Man ‘Needlessly’ Died of COVID-19 After Not Believing in Vaccine, Siblings Say in Obituary

Two siblings were brutally honest about their brother’s death from COVID-19, calling it « needless » because he didn’t believe in masks, testing, the vaccine or even the virus.

In an obituary posted in The Daily Gazette, the two siblings explained that their brother, Michael Joseph Malecki, « needlessly died » of COVID-19 on November 15. They said he was sick for less than 48 hours before his death and partially blamed the mentality he used for living for why he died.

« He liked to say he lived his life according to his favorite songs, ‘My Way’ and ‘I Gotta Be Me.’ He was certainly him, and it probably killed him, » the siblings wrote.

My Way, by Frank Sinatra, details the life of a man who lived his life on his own terms and according to what he believed in without making apologies for it. Although his life hasn’t always been easy and he’s taken some « blows » along the way, he’s overall content with how his life has turned out because he never compromised his beliefs. I Gotta Be Me has a similar sentiment, where a person can only be who they are and isn’t living their life to please other people.

Michael was 70 when he died, putting him at an increased risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. His siblings wrote in his obituary that he didn’t like going to funerals or services related to death and attended few, so they decided not to have a memorial service for him.

« Out of respect for his feelings, it does not seem appropriate to make him start going now, » the siblings wrote.

Two siblings wrote in an obituary for their brother that he « needlessly died » of COVID-19 because he didn’t believe in vaccines or masks. Above, Lily Sage Weinrieb gets ready to transport a casket after a viewing on May 5, 2020, in New York City.
Misha Friedman/Getty Images

Instead, the siblings said the family is sponsoring a memorial bench in the park near the home where they grew up because he liked to walk there whenever he visited their parents. Along with Doctors Without Borders, the siblings asked donations to be made to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Maryanne Malecki, who co-wrote the obituary with her surviving brother, told the Times-Union that her brother’s death is the same story that’s « play out over and over again across the nation. »

« This was not a medical decision, » Maryanne said. « It was a politically motivated choice. »

Maryanne called it « important » to be honest about how her brother died because it can help educate people that denying the reality of the pandemic and effectiveness of vaccines has « consequences. » She added that condolences for her brother’s death are « fine » but she’d rather see people get vaccinated after they hear about his death.

More than 204 million people in the United States have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and 64 million people received a booster dose. Officials have long been touting the vaccine as a person’s most effective defense against COVID-19 but are urging people to get inoculated even more because of the Omicron variant.

Omicron has shown to be a highly infectious strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is already fueling surges in cases around the country. While vaccines have diminished effectiveness against the Omicron variant, they still provide some protection and officials believe booster doses significantly decrease a person’s risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

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