Christian TV Network Continues to Push Vaccine Skepticism After Founder Dies of COVID

Two weeks after DayStar founder Marcus Lamb died of COVID-19, the Christian television network devoted an hour-long segment to promoting the message that COVID-19 vaccines do not protect against infection or death and accused those who were vaccinated of "drinking the Kool-Aid."

Joni Lamb, Marcus' wife, and her husband had promoted the use of ivermectin and vitamins to combat COVID-19. While it worked for Joni, the same was not true of Marcus. who had type 2 diabetes. He was hospitalized with COVID-19 and died after suffering a "cardiac event," according to his wife.

Having type 2 diabetes put Marcus at a greater risk of dying of COVID-19 and his death prompted questions as to whether he would still be alive if he had been vaccinated.

During a December 13 Ministry Now episode, Joni called it a "complete lie" that her husband may not have died if he was vaccinated against COVID-19. Since his lungs appeared to be clearing up before his death, she argued that had his heart not stopped he "very well could have recovered."

At least twice during the hour episode, Joni raised skepticism about the vaccine's ability to prevent a person from dying of COVID-19. She had Carrie Madej, an osteopathic doctor, confirm that vaccines won't keep a person from dying of COVID-19 and noted that former Secretary of State Colin Powell was fully vaccinated when he died. Powell reportedly suffered from a form of cancer that made him more susceptible.

"Do you realize how many people fully vaccinated die of COVID because the vaccination won't keep you from dying? Joni said. "And yet the narrative is so strong on these secular networks that people believe and drink the Kool-Aid."

Newsweek reached out to Daystar Television for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

marcus lamb daystar covid vaccine skepticism
Daystar Television is still pushing vaccine skepticism after its founder, Marcus Lamb, died after being hospitalized with COVID-19. Above, a man receives Sputnik vaccine booster on December 22 in San Marino, San Marino. Michele Lapini/Getty Images

Throughout the pandemic, Daystar hosted prominent anti-vaccine voices, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was banned from Instagram for promoting misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. The Daystar website also calls vaccines the "most dangerous thing" children face.

Daystar also filed a petition to prevent President Joe Biden's vaccine rule from going into place. A court document filed alongside the American Family Association, the two groups called vaccine mandates a "sin against God's Holy Word."

While Joni repeatedly said on Ministry Now that people have a right to make the decision to get vaccinated and that some of their partners are vaccinated, the program's messaging appeared to dissuade people from getting the shot.

Madej said people should expect a rise of autoimmune disorders and potentially more cancer diagnosis because of the vaccine and said it "certainly" could cause infertility.

There is no evidence currently to suggest that vaccines, including those for COVID-19, cause fertility problems in men or women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pregnant women have shown to be more susceptible to becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19, though, causing babies to be born prematurely, so the CDC recommends those trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant get vaccinated.

Joni also pointed to the "hundreds" of adverse reactions people have had from the COVID-19 vaccine. While some people have had life-altering side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC maintains that cases are still very rare and that vaccines are safe and effective.

Some adverse events reported to the CDC system include headaches and chills, which the CDC has warned are common side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine and aren't necessarily cause for concern.

During the December 13 episode, Daystar played a video montage of people describing the irreparable harm they experienced after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The clips came from a hearing that Senator Ron Johnson held, where Ernest Ramirez described how his son passed away from myocarditis after his vaccination and a woman who had to rely on a walker after she was vaccinated.

Just as there have been stories of people who had their lives significantly altered because of the vaccine, stories have also come out about people who were hospitalized and regretted not getting vaccinated. Although rare, young people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and one woman, who had her limbs amputated, urged people to get vaccinated. A former college football player also advised people to not allow misinformation to dissuade them from getting vaccinated after he was hospitalized and had to relearn how to use his arm.

While Joni chalked up the narrative that vaccines help protect a person from contracting COVID-19 or dying to a "lie" perpetuated by the media, health officials take a different stance.

Although vaccines don't guarantee a person won't test positive for COVID-19 or get seriously ill from the virus, they're known to reduce a person's risk. As of the end of November, people who were unvaccinated were five times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and 14 times more likely to die of COVID-19, according to the CDC.

It's possible America will see more breakthrough infections in the coming months as immunity from the vaccine wanes and the Omicron variant spreads, but officials maintain inoculations are a person's greatest defense in the fight against COVID-19.

During a national address on Tuesday, Biden criticized networks and public figure who have been pushing vaccine misinformation, accusing them of "killing" their own customers and supporters.