A Dutch economist who was a prominent skeptic of the COVID-19 vaccines and an anti-lockdown campaigner has died at the age of 53 after contracting the disease.
Robin Fransman, a political economist, passed away due to the consequences of infection with the SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, on December 28, 2021, at a hospital in Amsterdam, Dutch daily newspaper Het Parool reported.
On December 3, Fransman announced on his Twitter page that he had tested positive for the disease.
“Corona positive. It’s about time too,” he tweeted.
The 53-year-old was admitted to the hospital soon after and eventually succumbed to the disease after his condition worsened.
Fransman was unvaccinated and had been highly critical of the COVID-19 vaccines on social media, often downplaying their effectiveness.
The economist had also criticized the concept of long COVID, opposed lockdown measures, while also arguing that coronavirus restrictions caused more damage to society than they prevented.
Fransman also worked as a lobbyist in the financial sector and was one of the co-founders of an organization called Herstel-NL.
Early in 2021, the organization proposed a plan to reopen Dutch society rather than continuing with the lockdown that had been imposed at the time. The group proposed scrapping the lockdown and creating “safe zones” designed only to be used by vulnerable people—such as the elderly and those with underlying conditions—that would enable others to regain more freedom.
In a later interview with Dutch daily AD, Fransman said lockdowns and strict measures could help some in society but not others.
“The lives of the vulnerable are important, but also the lives of the less vulnerable. It’s really not our intention to just throw open every door. We need to find a better balance,” he said.
Fransman said in a tweet on November 28 that it was okay for vulnerable people to get vaccinated in his view, but he had vowed not to get the shot himself.
In November, a prominent Austrian anti-vaccination advocate who said he had attempted to treat his COVID-19 infection with a substance found in some bleach products died after suffering complications from the disease.
Johann Biacsics, one of the leaders of the anti-vaccination movement in the country, reportedly contracted COVID-19 in October and said he began administering himself with a product containing chlorine dioxide, a substance that is touted by some as a treatment for the disease as well as many other ailments
In the U.S, the Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to purchase or drink chlorine dioxide products sold online as medical treatments because the agency is not aware of any credible scientific evidence supporting their safety or effectiveness.