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Conservative vaccine skeptic radio host now hospitalized, family begs others to get vaccinated

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 7/24/2021 Joseph Wilkinson

A Tennessee radio host who told his listeners the COVID vaccine wasn’t necessary is now hospitalized with the virus, and he and his family have changed their tune on the shot.

Phil Valentine has used his radio show on WWTN-FM in Nashville to spread questionable vaccine takes, and his most recent Facebook post mocks the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

But now his sister Beth and his brother Mark’s pages look much different because Phil needs assistance to breathe in a hospital’s COVID ward, according to updates from Beth.

a person that is standing in the dark: In this April 26, 2021, photo, a nursing student administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at UNLV, in Las Vegas. © John Locher In this April 26, 2021, photo, a nursing student administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at UNLV, in Las Vegas.

In this April 26, 2021, photo, a nursing student administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at UNLV, in Las Vegas. (John Locher/)


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“Having seen this up close and personal I’d encourage ALL of you to put politics and other concerns aside and get it,” Mark wrote Wednesday. “When the technician came out and asked...’Do you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine?’ I said, ‘Hell yeah but I’m gonna get it anyway.’”

Phil has had the virus since at least July 16, according to his Twitter page. Beth said as of Friday night he was using a respirator to help his breathing but is not on a ventilator, though she noted that would be the next step if his condition worsens.

In a statement through WWTN, the family said Phil had also changed his stance on the vaccine.

“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,” the family said.

The Valentines join a long list of vaccine hesitant people who have regretted their decision. Most recently, an Alabama doctor shared her story of telling dying patients it was too late for the vaccine to save them.

“I’ve made a LOT of progress encouraging people to get vaccinated lately!!!” Dr. Brytney Cobia, a hospitalist at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, wrote on Facebook. “Do you want to know how? I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”

Tennessee recently fired its health department vaccine chief after she encouraged teenagers to get vaccinated.

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