A Texas GOP official who consistently mocked COVID-19 vaccines and masks on social media, died five days after posting a meme on Facebook, questioning the idea of getting inoculated against the virus.
Dickinson City Council member and State Republican Executive Committee member H. Scott Apley, 45, died due to complications from COVID-19 Wednesday morning.
Apley was admitted to the Galveston hospital on Sunday with “pneumonia-like symptoms,” and shortly after, he was hooked up to a ventilator, according to The Daily Beast.
“He leaves behind his wife, Melissa, who is COVID positive, as well as their infant son Reid,” a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for funeral expenses reads. “Your donations are greatly appreciated and will help the family as they get through this difficult period.”
The family has so far raised nearly half of its $30,000 goal.
“My heart is beyond broken for his family,” wrote Dickinson Mayor Sean Skipworth in a Facebook post. “Scott was a new father and that makes this loss especially tragic.”
“Please join me in lifting the Apley family up in prayer,” added Texas Republican Party Chairman Matt Rinaldi in a statement that failed to mention Apley had died of COVID-19. “We will miss Scott deeply but find comfort knowing he is at peace in the arms of our Savior.”
Known for his extreme conservative beliefs and Christian faith, Apley rallied against most COVID-19 safety policies. In May, Apley posted an invitation to attend a “mask burning” at a Cincinnati bar, adding “I wish I lived in the area!”
Like many far-right conservatives including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Apley compared mask mandates to Nazism.
Five days before his death, Apley posted a meme gaining notoriety in right-wing groups that read: “In 6 months, we’ve gone from the vax ending the pandemic—to you can still get covid even if vaxxed—to you can pass covid onto others even if vaxxed—to you can still die of covid even if vaxxed—to the unvaxxed are killing the vaxxed.”