On Thursday morning, Aug. 19, 2021, Greenville County Republican Party leader Pressley Stutts died, losing his fight against COVID-19. The South Carolina official had been a staunch opponent of vaccine and mask requirements. According to the Greenville News, Stutts’ death was confirmed by Anderson County Republican Party official Dan Harvell, who called Stutts “the brother I never had.”

Stutts and his wife Patty contracted the virus some time in the middle of July. On July 31, after his oxygen levels dropped, both Stuttses were admitted to the hospital and quickly ended up in the ICU. In his first post on Facebook, the day after being rushedto the hospital, Stutts wrote a long post saying that “I have ALWAYS contended that COVID was very real. It is a deadly bio-weapon perpetrated upon the people of the world by enemies foreign, and perhaps domestic.” He went on to write about Trump being the true president and that his faith in God was more powerful than the virus.

According to Stutts, who posted continuously during his time in the hospital, both he and his wife were on a Remvesidir regimen” in the first days of admittance in the hospital. On Aug. 4, Stutts posted a picture of him and Donald Trump, writing that when the doctors and nurses run him through cognitive test questions (i.e. time and date) they “always ask who the President is and I keep telling them the President is STILL Donald J. Trump! Not going to let them fool me with that poser named Joe. Nosirree!” Patty Stutts returned from the hospital on Aug. 5, but Pressley Stutts’ condition worsened.

Stutts was a leader in the Greenville Tea Party who had become the executive committeeman of the Greenville County Republican Party just last month. Before that, in June, he was seen protesting Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to South Carolina when she was trying to encourage people to get the vaccine. Stutts, at the time, told news outlets that he was protesting because “People should be free to get the vaccines they want. Free not to get it. But what’s happening now is that there’s a discrimination starting to take place.” 

In July, right around the time that Stutts would have potentially contracted the virus, he was at a maskless event for QAnon conspiracist Lin Wood. Stutts himself was a promoter of the MAGA-universe’s claims that the naitonal elections were rigged. From his hospital bed, Stutts promoted Donald Trump’s early August proclamation that there was explosive evidence that Donald Trump “won the election—by A LOT!” He also posted some Trump Life Membership emails he was getting. The up-and-down nature of the final weeks of Stutts’ life as he battled to breathe and stay off of a ventilator are very tough to read. Throughout his time, Stutts asked for prayers.

On Aug. 13, Stutts posted for the last time on his Facebook page, writing: “Listen to me please: I am making a decision to go on a ventilator. This is my OWN decision. I trust God to keep me. I ask you to trust Him, too. He IS ABLE, right? My faith is strong that I will come through this. May be days or weeks, but God IS in CONTROL! Patty, I LOVE YOU! Pressley 3, Bart, Cavin and Linc, I LOVE YOU DEEPLY! Remember what I have instilled in your hearts and minds. I WILL wake up from this short rest and be back in the game soon! PLEASE PRAY LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER PRAYED BEFORE! I HUMBLY ASK YOU. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!”

Stutts, 64, was a U.S. Navy veteran.

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