Former CIA officer and conspiracy theorist who called pandemic a hoax dies of Covid

‘I’m alive today because I had a network that put me into a good hospital,’ Steele wrote before dying of Covid

<p>Robert D Steele posted a photo of him on a ventilator bed in his last blog post, in which he continued saying Covid was a hoax  </p>

Robert D Steele posted a photo of him on a ventilator bed in his last blog post, in which he continued saying Covid was a hoax

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A former CIA officer who claimed to be the first person to call Covid-19 a hoax, died from the disease after battling for life for nearly a month in a hospital.

Robert David Steele, a veteran of the US marine corps and a QAnon supporter, promoted several conspiracy theories, including one that said Covid-19 was a hoax. He also promoted an anti-vaccination campaign.

Earlier this month, Steele was hospitalised with coronavirus symptoms, including severely damaged lungs. The former marine, however, continued calling the infection a hoax and refused to get inoculated.

“I will not take the vaccination, though I did test positive for whatever they’re calling ‘COVID’ today, but the bottom line is that my lungs are not functioning,” Steele wrote in his final blog post on 17 August, accompanied by a picture of him on a ventilator.

“We will never be the same because now we know that we’ve all been lied to about everything,” Steele wrote. “But, now we also know that we can trust each other. I’m alive today because I had a network that put me into a good hospital in Florida.”

Sounding positive about his recovery, Steele wrote: “The good news is that I will survive with a few days off. I should be back up and at least functional soon. This is been a near death experience, very much like a new death experience the whole country is going through right now (sic).”

On Monday, his friend and fellow conspiracy theorist Mark Tassi confirmed his death in an Instagram video. In the video, Mr Tassi levelled several allegations against the administration of the hospital in which Steele was admitted and claimed his health deteriorated after he received treatment for Covid-19.

“Open your eyes! Don’t take my word for it, do your research as I have done. He was doing well until they put him on Remdesivir,” Mr Tassi said in the video. “This immediately resulted in his oxygen levels dropping. They immediately began shaming the family to force him on a ventilator.”

“They are trying to make Florida look bad. They are targeting Florida,” he added.

Remdesivir has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Covid-19. Unvaccinated people are about 29 times more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19 than those who are fully vaccinated, according to a recent CDC study.

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