A leading conspiracy theorist who thought COVID-19 was a hoax died from the virus after hosting illegal house parties

Hans Gaarder
Hans Gaarder appears in a YouTube video posted June 14, 2020 on his YouTube channel. Hans Gaarder/YouTube
  • A Norwegian COVID-19 denier, who threw illegal gatherings, has died from the virus, officials said.

  • Hans Kristian Gaarder, 60, died days after holding two illegal parties on his property.

  • Several guests have since tested positive for the virus and also gave it to close contacts.

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A Norwegian conspiracy theorist, who believed COVID-19 was a hoax, has died from the virus just days after hosting two illegal gatherings at his property, according to officials.

Hans Kristian Gaarder, 60, from Gran, a municipality that lies 40 miles north of Oslo, tested positive for the virus after dying on April 6, officials said this week.

"A man in his 60s, living in Gran, has died after being ill with coronavirus. The person was not tested for coronavirus before he died, but it is confirmed afterward that he was infected with the virus," the municipality of Gran said in a statement on their website, according to Metro.

Read more: Sweden has nearly 10 times the number of COVID-19-related deaths than its Nordic neighbors. Here's where it went wrong.

Gaarder's death comes several days after he hosted two illegal house parties on March 26 and 27. It is unclear how many people attended. He is thought to have been ill for several weeks but kept it secret local officials believe, newsinenglish.no reported.

Local media reported that more than a dozen attendees have since tested positive for the virus and continued to pass it on.

"We don't know how many or who took part in the arrangements, but ask all participants to take a corona test as soon as possible," police said in a press release, according to newsinenglish.no.

Gaarder was a prominent conspiracy theorist who used various social media channels to peddle false information relating to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the US election in 2020.

He frequently compared COVID-19 to "something that will be like a cold or light flu" and incorrectly argued that it doesn't spread from person to person.

Gaarder also frequently posted about the Illuminati and argued that Joe Biden's election victory in 2020 was illegitimate.

Last month, the municipality of Gan banned social gatherings to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Since the start of the pandemic, Norway has been faring better than its neighbor Sweden, reporting more than 106,000 confirmed cases and just over 708 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

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