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A Florida councilman who denied the pandemic was real has been hospitalized with COVID-19

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People at night outside behind a gate that reads "be smart, stay 6 feet apart"
People attend a free concert in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida on Sept 5. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images
  • A councilman in Florida's Volusia County, Fred Lowry, was hospitalized with COVID-19.

  • Lowry had previously denied the pandemic was real and mocked Dr. Fauci.

  • He faced calls for his resignation in June after his comments came to light.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Fred Lowry, a Florida councilman who denied the coronavirus pandemic was real, has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

During Tuesday's council meeting, Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower announced Lowry's condition, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

Lowry, a 66-year-old Republican councilman, was "in the hospital wrestling with COVID-19," the News-Journal first reported.

He had been sick for two weeks and was hospitalized on Monday for double pneumonia, per the outlet.

Double pneumonia is a lung infection that affects both lungs at the same time and can develop in cases of severe COVID-19.

It is not clear whether Lowry had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Lowry, who is also a senior pastor at the Deltona Lakes Baptist Church, faced calls for his resignation in June for his remarks during a sermon on May 30, the Daytona Times reported.

A video of the sermon, which was posted on the church's Facebook page and but is no longer available, showed Lowry dismissing the seriousness of the pandemic, the News-Journal previously reported.

"We did not have a pandemic, folks. We were lied to," Lowry said, per the News-Journal,

He also questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election, denied that climate change was man-made, and repeated the belief espoused by QAnon that a cabal of Democrats run a child abuse rings, per the News-Journal.

"This is supposed to be rampant I hear in Hollywood and among the elite. I don't know if it's true, but where there's smoke...," he said, the News-Journal reported.

Per the News-Journal, Lowry mocked White House chief medical advisor Dr. Antony Fauci, a frequent target for Republicans, calling him "Dr. Falsey."

"I did not mispronounce that. That's the way I wanted to say it," he said, the News-Journal reported.

Lowry refused to resign. In a short statement in June, he said: "I will not be resigning. That is all."

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