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COVID anti-masker gasps for breath as he issues plea from hospital bed

An anti-masker who believed the COVID-19 crisis was just a “political” stunt issued an emotional plea to skeptics from his hospital bed — after becoming seriously ill with the virus.

In a Facebook video shared by a pal on Monday, Chuck Stacey gasps for breath as he admits he was wrong about the pandemic that’s killed 1.8 million globally.

“I didn’t wear a mask. I should’ve. I didn’t,” Stacey says with oxygen tubes in his nose. “I believed this was just the flu, that it was all going to go away, that it was political. I didn’t think a mask would help.”

He struggles as he continues, “You don’t want to end up like me. I’m having trouble breathing. I may have to be intubated if I get any worse.”

Stacey’s eyes well up as he begs skeptics to change their minds and protect themselves — and their families.

“If wearing a mask can reduce your chances of getting this even by 5 percent, just wear a mask,” he says. “Do it for your children, your loved ones. Do it for yourself.”

In May, Stacey blasted employees at his local Donut Hole for wearing face masks.

“I have to say I have had it with the masks that the employees are being forced to wear,” he wrote on Facebook. “It’s just another example of the continued over reaction to this situation … Please stop so when we come to eat we can enjoy our meal without feeling sorry for the employees.”

Stacey told Storyful that he had opted to wear a face shield because he suffers from claustrophobia.

“My doctor came up with the idea of a face shield with social distancing and being responsible with hand sanitizer and [minimizing] my contact in the field. I own an IT company so I can work from home. It’s worked for almost a year,” he explained.

“Nothing is 100% on this virus and even if I would’ve wore a mask I could’ve still gotten it. But the fact of the matter is we have to do everything that we can do to protect ourselves and to protect the people that are really at risk. I just thank God that I haven’t given this to someone and taken a life. I would not be able to handle that.”

In an update Monday, Stacey suggested he’s been fielding death threats for going public about his COVID-19 battle.

“I was wrong, can’t be more wrong. But to wish me death? To say I don’t deserve to be treated? What’s wrong with you people, we’re supposed to love one another, pray for one another,” he said in the video. “I pray for all y’all. I pray you don’t get it.”

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