A Florida man who initially believed the coronavirus outbreak was a "fake crisis" that was being "blown out of proportion" by the government has tested positive for the deadly disease along with his wife, who is now facing a serious threat from the disease.
A Coronavirus Skeptic
A month ago, Brian Hitchens worked as a rideshare driver and refused to wear a mask out of skepticism over the coronavirus pandemic. Now, he's in a hospital receiving treatment for disease while his wife fights for her life. The Jupiter, Florida resident took to Facebook in March and April to downplay the seriousness of outbreak.
"I'm honoring what our government says to do during this epidemic but I do not fear this virus because I know that my God is bigger than this Virus will ever be," he wrote in a post shared on April 2. "Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords."
"I thought it was maybe the government trying something, and it was kind of like they threw it out there to kinda distract us," Hitchens told WPTV, calling himself a COVID-19 skeptic. "I'd get up in the morning and pray and trust in God for his protection, and I'd just leave it at that. There were all these masks and gloves. I thought it looks like a hysteria," he added.
In mid-April Hitchens, 46, shared on Facebook that he and his wife had fallen sick and a day later, they were admitted to the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Hitchens wrote on the social media platform.
Hitchens Warns Others to Take Virus Seriously
In a lengthy post on May 12, Hitchens shared his experience from his hospital bed and urged others not to make the same mistake he made and to take the virus seriously.
"Many people still think that the Coronavirus is a fake crisis which at one time I did too and not that I thought it wasn't a real virus going around but at one time I felt that it was blown out of proportion and it wasn't that serious," he wrote.
However, that changed when he started feeling sick and stopped working. A few days later, his wife started feeling unwell and when she visited a hospital she was told to go under quarantine. When their condition got worse, Hitchens and his wife checked into the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, where they tested positive for COVID-19.
Hitchens added that they were both transferred to the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) and although he started feeling better after a few days, his wife's condition deteriorated to the point that she had to be placed on the ventilator.
"As of today my wife is still sedated and on the ventilator with no signs of improving," he wrote, before adding that his wife's chances of survival are bleak.
"So think about what I wrote and think about if this thing is a fake crisis," he warned. "Looking back I should have worn a mask in the beginning but I didn't and perhaps I'm paying the price for it now but I know that if it was me that gave it to my wife I know that she forgives me and I know that God forgives me."
Read the full post below:
On Monday, May 18, nearly a week after the post, Hitchens shared an update on his Facebook account stating that he had tested negative for coronavirus, a little less than a month since his hospitalization.