A former CIA officer who billed himself as the first person to dub COVID-19 a hoax, died in a Florida hospital from the virus he claimed didn’t really exist, Vice reported. Robert David Steele, who was also an early QAnon acolyte, was hospitalized with COVID symptoms earlier this month, according to Vice. “I will not take the vaccination, though I did test positive for whatever they’re calling ‘COVID’ today, but the bottom line is that my lungs are not functioning,” Steele wrote in his final blog post less than two weeks ago. Steele’s friend Mark Tassi, also a well-known conspiracy theorist, confirmed Steele’s death in an Instagram video. Tassi claimed Steele’s doctors hooked him up to a ventilator only to make Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, look bad. Steele had been in Florida on a speaking tour during which he promoted false information about COVID and insisted Donald Trump would soon be reinstated as president.
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