Right-wing pro-Trump group deletes tweet mocking ‘leftists’ for wearing protective masks after co-founder dies from COVID-19

Right-wing pro-Trump group deletes tweet mocking ‘leftists’ for wearing protective masks after co-founder dies from COVID-19
Charlie Kirk speaking with attendees at the 2019 Teen Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C., photo via Gage Skidmore / Flickr.

On Tuesday, July 28, Charlie Kirk — co-founder of the right-wing student group Turning Point USA and a supporter of President Donald Trump — announced on Twitter that the organization’s other co-founder, 80-year-old Republican activist Bill Montgomery, had died of complications from COVID-19. Earlier that day, TPUSA had posted a tweet mocking “leftists” for wearing face masks — and that tweet, according to Business Insider’s Tom Porter, was deleted following Montgomery’s death.

TPUSA, sadly, has a history of downplaying the importance of social distancing measures and ridiculing the use of face masks. In a tweet posted on July 22 — less than a week before Montgomery’s death — TPUSA tweeted a sign that read, “Imagine if everyone wearing a mask was carrying a copy of the Constitution instead” (as if trying to avoid getting sick with COVID-19 and possibly dying from it somehow limits one’s ability to defend the Constitution).

In a March 22 op-ed for Fox News’ website, Kirk acknowledged how dangerous COVID-19 is and encouraged young adults to be careful. However, Kirk has been critical of local governments that have mandated face masks in public places; on his podcast, Kirk recently declared, “Do not force me to wear a mask — it’s that simple. I’m not gonna do it, I’m not.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.