An anti-LGBTQ+ Texas politician who repeatedly mocked the danger of COVID-19 and the need for wearing masks has died after being hospitalized with the disease.
H. Scott Apley, 45, a member of the Dickinson City Council and the State Republican Executive Committee, died Wednesday morning, according to a GoFundMe page set up to assist his family. He had been admitted to a hospital in Galveston Monday and placed on a ventilator.
His last Facebook post, from Saturday, was a share of a Twitter message making fun of warnings about COVID and the need for vaccination. "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," it read.
He had also promoted mask-burning events and shared a misleading meme that pictured German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said her nation is planning to put quarantine violators into camps. While German states have the authority to detain repeat violators, "the use of these facilities, at the time of this reporting, is largely theoretical," according to Snopes.
Among his anti-LGBTQ+ posts were a meme of a figure marked "Lgbtq" in what appears to be riot gear chasing a person marked "kids trying to watch some cartoons." Apley added the comment "That's why we've been watching Scooby Doo episodes from 45 years ago."
He made fun of Demi Lovato identifying as nonbinary and using gender-neutral pronouns, saying, "I will NEVER play this ridiculous game under any circumstances." He also had posts ridiculing transgender parents and questioning why anti-trans legislation is controversial. "Never in my life would I have thought that preventing biological males from competing against biological females or not chemically/surgically castrating minor children would be a difficult thing to agree on," he wrote in May.
He put "laugh" emojis on a post sharing the news that soccer star Megan Rapinoe, a lesbian, would be part of a Victoria's Secret campaign, and he shared a meme denouncing those who "take a single brick, throw it through a glass window, and complain about inequality," while some people use bricks to build a business.
Apley's wife, Melissa, and their 5-month-old son have also tested positive for COVID, Houston TV station KTRK reports. Despite Scott Apley's antivaccine stance, it was unclear if either he or his wife had been vaccinated, according to the station.