Marcus Lamb, televangelist and founder of the Christian TV network Daystar, died Tuesday of covid-19 after being hospitalized with the disease, according to a new report from the Star-Telegram. Lamb, whose network regularly denounced covid-19 vaccination efforts as the work of evil forces, was 64 years old.
“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 said in a tweet.
“The family asks that their privacy be respected as they grieve this difficult loss. Please continue to lift them up in prayer,” the network continued.
Lamb’s wife Joni said that before his death the televangelist tried alternative treatments for covid-19 but it’s not clear what specifically was attempted. Lamb also reportedly had diabetes.
“We were trying to treat the covid and pneumonia with the different protocols we use, including the ones we talk about on Daystar,” Joni Lamb said on Tuesday’s show, according to the Washington Post.
“We used those — I myself used them and had breezed through covid. He 100 percent believed in everything we talk about here on Daystar, things that help so many people around the world with early protocol treatments for covid. We still stand by those obviously,” Joni Lamb continued.
The Daystar website now features a tribute to Lamb but also prominently displays a section of the website dedicated to spreading misinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. The website features talks by anti-vaccine figures like Robert Kennedy Jr. and Simone Gold, a figure you may remember from a completely unhinged press conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020.
“What if the most dangerous thing your child could face in life is the very thing you’re told by your doctor is safe?” the website reads.
Lamb received criticism in 2020 for taking covid-19 relief money from the federal government and Inside Edition even did a segment about Daystar’s use of public money. Daystar, despite having at least $1 billion in wealth by its own account, was a tax-exempt church.
Daystar received $3.9 million through the Paycheck Protection Program and the church bought a private jet just two weeks later, according to Inside Edition. Lamb denied buying the jet with government funds and insisted to Inside Edition that it was purchased with unspecified “investment” money.
The jet was supposed to be used for official ministry work only, since it was purchased by the church, but Inside Edition pointed to Lamb’s use of the jet to fly his family from Texas to Florida for a vacation in 2020. Lamb eventually returned the $3.9 million after pressure from the Inside Edition segment.
The U.S. continues to see horrifying case counts and a staggering death toll from covid-19, which has killed over 777,000 Americans since the pandemic began. The U.S. reported 108,601 new covid-19 cases and new 1,550 deaths from the disease on Tuesday alone.
The U.S. covid-19 vaccination rate is still just 59%, one of the lowest rates in the world for wealthy countries. It’s not clear if Lamb was vaccinated against covid-19.