Dennis Prager rubs his face while speaking on his radio show

Dennis Prager Says He Caught COVID-19 on Purpose by “Constantly Hugging” Strangers

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Ultra-conservative pundit Dennis Prager has announced he’s contracted COVID-19 after working tirelessly to deliberately do so.

On his radio/YouTube show Monday, Prager railed against the vaccine, as he has done for pretty much the entirety of the pandemic—since long before the vaccine was even available.

“It is infinitely preferable to have natural immunity than vaccine immunity and that is what I hoped for the entire time,” he said. “Hence, I engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them, knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting COVID, which is—bizarre as it sounded—what I wanted, in the hope that I would achieve natural immunity.”

“I have done what a person should do if one is not going to get vaccinated,” Prager said.

To be clear, “constantly hugging” strangers during a global pandemic while you yourself are unvaccinated is not what a person should do. While Prager was trying to throw himself a one-man chickenpox party, he clearly didn’t give any thought to how he might have been putting others at risk. (Which is right on brand for his sort of narcissistic, hyper-selfish worldview.)

Prager could have been asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic for days before he knew he’d contracted the virus, during which time he would have been putting all his hugging partners in danger. On the other hand, there are many who doubt Prager was actually trying to get COVID-19 and think that he’s just trying to spin the narrative so it looks like he had some control over the virus.

Even if that is the case, he’s still using his immense platform to tell his followers that the virus isn’t really dangerous, that a cocktail of unproven treatments is the best way to go, and that hugging strangers during a pandemic in order to contract a deadly virus is what “a person should do.”

It should be noted that this is a man who spent the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic telling those same followers to go around licking dirty forks in restaurants because, as he insisted, what’s the worst that could happen?

“If I am at a restaurant and my fork or knife falls, I pick it up and use it,” Prager said on his show in May of last year. “They rush over to give me a new one, like I am flirting with death if I take the fork from the floor. And my view is there’s no reason to come over. The fork fell on the floor. What did it pick up, diphtheria?”

I’m honestly amazed it took this long for this man to catch COVID-19—unless he had a previously asymptomatic case, which seems likely. Of course, who knows what else he picked up off those restaurant floors in the meantime? Sounds like his immune system has been busy.

(via Media Matters, image: screencap)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.