A US man who dismissed the Covid-19 pandemic as a "political ploy" and rubbished lockdown protocols has died of coronavirus.
Columbus man John McDaniel passed away last Wednesday, one month after taking to social media to fire off a series of aggressive messages denouncing the legitimacy of Covid-19.
"Does anybody have the guts to say this Covid-19 is a political ploy? Asking for a friend. Prove me wrong," he wrote on March 13.
He then hit out at Ohio's governor, Mike DeWine, who ordered a state-wide lockdown, including the closing of bars and restaurants.
McDaniel, 60, said the virus shouldn't stop people living their lives.
"If what I'm hearing is true, that DeWine has ordered all bars and restaurants to be closed, I say bulls***!
"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.
"The madness has to stop."
The 60-year-old's Facebook page has since been removed.
His obituary confirmed he died "with his loving family by his side from complications from Covid-19".
His family have since pleaded with residents to practise social distancing.
"We would like to extend a heartfelt 'Thank you' to the nurses at Marion General Hospital and to all the staff at Riverside Methodist Hospital for everything they did to try and save Johnny's life from Covid-19. We would also like to remind everyone to continue practicing social distancing to keep each other safe."
McDaniel leaves behind a wife and two sons and will have a livestreamed funeral service on Wednesday.
"You could not have known a more loving and loyal husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend," the obit said.