Phil Valentine, a Tennessee radio host, who was skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines has died due to the coronavirus. Nashville radio station SuperTalk 99.7 WTN confirmed the death on its social media handle.
We are saddened to report that our host and friend Phil Valentine has passed away. Please keep the Valentine family in your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/vhXpE7x0oX
— SuperTalk 99.7 WTN (@997wtn) August 21, 2021
The 61-year-old had been a skeptic of the coronavirus vaccines. After testing positive for the virus, Valentine had told his listeners to consider if there was a chance of dying from COVID-19. If so, he advised them to get themselves vaccinated. He added that he had decided not to get vaccinated because he didn’t think he would die from the disease.
Valentine was later hospitalised due to the deadly virus. His brother Mark Valentine said that the host had regretted not being more adamant about getting vaccinated. He added that if Valentine was still alive, he would urge his listeners to “get vaccinated". Quit worrying about politics. Quit worrying about all the conspiracy theories”.
Valentine’s passing was mourned by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Senators Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn.
Taking to her Twitter account to offer condolences, Blackburn said that Valentine was “a visionary for the conservative movement, and he made an enormous impact on the lives of many Tennesseans”.
Phil Valentine was a visionary for the conservative movement, and he made an enormous impact on the lives of many Tennesseans. My deepest condolences and prayers are with Phil’s wife, Susan, and his family. May they be comforted and surrounded by love during this difficult time.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 21, 2021
Valentine had been a popular radio show host since the age of 20. The conservative host gained popularity after criticising a state income-tax reform proposed by the Republican Governor Don Sundquist. The program transformed into a nationally syndicated show that aired on about 100 stations.
Valentine had signed a three-year deal with SuperTalk 99.7 WTN in 2019. Towards the end of his career, he branched out as a novelist. He also hosted a podcast with his son Campbell. The father-son podcast, called PodGOATs, narrated stories about history and various non-political topics.