The co-founder of a conservative youth group—that aims to spread right-wing beliefs to students—has passed away due to the pandemic. Bill Montgomery, who helped start the organization Turning Point USA (TP USA) with Charlie Kirk, died at the age of 80 earlier this week.
However, how he died and the beliefs pushed by the youth organization he helped found have come at odds. TP USA actively pushed the anti-masker message that endangers millions.
Co-founder Kirk did not mention this in their tribute tweet.
An American hero died today. Bill Montgomery passed away at 80. He believed in me. He poured his heart & soul & ti… https://t.co/jQHTqSTLUY— Charlie Kirk (@Charlie Kirk)1595955921.0
Let's be clear, the loss of human life in this time is painful and senseless.
But the current administration's attempts to downplay the danger of the virus—in the midst of over a hundred thousand people dying—has been widely criticized. And it's not just President Donald Trump and the federal government's minuscule response or the President's rhetoric that endangers people.
TP USA is a very vocal support organization for Trump and to that end did their own disinformation campaign to downplay the danger of the disease, and most importantly the efficacy of masks.
It was so consistent, they posted a meme about it the day Montgomery died from complications caused by the disease complete with LOL and laughing emojis.
The caption says:
"Me not wearing a mask, while a leftist screams at me from their car across the parking lot at Whole Foods."
After Montgomery's passing, people called out TP USA about their misinformation.
They have since deleted many tweets associated with their anti-mask propaganda campaign.
One would hope this would act as a wake up call for the group, and how they're handling the pandemic.
Charlie Kirk repeatedly said he won’t honor mask requirements, even in enclosed public places. It was reported that… https://t.co/5f8O6cLiQO— ➖Dustin Miller➖ (@➖Dustin Miller➖)1596082143.0
Hmmm ... maybe a mask would have been better, after all? https://t.co/iVmYYOKlC5— Maggie's Dad Wears A Mask (@Maggie's Dad Wears A Mask)1596124902.0
Charlie Kirk himself very recently spoke against wearing a mask. Just this week on his podcast, he doubted the efficacy of masks, despite medical experts insisting people wear one when out and about to prevent the spread of the disease.
The CDC, the Mayo Clinic, the World Health Organization, John Hopkins University, and so many more institutions have come out recommending people wear masks in public to try and control the rate of spread of this disease.
America has one of the highest infection rates in the world thanks to anti-maskers and those refusing to social distance. The countries that have dealt effectively with the virus have included stay at home orders, and high mask usage among their populace.
TP USA's propaganda push contributes to the USA's pandemic failures.
They tweeted this while their co-founder, Bill Montgomery, was fighting for his life against COVID-19. Classy. https://t.co/Ov3X1HsoIy— John Rubio (@John Rubio)1596090429.0
@Miller_Congress @TPUSA Not even a mention that he died from COVID-19 complications while you people continue to do… https://t.co/GpDzj0aQTz— Nikita (@Nikita)1596066951.0
@aliasvaughn @highbrow_nobrow I really hope that this would be a wake up call for a lot of people but recent histor… https://t.co/dq4fxfDZ9D— Fakedeadgirlfriend (@Fakedeadgirlfriend)1596129735.0
@scottsantens Youth groups run by old men are weird.— Daniela Battistella (@Daniela Battistella)1596121090.0
Medical professionals—like all professions that rely on science—may change their recommendations as new evidence emerges and experiments yield results, but our best chance at pulling through this is to listen to the advice of these experts.
Not internet memes from right-wing youth groups.
During a global pandemic, taking medical advice from a rich kid with a podcast is a good way to end up dead.