Conservative radio host Phil Valentine, who had voiced skepticism about the COVID vaccine as an on-air host on Nashville’s WTN-FM, has been hospitalized for the past two weeks battling COVID-19. His family has now turned to social media to get the word out about vaccination.
Valentine remained in critical condition on Sunday after receiving remdesivir injections and oxygen treatments, WTN reported.
And while three weeks Valentine produced skeptical Facebook posts like this one — “Common sense told us that if you weren’t at risk for COVID you shouldn’t get the vaccine” — his family has taken to social media to insist that he was never an anti-vaxxer.
“Phil contracted the Covid virus a little over a week ago and has since been hospitalized and is in very serious condition, suffering from Covid Pneumonia and the attendant side effects,” the family’s statement read. “(Phil) 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.”
The statement asked people to continue praying for Valentine and ended with the plea, “PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!”
“He is positive, and he is scared. He knows he is very, very sick,” his brother Mark Valentine told a local paper in Tennessee, adding that his brother’s message about COVID vaccines would be different if he were to return to hosting his show.
Valentine is one of many right-leaning media figures who has belatedly spoken out in favor of the COVID vaccine after initially voicing skepticism. The about-face has come in amid a recent surge in COVID cases and hospitalization in the U.S. that is almost entirely confined to the unvaccinated.