‘This is not a hoax’: Family reveal tragic final words of anti-vaxxer, 28, who died of Covid

Mother says her son ‘would have made sure everyone knew how serious this disease is’ after admitting it was not a conspiracy while in an ICU

Gino Spocchia
Monday 26 July 2021 15:46 BST

‘Time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks’: Alabama governor hits out as Covid cases rise in state

The family of a 28-year-old anti-vaxxer who died from Covid have revealed how he regretted not getting vaccinated in his final days in an ICU unit, and admitted that it was “not a hoax”.

Curt Carpenter, of Pell City, Alabama, allegedly told his family the disease was “not a hoax” after believing in the fringe conspiracy and falling-ill in March. His mother, Christy Carpenter, also believed the virus was not real.

“It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of Covid for us to realise we need the vaccine,” she told The Washington Post in a recent interview. “We did not get vaccinated when we had the opportunity and regret that so much now.”

Ms Carpenter said she and her son were anti-vaxxers because “it took years to create other vaccines”. The family eventually caught Covid and Curt was taken to an ICU unit in Birmingham, Alabama. He died on 2 May after 51 days on a ventilator.

“Curt thought Covid was a hoax and did not take it seriously, until he could not breathe without the oxygen,” she added in an interview the Montogomery Advertiser in Alabama. Among his last words were: “This is not a hoax, this is real.”

“I know that if Curt had survived, he would have made sure everyone knew how serious this disease is, and how important the vaccine is,” she added, and said it was her her “mission” to inform Alabamans of the importance of getting vaccinated against Covid.

The story, which circulated on social media at the weekend, is one of many amid a surge of Covid in Alabama and a swathe of southern Republican-leaning states where vaccinate rates are among the lowest in the whole US.

Alabama governor Kay Ivey last week told reporters in Birmingham, Alabama, that it was time “to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks” for a rise in infections and hospitalisations in her state.

According to the CDC, as few as 39.8 per cent of Alabamans aged 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against Covid, compared to the American average of 48.8 per cent.

Vaccine hesitancy has largely been seen among Republicans, and was to blame for the Biden administration missing a 4 July target of getting 70 per cent of adults vaccinated. Fringe conspiracies about Covid have meanwhile been spread online.

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