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With Radio Host on Ventilator, His Brother Backs Vaccinations

Phil Valentine's listeners have said they changed their minds on the shots, too
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2021 4:15 PM CDT
Talk Show Host's COVID Case Leads Brother to Vaccination
Phil Valentine, shown taking the stage before Tea Party members in 2009 in Nashville, is battling COVID-19 in a hospital and has been placed on a ventilator.   (Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP, File)

(Newser) – Now that Phil Valentine, the conservative radio talk show host, has been hospitalized with COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator, some of his listeners are deciding to get vaccinated after all. One of them is his brother. "As soon as I found out this thing had hit him like it hit him, I went directly to the Wal-Mart," Mark Valentine said. "I said, you know, 'Y'all pick the arm.'" The family announced that Phil Valentine, who has been in the hospital for more than two weeks, was placed on a ventilator Wednesday to help him rest, WPLN reports. Valentine previously had been on oxygen during the day and a ventilator at night. His family reported slight improvement in his condition over last weekend.

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Phil Valentine had not been supportive of coronavirus vaccines or mask mandates before he contracted the disease. He has not been vaccinated. But when he returns to the air, his brother said, he'll be the "most pro-vaccine person you've ever seen," per WKRN. Fans have posted on his Nashville station's Facebook page that they've now decided to get the shots, which is what Mark Valentine did despite his own skepticism about the vaccines. When he went in for a dose, he reported, "The guy says, 'Do you have any questions or concerns?' I say, 'Yeah, I got a bunch of them but do it anyway.'" (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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