It’s one little poke in your arm. Yet only 73% of Americans say that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That number seems large, but it is smaller than those in other countries. In fact, 8% percent of all Americans identify as “always” being a part of the anti-vaccine movement. These Americans range from believing that vaccinations have terrible side effects to believing that vaccines are part of government conspiracies.
Anti-vaxxers are everywhere, and they cut across all demographics. Yet many of them have one thing in common: they’re dying from COVID. And your political or celebrity status won’t protect you from COVID. There are a lot of famous anti-vaxxers who have died from COVID-19. These cases aren’t funny, but they sure are ironic. Let’s take a look at some anti-vaxxers who regretted their stances on vaccines, and try to learn from their mistakes.
Marcus Lamb was one of America’s biggest televangelists. He co-founded the Daystar Television Network, which has dozens of television stations across the United States.
But Lamb did not become nationally famous until the COVID-19 pandemic. He hosted a number of anti-vaccine advocates on his television shows and posted articles online saying the vaccines were “the most dangerous thing” for children.
Lamb became sick with COVID-19 in November 2020. His son dubbed his illness “a spiritual attack from the enemy.” Although Lamb took Ivermectin, his condition got worse, and he died on November 30, 2021.
Caleb Wallace held a unique position in the world of anti-vaxxers — he was an organizer. Before his death, he was directly responsible for some of the most prominent anti-vax and anti-mask protests in the country. Wallace founded a group called “The San Angelo Freedom Defenders,” which hosted anti-vax rallies throughout Texas. He refused to mask, let alone get vaccinated.
Wallace helped to organize the July 4th Freedom Rally in San Angelo. He also wrote to the San Angelo school district demanding that they reduce COVID-19 restrictions.
July 26, 2021, Caleb Wallace contracted COVID-19, but wasn’t worried at first. He refused to go to a hospital, and refused to take the recommended precautions, instead choosing to take high doses of vitamin C, zinc and ivermectin. On the 30th, he was hospitalized and moved into the ICU. Sadly, COVID hit Wallace especially hard, and he didn’t get much time to say goodbye to his family, including his pregnant wife and a daughter. Wallace lost consciousness and was on a ventilator for weeks before he finally died on August 28 at the age of 30.
If you’ve seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you may have caught a glimpse of Vachik Mangassarian. Mangassarian was a character actor with roles in nearly 50 movies and television shows. He also appeared in NCIS: Los Angeles.
Mangassarian was a very active foe of the COVID vaccine on Facebook. He shared memes that said things like, “I am more afraid of a Democrat in the White House than I am of COVID-19.”
Yet he reluctantly got the vaccine in order to take roles in Hollywood projects. Unfortunately, he died on January 23, 2022, of complications from the virus.
Bob Enyart was the pastor of Denver Bible Church. He became famous in 1999 when he bought $16,000 worth of O.J. Simpson memorabilia. He then burned and smashed everything he bought to protest Simpson’s not-guilty verdict.
Enyart started a radio show in 1991, and he started broadcasting about COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. He claimed that vaccinations were made with aborted fetuses, which is false.
Enyart contracted COVID-19 in August 2021. He remained unvaccinated and passed away on September 12th.
H. Scott Apley
H. Scott Appley also held a formidable position in the anti-vax world — he was a Texas GOP representative.
Apley was known among the anti-vax community for spreading anti-vax memes on his social media. His involvement in local government isn’t heavily reported, but one can easily imagine that these opinions affected his voting on certain issues.
Apley was said to be “deeply committed to the betterment of his community”. This goes to show how tragically backward the anti-vax world is. The members often view the abolition of vaccinations as a step — like the repair of roads and the improvement of education — to creating a better community.
Kelly Ernby was a deputy district attorney in California. In 2019, she tried running for the California State Assembly, but she lost.
While planning for another campaign, she decided to advocate against COVID-19 vaccines. She wrote that the “vaccine is not the cure to Covid, and mandates won’t work.” Ernby contracted COVID in December 2021 and died on January 3.
You may have heard the name, “William Hartmann,” back in 2020. He was a member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan. When Joe Biden won Michigan, Hartmann refused to certify the results.
When Hartmann wasn’t busy denying the election, he was denying the vaccine. In one Facebook meme he shared, he compared vaccine passports to Nazism. Hartmann contracted COVID-19 and died on November 30, 2021.
Dick Farrel didn’t serve quite as much of an illustrious position as the other people on this list. However, he served another purpose — the court jester of the anti-vaccine movement.
Farrel was a radio shock-jock who frequently made fun of Dr. Faucci and people who wore masks. Just as important to the spread of an ideology as those who organize and pass laws are those who mock opponents of the ideology. These serve to make more radical beliefs palatable.
Farrel called Fauci a “power-tripping lying freak”, and months before dying, he urged people to stay far away from vaccinations. He was also a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and promoted the 2020 election fraud conspiracies.
Farrel contracted the virus in the late summer and quickly succumbed. Before dying, he reportedly texted his friend, urging her to get the vaccine.
Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was an active Trump ally and opposed masking mandates during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. He tested positive for COVID-19 nine days after attending the indoor 2020 Trump Tulsa rally without wearing a mask.
Although he didn’t live long enough to become a true anti-vaxxer, Herman Cain vocally opposed masks and all stay at home orders. While sick with COVID-19, Cain even famously tweeted this message on July 1st in reference to Trump’s Mount Rushmore Independence Day Celebration, “Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!” He died a few weeks later on July 30, 2020, from COVID-19.
