Conservative talk radio show host Phil Valentine is "fighting for his life" after being hospitalized with COVID, according to his family.
The family released a statement last week saying Valentine, who had expressed concerns about coronavirus vaccines, planned to "more vigorously advocate" for the shots, Newsweek reported.
"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," the host's brother, Mark Valentine, said on behalf of the family.
"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 said the Nashville, Tennessee, radio host was not on a ventilator but was breathing with assistance in a critical care unit.
"Please continue to pray for his recovery and PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!" the statement said.
Mark Valentine revealed his brother's condition had changed his stance on vaccines.
"Many of you know that my brother Phil is in the hospital with COVID related pneumonia," Mark Valentine wrote, Newsweek reported. "He is fighting for his life, which has persuaded me to get vaccinated when I was previously not inclined to do so.
"Having seen this up close and personal I'd encourage ALL of you to put politics and other concerns aside and get it."
Separate from the family statement, Mark Valentine said he previously believed getting inoculated was a personal choice and therefore had not posted pro or anti-vaccine content online.
"What Phil is going through is horrible & something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," Mark Valentine said. "Get the vaccine folks ... we need all of you to be here for the 2022 elections!"
Phil Valentine revealed he had COVID-19 via social media on July 12.
"Yes, the rumors are true. I have COVID," he said. "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."
Even after contracting COVID, Phil Valentine remained skeptical about all adults receiving the COVID vaccine. In a July 16 Facebook post, he questioned the safety of vaccines.
Two days before that, Phil Valentine wrote he was feeling better, and claimed without evidence "there are some very effective alternatives to the vaccine," Newsweek said.
He did tell those who are at high risk of dying from COVID to consider getting vaccinated.
In June, Phil Valentine shared a parody song on Twitter that spoke about personal freedoms.
Phil Valentine's colleagues have sent him well-wishes.
"Please join me in praying for Phil's complete recovery,” said Brian Wilson, who also hosts a radio show on SuperTalk 99.7 WTN. "I know Phil and his family would deeply appreciate your prayers on his behalf.”
"Also pray for all of us at WTN as well,” Pamela Furr, radio news anchor at SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, wrote on Facebook: "It is no joke that we are ALL family here.. so when one of us hurts, we are ALL hurting. Phil is strong.. and God is in control. His mighty angels are around him fighting this evil virus.. This is where we find peace."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says 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."
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