An anti-lockdown protester who railed against Covid-19 closures in his home state has died of coronavirus aged 60. John McDaniel, of Marion County in Ohio, died at a hospital in Columbus last Wednesday, around a fortnight after he tested positive for Covid-19.
On March 15, he railed against Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s closures aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus on social media, writing on Facebook: ‘If what I’m hearing is true, that DeWine has ordered all bars and restaurants to be closed, I say bullshit!
‘He doesn’t have that authority. If you are paranoid about getting sick just don’t go out. It shouldn’t keep those of us from living our lives. The madness has to stop.’
Two days earlier, McDaniel even suggested that the dangers posed by the virus currently sweeping America had been exaggerated, writing: ‘Does Anybody Have The Guts to Say This Covid-19 is a Political Ploy? Asking For A Friend. Prove Me Wrong.’
His Facebook page has since been deleted, although the skeptical Covid-19 posts continue to circle the internet, MailOnline reported. McDaniel is survived by his wife and two children, and ran an industrial equipment supply company prior to his death.
He became the first resident of his home country to die of Covid-19, with Marion County Health Commissioner Traci Kinsler paying tribute. She told the Marion Star: ‘On behalf of the entire Marion County community, we express our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.’
‘Our thoughts go out to the Marion County community, as well as all Ohioans, and those across the world battling this illness and the families of everyone affected by this pandemic.’
Governor DeWine’s lockdown measures include closing all Ohio schools for the remainder of the academic year, with classes to be taught online instead. McDaniel’s death came just before President Trump sent a series of tweets calling on supporters to ‘Liberate’ Michigan, Virginia and Minnesota from ongoing lockdown measures.
Heavily armed protesters have since rallied on state capitol buildings across the US as part of the burgeoning anti-lockdown movement, dubbed ‘Re-Open America.’ Governors have vowed to stand firm in the face of those protests, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US approached 800,000, with close to 43,000 people in America dying with Covid-19.
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