Richard Rose, an Ohio resident who survived two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, passed away on July 4 from complications of COVID-19, just a few days after he tested positive for the coronavirus. His death came just weeks after he posted several messages on social media deriding face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Now posts are going viral online that show Rose saying he didn’t believe in wearing masks back in April. Rose also posted support for Trump, made jokes about rape, attacked Black Lives Matter protestors and transgender people and accused Democrats of lying about the dangers of the coronavirus in order to “rig the elections in their favor.”
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.
Then on June 13, Rose checked into the Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island in Ohio, posting “Round 2” and then sharing how crowded it was there.
He posted a photo of a crowded pool full of mask-free vacationers on June 13. Rose wrote: “It’s not that packed lol.”
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.