Texas Republican Official Who Mocked Masks And Vaccines Dies Of COVID-19

News & Politics
Gettyimages | John Moore

Nathan Francis

A Texas Republican official who shared social media posts attacking the vaccine and mocking masks has died of COVID-19.

The man's death comes amid a sharp rise in cases nationwide and increasing controversy over the approach from some Republican officials, who have not embraced measures like mask mandates or business restrictions. With American vaccination rates slowing and many states still far from 50 percent of residents receiving the shot, some public health experts are warning that there could be more dangers ahead.

Republican Dies After Infection

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As MLive.com reported, Texas Republican official

  1. Scott Apley died this week at the age of 45. He had served on the GOP leadership in Galveston County Republican Party and was a member of the Dickinson City council.

As the report noted, Apley had shared a number of posts mocking COVID-19, including the final one posted to his Facebook page. The July 30 post case doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines.

“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,” the post read.


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Republicans Mourn Apley's Death

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As the MLive.com report noted, many Republican officials released statements mourning Apley's death.

“The entire staff of the Republican Party of Texas grieves his loss and extends our prayers of peace and comfort for Scott’s family in this difficult time,” the state's Republican party said in a statement.

The report went on to add that Apley, who had shared posts encouraging mask burning, was the father of a 5-month-old child. Both the young child and Apley's wife were also infected with the virus.

Cases Surging

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After COVID-19 infections dropped sharply as more Americans became vaccinated through the late winter and spring of this year, the nation has seen a sharp uptick in cases. Public health experts said the Delta variant is behind the sudden surge, as this strain of coronavirus is spread more easily.

Some of the sharpest increases have come from the state of Texas, where infections have increased two- and three-fold in some places and the number of people hospitalized topped 7,600 this week, KERA News reported.

Texas In Major COVID-19 Surge

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Jennifer Shuford, the chief epidemiologist with the Texas Department of State Health Services, said the state's sharp rise in cases is the worst that the state has seen since the pandemic started.

“We've been living this pandemic now for a year and a half,” Shuford said, via KERA News. “We thought we had seen the worst of it with those first two pandemic waves that we experienced. This third wave that we're having right now in Texas is showing a very steep increase in cases and hospitalizations, as great or even steeper than what we were seeing with those first two waves.”