• John W. McDaniel, 60, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio  
  • On Facebook, McDaniel called the virus a 'political ploy' and told followers: 'Prove me wrong'
  • He tested positive for the virus weeks later and died on April 15
  • McDaniel worked for 38 years for his family's industrial manufacturing company
  • His obituary says he battled cancer in the 1980s before he married his wife 
  • It is unclear if he had underlying health conditions which might have led to his death 
  • Thousands protested in Ohio on Monday against the state's ongoing lockdown
  • Ohio has recorded 12,516 cases and has 491 deaths since the pandemic began 
  • The state has a population of 11,689,100 and many feel the order is unnecessary 
John W. McDaniel, 60, of Marion County, Ohio, died of COVID-19 at a Columbus hospital on Wednesday

John W. McDaniel, 60, of Marion County, Ohio, died of COVID-19 at a Columbus hospital on Wednesday

A 60-year-old Ohio man who dismissed the state’s coronavirus lockdown as a ‘political ploy’ and claimed the governor didn’t have the authority to close businesses because of the pandemic has died of COVID-19.

John W. McDaniel tested positive for the coronavirus in late March and died at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus last Wednesday.

On Facebook, he had dismissed the killer virus as a 'political ploy' that he said officials were using to exert control over the public.

Does anybody have the guts to say this COVID19 is a political ploy? Asking for a friend. Prove me wrong,' he wrote in a March 13 post. 

He later claimed governors did not have the 'authority' to shut down bars and that anyone who was worried about becoming sick should 'just' not go out. 

It is unknown if McDaniel had any underlying health conditions which could have contributed to his death.  According to his obituary, he battled cancer in the 80s.

He is survived by his wife and their two adult sons. It is not known if any of them have fallen ill or become infected.

McDaniel was the president of his company's industrial manufacturing company. 

His death comes as public officials continue to struggle to temper growing public unrest and impatience with lockdown orders against the persistent virus threat. 

On March 13, McDaniel wrote that 'this Covid19 is a political ploy'

On March 13, McDaniel wrote that 'this Covid19 is a political ploy'

McDaniel posted a series of Facebook messages blasting the state-imposed coronavirus lockdown. He criticized Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, saying he didn't have the authority to order businesses to shut

McDaniel posted a series of Facebook messages blasting the state-imposed coronavirus lockdown. He criticized Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, saying he didn't have the authority to order businesses to shut

While some states with fewer cases are confident about gradually opening gradually in the next few days and weeks, others, like New York, are holding off until testing is more widely available and reliable. 

McDaniel is survived by his wife and two adult sons. Health officials expressed condolences to the family after his death was announced last week

McDaniel is survived by his wife and two adult sons. Health officials expressed condolences to the family after his death was announced last week

Ohio - which has 12,516 cases and has recorded 491 deaths - is among the states where people feel the need to get back to work outweighs the public health crisis. 

A quarter of the state's cases are among the prison population. 

There have been angry protests there this week in retaliation against the ongoing stay-at-home order.  

McDaniel is the first resident in his county to die of COVID-19. 

‘On behalf of the entire Marion County community, we express our deepest sympathies to his family and friends,’ Marion Public Health Commissioner Traci Kinsler said in a press release issued Wednesday after his death.

‘Our thoughts go out to the Marion County community, as well as all Ohioans, and those across the world battling this illness and the families of everyone affected by this pandemic.’

Governor DeWine announced on Monday that schools across Ohio will stay closed for the remainder of the school year while classes continue remotely.

Protesters gather outside of the Ohio State House in Columbus, Ohio on April 20, 2020. Thousands of people have attended anti-lockdown rallies in cities across the country demanding their states be reopened because stay-at-home orders are violating their constitutional rights

Protesters gather outside of the Ohio State House in Columbus, Ohio on April 20, 2020. Thousands of people have attended anti-lockdown rallies in cities across the country demanding their states be reopened because stay-at-home orders are violating their constitutional rights 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWhine tweeted on Monday to say he had 'full respect' for protesters but wanted them to understand the public health threat of reopening the state too early

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWhine tweeted on Monday to say he had 'full respect' for protesters but wanted them to understand the public health threat of reopening the state too early 

He said he has 'full respect' for protesters but is begging people to keep on practicing social distancing. 

'We've won a battle, we've done well, but #COVID19 is still out there and most Ohioans are still susceptible to it. The spread concern is still as strong today as it was a month ago,' he said in one of a series of tweets on Monday. 

'I have full respect for protesters, but I just ask them to be safe.

'My job is to listen to the people of Ohio and guide us in a way that gets us through this by losing as few people as possible while trying to put our economy back together,' he said in another tweet.

President Trump has contributed to the tensions. 

In a string of tweets last week, he urged the governors of Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia to 'liberate' their people by reopening. 

DeWine was the first governor in the nation to shutter schools statewide.  


Back to work protests across US as lockdown unrest spreads