An Ohio man reportedly shared anti-quarantine posts on social media a week before contracting and dying from complications related to the coronavirus, and now his family has been forced to cancel a live stream of his funeral after various news outlets unearthed and shared them, stirring backlash.
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John W. McDaniel should be remembered as a 60-year-old beloved husband, father, Ohio State University fan, and jokester, but the now-viral posts have cast a shadow on how he will be remembered.
In mid-March, McDaniel railed online against his state’s governor for implementing social-distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus.
“If what I’m hearing is true, that [Gov. Mike] DeWine has ordered all bars and restaurants to be closed, I Say Bullshit!” McDaniel reportedly wrote in one post. “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.”
In another post, he went on to share a conspiracy that the virus was a “ploy.”
“Does anybody have the guts to say this Covid19 is a political ploy?” he questioned. “Asking for a friend. Prove me wrong.”
After his death, the posts were shared thousands of times online by many, including news outlets and popular media personalities.
“Who Called Ohio’s Lockdown Order ‘Bullshit’ Has Succumbed To COVID-19 John McDaniel railed on social media against Ohio’s Gov. Mike DeWine’s lockdown order. Weeks later he contracted the coronavirus. A few days ago he died,” tweeted Jon Cooper, the former chair of the Democratic Coalition.
Others shared the story as a cautionary tale of the dangers of the pandemic.
“RIP John W. McDaniel from Ohio, who posted this on March 15 & has now sadly died from #coronavirus. Let his death be a warning to everyone else who wants to be ‘living our lives’ & ignore lockdowns – it may END your life,” Piers Morgan tweeted, along with screenshots of McDaniel’s posts.
As a result of the backlash, McDaniel’s family canceled plans to have a public live stream of his funeral.
His wife shared a since-deleted statement posted on Snyder Funeral Home’s Facebook page explaining that the decision was made “to protect my family and John’s legacy.”
She also pleaded with the public to adhere to social distancing rules.
“Johnny loved life and everyone he knew with his whole heart,” she wrote. “We ask you to remember we are a family mourning an unbearable loss. Use this as a reminder to continue practicing social distancing and keep each other safe.”
H/T BuzzFeed News
*First Published: Apr 23, 2020, 9:02 pm
Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.