Right-wing radio host Phil Valentine has died following a battle with COVID-19 for over a month. He was 61 years old.
Valentine’s passing was announced by SuperTalk 99.7 WTN on Saturday.
On July 11, Valentine confirmed that he had been diagnosed with the virus on Facebook, telling his audience that he expected to be back soon. Prior to his illness, Valentine had voiced skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Just four days after announcing his diagnosis, Valentine tweeted a link to a Daily Caller article reporting on a recall of Johnson & Johnson sunscreens, writing, “Ah, but I’m sure their vaccine is perfectly safe. Don’t worry about it.”
In December of 2020, he tweeted, “I have a very low risk of A) Getting COVID and B) dying of it if I do. Why would I risk getting a heart attack or paralysis by getting the vaccine?” He also recorded a parody song titled, “Vaxman,” mocking the vaccine.
A prominent voice on Nashville radio waves, Valentine broadcast his conservative talk radio show from outside the state Capitol, encouraging listeners to come by and make noise. He gained national attention in 2000 for organizing a number of horn honking protests against a proposed state income tax in Tennessee. He later wrote a book on the protests called, “Tax Revolt.”
Although his greatest influence was in Nashville, “The Phil Valentine Show” was so popular that it became syndicated, airing on stations across the country.
Once Valentine’s condition had worsened, his family took to social media to stress the importance of getting vaccinated.
“(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,” their statement read, before adding, “PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!”