Anti-Mask Activist Caleb Wallace Dies On Homemade COVID-19 Cross

Right Wing Extremism

Caleb Wallace died this weekend from COVID-19. The conservative activist from San Angelo, Texas, was just 30 years old but packed a lifetime of conspiracy nonsense into his short stay on this earth. Wallace had campaigned against mask mandates and most COVID-19 restrictions. Obviously, he wasn't vaccinated.

Wallace gained notoriety last year as one of many entitled white people who demonstrated conclusively that America is not exceptional because its citizens couldn't unite in shared sacrifice to combat a viral foe. Wallace helped pull back the curtain on this country's moral corruption. I presume someone else is writing an actual eulogy, because this is admittedly harsh. However, as Voltaire said, the living deserve our respect but the dead deserve only the truth. And Wallace had no respect for the living while he was alive.

After a few months of crippling tyranny, Wallace co-founded the San Angelo Freedom Defenders with Coco Simpson, who decried Governor Greg Abbott's July 2020 mask mandate.

SIMPSON: It's pacifying the 1-2% speaking the loudest and leaving the rest of us behind. If you want to wear a mask feel free to do so. I don't choose to and I shouldn't wear one because it makes you feel better.

Sociopathic sentiment posing as rugged individualism. It's the history of America as written by Ayn Rand.


COVID-19 is surging through Texas, where 46 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. A similar percentage of Texans have guns in their homes, but I think that Venn diagram is a figure eight. Wallace contracting COVID-19 was a “when" more than an “if" proposition. And when he did, it was solitary, nasty, but not short. He spent three weeks in an intensive care unit. His wife, Jessica, who's eight months pregnant, and three daughters aged five, three, and one would video chat with an unresponsive Caleb, his lungs shredded by coronavirus.

"Keep fighting, daddy," Caleb's children said Thursday into the video screen. "We miss you."

They will miss their father for the remainder of their lives.

Saturday, Jessica Wallace announced: "Caleb has peacefully passed on. He will forever live in our hearts and minds." She's raising money to cover his preventable medical costs on GoFundMe, which is just like socialized medicine except far less efficient. That's probably why so many Americans prefer privatized panhandling. As of today, 675 people have contributed more than $65,000 out of her original $20,000 goal. Please note the ironic placement of my next paragraph:

Last year, Caleb Wallace said, "My health has nothing to do with you. As harsh as that sounds, but our constitutional, fundamental rights protect that. Nothing else ... I'm sorry if that comes off as blunt and that I don't care. I do care. I care more about freedom than I do for your personal health."

Wallace was not the only anti-mask/anti-vaccine crusader who walked into his last rake: Conservative radio host Marc Bernier from Daytona Beach, Florida, also died Saturday after a three-week COVID-ass-kicking. This was his final tweet:

He died as he lived: Comparing Democrats who support vaccination to actual Nazis, who were known for their public health initiatives.

Rightwing troll Candace Owens is also missing in action, possibly in traction, after cancelling one of her scam events because of a “sudden illness." She'd boasted just last week about her COVID-defying trapeze act.

We'd like to think that Wallace and Bernier's deaths might persuade their followers to finally take this disease seriously, but that's not how stupid works. The lovely and talented Robyn Pennacchia noted on Twitter that "Q followers are already determining that anti-masker Caleb Wallace either died because he was on a ventilator and the ventilators are actually what is killing COVID ICU patients, or 'because a local FBI agent poisoned him to make a point.' "

Yes, the ventilator killed him or maybe the FBI agent did. And I thought Mrs. Peacock killing everyone was the least plausible Clue ending.

Jessica Wallace said that when her husband first got sick, he took a mix of vitamin C, zinc, and aspirin, which is helpful if you've just flown on a plane and feel cruddy. He topped it off with ivermectin, a horse dewormer that won't cure coronavirus but might make your coat nice and shiny in time for your funeral. Fortunately, Wallace plans to get vaccinated once her baby is born in September (doctors recommend doing so during pregnancy). At least she wears a mask.

She said her husband respected her own decision to wear a mask.

"We joked around about how he was on one side and I was on the other, and that's what made us the perfect couple and we balanced each other out," she said.

Unfortunately, this isn't a potAto/potAHto situation. She's still alive for the moment because she at least took one of the most basic precautions against COVID-19, a disease that is real and not spectacular. Caleb Wallace is dead for no good reason, and he won't even serve as a cautionary tale.

[New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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