A man who previously condemned the use of face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic has shared a video from his hospital bed expressing his regret and urging others to use the safety measure after he was diagnosed with the virus.
On Monday, Daniel Uhlfelder shared a video to Twitter that his friend Chuck Stacey filmed of himself from his hospital bed with the caption: “My friend didn’t wear a mask because he believed the lies from our leaders. Now, he’s close to being intubated. He asked that I share this.”
In the video, Stacey, who can be seen with an oxygen tube in his nose, struggles to breathe as he says: “I didn’t wear a mask. I should have. I didn’t.
“I believed this was just the flu and it was all going to go away and it was political.”
“I didn’t think a mask would help,” Stacey continued, adding: “You don’t want to end up like me. I’m having trouble breathing. I may have to be intubated if I get any worse.”
Stacey then urged viewers to wear a mask to protect themselves and their loved ones.
“If wearing a mask can reduce your chances of getting this, even by five per cent, just wear a mask,” he said. “Do it for your children, your loved ones, do it for yourself.”
The video, which has been viewed more than 780,000 times, comes after Stacey previously expressed his belief that masks were an “overreaction,” the New York Post states.
According to the outlet, Stacey shared the anti-mask sentiment in May, when he criticised employees at a donut shop for wearing masks in a Facebook post that has since been deleted.
“I have to say I have had it with the masks that the employees are being forced to wear,” he reportedly wrote on Facebook at the time. “It’s just another example of the continued overreaction to this situation … Please stop so when we come to eat we can enjoy our meal without feeling sorry for the employees.”
Following the initial video, Stacey shared additional videos on his own Twitter account, including one in which he explains that he wore a face shield instead of a face mask at the advice of his doctor because of his “claustrophobia,” which he later referred to as “debilitating”.
“I thought it was a bad flu,” he reiterated. “I didn’t know. I listened to the wrong people say the wrong things. I was wrong. You can’t be more wrong.”
Stacey then addressed death threats he has received since his first video, telling viewers: “But to wish me death? To say I don’t deserve to be treated? What is wrong with you people?”
The IT company owner also encouraged viewers again to wear a mask, adding: “And if you’re claustrophobic, get help so you can wear one.”
In another video posted to his Twitter, Stacey shared an update on his health, revealing that he is on his way towards recovery, and thanking people for their support and well-wishes.
After again stating that he was “wrong,” Stacey also encouraged people to follow all recommended safety precautions amid the ongoing pandemic, including social distancing and washing your hands.
“I pray that no one else gets this, I really pray that everybody can take the politics out of it, I didn’t, I was a jacka**,” Stacey continued. “It just got politicised. It should never have been politicised.”
As of 4 January, there have been more than 21m cases of coronavirus in the United States.
The Independent has contacted Stacey for comment.
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