Florida Radio Host Who Warned Against Vaccine Dies of COVID-19 Complications

A Florida radio host who was vehemently outspoken about vaccinations died from COVID-19 complications on Friday.

Dick Farrel, of West Palm Beach, Florida, was beloved by many listeners and supports for his right-wing opinions. Farrel was also known for his thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine, which he was opposed to taking himself.

Prior to his death, the radio veteran made a number of comments on Facebook regarding Dr. Fauci and the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Fauci, the power tripping lying freak named in the Trump lawsuit," Farrel said in July. "Why take a vax promoted by people who lied 2 u all along about masks, where the virus came from, and the death toll?"

dick farrel covid death complications
A worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Radio host Dick Farrel urged close friends to take the COVID-19 vaccine prior to his passing, Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty

After contracting COVID-19, Farrel recanted a number of statements and urged them to get the vaccine, according to close friends.

A number of Farrel's friends gave their condolences across social media.

"COVID took one of my best friends! RIP Dick Farrel. He is the reason I took the shot. He texted me and told me to 'Get it!' He told me this virus is no joke and he said, "I wish I had gotten it!" said close friend Amy Leigh Hair on her Facebook page.

"I was one of one the people like him who didn't trust the vaccine. I trusted my immune system. I just became more afraid of getting COVID-19 than I was of any possible side effects of the vaccine. I'm glad I got vaccinated," Hair told WPTV.

Lee Strasser, who's a former Market General Manager for CBS Radio West Palm Beach, spoke about Strasser to WPTV.

"Dick was flamboyant, outrageous at times, and willing to take on any and all comers," said Strasser, who hired Farrel in the 1990s.

"He loved to engage with local politicians and pulled no punches. Was he right all the time? No... But he was "RIGHT" all the time, especially if you asked him," said Strasser.

"Did he stay out of trouble? Not always. Was he great with clients? Yes," Strasser continued. "Was he a pleasure in the building? Absolutely. Was he loyal? Unquestionably! Was he skilled? Yessir! His passing is a big loss. He was a kind-hearted person with a load of passion, and his memory will stand the test of time. We have all lost a friend in Farrel."

In Florida, Farrel's state, COVID cases are spiking rapidly. President Joe Biden recently called out Governor Ron DeSantis regarding his stance on mask mandates.

"And worst of all, some state officials are passing laws or signing orders that forbid people from doing the right thing," Biden said in a Tuesday press conference. "As of now, seven states not only banned mask mandates but also banned them in their school districts, even for young children who cannot get vaccinated."

As of Friday, there are more than 134,500 new reported cases of COVID-19 across Florida and 175 deaths, according to The Florida Department of Health.