The Texas Republican Party is facing backlash for issuing a statement that mourned the passing of a state official without mentioning that he’d died from the coronavirus.
Scott Apley, an unvaccinated member of the State Republican Executive Committee, had mocked vaccines and other COVID-19 safety measures for months on his social media accounts before being admitted to a hospital with pneumonia-like symptoms. His unvaccinated wife also became infected. Apley died on Wednesday, just five days after sharing anti-vaccine content on Facebook; it was revealed he tested positive for COVID following his final post.
But the state GOP he served did not list his cause of death in their statement to the press, which reads as follows: “On behalf of the Galveston County Republican Party, I wish to express our deep sense of loss following the passing of our friend and colleague – Scott Apley. This indeed is a tragedy; it is magnified by his youth, his young family especially his very young son. Our hearts mourn for him and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Melissa and their families. Scott was a hard worker; and deeply committed to the betterment of his community, including his activities with the Republican Party. He was an advocate for liberty, limited government and the highest ideals of American Exceptionalism. We will celebrate his life and be thankful for his contributions to Galveston County, Texas and our Nation. Rest in peace, my friend.”
The Texas Republican Party is incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) Member Scott Apley from Senate District 11. Please join us in praying for the Apley family. https://t.co/sTndQNqfQx #txlege
— Texas GOP (@TexasGOP) August 4, 2021
Now Texas Republicans, who are already mired in controversies from voting rights to climate change to abortion rights to Ted Cruz leaving for Mexico amid a brutal winter storm, faced condemnation and shame for obscuring the role COVID-19 played in Apley’s death. Twitter, with its long memory, found Apley’s anti-vax tweets and mocked the Texas GOP as only Twitter can.
Texas State Republican Executive Committee Member Scott Apley has died of COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/n30PIWDvJ0
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) August 4, 2021
Dickinson City, Texas Council and State Republican Executive Committee member H. Scott Apley, 45, died today. Mr. Apley celebrated ‘mask burnings’, mocked Covid and called vaccines the enemy of the people. Predictably the family setup a GFM. Thoughtless prayers should be enough. pic.twitter.com/C6udzhf5v7
— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) August 4, 2021
You know what’s really sad? He was a Covid denier, an antivaxxer, and his public stance probably got others killed, besides himself. As for him? He f-cked around and found out. It’s sad but it’s also STUPID, UNNECESSARY, AND PATHETIC. #GOPDeathCult
— Peter Thorn (@petethorn) August 4, 2021