Dutch vaccine sceptic and anti-lockdown economist dies of Covid

Robin Fransman, 53, died on Tuesday, weeks after refusing to have a Covid vaccination

People attend their anti-Covid19 vaccination at the vaccination center in the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 27 December 2021.  40 injection lines have been set up at the new location, where more than 90 hospital employees administer a jab. EPA

Vaccine sceptic Robin Fransman died from Covid-19 yesterday after revealing almost a month ago that he had tested positive for coronavirus, a Dutch newspaper reported.

The Dutch economist first spoke out about the coronavirus measures in April last year and became increasingly critical.

Mr Fransman used his social media platforms to promote conspiracy theories, some of which denounced the concept of long Covid as a fantasy.

He also downplayed the effectiveness of vaccines, and vowed to not yet be inoculated against the disease.

Mr Fransman was the founder of Herstel-NL, a controversial organisation founded in February that lobbied for an alternative to lockdowns in the Netherlands.

He said that Herstel-NL wanted to give industry sectors space to make their own safe decisions for everyone.

"Lockdowns and strict measures may help some but not others," Mr Fransman said.

"Because this is not safe for students, for people in the hospitality industry, for shopkeepers and many other groups in society.

"The lives of the vulnerable are important, but also the lives of the less vulnerable. It's really not our intention to just throw open every door. We need to find a better balance."

On November 28, he tweeted that he was not vaccinated but that it was "fine for vulnerable people" to have a shot.

Five days later, he tested positive and was admitted to hospital soon after. He died one month to the day after he sent his tweet.

Updated: December 29th 2021, 10:40 PM