The widow of an Ohio man who died of the coronavirus after calling the outbreak a “political ploy” that was prompting “paranoid” restrictions said that his livestream funeral will be privately recorded because the family had been hit with a slew of criticism over his earlier comments. “During this time of mourning, John’s story, along with early assumptions that he stated on Twitter and Facebook have turned into national news,” Lisa McDaniel wrote in a letter made public by the Snyder Funeral Home in Marion, Ohio. “This news has opened the floodgates for people to share their own misguided anger and unfounded assumptions about a man they don’t know.” John W. McDaniel, 60, died on April 15 after being hospitalized and later placed on a ventilator, according to his sister, Lisa McDaniel Hoppe.
“Many, like John, made statements early on not fully aware of the severity of COVID-19,” Lisa continued. “Many have retracted their statements knowing now the effects of this pandemic. We know if John was still here with us he would acknowledge the national crisis we are in, abide by the stay-at-home order, and encourage family and friends to do the same.” John slammed Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s shelter-in-place order in social media posts in March, when the outbreak in the state was still emerging. His remarks resurfaced after his obituary was published on April 16 in the Marion Star.