ONE of President Donald Trump’s passionate supporters who opposed the current lockdown marching against it last week calling the whole plan a deception has died from the virus at a hospital in Columbus in Ohio.
John McDaniel, of Marion County in Ohio, was a strident anti-lockdown protester who railed against Covid-19 closures in his home state last week. On March 15, he was one of the protesters who marched against Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine’s closures aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus,
Mr McDaniel, 60, who is survived by his wife and two children, tested positive for Covid-19 about a fortnight ago and has now succumbed to the virus. He ran an industrial equipment supply company prior to his death and has now become the first resident of his home country to die of Covid-19, with Marion County health commissioner Traci Kinsler paying tribute to him.
Last month, Mr McDaniel wrote on Facebook: “If what I’m hearing is true, that DeWine has ordered all bars and restaurants to be closed, I say bullshit. He doesn’t have that authority, if you are paranoid about getting sick just don’t go out.
“It shouldn’t keep those of us from living our lives. The madness has to stop.”
Two days earlier, Mr McDaniel even suggested that the dangers posed by the virus currently sweeping America had been exaggerated. His Facebook page has since been deleted, although the sceptical Covid-19 posts continue to circle the internet,
Marion County health commissioner Traci Kinsler said: “On behalf of the entire Marion County community, we express our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. Our thoughts go out to the Marion County community, as well as all Ohioans and those across the world battling this illness and the families of everyone affected by this pandemic.”
Governor DeWine’s lockdown measures include closing all Ohio schools for the remainder of the academic year, with classes to be taught online instead. Mr McDaniel’s death came just before President Trump sent a series of tweets calling on supporters to Liberate Michigan, Virginia and Minnesota from ongoing lockdown measures.
Heavily armed protesters have since rallied on state capitol buildings across the US as part of the burgeoning anti-lockdown movement, dubbed Re-Open America. Governors have vowed to stand firm in the face of those protests, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US hit 819,321 today, with 45,355 deaths.