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Photo: Brian Hitchens / Facebook

JUPITER, Fla. (WTVO) — A Florida man who worked as a rideshare driver and refused to wear a mask out of skepticism of the coronavirus pandemic has been hospitalized, along with his wife, who is now facing a serious threat from the disease.

Brian Hitchens said was a self-proclaimed COVID-19 skeptic about a month ago, WPTV reported.

“I thought it was maybe the government trying something, and it was kind of like they threw it out there to kinda distract us,” said Hitchens.

On Facebook, Hitchens said he believed the pandemic was “blown out of proportion” and said he was putting his faith in God.

“I’d get up in the morning and pray and trust in God for his protection, and I’d just leave it at that. There were all these masks and gloves. I thought it looks like a hysteria,” Hitchens explained.

Now, Hitchens and his wife are in the hospital after contracting the virus.

“I don’t want to see anyone go through what I went through,” Hitchens said. “This wasn’t some scare tactic that anybody was using. It wasn’t some made-up thing. This was a real virus you gotta take seriously.”

Hitchens is showing signs of improvement, but says his wife’s condition deteriorated and she had to be sedated and placed on a ventilator 3 weeks ago.

“After 3 weeks I have come to accept that my wife may pass away and the peace I have about it is that I know without a shadow of a doubt that she will be going home to be with the Lord but I also do believe in miracles and I’m holding on to the chance that she may get healed but if not I am thankful for her I know we’ve been married for 8 years,” he said.

“Looking back I should have wore a mask in the beginning but I didn’t and perhaps I’m paying the price for it now but I know that if it was me that gave it to my wife I know that she forgives me and I know that God forgives me,” he said.

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