A well-known conservative activist in Arlington, Texas, who peddled COVID-19 vaccine misinformation has died of complications caused by the virus—just a few weeks after attending a “symposium” against the shots.
The Arlington Republican Party confirmed the passing of Kelly Canon on Facebook.
“Another tragedy and loss for our Republican family. Our dear friend Kelly Canon lost her battle with pneumonia today. Kelly will be forever in our hearts as a loyal and beloved friend and Patriot. Gone way too soon We will keep her family in our prayers,” the Arlington Republican Club said in a statement.
Friends and colleagues of the Republican figure flooded social media with tributes on Tuesday, lamenting what they said was her death “from COVID-related pneumonia.”
“I Had just texted with her yesterday and she said she was doing well, fighting off this damn Covid in both of her lungs that turned into double pneumonia, so I am quite shocked to get this news,” wrote one friend who identified herself as Jennifer Talbert Frank.
“I am truly heartbroken to learn that my dear friend Kelly Canon has passed away from complications from Covid pneumonia. Just yesterday around 4pm she told a group of friends that she definitely felt better and that the docs had told her she had ‘turned the corner’ with improved blood test results. She was talking about wanting to come home. Later last night she developed an acute abdominal issue, was given pain meds and put on the ventilator,” wrote Maggie Clopton Wright.
Canon had announced on Facebook in November that her employer granted her a religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“No jabby-jabby for me! Praise GOD!” she wrote at the time.
Canon was prominent in Republican circles for her grassroots organizing and campaign to ban red light cameras in Arlington. She also made headlines in 2017 for going public about sexually explicit photos allegedly sent to her by then-GOP Rep. Joe Barton, a scandal which ultimately ended in Barton stepping down.
More recently, Canon had been an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and pandemic-related restrictions. In one of her final Facebook posts, Canon shared several links to speeches she attended at a “COVID symposium” in Burleson in early December devoted to dissuading people from getting the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available. The event was organized by God Save Our Children, which bills itself as “a conservative group that is fighting against the use of experimental vaccines on our children.”
Canon had shared similar content on Twitter, where her most recent post was a YouTube video featuring claims that the coronavirus pandemic was “planned” in advance and part of a global conspiracy.
As news of her death spread Tuesday, pro-vaccine commentators flooded her Facebook page with cruel comments and mocking memes, while her supporters unironically praised her for being a “warrior for liberty” to the very end.