Hai Shoulian, a 57-year-old anti-vaxxer who had spread conspiracy theories about COVID-19, died in Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, about a week after being admitted to hospital. On Saturday, he made a final post to Facebook, writing that he was in a “very serious condition” and unable to speak.
“I have no oxygen and can't stabilise,” he wrote, adding that after he woke up, “it took me about an hour to figure out who I am, where I am and what I am doing here.”
Despite his condition, he wrote that he believed he would recover in two or three weeks, and urged his supporters to “keep fighting” in his campaign against Israel’s vaccine passport system, the Green Pass, which bars unvaccinated people from many venues and public events.
“It has nothing to do with the coronavirus. It has nothing to do with vaccines. It has to do with coercion,” Shoulian wrote about the Green Pass system, which he had organised protests against.
In an earlier video, posted to Facebook on the 3rd of September, Shoulian – with an oxygen tube in his nose – claimed that police had tried to poison him when he was arrested during a protest against the Green Pass.
“I’m telling you, this is an attempt to wipe me out, and if something happens to me, know that’s exactly what happened,” he said in the clip.
Shoulian’s final post drew thousands of comments, with many observing that his death could most likely have been prevented if he had received the vaccine. But for some of his most hardcore anti-vax supporters, even his death wasn’t enough to lead them to rethink their views.
A number of commenters latched on to Shoulian’s paranoid claims he had been deliberately targeted by the establishment in an attempt to silence him.
“Hai Shoulian, a fighter for justice and truth, a leader in resisting crime, was murdered in cold blood over freedom of expression and the truth,” wrote one commenter.
Throughout the pandemic, a growing number of public figures who have been vocal about their anti-vax or COVID-denying views have since succumbed to the virus. Redditors have even started highlighting such cases with “Herman Cain Awards,” named after the former Republican presidential candidate who had refused to wear a mask, and died of coronavirus in July last year.