Marcus Lamb of Christian Daystar Television Network dies of COVID
Marcus Lamb, head of Christian network Daystar who has been a vocal opponent of the coronavirus vaccine, has died of COVID-19, his family has announced.
The Conservative Christian Daystar Television Network announced his death Tuesday on Twitter, saying that the network’s founder “went home to be with the Lord this morning.” His wife, Joni, confirmed on the network his coronavirus diagnoses and that he had “pre-existing conditions”, including diabetes. He was 64, she said.
One of the two largest Christian television networks in the world, Daystar has more than 70 stations reaching 100 million American households nationwide and 680 million households in more than 200 countries, according to the network’s website. The network is based in Bedford, Texas.
Daystar aired segments and posted information online that contained misinformation about the virus, vaccines, and unproven treatments for COVID-19.
Marcus Lamb had promoted unapproved treatments for COVID-19, including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. He called ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug that federal health authorities have not approved for treating the virus, a “miracle drug.” The Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health have warned Americans against using the drug to treat COVID-19.
Joni Lamb said they were trying to treat the virus “with the different protocols we use, including the ones we talk about on Daystar”.
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About a week before Lamb’s death, his son, Jonathan, said on a November 23 broadcast that he believed his father’s illness was a “spiritual attack from the enemy” in order to “bring down” his father.
It is not known if Lamb was vaccinated. Arnold Torres, a spokesperson for Daystar, confirmed Lamb’s death in a statement to USA TODAY but declined to comment on his vaccination status.
“He will always be remembered for his fierce love of God, people and his family,” the statement read.
Joining the show from the hospital, Joni Lamb asked viewers to pray that “her husband’s lungs clear” and that “his oxygen level continues to be strong”.
The Lamb family and Daystar have made controversial statements about the pandemic and promoted misinformation about the virus and vaccines. The network hosted prominent anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose Instagram account was taken down for sharing debunked claims about COVID-19 vaccines.
Daystar’s website also peddles a slew of misinformation about vaccines, urging readers to rethink vaccination and raising concerns about vaccine mandates. For one episode, titled “A Hidden Crisis”, Daystar’s website says, “What if the most dangerous thing your child could face in life was the very thing your doctor tells you is safe?”
Vaccines remain the safest and most effective way to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. Meanwhile, amid growing concerns about the omicron variant, the CDC is encouraging Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
White evangelical Christians have resisted COVID-19 vaccines at higher rates than other American faith groups and report greater vaccine hesitancy. Experts point to a distrust of government and mainstream science, fueled by online conspiracy theories, as the reason for the group’s mistrust of vaccines.
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