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Conspiracy Theorist Who Spoke At Far-Right Rally In Maine Dies Of COVID-19

Robert David Steele speaks at an event in Belfast in July/
Murray Carpenter
Maine Public
Robert David Steele speaks at the far-right rally he helped organize in Belfast in July.

Robert David Steele, the conspiracy theorist who organized a far-right event in Belfast in July and called COVID-19 a hoax, has reportedly died of the disease.

Steele, a former CIA officer, was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early August, shortly after he spoke to a large crowd at the Crosby Center.

Known for anti-Semitic beliefs and falsely asserting that NASA operates a child slave colony on Mars, Steele was also a promoter of the sprawling QAnon conspiracy that centers on the baseless idea that former President Donald Trump will vanquish a shadowy cabal of Democratic pedophiles.

Steele made an assortment of wild claims during the Belfast event, including that U.S. military bases are "lily pads" used for the smuggling of gold and children.

"We are normalizing pedophilia and idiocy!" he said. "We are normalizing the destruction of the family."

The event also featured Yarmouth's Christiane Northrup, who is among the nation's leading purveyors of vaccine disinformation, and Republican state Rep. Heidi Sampson, of Alfred, who is under fire for recently comparing Gov. Janet Mills to a Nazi doctor.

Sampson and Steele both pushed for an audit of Maine's 2020 election results that would turn over voter data to individuals involved in the highly controversial audit in Arizona.

The Arizona audit has been overseen and funded by Trump supporters and captured the attention of QAnon adherents, who have come to believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

According to Vice News, Steele's death was announced by one of his friends on social media who said he died in a Florida hospital. He was in the state finishing the final leg of his Arise USA tour, which was the organizer of the Belfast event.

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.