Gregg Prentice, who served as an accountant for the Hillsborough County GOP, was well-known as an opponent of Covid-19 public health measures, regularly using social media to dismiss the importance of Covid restrictions while questioning the real government motives behind them. He died in Tampa General Hospital last week after contracting a severe case of the virus.
After his death, the county party’s executive committee submitted a document to the FEC explaining that his passing spells trouble for its ability to comply with financial disclosure laws.
“As a Political Party Committee, we file our FEC reports on a monthly basis,” it said in the letter. “For several years we have been submitting the reports electronically, and for over a year we have done this with software developed by one of our members, Gregg Prentice. Gregg’s software converted data from our Quickbooks accounting software to supply the information needed by the FEC.
“Unfortunately, Gregg passed away suddenly from Covid 19 on Saturday, September 11, 2021. Gregg did not share the software and instructions for its use 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 September 20, but we will try to do so with our best effort.”
According to local reports, members of Mr Prentice’s family have also tested positive for the virus.
A colleague of Mr Prentice’s in the local party, Jason Kimball, posted on Facebook that “The media is relishing in the death of a beloved member of my community who spent the bulk of his time helping and mentoring others” – and that “mRNA injection supremacists are responding with delusional and hateful comments.” In a lengthy livestream, he railed against “vaccine supremacists”.
✅ Not a fan of mask mandates.
✅ Refuses to get vaccinated.
✅ Wants to "end Faucism."
✅ Catches COVID-19.
✅ Lasts 24 hours.
🏆 We honor (former) Florida @GOP official Gregg Prentice with a #HermanCainAward. pic.twitter.com/E5ohpDsjob
— The Herman Cain Awards (@HermanCainAward) September 19, 2021
The media, said Mr Kimball, are “essentially trying to say that this guy who wanted to end ‘Faucism’ ends up dying of Covid-19.” He then went on to give an exegesis on supposedly illegal and lethal practices at Tampa General Hospital, allegedly including medics intubating people unnecessarily and dangerously without permission. He also warned people to stay away from Tampa General Hospital because of these alleged practices.
According to The Daily Beast, Mr Kimball made similar remarks at a public meeting of the City Council, and saw his unfounded claims shut down by a councilman who described as “dangerous” his remarks advising people against going to the hospital.
Florida has seen a decline in Covid-19 hospitalisations in recent days, but its seven-day average death toll remains by far the highest it has reached since the start of the pandemic. As of 19 September, the number stood at 353.