A 37-year-old transphobic Trump supporter and anti-masker has died three days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Richard Rose, a resident of Ohio in the United States, who had done two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, frequently derided COVID-19 as “hype” on his social media handle. That is when he was not posting transphobic, racist, Islamophobic messages and memes. One of the memes he posted read, “There are only two genders”, while in another message he said, “I am not buying a fucking mask…” – this message had over 18,000 shares.

Twitter user Todd Devyn has posted a slideshow with a compilation of Rose’s social media posts beginning on April 28 through to just days before his death on July 4, from COVID-19 related complications. The slide show has so far been seen over 3.6 million times.

Todd Devyn explained to Star Observer that he made the slide show with the intention of countering the misinformation being spread regarding COVID-19.

“I did it because I see too many people calling the virus a hoax, and if someone who called the virus a hoax became infected and succumbed to it within days, then it can happen to anyone,” said Devyn. “I’ve seen many people liking, retweeting, and sharing the video. It definitely started a discussion and hopefully made some people take the virus more seriously.”

The last few messages after Rose’s July 1 diagnosis reflect his worsening condition.

“I’ve been very sick the past few days. Symptoms of COVID-19. This morning I finally got swabbed. I should know soon what the results are. I just want to feel good again!”

The same day he posts another message.

“Well. I’m officially under quarantine for the next 14 days. I just tested positive for COVID-19. Sucks because I had just started a new job!”

 One of his last messages on July 2 reads, “This covid shit sucks! I’m so out of breath just sitting here.”

Rose’s friend Nick Conley confirmed on his social media that the war veteran had lost his battle to COVID-19 on July 4.

“Rick was healthy as far as we know and was only in his 30’s. Rick was like a lot of my friends, and didn’t feel the need to wear a mask because he was young and healthy. Please know that this virus is real. Just because you don’t personally know someone effected (sic) yet doesn’t mean it’s not real.”


In an interview to a local media channel Cleveland19, Conley urged people to not judge Rose harshly.

 “We should still be compassionate whether we agree with someone’s beliefs or not. Someone has passed away and we should have some compassion towards that.”

That, however, has not stemmed the tide of social media posts calling out Rose for his anti-mask stance as well as transphobia.

One user tried to point out that Rose had posted messages in support of gay rights. Devyn responded, “Let me say this, he posted this, but yet made trans jokes calling Michelle Obama a man. He’s not a true LGBT supporter. Support every letter or don’t support it at all. Period.”

To read, why you should consider wearing a mask head to our story here.

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