COVID-19 Patient Convinced To Leave Hospital By Anti-Vaxxers, Dies Days Later

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Representation. Police in Ireland are investigating an incident where an elderly COVID-19 patient died after he was convinced to leave the hospital by anti-vaccine campaigners.

An elderly COVID-19 patient in Ireland who left the hospital earlier this month on the advice of anti-vaccination campaigners has died.

The patient, 75-year-old Donegal man Joe McCarron, was convinced to leave Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) on Sept. 14 — against medical advice — by anti-vaccination campaigners who claimed they were saving his life, Irish Mirror reported. 

However, McCarron was readmitted to the hospital two days later after having severe breathing difficulties and was put on a ventilator. He died Friday without regaining consciousness and was buried Sunday in his hometown of Dungloe, according to The Irish Times.

A video earlier shared on social media showed McCarron being convinced to sign himself out of the hospital by Antonio Mureddu, whom the outlet described as an Italian restaurant owner with a long history of conspiratorial and far-right activism.

Mureddu, a member of the so-called Freedom on the Land Movement, claimed he was "rescuing" the elderly man from the hospital.

A doctor attempted to reason with McCarron and told the patient he risks "endangering" his life if he leaves the hospital. "It's a very difficult disease that you have, and I'm not lying to you, you could die, but this could be your best chance in the hospital," the staff member told McCarron.

"You have the right to decide what you want to do, but I don't think what he is saying is right. You're barely able to breathe now. We want you to stay to help you," a medic was quoted by Insider as telling the patient.

Mureddu, however, claimed that the hospital was going to "kill" McCarron if he stayed any longer. "These people, they are lying, so we go home now, my friend. It's better if he dies in the house than die in here. He's going to die with us," the Italian national said, before McCarron agrees to leave with him.

Mureddu said in a follow-up video that he and his group were "happy" that they were able to "save" McCarron's life.

Mureddu, who often posts messages criticizing lockdowns and vaccine and mask mandates, claimed that McCarron contacted him and asked him to help him leave the hospital on his Telegram channel.

Ireland Taoiseach Micheál Martin criticized the removal of McCarron from the hospital, Irish Mirror reported.

"If you get it (COVID-19), you should treat it as very serious," Martin said. "Certainly, it is outrageous that anyone would, in an ill-informed way, be advising people to leave the hospital. It endangers that person's health."

McCarron's wife of 38 years, Una, wanted to apologize to the hospital staff for what had happened, a family spokesman said. He also slammed those who helped remove McCarron from the hospital as "reckless."

"Una would like to thank the staff and apologize for the actions of Joe’s so-called reckless friends earlier in the week. They did not help Joe’s recovery in any way," the spokesman said. "We would encourage everyone to follow proper medical advice."

Ireland’s Garda Síochána police force are investigating the incident. Officers in Donegal were advised to be careful when dealing with Mureddu due to concerns of him passing on COVID-19 due to his previous behavior.

"Garda Síochána continues to investigate a number of recent incidents which occurred at Letterkenny University Hospital," a police spokeswoman said Sunday, according to The Irish Times. "A senior investigating officer is appointed to oversee the investigation."


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Photo: Pixabay

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