If you’ve heard the name, “Mr. Anti-Vax,” you’ve heard about Marc Bernier. He was a talk radio host based in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Bernier dubbed himself “Mr. Anti-Vax” so that no one would have any confusion as to what his alignments on the issue were. He disparaged the Pfizer vaccine as soon as it came out. When a friend of his asked him on-air if he would take it, he replied, “Jeepers!”
Bernier claimed that his anti-vax stances were non-political. He did not want to get vaccinated because he’d seen negative anti-vax effects in those around him. Perhaps Bernier didn’t know too many people who had suffered due to COVID, and only knew people who got the disease and suffered symptoms.
His lack of foresight led him to see vaccinations as malicious, and this led to his unfortunate demise on August 28 from COVID-19.
Anti-vaxxing isn’t just an American thing. Johann Biaciscs was an Austrian anti-vax activist. So, when he tested positive for COVID, he tried treating himself with alternative methods.
He wrote blog posts in October 2021 claiming that chlorine dioxide bleach killed the COVID-19 in his body. That’s right, instead of taking a vaccine, Biacsics injected bleach into his body. Unfortunately, he was wrong. Chlorine dioxide did not cure him of COVID. He was brought to the hospital and had tests run. The tests came back positive for COVID-19.
But Biacsics refused to believe his doctors. He asked his son to bring him home, saying that he had defeated the infection. He died at home on November 11, 2021.
Dr. Jimmy DeYoung
Dr. Jimmy DeYoung was a Christian radio broadcaster and Bible Prophecy Teacher. But he put the Bible on pause to talk about COVID instead.
On his radio show, Dr. DeYoung was an outspoken anti-vaxer who questioned the need for COVID vaccines and even called them a form of “government control.” In February 2021, he published an interview online in which he claimed that vaccines would make women sterile.
Dr. DeYoung was clearly a very smart and well-spoken man. It’s difficult to find information on what exactly his doctorate was on, but it appears as though it was of some sort of religious studies. But he fell victim to misinformation and indoctrination. He believed that with the right forms of prayer, one could become immune to a future COVID-10 pandemic.
It should be noted that there’s nothing anti-religious about getting vaccinated. Most religions encourage vaccination. It’s usually only certain denominations and individuals who encourage non-vaccination.
On August 7, DeYoung was rushed to the hospital due to COVID-19 complications. He died ten days later on August 15, 2021.
Tod Tucker was a conservative talk show host and outspoken Donald Trump supporter from Oklahoma City. Tucker died on August 11, 2021, from pneumonia complications as the result of the COVID-19 virus. He leaves behind a son and three grandsons.
Tucker was still active on social media in his final hours, but didn’t publicly show any regrets about not getting vaccinated for COVID-19. The day before he died, Tucker replied to an anti-Mitt Romey thread on Twitter.
Phil Valentine was a very prominent voice on conservative talk radio based in Nashville. He was also a very skeptical and outspoken critic of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He would frequently criticize and make fun of the vaccine and mask wearers. Valentine even famously wrote a song parody called “Vaxman” that poked fun at people who wore masks and got the COVID vaccine.
His anti-vaccine comments didn’t end after he was off the air. He would frequently tweet messages criticizing the COVID vaccine’s effectiveness and highlighting its risks. On December 8, 2020, Valentine 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 was so confident that COVID was harmless that he claimed that his odds of dying from COVID-19 were less than one percent. Then, in the summer of 2021, Phil Valentine contracted COVID-19.
While fighting for his life in the hospital, Valentine changed his mind about the COVID vaccine. His brother Mark told the press that “when he gets the opportunity to tell the world, his message will be, get the vaccine, period.”
Unfortunately, Phil Valentine would never get a chance to make a plea to the anti-vax community. He fought hard but eventually died of COVID-19 on August 21, 2021.
Howard Stern Wants To Deny Anti-Vaxxers Hospital Beds
Howard Stern has no sympathy for his fellow radio broadcasters that died from COVID-19. While discussing anti-vaxxers who refuse to get a COVID shot because of “personal freedom reasons” on his radio show, Stern said, “F**k them. F**k their freedom. I want my freedom to live. I want to get out of the house.” Stern compared COVID-19 vaccines to other common vaccines that school children are required to have. “As I remember, when I went to school, you had to get a measles vaccine. You had to get a mumps vaccine.”
The extreme pro-mask and vaccine shock jock then went on to say, “The other thing I hate is that all these people with COVID who won’t get vaccinated are in the hospitals clogging it up.” He then eluded that anyone who refused the vaccine should be refused treatment. “Go f**k yourself,” Stern said. “You had the cure, and you wouldn’t take it.”
Remembering These Famous Anti-Vaxxers Who Died Of COVID
It seems that everything is political these days. Nothing can happen in this world without either side of the political spectrum claiming it’s somehow tied to the “evils” of the other side. One of the most dangerous examples of this is the anti-vax community in the United States.
These famous anti-vaxxers came from all different walks of life. Each had varying levels of education and supported the anti-vaccination cause for different reasons. However, they all met the same fate — a life cut short by the very disease they refused to fear and respect.
If you have friends or relatives who are part of the anti-vaccine movement, then please share with them these stories of famous people who died of COVID-19. It might help save their lives.
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.