Conservative talk radio show host Phil Valentine has been hospitalized with COVID and is “fighting for his life,” according to his family.
After expressing concerns about COVID vaccines, he now plans to “vigorously advocate” for them, they said.
On Thursday, Phil Valentine’s brother Mark Valentine released a statement on behalf of the family reading: “Phil contracted the Covid virus a little over a week ago & has since been hospitalized & is in very serious condition, suffering from Covid Pneumonia and the attendant side effects.”
According to the statement, the Nashville, Tennessee, SuperTalk 99.7 WTN host was breathing with assistance in a critical care unit, but was not on a ventilator.
Phil Valentine, who hosts an eponymous show on SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, planned to “more vigorously advocate” for COVID vaccines when he recovered, the statement said.
“Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an ‘anti-vaxer’ he regrets not being more vehemently ‘Pro-Vaccine,'” the statement read. It went on: “Please continue to pray for his recovery and PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!”
On Wednesday, Mark Valentine revealed his brother’s condition had changed his stance on vaccines.
He wrote: “Many of you know that my brother Phil is in the hospital with Covid related pneumonia. He is fighting for his life, which has persuaded me to get vaccinated when I was previously not inclined to do so.”
Mark Valentine said he had not previously posted pro or anti-vaccine content online, believing it should be a personal choice, but said: “Having seen this up close and personal I’d encourage ALL of you to put politics and other concerns aside and get it.”
He went on: “what Phil is going through is horrible & something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Get the vaccine folks…we need all of you to be here for the 2022 elections!”
The host revealed he had COVID on social media on July 12, writing: “Yes, the rumors are true. I have COVID. Unfortunately for the haters out there, it looks like I’m going to make it. Interesting experience. I’ll have to fill you in when I come back on the air. I’m hoping that will be tomorrow, but I may take a day off just as a precaution. It’ll be a game time decision.”
Phil Valentine has been publicly skeptical about all adults receiving the COVID vaccine. In his latest Facebook post on July 16, he questioned the safety of vaccines.
Two days prior he wrote he was feeling better, and claimed without evidence “there are some very effective alternatives to the vaccine,” and told those who are at high risk of dying from COVID to consider getting vaccinated.
In June, he shared a parody song on Twitter called Vaxman, which spoke about personal freedoms.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, COVID vaccines are safe and effective and “millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.”
As of Thursday, 162.2 million in the U.S. had been vaccinated against COVID.