Just a day after testing positive for COVID-19, a Florida Republican official who battled against mask mandates, attacked the vaccine, and railed at CDC officials has died in Tampa.
Gregg Prentice, who was 61, led the Hillsborough County Election Integrity Committee—and his sudden death has sent the local GOP scrambling as it no longer has access to essential campaign finance software without his help.
In a Sept. 14 letter to the Federal Election Commission, the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee reported it might not be able to file its monthly financial reports as required—because only Prentice knew how to do it.
“Gregg’s software converted data from our Quickbooks software to supply the information needed by the FEC,” it states. “Unfortunately, Gregg passed away suddenly from Covid-19 on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Gregg did not share the software and instructions 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 Sept. 20, but we will try to do so with our best effort.”
Along with others in the Hillsborough County Election Integrity Committee, Prentice was a vociferous critic of the vaccine, mask mandates, and COVID-prevention measures. He railed against top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, vowing in a Twitter post to “end Faucism.” He also insisted the U.S. needs “more socialist distancing than we do social distancing” and that the pandemic was created to destroy small businesses.
A spokesperson for the Hillsborough Republican Executive Committee has reportedly said that Prentice’s wife and daughter have also caught COVID-19.
Meanwhile, as the local party reels, Prentice’s associates have spread their own wild conspiracy theories—presented without evidence—on how the official died.
Friend Jason Kimball blames Tampa General Hospital for the 61-year-old’s death, alleging staff “illegally intubated” Prentice the day before he died. During a Sept. 13 Tampa City Council meeting, Kimball requested an investigation be launched. However, members of the City Council denied any wrongdoing or mistreatment from the hospital.
“My public comments are really going to be about Tampa General Hospital,” Kimball said at the council meeting. “There’s a dire situation going on right now... that I don’t think anyone is aware of, and I have firsthand knowledge of it. They’re intubating everyone entering Tampa General Hospital as a first line of action. They’re using fatality-treatment protocol, and I think that the city council really needs to do an investigation... They’re intubating people illegally... When you call 911 and you go to that hospital, you’re going into a bad situation.”
Councilman John Dingfelder quickly shut down Kimball’s comment, blasting it as “dangerous.”
“Though we respect the First Amendment rights from everybody who calls in... I think it’s an extremely dangerous comment to be spreading to the community that they shouldn’t go to Tampa General Hospital... [It] is the top one or two hospitals in this community... There’s no finer place. Doctors and staff are dedicated to saving lives, and if I was sick with COVID... I would go to Tampa General Hospital,” the Democrat representing Tampa’s Third District said.
After praising the medical center, Dingfelder went back to bashing Kimball’s remarks: “That was a very dangerous comment from that individual... People listen to ridiculous comments without doing the right research.”
Other council members chimed in, agreeing with Dingfelder.
That hasn’t stopped Kimball from speaking out on Facebook, where he’s continued to perpetuate the myth that COVID-19 is a “medically engineered virus.”
Kimball has acknowledged that he is not a doctor. A LinkedIn profile using Kimball’s name and picture lists him as a pharmacy technician at Walmart. He previously worked at South Lake Pharmacy in Zephyrhills, Florida.
After Prentice’s death on Sept. 11, he posted: “FOR THE VIRUS - we have a genetically engineered virus spreading around Florida. We lost Gregg Prentice, a mentor to many in Hillsborough County, due to the engineered virus. ....Do not mess around with this engineered virus - as soon as you even feel weird, get on a treatment protocol. If you are ill or dealing with brain fog, make sure you have a hospital / inpatient clinic to go to where you can actually get treatment in case you get worse.”
In response to Kimball eulogizing Prentice, a follower wrote, “I can’t believe of all people that have been MURDERED in this way, that Gregg is now one of them. This is one heck of a loss for the Tampa area, Hillsborough County, every patriotic person around, and of course his family... I wish the people who have done this get held accountable, but it’s up to us to spread the proper treatment protocol in hopes this doesn’t happen to someone else. Sad day.”