A Covid denier who called face masks “symbols of oppression” and labelled Professor Chris Whitty “Dr Death” has died a day after he tested positive for coronavirus.
Artist Gary Matthews, 46, passed away at his home in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, after contracting the virus. According to his family he had become obsessed with Facebook groups that peddled false conspiracy theories about the disease resulting in him refusing to wear protective equipment and become agitated by lockdown rules.
His Twitter profile shows how he regularly shared anti-lockdown messages, calling out Whitty after he suggested tougher rules over Christmas.
His last retweets include Talk Radio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer calling for a “reality check” that most people in the UK don’t know someone who died of the virus, and Mark Dolan’s return to the same station after he cut up a facemask on a live stream.
Just weeks before his death he liked a post from Brexit Alliance London assembly member David Kurten saying: “Show your face, Meet your friends, Hug other people, Go where you want, Disobey tyrants #FightBackBetter.”