A US Army veteran who dismissed the pandemic as "hype" and refused to wear a face mask has died from coronavirus.

Richard Rose, of Port Clinton, Ohio, died at his home on July 4, just three days after testing positive for the killer bug and going into quarantine.

The 37-year-old had been openly sceptical about the risks of Covid-19, writing in a post on April 28 "I'm not buying a f***ing mask" and "I've made it this far by not buying into that damn hype".

In another, he wrote: "I’ve gotten sick of turning my tv on to political smear ads and s**t about COVID.

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The Army veteran described himself as "very sick" before doctors confirmed he had the disease

"So yesterday I turned my cable box in. I’ve also started snoozing people on here. It’s time to block out negativity."

Mr Rose, who served in the military for nine years and did two tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, had also checked in on the social media site at crowded venues.

However, on July 2, just a day after testing positive, his last post said he had no idea where he contracted the disease, adding “this covid sh*t sucks! I’m so out of breath just sitting here”.

He had tagged himself in crowded venues on Facebook and repeatedly refused to wear a mask

In a previous post he suggested contracting the disease had hampered him in starting a new job.

Following his death, a tweet containing a collection of his posts has been viewed 3.5  million times.

In other posts, Mr Rose had also dismissed the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd's death on May 25 as a "joke", and had used #BacktheBlue and #ThinBlueLine in posts to show support for the police.

A montage of his posts has gone viral on Twitter after his death
He had dismissed the pandemic as 'hype' and said he wouldn't buy a mask

On May 28, he wrote that he was "in no way racist" and that he supported peaceful protests but that looting and violence during demonstrations tainted the overall message, labelling BLM members as "SELFISH".

Mr Rose also showed support for Donald Trump's push to be re-elected in November, posting "Trump 2020" and "I'm glad to call him MY PRESIDENT", while criticising the media, Islam and the idea of gender as non-binary.

Friend Nick Conley told local media: "It’s horrible that we lost Rick but the even more tragic part of that is who else became infected because of the actions that he chose."

But he added: "Rick is getting slaughtered online right now for his decision that he made not to wear a mask and that's not right."

In a tribute piece, his family said his passions included social media, online streaming, paranormal and his two cats Dale and Tucker. 

Officials in his home state had been at the forefront of tackling the pandemic.

Governor Mike DeWine put Ohio into lockdown before any cases had even been reported.

The state has now, however, reported more than 65,000 confirmed cases with at least 3,058 deaths, with a single-day record of 1,525 new cases on Friday.