Radio Host: I Deliberately Caught COVID

Dennis Prager says he hugged 'thousands' in quest to catch disease, get 'natural immunity'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2021 12:37 PM CDT

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager announced Monday that he has COVID—and Prager says he purposely tried to get the virus. It's "what I hoped for the entire time," he told his audience for Monday's Dennis Prager Show, adding that he'd intentionally hugged "strangers in the thousands" and taken photos with them throughout the pandemic to achieve his goal. "Finally, I got it from somebody," he said. Prager said he wanted to get sick so he could get natural immunity against the disease instead of getting vaccinated, which he says he still won't do.

He tells the Daily Beast that his treatment has consisted of such "therapeutics" as the Regeneron monoclonal antibody cocktail—which currently has Emergency Use Authorization for COVID from the FDA—and ivermectin, a drug not approved for COVID that's mainly used as an animal dewormer. "The fact that I'm on my way to natural immunity is a high for me," Prager said Monday, occasionally muting his mic to cough. "I'm thrilled about it."

Prager said he missed recording his radio show Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday after testing positive and experiencing a "great deal of chills," though he says now that he's "steadily improving." Apparently his wife is sick as well, and he tells the Daily Beast they've both lost their sense of taste and smell. The outlet notes that Prager has been known to spread COVID misinformation in the past and that health experts have long advised people to not do what he's done—purposely infect themselves.

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"What we don't want people to say is: 'All right, I should go out and get infected, I should have an infection party,'" a Rockefeller University immunologist told the journal Science in August. "Because somebody could die." As far as natural immunity goes, the CDC recommends that those who've had COVID should still get vaccinated, as a recent study has shown that "unvaccinated individuals are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus." (More COVID-19 stories.)

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