people.
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