If you’ve followed the anti-vaxxer movement, you’ve likely heard the name Veronica Wolski. Wolski, an adamant QAnon believer, went viral in the past for both bragging that she refused to wear a face mask while in stores, and for preaching QAnon conspiracy theories from a bridge in Chicago, Illinois. Her name really got attention more recently, however, when she was admitted to Amita Resurrection Hospital in Chicago due to catching COVID-19. After several weeks in the hospital, she died in the intensive care unit early on Monday, Sept. 13. According to the Chicago Tribune, the county medical examiner spokesperson said Wolski’s cause of death was pneumonia due to COVID-19, with hypothyroidism as a contributing factor.
Wolski really gained national attention after requesting to be treated with ivermectin, a veterinary medicine used mostly on horses and cattle. Fellow QAnoners harassed the hospital with requests for the facility to treat the 64-year-old with the horse dewormer. According to the hospital, it received hundreds of emails and phone calls, which is perhaps unsurprising given that Michael Flynn (yes, the Trump lackey) and Lin Wood (yes, another right-wing Trump lackey) encouraged people to do so.
“I have never once worn a mask,” Wolski, who used to hang anti-vaxxer banners on the Kennedy Expressway, said in a video before her death. “I have called the police on people that tried to make me wear masks.” In the most recent video shared to her YouTube channel, dated in mid-August, Wolski stood beside hung letters that read “NEVER COMPLY” and “COVID,” and argued that she’d never give up her “freedoms,” as she would then never have to “fight” to get them back.
“Once you give up your freedoms,” she told her 1,500 subscribers, “You don’t get them back.”
Wood shared the news of Wolski’s death on his Telegram channel, which has more than 800,000 followers. Before that, he shared a video of himself on the phone with the hospital, in which he threatened to have the person he was speaking with be charged with murder unless Wolski was given the horse dewormer.
“There’s an ambulance waiting for her outside,” Wood told the hospital in a video. “There’s a medical doctor waiting for her to treat her. If you do not release her, you’re going to be guilty of murder. Do you understand what murder is?”
You can watch that video below.
At one point, Wood shared the hospital’s number to his enormous number of subscribers and advised people to tell the staff “what you think of communists who violate Nuremberg and tell them what’s coming for them,” as reported by VICE.
According to the Daily Beast, the hospital received not only phone calls but even death threats.
QAnoners caused chaos even in person—police actually had to be called to the hospital on Sunday night due to disturbance reports. For example, a woman who identified herself as a power of attorney for Wolski demanded to be let into the hospital in order to give Wolski a “wellness check,” according to VICE. A Chicago police officer reportedly denied her, saying the hospital would not allow it.
During a Facebook Live stream, Dr. Allison Arwady, public health commissioner for Chicago, admitted she was a “little surprised” people were willing to take a veterinary medicine that isn’t FDA-approved, “but then don’t want to take the vaccine that has had really widespread human trials and is approved,” as reported by local outlet NBC 5 Chicago. Of course, “surprised” is a generous way of putting it.
Meanwhile, Wood is using Wolski’s death as further incentive to get QAnon followers to harass medical workers. “It is our responsibility to ensure that these medical murders stop NOW and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” Wood wrote in part on Telegram. He added: “Now, we go to war.”
Amid harassment and threads, the hospital confirmed to NBC 5 that it is not administering ivermectin. Prior to Wolski’s death, the hospital confirmed it had received “hundreds” of calls and emails about “one patient’s care,” adding that they noted the concerns people expressed. Because there’s no time to harass and threaten health care workers like a global pandemic, right?
Here is that final YouTube video from Wolski.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.