Unvaccinated Couple Died of COVID 3 Hours Apart and Left Behind 2 Teens

Martin and Trina Daniel were skeptical about taking the COVID vaccine, and it cost them their lives.
An embalmed body, right, rests in a body bag on January 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
An embalmed body, right, rests in a body bag on January 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

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Martin and Trina Daniel were skeptical about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, but in June, they finally scheduled an appointment. It was too late, however: They contracted COVID days before getting their shot, and they died of COVID-19, just three hours apart from each other.


The Savannah, Georgia, couple had been married for 20 years. Trina Daniel, 49, was a stay-at-home mom and Martin Daniel, 53, was a chemist. They leave behind two children—one who is starting their freshman year of college and the other their sophomore year of high school.

Both children contracted COVID when their parents did, and were admitted to the hospital a day after their parents died for treatment. The children were released hours later, but then were required to begin a two-week quarantine while also mourning the loss of their parents, according to ABC. Neither child was vaccinated, but both children have changed their mind and plan to receive the vaccine.

“The only bullets we have right now in our gun are the vaccines,” Cornelius Daniel, the couple’s nephew, told ABC. “So I would prefer a vaccine over a ventilator every day. Too many families have already experienced the pain that we're feeling.”

The couple were always hesitant about vaccinations, according to Cornelius. Martin in particular was vaccine hesitant, and only trusted vaccines that had been publicly available for decades, like the polio vaccine. 

Still, not receiving the COVID vaccine cost the couple their lives. 

“We’ve had to deal with a lot of loss simply because of choice to be vaccinated versus not,” family member Melanie Daniel told local station WJCL.

Family members say the couple, who were Black, were hesitant about the vaccine because of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, according to WJCL. The experiment, which ran from 1932 into the 1970s, was conducted by the United States Public Health Service and charted the progression of syphilis in Black men. Subjects were told they were being treated for their “bad blood,” but they were in fact given placebo treatments and left to die, go blind, or go insane, as their symptoms progressed untreated.

“Just tying these two events together and understanding the historical context of what’s going on,” Cornelius told WJCL. “It really wears on me sometimes.”

However, the nephew emphasized that he took the vaccine and trusts science, and that others need to do the same. 

“It’s imperative that we see the importance of the vaccinations,” he continued."