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Daughters say misinformation contributed to their mom's COVID-19 death

"We were her life. She loved us so much and would do anything for us... except get a vaccine," one daughter said.

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. — A western Washington mother died from COVID-19 after her daughter said she ignored facts about the virus and believed misinformation about the vaccine.

"She was so generous and loving. She just wanted to give, give, give," said Kellie Wall, who described her mother, Cori Taylor-Wall, as a sort of "supermom."

But Kellie said her mom lost her battle with the virus.

"The delta variant that she caught was so aggressive," said Kellie. "She was no match."

Kellie explained her mother thought she had COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic, but that was never confirmed by a doctor. Still, Cori believed she had antibodies to fight off the virus.

Cori's other daughter, Jennie, works as a respiratory therapist and has treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients, and has also had to see dozens of them die.

Jennie said she pleaded with her mom for months to get vaccinated, but Cori refused.

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"It was very frustrating," said Jennie. "I would tell her what I went through on a day-to-day basis working in the COVID ICU with people who had died and it almost seemed like it wasn't really enough to convince her."

On Sept. 5, Cori was diagnosed with COVID-19 and she died 12 days later. She was 57 years old. 

"I'm having to talk to the doctor on my Apple watch and he's telling me my mom's not gonna make it while I'm in a patient's room because we don't have the staff or time to take a break or even answer a call in the hallway," recalled Jennie.

Both Jennie and Kellie rushed to the hospital to be at their mother's bedside for her final moments. 

"I had been really angry with her," said Kellie. "I needed to set that aside and tell her that I loved her. I wanted to be there for her."

Cori's family said her views on the COVID-19 vaccine were influenced by conservative news sources.

"She got a lot of her information through right-wing media," said Kellie. "She was very wary of media bias."

"No matter how much someone would try to sway her view and give her some facts, it just ended up being political," added Jennie.

The same story is playing out in other households.

Family members of Patrick Lane said some of the same conservative media kept their healthy 45-year-old father from getting vaccinated against the virus. Lane, from Snohomish, died from COVID-19 earlier this month.

"I think he was a victim of misinformation," Lane's daughter Katie told KING 5.

RELATED: Family pleads for people to get vaccinated after father dies from COVID-19

Experts say untruths about the COVID-19 vaccine are spreading quickly, just like the virus itself, and it's having deadly consequences.

"The real way to deal with this misinformation, much like a virus, is through prevention. You have to stop it from spreading," said Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, a nonprofit watchdog group that polices right-wing media.

He said the agenda for the untruths permeating some conservative news outlets is driven by politics and profits.

Carusone said that some conservative media outlets influence their viewers by "reinforcing a narrative that everything is some kind of liberal conspiracy."

He said Fox News and other outlets have been able to expand their audiences by adding new viewers during the pandemic.

"Ten years ago, the Fox audience wouldn't have overlapped with the anti-vax or conspiracy theorist crowds. They were adjacent to it. Fox sees this as an opportunity to pull in those on the fringe," Carusone continued.

At the end of the day, Jennie said she doesn't know if anyone could have persuaded her mom to get the vaccine, she only knows that she could not.

"You don't just hurt yourself when this happens, you hurt others," said Jennie. "We were her life. She loved us so much and would do anything for us... except get a vaccine."

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