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Former Coronavirus Skeptic Warns Others To Take Pandemic Seriously After Infection

by : Lucy Connolly on : 16 May 2020 17:29

A self-proclaimed coronavirus skeptic has urged people to take the global health crisis seriously after both he and his wife were hospitalised with the virus.

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Up until recently, Brian Hitchens – a ride-share driver in Jupiter, Florida – believed the pandemic was being blown out of proportion, and would constantly take to social media to downplay the situation.

It wasn’t until he himself became seriously ill with the virus that he changed his entire outlook on it, with Hitchens now warning others not to take the same stance as he did.

coronavirus skepticcoronavirus skepticWPTV-TV

Speaking from his hospital bed at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center after receiving a positive diagnosis for the virus, Hitchens told WPTV-TV: ‘I don’t want to see anyone go through what I went through.’

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Before testing positive, Hitchens was skeptical about the seriousness of the illness, and admitted he didn’t think the health crisis was real.

He explained:

I thought it was maybe the government trying something, and it was kind of like they threw it out there to kinda distract us.

I’d get up in the morning and pray and trust in God for his protection, and I’d just leave it at that. There were all these masks and gloves. I thought it looks like a hysteria.

coronavirus skeptic speaks outcoronavirus skeptic speaks outWPTV-TV

In one post to his Facebook page at the beginning of April, Hitchens had claimed: ‘I do not fear this virus because I know that my God is bigger than this Virus will ever be.’

However, in a lengthy post to the platform this week, the ride-share driver went back on his claims, urging his followers to ‘please use wisdom and don’t be foolish like I was so the same thing won’t happen to you, like it happened to me and my wife’.

A little over a month before he made that post, Hitchens said he had started feeling unwell, with his wife falling ill shortly afterwards. Following a short period of self-isolation, they began to feel ‘worse and worse and worse’ and decided to go to the hospital – where they have been ever since.

coronavirus skepticcoronavirus skepticWPTV-TV
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After both he and his wife were admitted to the intensive care unit, with his wife still on a ventilator even now, Hitchens conceded ‘this wasn’t some scare tactic that anybody was using’.

He continued:

It wasn’t some made-up thing. This was a real virus you gotta take seriously. My wife’s on a ventilator. It’s been like that for three weeks, and it’s tough. It’s sad.

While he says he is feeling ‘a lot better’, his wife remains sedated ‘with no signs of improving’. ‘My wife has been sick before in the past quite a few times and she always fought through to get better, but now after three weeks I have come to accept that my wife may pass away,’ Hitchens wrote on Facebook.

coronavirus skeptic wifecoronavirus skeptic wifeWPTV-TV

He ended his post by urging his followers to ‘listen to the authorities and heed the advice of the experts’, adding that, looking back, he ‘should have wore a mask in the beginning’.

Our thoughts are with Brian and his wife, and we hope they make a full recovery.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Health, America, Brian Lee Hitchens, Coronavirus, Skeptic, UA

Credits

WPTV-TV and 1 other
  1. WPTV-TV

    Jupiter man skeptical of coronavirus gets infected, changes opinion

  2. Brian Lee Hitchens/Facebook

    brianlee.hitchens