A 37-year-old Ohio man who claimed the coronavirus pandemic was just ‘hype’ and repeatedly refused to wear a face mask has died from COVID-19.
Richard Rose, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, wrote on Facebook on July 1 that he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and went to get tested.
The U.S. Army veteran, who served for nine years and did two tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, tested positive.
He died from the virus at his home in Port Clinton, Ohio, on July 4.
Rose was born in the town and lived there his whole life.
Richard Rose, 37, of Ohio, claimed in a Facebook post that the pandemic was just ‘hype’
He said on April 28 he would not wear a face mask and was ‘not buying into that damn hype’
He was vociferous about his support for Trump, who has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the virus.
On May 29 he posted: ‘I stand by my President and his words. It’s finally time to have a President who has our backs. I’m glad to call him MY PRESIDENT!!’
He accompanied the text with a screenshot of Trump vowing to ‘crack down’ on Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis, after the death of George Floyd, and Trump referring to them as ‘thugs’.
He also claimed on April 28 that the pandemic was just ‘hype’.
‘Let make this clear,’ he wrote, in a post that was shared 10,000 times.
‘I’m not buying a f**king mask. I’ve made it this far by not buying into that damn hype.’
On May 12, Rose wrote: ‘I’ve gotten sick of turning my tv on to political smear ads and shit about COVID.
‘So yesterday I turned my cable box in.
‘I’ve also started snoozing people on here. It’s time to block out negativity.’
Leading up to his death, Rose shared updates about his health, writing on July 1: ‘I’ve been very sick the past few days.
‘Symptoms of Covid-19. This morning I finally got swabbed. I should know soon what the results are. I just want to feel good again!’
Later that day he revealed that he had tested positive for the virus
‘Well. I’m officially under quarantine for the next 14 days,’ he wrote.
‘I just tested positive for COVID-19. Sucks because I had just started a new job!’
On May 12, Rose wrote that he had ‘gotten sick’ of ‘shit about COVID’ on cable TV
On July 1 Rose wrote that he had ‘been very sick the past few days. Symptoms of Covid-19.’
That same day he announced his test results, saying he would be quarantining for 14 days
On July 2, Rose shared: ‘This covid shit sucks! I’m so out of breath just sitting here.’
He died two days later.
Nick Conley, Rose’s friend, told Cleveland 19 that everyone was ‘blown away’ by Rose’s death.
‘You hear about this virus and you don’t expect it to affect people, younger people like ourselves,’ Conley told the station.
Conley met Rose through a shared love of video games.
In his obituary, his family say he enjoyed social media, online streaming, paranormal and his two cats Dale and Tucker.
Rose was a fan of NASCAR, Dirt Track Racing and Georgia Bulldogs Football.
‘Rick is getting slaughtered online right now for his decision that he made not to wear a mask and that’s not right,’ Conley said.
‘We should still be compassionate whether we agree with someone’s beliefs or not. Someone has passed away and we should have some compassion towards that.’
‘It’s horrible that we lost Rick, but the even more tragic part of that is who else became infected because of the actions that he chose.’
Ohio has reported more than 65,000 confirmed cases with at least 3,058 deaths.
The state reported a single-day record of 1,525 newly reported coronavirus cases on Friday.
There are more than 3.2 million confirmed cases in the US and at least 135,066 deaths