Florida man said pandemic was a ‘fake crisis’ but posts warning after being hospitalized—with his wife.

A photograph of a man sitting in a hospital gown.

Screenshot / WPTV

A coronavirus skeptic who then survived COVID-19 now warns others.

Florida man, Brian Lee Hitchens thought the coronavirus pandemic was a “fake crisis,” and that people wearing masks and gloves looked “like a hysteria.” But since he and his wife ended up in the hospital, infected with COVID-19, Hitchens has taken to Facebook to reverse his message.

A month ago, he was skeptical of coronavirus news.

An image using lines of newsprint to spell out the phrase Fake news.


“At one time I felt that it was blown out of proportion and it wasn’t that serious,” Hitchens says. “I thought it was maybe the government trying something…like they threw it out there to kinda distract us.”

Hitchens, a rideshare driver from Jupiter, Florida, continued to transport passengers without any of the protections recommended by the CDC. Before being infected, “I’d get up in the morning and pray and trust in God for his protection, and I’d just leave it at that.”

‘Once I started to feel sick I stopped working and stayed home.’

A photograph of a person lying in bed.


Hitchens took time off of work when he got sick, then his wife got sick a few days later.

After testing positive for the coronavirus, they quarantined at home until the illness was too much for them.

‘I had just enough energy to drive us to the hospital’

Interior shot of a man driving a car


Upon arrival at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Hitchens and his wife were taken to the intensive care unit.

“I started feeling better within a few days but my wife got worse,” Hitchens remembers. COVID-19 just made him, “weak and exhausted,” but his wife has been on a ventilator for three weeks. “As of today my wife is still sedated and on the ventilator with no signs of improving.”

‘I don’t wanna see anybody go through what I went through’

Stacks of facemasks


Now that this coronavirus skeptic has survived COVID-19, he wants to warn others.

Hitchens posted a warning to his Facebook page, along with some valuable advice:

“This thing is nothing to be messed with please listen to the authorities and heed the advice of the experts…heeding the advice doesn’t mean that you fear it that means you’re showing wisdom during this epidemic time.”

As he changes his tune, Hitchens realizes he might have been safer if he had listened to experts earlier. “Looking back I should have wore a mask in the beginning but I didn’t,” he says, pleading with his readers, “Don’t be foolish like I was so the same so the same thing won’t happen to you like it happened to me and my wife.”

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