Man who slated coronavirus 'hype' and vowed not to wear mask dies of Covid-19

A US Army veteran who dismissed the coronavirus outbreak as ‘damn hype’ and refused to wear a ‘fucking mask’ has died of Covid-19 aged just 37. Richard Rose died on July 4, three days after being diagnosed with the condition in Port Clinton, Ohio.

Rose, who spent nine years in the US Army and completed two tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, hit out at what he claimed was an overreaction to coronavirus in April, writing: ‘Let’s make this clear. I’m not buying a fucking mask. I’ve made it this far by not buying into that damn hype.’

That post has now been shared tens of thousands of times as news of Rose’s death turned his behavior into a cautionary tale.

Rose – who had no known underlying health conditions – shared another Facebook status on July 1 saying he’d been ‘very sick’ over the past few days with Covid-19 symptoms. He confirmed his diagnosis later the same day, and wrote of how debilitating its symptoms were the next day. Rose wrote: ‘This Covid shit sucks. I’m so out of breath just sitting here.’

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The former military man appeared to realize his condition was worsening on July 3 – the day before his death – when he shared a joking meme asking people not to be too surprised if they saw him in heaven.

Rose also repeatedly spoke of his support for Donald Trump. The President of the United States has repeatedly come under fire for downplaying the seriousness of the outbreak, with close to 3.5million Americans now infected, and over 135,000 killed by Covid-19.

Trump has also been condemned for politicizing the wearing of masks, with the president finally wearing one for an official visit to the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday.

Rose’s friend Nick Conley told of his shock at the coronavirus tragedy, and appealed for others to show compassion for the late US Army man.

He told WOIO: ‘We were blown away, you know? You hear about this virus and you don’t expect it to affect people, younger people like ourselves.

‘Rick is getting slaughtered online right now for his decision that he made not to wear a mask and that’s not right.

‘We should still be compassionate whether we agree with someone’s beliefs or not. Someone has passed away and we should have some compassion towards that.’

Conley also urged others to take the threat of coronavirus seriously in the wake of his pal’s sudden death.

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