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Transphobic, Trump-supporting anti-masker dies of coronavirus after dismissing the pandemic as a ‘load of hype’

Josh Milton July 15, 2020
Richard Rose, of Ohio, US, posted transphobic memes as well as claiming that the coronavirus pandemic was just 'hype'. (Facebook)

Richard Rose, of Ohio, US, posted transphobic memes as well as claiming that the coronavirus pandemic was just 'hype'. (Facebook)

A transphobic, Trump slogan-toting anti-masker, who frequently dismissed the global coronavirus pandemic that has sickened 13 million and killed nearly 580,000 as a “load of hype”, has died of COVID-19,

Richard Rose, 37, died at his Port Clinton, Ohio home on 4 July – just three days after testing positive for the contagion, his family said according to the Daily Mail.

On his Facebook, Rose frequently shared clunkily made memes that said there are “only two genders” or believing that Michelle Obama is a man, as well as spewing Islamaphobic rhetoric.

He often clogged friend’s feeds with announcements that he’s not “buying a f***ing mask” and that he’s returned his cable box because of the “s**t about COVID”.

Yet, his posts steadily began to detail his symptoms instead. Vows to not wear a mask or discrediting the existence of the virus folded into statuses that said: “This COVID s**t sucks! I’m so out of breath just sitting here.”

Slideshows of Rose’s Facebook posts roped together have gone viral, becoming a cautionary tale of the importance of taking the pandemic that is cratering the world seriously. Where reluctance to abide by the advice of health officials runs the risk of inflaming the virus’ spread even more.

Trump-supporting transphobic war veteran tore into those who took coronavirus seriously. He later died of the novel disease. 

The US Army veteran, who spent nine years in the US Army and completed two tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote on Facebook on July 1 that he had gone to get tested for COVID-19, saying that he had been “very sick the past few days.

“This morning, I finally got swabbed,” he wrote, “I should have known what the results are. I just want to feel good day.”

Rose died three days later.

A staunch supporter of the US president – who has frequently minimised the threat of the virus – Rose regularly shared messages from Trump. In one post, he amplified tweets from the president that decried Black Lives Matter demonstrators packing American cities as “thugs”.

“I stand by my president and his words,” Rose wrote on Facebook. “It’s finally time to have a president who has our backs. I’m glad to call him MY PRESIDENT!”

Days after Rose’s death, the president left Americans stunned after months of mocking those wearing masks and dismissing pleas from health officials to don one, finally wearing a covering during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this month.

US president Donald Trump wears a mask as he visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on July 11, 2020. (ALEX EDELMAN / AFP)

Masks have emerged as shorthand for the pandemic itself. A reminder of how the world has changed in the wake of the coronavirus’ rampages, and the ways that normality has been upended.

As a result, many right-wing community leaders have derided masks, often seeking to erode or mute calls from lawmakers to wear them. Trump had declined to wear a mask at news conferences, coronavirus task force updates, rallies and other public events for months.

More: anti-masker, Coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Michelle Obama, transphobia

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