The founder of the pro-Trump conservative student organization Turning Point USA has died from the new coronavirus. Bill Montgomery was 80. He established the group alongside current leader Charlie Kirk, then 18, in 2012. “I can’t put into words how saddened I am by the death of my dear friend Bill Montgomery,” Kirk told Politico. Turning Point USA has downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kirk has argued against the efficacy of public health measures meant to slow it: “Do not force me to wear a mask, it’s that simple. I’m not gonna do it, I’m not.” He has also said the elderly and high-risk should self-isolate, however. President Donald Trump spoke to a packed crowd of Turning Point USA members at a church in Phoenix in June.
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