A conservative Tennessee talk radio host who had been skeptical of vaccines until he was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 has died. He was 61 years old.

Nashville radio station SuperTalk 99.7 WTN confirmed Phil Valentine’s death in a tweet on Saturday.

Phil Valentine takes the stage at an event in Nashville, TN (Larry McCormack / The Tennessean / AP)

Mr Valentine had been skeptical of coronavirus vaccines. But after testing positive for Covid-19, and before being admitted to hospital, he told his listeners to consider, “If I get this Covid thing, do I have a chance of dying from it?” If so, he said, they should be vaccinated.

He said he chose not to get the vaccine because he thought he probably wouldn’t die.

After Mr Valentine was transferred to an intensive care unit, Mark Valentine said his brother regretted “not being a more vocal advocate for vaccination”.

“I know if he was able to tell you, he would say, ‘Go get the vaccine. Stop worrying about politics. Stop worrying about all the conspiracy theories, ”Mark Valentine told The Tennessean newspaper on July 25.

“He regrets not having been more categorical about the vaccination. “

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Phil Valentine had been a radio personality since the age of 20 and became a popular Conservative host by protesting against an income tax proposed by then Republican governor Don Sundquist, the Tennessean reported.