An Ohio man who spent months sharing anti-mask memes on Facebook mocking the coronavirus pandemic has died after contracting Covid-19 last month.
“Richard Donald Rose, III, 37, of Port Clinton passed away Saturday, July 4, 2020 due to complications of Covid-19 at his home,” reads his online obituary. “He was born July 25, 1982 in Port Clinton. He graduated from Port Clinton High School. He served his country in the United States Army for nine years serving two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He enjoyed social media, online streaming, paranormal and his two cats Dale and Tucker. He was a fan of NASCAR, Dirt Track Racing and Georgia Bulldogs Football.”
On April 28, Rose wrote on Facebook: “Let make this clear. I’m not buying a fucking mask. I’ve made it this far by not buying into that damn hype.”
On May 12, Rose wrote: “I’ve gotten sick of turning my tv on to political smear ads and shit about COVID. So yesterday I turned my cable box in. I’ve also started snoozing people on here. It’s time to block out negativity.”
A few days later Rose shared an Islamophobic meme mocking face mask wearers.
On June 13, Rose visited Put-In-Bay, South Bass Island, in Lake Erie, Ohio, sharing a picture of dozens of mask-free vacationers enjoying the pool.
On July 1, Rose took to Facebook to announce he had recently developed symptoms of COVID-19 and was waiting for his coronavirus test results.
“I just want to feel good again!” he wrote.
A short time later, Rose shared that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Asked if he knew where he might have contracted the virus, Rose replied: “nope.”
Rose passed away a few days later on July 4.
“I’m terribly sorry this happened,” someone wrote on his obituary guest book. “You were tricked by the republican narrative that this was a hoax. Your death is on them. My condolences to your family.”
“RIP. You were so young. I’m sorry your chosen political leaders tricked you into believing their “hype,” and I hope your loved ones will listen to the medical experts instead,” wrote another.
Others chose to leave messages mocking Rose for posting transphobic and racist memes on his Facebook page.