Former CIA officer turned Q-Anon conspiracy theorist dies of COVID-19 while on anti-vax speaking tour of Florida
Robert David Steele had bragged that he was the first person to declare the COVID-19 pandemic a hoax, and refused to believe in the virus until the end.
Steele was in the midst of his Arise USA! tour across the country to ‘awaken the nation in truth’, promoting his anti-vaccine message and his conspiracy theories.
But he was hospitalized earlier this month after testing positive for the virus, and his death was confirmed by a friend on Sunday.
In his final blog post on August 17, he wrote: ‘I will not take the vaccination, though I did test positive for whatever they’re calling ‘COVID’ today, but the bottom line is that my lungs are not functioning.
‘The good news is that I will survive with a few days off. I should be back up and at least functional soon.
‘This is been a near death experience, very much like a new death experience the whole country is going through right now.
‘We will never be the same because now we know that we’ve all been lied to about everything.’
Robert David Steele, who called himself the first person to describe COVID-19 as a hoax, has died in Florida from the virus. In his final blog post, he said his lungs had failed
Steele’s final blog post was published on August 17. His friend announced his death on Sunday
On Sunday his friend Mark Tassi, a fellow conspiracy theorist, confirmed his death. Tassi alleged without evidence that Steele’s illness may have been linked to the attention his speaking tour had received
On Sunday his friend Mark Tassi, a fellow conspiracy theorist, confirmed his death.
‘Robert has died, and the whole thing is very suspicious,’ Tassi said in an Instagram post.
Tassi alleged without evidence that Steele’s illness may have been linked to the attention his speaking tour had received.
In a 14-minute video Tassi speculated that Steele was the victim of an ‘attack’ by a ‘vile faction that will go to any length to stop that movement’.
He went on to claim that Steele had got sick in Florida as part of a plot to undermine Republican governor Ron DeSantis.
He said: ‘They are trying to make Florida look bad. Why? Because DeSantis is not going along with agenda so they are targeting Florida. Open your eyes.’
Steele was a former CIA analyst, but had in recent years become a prominent supporter of QAnon and other conspiracy theories.
He began issuing warnings that child slaves were being sent to Mars – prompting NASA to issue a denial – and claimed that 5G technology was a weapons system designed to kill humans.
He had a history of antisemitism, and once called for all Jews who are not sufficiently ‘loyal to the Republic’ to be jailed, Vice reports.
Steele was also a frequent guest on Alex Jones’ Infowars show.
Steele had enthusiastically embraced conspiracy theories in recent years
Steele had embarked on an ‘Arise USA’ tour of the country to share his anti-vaxx views