In early August, four anti-vaccine conservatives died from COVID, and now three more have died, including a Florida Republican official.
Tod Tucker, a pro-Trump radio programmer, died Aug. 11 “following the onset of viral pneumonia as the result of COVID-19,” according to his employer. He mocked the vaccines, allegedly writing, “Please stop bragging that you got your COVID vaccine. What do you want us to say? ‘Congratulations lab rat?!’”
Days after Tucker’s death, religious radio host Jimmy DeYoung, Sr. was hospitalized for COVID and died, according to the Daily Beast. DeYoung told his listeners in February that the vaccine could “be another form of government control of the people” on-air with a guest in which they regurgitated conspiracy theories about Pfizer using the vaccine to “commit mass sterilization.”
Gregg Prentice, 61, died just one day later after testing positive for COVID on Sept. 11. Before his death, he battled against mask mandates, attacked the vaccine, and railed at CDC officials according to The Daily Beast.
He also wrote that the United States needs “more socialist distancing than we do social distancing” and that the pandemic was created to destroy small businesses.
He led the Hillsborough County Election Integrity Committee and his death has sent the local GOP scrambling because it no longer has access to campaign finance software without his help.
In a letter to the Federal Election Commission, the committee reported it might not be able to file its monthly financial reports as required because only Prentice knew how to do it.
“Gregg’s software converted data from our Quickbooks software to supply the information needed by the FEC,” it states. “Unfortunately, Gregg passed away suddenly from COVID-19 on Saturday, September 11, 2021. Gregg did not share the software and instructions with our officers. We will have to enter the August data manually, and according to the information we have received from our FEC analyst, Scott Bennett, we may likely have to re-enter the data from our first 7 months of 2021.
“We will be struggling to get all of this entered in the proper format by our deadline on Sept. 20, but we will try to do so with our best effort.”
A spokesperson from the committee reported that Prentice’s wife and daughter have also caught COVID.
Prentice’s associates, without any evidence, spread conspiracy theories on how he died. Jason Kimball accused the staff at Tampa General Hospital of “illegally intubating” Prentice the day before he died, and requested an investigation to be launched. However, members of the City Council denied any wrongdoing or mistreatment from the hospital in a meeting.
Councilman John Dingfelder called Kimball’s comments about the hospital “dangerous.”
“Though we respect the First Amendment rights from everybody who calls in... I think it’s an extremely dangerous comment to be spreading to the community that they shouldn’t go to Tampa General Hospital... [It] is the top one or two hospitals in this community... There’s no finer place. Doctors and staff are dedicated to saving lives, and if I was sick with COVID... I would go to Tampa General Hospital,” the Democrat representing Tampa’s Third District said.
Kimball continued to speak out on Facebook, claiming COVID is a “medically engineered virus” according to The Daily Beast.