Marc Bernier, a radio host at Daytona Beach for 30 years, has died after a three-week battle with COVID-19.
Bernier, 65, has remained in the Florida community for the past few days as a curator who researched and disseminated the views of others.
He was also a staunch opponent of vaccinations.
Volusia County, Florida Sheriff Mike Chitwood, a longtime guest on Bernier’s radio show on WNDB, said a station representative from Florida confirmed to him that Bernier died on Saturday night.
Chitwood said he has appeared on Bernier’s show regularly for the past 15 years, first as the Daytona Beach Police Chief and then as sheriff. He said the two didn’t always agree on everything, but that never hampered their friendship.
Jim Rose, a retired lawyer who hosted his own weekly show on WNDB for 15 years, recalled Bernier as a good interviewer who put guests at ease.
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Pat Northey, a Democrat who served on Volusia County Council for 20 years, was among the Liberals who were greeted on Bernier’s show in a way not seen on many national Conservative talk shows.
“I don’t think he’s as right as his show,” Northey said. “I think he has an understanding of moderation.… I find he can be persuaded. He doesn’t care about any issues.”
On air, Bernier said he would not take the COVID-19 vaccine
Bernier had problems with vaccines for years.
Mel Stack, a lawyer and friend who regularly advertises the program, said Bernier’s anti-vaccination views were not based on politics, but on personal experience based on how he believed vaccines had had an impact on those close to him.
Bernier’s concerns extended to COVID-19 vaccines.
When Bernier reunited with Justin Gates, vice president of Sports Network International in Ormond Beach, Fla., And longtime friend of Bernier’s, for a new show on December 19, Pfizer’s vaccine had only gotten its initial approval for a week earlier. Gates asked Bernier if he would get the jab.
Bernier replied, “I don’t take it.
Gates: “Come on! “
Bernier: “Are you kidding me? Mr. Anti-Vax? Jeepers.
Bernier: “No. “
COVID-19 cases have increased in Florida since the start of the summer. Between August 20 and August 26, the state documented 151,749 new cases of coronavirus.
About 68% of eligible Florida residents are vaccinated against the virus, according to state data.
Mark McKinney, the WNDB’s director of operations, did not confirm Bernier’s vaccination status to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, while the host was hospitalized. However, he noted that “If you’ve listened to his show, you’ve heard him talk about how anti-vaccine he is on the air.”