Conservative Nashville radio personality Phil Valentine, who publicly declared his intention not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, is now hospitalized with the illness in “very serious condition,” and his family members are urging others to get their shots and protect themselves, as CBS News reports.
Valentine, host of his own program on WWTN-FM first went public with his diagnosis back on July 11, but seemed confident in the trajectory of his recovery, saying at the time, “I have COVID. Unfortunately for the haters out there, it looks like I’m going to make it.”
The popular radio voice said following his diagnosis that he had previously declined vaccination because he simply did not believe himself to be part of the population at greatest risk of a serious or even fatal outcome from the virus, as CBS News noted. He even posted on his Facebook page in late June, “Common sense told us that if you weren’t at risk for COVID you shouldn’t get the vaccine.”
However, roughly two weeks after that broadcast, Valentine’s brother, Mark, came forward with the news that the radio personality had in fact been hospitalized and was “in very serious condition” with pneumonia and a host of other complications.
According to a statement from Valentine’s family, which appeared on his radio station’s Facebook page, the host wanted “his listeners to know that while he has never been an ‘anti-vaxer’ 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…”.
Mark Valentine told the Tennesseean that up until his bout with COVID-19, his brother was “healthy as a horse” and a “very health-conscious guy,” and while not on a ventilator at this point, “he is scared. He knows he is very, very sick.”
An update published the paper on Sunday revealed that Valentine, 62, was still in critical condition and has been subjected to treatments that have included injections of remdesivir, supplemental oxygen, and an intervention known as “proning,” or being flipped onto the stomach for extended periods in order to prevent fluid collection on the lungs.
The outlet further reported that Phil Valentine’s wife, Susan, has stood by her husband’s side throughout his ordeal, often pulling 14-hour stretches at a time. “She is watching her husband fight for his life,” Mark Valentine observed, adding, “We have not breathed a sign of relief. He has not turned a corner.”
One thing the past 16 months have demonstrated is the brutal unpredictability of this virus – causing some little more than temporary discomfort and bringing an untimely demise to others. Hopefully Mr. Valentine’s struggles with COVID-19 will begin to turn around in the near future, and he can return to the airwaves in due time to share his story.