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Trump Creates New ‘Conscience and Religious Freedom Division’ at HHS to Support Discrimination by Health Care Professionals

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“No One Should Be Forced to Choose Between Helping Sick People and Living by One’s Deepest Moral or Religious Convictions” Division’s Chief Announces

The Office of Civil Rights at President Donald Trump’s Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a new division created to help ensure discrimination by medical professionals who chose to cite their religious or moral convictions when refusing to treat certain patients or when refusing to perform certain functions. The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division was officially announced in an HHS press release Thursday.

Transgender people, women seeking contraception or abortion services, gay, lesbian, bisexual people, people living with HIV/AIDS seem particularly at risk for further – and now federally-sanctioned – discrimination under the Trump administration.

No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions,” said Roger Severino (photo), Director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Severino, whose resume includes positions at far right wing organizations, has a long history of publicly opposing transgender people.

In short, under the Trump administration’s new policy and new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, health care workers could, for example, refuse to treat a transgender patient, just because they are transgender. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people all could be refused a doctor’s appointment or told at an emergency room they have to seek help elsewhere. Unmarried sexually-active women could be refused contraception, or forced to shop around for a doctor willing to perform a medically-necessary abortion. Same-sex couples seeking a pediatrician for a newborn child could also be refused.

NCRM first reported Wednesday that the complaint portal website for the Office for Civil Rights at HHS had already been updated to include greatly expanded language on Federal Conscience and Religious Freedom Laws.

Invited guests attending Thursday morning’s announcement include Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) who vigorously pushed her now-failed bill that would have banned the Pentagon from spending taxpayer funds to support medically-necessary treatment of transgender service members.

Also invited is Senator James Lankford (R-OK) who infamously said in 2012, “race and sexual preferences are two different things. One is a behavior-related and preference-related and one is something inherently — skin color, something obvious, that kind of stuff.”

Both GOP lawmakers have ties to the Family Research Council.

“Severino is a defender of the discredited practice of conversion therapy, argued transgender service members ‘dishonors’ the military, and insisted that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is ‘based not on any sort of hatred but, in fact, out of love,'” GLAAD noted in a statement Thursday.

“Any healthcare worker who has moral objections to providing medically necessary care to an entire vulnerable population is in the wrong line of work,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said. “Denying a transgender person – or any person – life saving care if they walk into an emergency room is far from a moral act, it is unjust and dangerous. Trump, Pence, and Trump’s appointees have tried time and again to establish blatantly bigoted policies that harm transgender and gender non-conforming Americans, and history will neither forget nor forgive this Administration’s attacks on its own people.”

The Catholic Health Association says that “the Catholic health ministry is the largest group of nonprofit health care providers in the nation. Every day, one in six patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital.” The organization represents health care facility operators that employ nearly 750,000 health care workers. Due to a rash of mergers many hospitals that appear secular are actually controlled by religious organizations.

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Senior Trump Campaign Advisor and Top Fundraising Official Kimberly Guilfoyle Tests Positive for Coronavirus: Reports

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Trump campaign senior advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host who is also the campaign’s top fundraising official, has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Guilfoyle was tested while in South Dakota, where President Donald Trump is right now, about to preside over a Fourth of July fireworks show at Mt. Rushmore.

ABC News Senior Editorial Producer John Santucci posted the news to Twitter:

The New York Times also reported Guilfoyle’s test result, and noted she is “the girlfriend of President Trump’s eldest son,” Donald Trump, Jr.

“Ms. Guilfoyle traveled to South Dakota with Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., in anticipation of attending a huge fireworks display where the president was set to speak.”

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GASLIGHTING AMERICA

‘Spawned,’ ‘Seeded,’ and ‘Spread’: Trump Official Spins Out-of-Control Anti-China Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

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Trump White House Trade advisor Peter Navarro used the long Independence Day weekend to spin a fantastical conspiracy theory that directly blames China for creating the deadly coronavirus, then sending “hundreds of thousands” of its people to the U.S. to infect and ultimately kill Americans.

“It is the Chinese Communist Party that is making us stay locked in our homes and lose our jobs,” Navarro, the author of the 2011 book, Death by China, told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi Friday afternoon.

“They spawned the virus. They hid the virus. They sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals over here to seed and spread the virus before we knew,” he continued, refusing to respond to Velshi’s questions.

“So, ah, the dateline is November. They spawned the virus, probably came out of the biological lab. For two months, they hid the virus from the world and the possibility of a pandemic, behind the shield of the World ‘Health’ Organization. While they did that, they vacuumed up the world’s protective equipment, including two billion masks, and,” said Navarro, plowing through Velshi who repeatedly asked if China did this deliberately.

“Here’s the point. While they were preventing any domestic travels from Wuhan to Beijing or Shanghai, locking down their transportation network, they freely sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals on aircraft to go around the world.”

“They deliberately allowed Chinese nationals to come to the United States, Italy, and everywhere in between, who were infected, while they were locking down their own transportation network.”

“Let’s be careful and clear with the words,” Navarro said, very carefully and deliberately gaslighting viewers. “What they did, during this period of time when they knew there was a pandemic, they didn’t allow their people to travel inside of China, they allowed people inside of china who were likely infected to go around the world.”

Watch:

 

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NOPE NOPE NOPE

‘Groucho? Harpo? Chico?’: Matt Schlapp Mocked for Claim This May Be Final 4th of July Before ‘Marxists’ Take Over US

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Far right wing lobbyist, Fox News contributor, Trump campaign surrogate, and provocateur Matt Schlapp is being mocked after claiming Marxists are taking over the country and warning that as a result, Saturday may be America’s final Fourth of July.

Schlapp apparently was forced to use a photo of umbrella-holding protestors fleeing what looks like tear gas, with one particularly patriotic young man donning an American flag face mask while holding up a rather large American flag.

“This Saturday, if the Marxist leaders have their way, we will celebrate #IndependenceDay for the last time as a free people,” Schlapp tweeted. “Now is the time to stand up for your country. And even more importantly, pray that the Great American Experiment survives their assault.”

At first glance, perhaps, some likely would assume the image is of Black Lives Matter activists at a George Floyd racial justice protest.

But as Vox co-founder Matt Yglesias pointed out, the photo is of protestors in Hong Kong, a region currently engaged in its own fight for freedom.

(The photo is from the Associated Press, and can be seen in this Voice of America article)

Schlapp, whose wife is a Trump campaign advisor, was double mocked – for the photo, and for the “American” protestors.

(The right recently has been labeling Black Lives Matter as “Marxist,” citing the reported beliefs of one of its co-founders, intentionally ignoring that the millions who are marching against police killings and for racial justice are not.)

Schlapp, by the way, is the chairman of the American Conservative Union, the company that hosts the annual right wing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Several companies have recently dropped Schlapp over his comments about the George Floyd protests. Among them, these:

Here’s how some are responding to Schlapp:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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