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A Texas Republican leader who repeatedly mocked masks and vaccines has died of COVID-19

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Texas Republican Party activist H Scott Apley died Wednesday after frequently criticizing vaccines and facemasks during the pandemic. According to an online fundraiser, he died in the hospital while being treated for COVID-19. - FACEBOOK / GALVESTON COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY
  • Facebook / Galveston County Republican Party
  • Texas Republican Party activist H Scott Apley died Wednesday after frequently criticizing vaccines and facemasks during the pandemic. According to an online fundraiser, he died in the hospital while being treated for COVID-19.

In April, when CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen tweeted out her excitement about trials showing the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine, Texas GOP firebrand H Scott Apley had choice words for the public health expert. 

“You are an absolute enemy of a free people,” he fired back on Twitter, adding the hashtag #ShoveTheCarrotWhereTheSunDontShine.

The comment was one of numerous anti-mask and anti-vaccine sentiments Apley aired on social media as recently as Friday, when he posted a meme arguing that vaccines are useless.

On Wednesday, the Galveston County Republican Party shared news of Apley's death via a Facebook post. He was a member of the State Republican Executive Committee, a precinct chair and city councilman in the town of Dickinson, according to the remembrance.

While the Galveston GOP didn't mention the cause of Apley's death, an online fundraiser posted the same day noted that the Republican activist died batting COVID-19 after being sedated and put on a ventilator.


"Since then his wife, Melissa Apley, has also tested positive, but she has not been hospitalized," the fundraiser noted. "As you know, they have a very young infant, Reid, who is under the care of Melissa's mother."

Apley's death comes amid rising news reports of strident anti-vaxxers dying from COVID-19. Among the recent fatalities: a father in the Texas town of Katy who railed against vaccines as "poison," an outspoken Kenyan doctor and a Denver sheriff's deputy.

As of August 2, just 44% of Texans were fully vaccinated, ranking it 37th in the nation by the percentage of residents who have received their jabs. Meanwhile, as the highly contagious delta spreads, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are rising across the state.

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