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Texas televangelist who was anti-vaccine dies after 'spiritual attack' from COVID-19

Marcus Lamb, 64, who ran the Daystar television network based in North Texas, died Tuesday, officials said.
Credit: AP
A woman is injected with her second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a Dallas County Health and Human Services vaccination site in Dallas, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

DALLAS — Marcus Lamb, the prominent televangelist who ran the Daystar television network in Colleyville and who promoted anti-vaccine sentiments, has died after getting COVID-19.

Lamb, 64, died Tuesday morning, according to Daystar officials.

"It's with a heavy heart we announce that Marcus Lamb, president and founder of Daystar Television Network, went home to be with the Lord this morning," Daystar posted on Twitter. "The family asks that their privacy be respected as they grieve this difficult loss."

Daystar officials did not say how Lamb died, but his son, Jonathan, said on a Daystar program on Nov. 23 that his father was battling COVID-19.

Jonathan Lamb called his father's bout with COVID-19 "a spiritual attack from the enemy," according to the Religion News Service.

“As much as my parents have gone on here to kind of inform everyone about everything going on to the pandemic and some of the ways to treat COVID — there’s no doubt that the enemy is not happy about that," Jonathan Lamb said. "And he’s doing everything he can to take down my Dad.”

Marcus Lamb launched Daystar in 1997, and the network moved into a 90,000-square-foot center of Texas 121 in Bedford in 2003. The network operates more than 70 television stations across United States, and has also expanded to an international audience in 74 countries.

During the pandemic, Lamb hosted a series of vaccine skeptics on Daystar, including Robert Kennedy Jr., Sherri Tenpenny and Del Bigtree, according to Religion News Service.

Lamb was also an advocate for alternative COVID-19 treatments, and some of his guests on Daystar promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine.

When Daystar tweeted about Lamb's death Tuesday, the news was met with dozens of responses grieving his passing - and just as many more that questioned why Lamb promoted anti-vaccine opinions.

Ben Marsh, a pastor at the First Alliance Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., pointed to Lamb's Daystar network as one reason for "rampant COVID denialism and slow uptake of vaccines," due to Daystar's large audience.