Phil Valentine, a right-wing radio host in Tennessee, is now expressing regret over his skepticism about COVID vaccines after contracting the disease himself. Valentine is currently in critical care at the hospital and is in “very serious condition.” All year, the radio host told his listeners to think twice about getting the shots if they are not at “high risk” of dying from coronavirus. He posted to a blog in December: “What are my odds of getting COVID? They’re pretty low. What are my odds of dying from COVID if I do get it? Probably way less than one percent.” He went on to suggest that if you’re not in a high risk category, “you’re probably safer not getting it.” Shortly after contracting the disease earlier this month, Valentine posted to Facebook that he was doing his “patriotic duty for natural herd immunity.”
After his condition worsened, Valentine changed his tune on the severity of COVID and the need for people to go get vaccinated. His family put out a statement for the radio station that read, “Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an ‘anti-vaxer’ [sic] 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.” The message ended with the statement: “Please continue to pray for his recovery and PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!” Phil’s brother Mark Valentine announced that after seeing his brother’s condition worsen and all it has put his family through, he has decided to get vaccinated. While it’s great that this could change some minds, and we of course wish Phil Valentine a speedy recovery, it shouldn’t have to take this to convince people to get vaccinated. Too often with conservatives, an issue has to affect them personally before they can change their minds on it. With a little empathy and critical thinking, so many of these problems can be avoided.
The David Pakman Show is a news and political talk program, known for its controversial interviews with political and religious extremists, liberal and conservative politicians, and other guests.
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