Op-Ed: Ultimate Disrespect When Kelly Ernby’s Death Is Used To Fight About COVID

Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby
Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby died at age 46 after contracting COVID-19. Photo credit: Marc Ang.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Tireless grassroots conservative activist and Orange County Deputy DA Kelly Ernby passed a few weeks ago supposedly from COVID complications. The shock reverberated through the Orange County conservative community as one of the GOP’s beloved rising stars, a kind hearted 46 year old blonde with a beautiful smile, passed prematurely. 

Just hours after her passing, opportunistic Republicans were the first jumping out in front of the media, acting like they were best friends with her, providing unverified accounts to the media, saying the death was due to COVID complications. 

I question the wisdom of that tweet. Why go out right away with that to the media without specific details, also knowing she had a long history of speaking out against vaccines? I think at that point you’re just inviting a circus for political point scoring, just hours after someone you supposedly care about passed. 

What resulted was a barrage of gloating political partisans on the left bombarding her final Facebook post on Christmas, wishing her mother best wishes in heaven. Also attacked was her grieving husband’s page, calling his wife’s death “Darwinism” and cheering her passing, just because her politics were not in line with theirs. Even the LA Times found this disgusting.


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Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby
Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby (center) died at age 46 after contracting COVID-19. Photo credit: Marc Ang.

I find the actions of both sides deplorable. Kelly lost her mother just a few weeks before her own death. She had been worked to the bone by her own political party, who gave her promises but didn’t fulfill them. This is typical for the local GOP which has been in desperate need of young talent and workers, promising endorsements for key political offices but ultimately passing on Kelly, to satisfy others in front of her, and effectively reneging on the promises. 

Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby
Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby (right) died at age 46 after contracting COVID-19. Photo credit: Marc Ang.

The combination of grief, exhaustion and disappointment is probably a contributor to her death. Besides that, no one knows what she was going through as far as pre-existing conditions go and neither should people know. Or be broadcasting info on her medical condition for the world even after she’s passed. Never mind HIPAA. This is just poor form. Can privacy even be a thing again?

The rabid side that wants to mandate everyone else to have vaccines opportunistically seized on limited information to further their agenda. The childish gloating by hundreds of people was just not human, however you cut it. 

The right, which was so eager to prove a political point also made this happen. Now the same person spreading the news of the death to invite drama tried to control invites to her funeral, as if he’s some authority on her.  

Melissa Snow, who worked closely with Kelly as the OCGOP Precinct City Chair for Ladera Ranch says,

“I was stunned when I received a call that Kelly had passed away. It brought back painful memories of losing my son over a year ago. The pain is immense, I was disappointed and disgusted with the media attacks, the exploitation on both sides. Kelly was a beautiful soul who deserved to be laid to rest peacefully. Kelly would expect unity, not division. We are moving forward in her honor.”

What’s the net effect of all these deplorable actions from those who are political? A grieving spouse and family is inundated with unneeded stress, people have now grown even more disgusted with political creatures and I highly doubt anyone has changed their minds on the political issues. 

Ask yourselves too, is this what Kelly would have wanted? I can only take solace that Kelly is with her mother now and does not have to hear this nonsense from those that claim to be her friends and the nasty leftist partisans in the community. Rest In Peace, daughter, wife, and pillar in the community. May those who most acutely feel your loss experience healing and peace.

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