GOP Official Mocked COVID. 5 Days Later, He Was Dead

45-year-old Scott Apley was a Dickinson City Council member in Texas
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2021 7:15 AM CDT
GOP Official Mocked COVID. 5 Days Later, He Was Dead
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Taechit Taechamanodom)

A 45-year-old Texas GOP official who openly mocked face masks, quarantining, and the coronavirus vaccine has died of COVID. Per a GoFundMe campaign, Dickinson City Council and State Republican Executive Committee member Scott Apley died early Wednesday. He'd been hospitalized in Galveston since Sunday after being admitted with "pneumonia-like symptoms" and had been placed on a ventilator. The Washington Post reports both Apley's wife, Melissa, and their infant son, Reid, have also tested positive for COVID, though it doesn't appear either has been hospitalized. The baby is said to be in the care of Melissa Apley's mother. The Daily Beast reports that Scott Apley had for months ridiculed COVID online, promoting mask-burning events, calling incentives for getting vaccinated "disgusting," and slamming the idea of vaccine passports. Apley's last such post was on Friday, in which he put up a meme casting doubt on getting vaccinated.

The GoFundMe for Apley's wife and son had raised more than $35,000 as of Friday morning, and many expressed condolences on Apley's social media pages. The chair of the Texas GOP put out a statement saying his group was "incredibly saddened" to hear of Apley's death, though he didn't mention Apley had died of COVID. Others, however, didn't have as much sympathy. "I can't say I feel sadness at the death of someone who mocked and bullied people who got vaccinated," one commenter noted. It's not clear whether Apley himself had been inoculated. Both the Daily Beast and the Post note that Apley joins the ranks of COVID and vaccination skeptics who've either died or changed their tunes after becoming seriously ill. (Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson this week said he regrets the ban on mask mandates that he himself signed into law in April.)

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