Who was Dick Farrel? Anti-vaxx Florida radio host who mocked Anthony Fauci dies from Covid-19
A former Newsmax fill-in anchor and conservative talk show host who earlier blasted Anthony Stephen Fauci and Covid-19 vaccines, has died at 65. In a shocking turn of events in his last few days, the man texted his pals asking them to get Covid-19 vaccine.
Dick Farrel used to be Newsmax's fill-in host back in 2018. Farrel, whose real name is Farrel Austin Levitt, also anchored for Newsmax after the radio station where he worked, WFLN, was sold in 2016, according to friend and station owner George Kalman, who penned Farrel’s obituary. The right-wing talk show host reportedly texted his friends in his last few days urging them to get the Covid-19 vaccine jab. Previously, Farrel had frequently hit out against the Covid-19 vaccine on his personal Facebook page.
In a July 3, 2021, post, he wrote: "Why take a vax promoted by people who lied 2u all along about masks, where the virus came from and the death toll?” although he didn’t provide any additional context or clarification. "Vaccine Bogus Bull Shid!, Two peeps I know, got vaxed, now have Corona, hospitalized critical," he wrote on July 1. "Thank you Moderna, FOR NOTHING!" Creative Director of Hubbard South Florida Mike McCabe, a friend of Farrel’s, said on Facebook that he had been battling Covid-19 for three weeks before his death earlier this week.
Farrel had also verbally lashed out at Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, calling him a “power-tripping lying freak” while supporting former president Donald Trump. However, after contracting the Covid-19 virus, Farrel changed his mind and texted his friends to get the vaccine. "He is the reason I took the shot," said Amy Leigh Hair, Farrel's close friend. "He texted me and told me to 'Get it!' He told me this virus is no joke and he said, "I wish I had gotten it!" Since his death, tributes have poured in from friends and colleagues.
Farrel's long-time friend and radio veteran, George Kalman, said: "We became such close friends that he would always call me for advice when applying for jobs or anything pertaining to radio. I was like a big brother to him. As you can imagine I am very upset about his demise and will miss him greatly."
"He fought like a tiger. Please don't put off getting attention for this illness. Yes, for some it has minimal effects, but others it is deadly. We will always love Dick Farrel, always appreciate his spirit, and miss him greatly. He was known as the other Rush Limbaugh. With a heavy heart, I can only say this was so unexpected. He will be missed," said his life partner Kit Farley on Facebook.
Lee Strasser, former market general manager for CBS Radio West Palm Beach, talked about Farrel and said that he was "flamboyant, outrageous at times, and willing to take on any and all comers," WPTV reported. "Was he right all the time? No," Strasser added. "But he was "RIGHT" all the time, especially if you asked him. Did he stay out of trouble? Not always. Was he great with clients? Yes. Was he a pleasure in the building? Absolutely. Was he loyal? Unquestionably! Was he skilled? Yessir! His passing is a big loss. He was a kind-hearted person with a load of passion, and his memory will stand the test of time. We have all lost a friend in Farrel."