Rep. Markwayne Mullins (R-OK) spent his time during the hearing to interview whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright about his high blood pressure. While many members of Congress were asking questions about the investigations into hydroxychloroquine, the national stockpile, the administration’s lack of response to early warnings about the coronavirus and how to protect Americans.
The conservative plumber demanded details from Dr. Bright on why he was on medical leave from his new position at the National Institute of Health, where he transitioned after being ousted at the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Bright explained that being ousted, thrust into the spotlight and attacked by conservative media has been more stress than he’s accustomed to experiencing as a doctor.
Mullin then asked why Dr. Bright could appear before Congress but not go to work at the NIH. Mullin didn’t give Dr. Bright time to respond to the question but witnesses are generally subpoenaed to appear before Congress. Bright explained he was taking his vacation time to deal with the Congressional hearing.
The internet swiftly responded to Mullin, calling him out for what they called embarrassing, cruel and an unnecessary line of questioning that didn’t get to the bottom of why over 83,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
Moments later Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar attacked Dr. Bright, saying he isn’t showing up to work when he’s needed the most. It’s an ironic claim given Azar and Trump removed Bright from his position. If he was so necessary, it’s unclear why Dr. Bright was removed.
You can see their responses below:
how unusual…a gop rep attacking the witness instead of asking substantial questions
— Beth Becker 👠👠 (@spedwybabs) May 14, 2020
“You’re well enough to come here today, but not go to work.”
The man just says his blood pressure was high. 🤦🏾♀️🤦🏾♀️🤦🏾♀️
— Chantay Berry (@iamchanteezy) May 14, 2020
.@RepMullin, a former plumber and talk radio host from Oklahoma, is getting right to the issues affecting frightened Americans in a global viral pandemic: a congressional whistleblower's blood pressure and salary. #DrBright
— John Charpentier (@snpsandsnRNPs) May 14, 2020
@RepMullin you are a vial POS how dare you make fun of someone with high blood pressure. You are a asshole. How do you sleep at night.
— Denise Lynn (@lynnmarie4109) May 14, 2020
Why is Mullin allowed to harangue Dr. Bright about his taking medical leave and smear him regarding his high blood pressure? That was disgusting.
— (((antiantisemite))) (@Tristanshouts) May 14, 2020
The Republicans are making the worst showing I’ve ever seen. Some guy is trying to hammer Dr Bright about his high blood pressure. And now trying to seize Dr Bright’s attorney’s documents!
— Shelley Webb ³³°¹ (@shelleyaw123) May 14, 2020
Ur scum. Doubting dr bright. Questioning his blood pressure and functioning. The issue is the admin terrible response to the virus. U republicans r killing us with ur disrespect for science. Shame on u.
— Susan Martin (@selfcurledgirl) May 14, 2020
So is .@RepMullin there to try to make Dr Bright look bad? What is the purpose of his questions? What does Dr Bright's high blood pressure have to do with trumps incomptency. Mullin must be up for re-election #VoteHimOut
— Surviving Trump Times (@Trump_Rhymes) May 14, 2020
Just typed that.
What a prick. Im on blood pressure meds too- im 8 months preg, have survived heart failure, am living through a pandemic, and my husband is deployed. But i can spay a cat because that was my job.
— Amanda Maners (@maners_amanda) May 14, 2020
Mr Mullin is an as*hat. He is intentionally trying to raise Dr Brights blood pressure. He has no right to that line of questions, saying Dr Bright is "deceiving the American public".
— Sheila W (@Divscotty) May 14, 2020
Watch @RepMullin make an ASS of himself attacking a man for high blood pressure after he was removed from his job for no reason
Let’s see Millington removed from Oklahoma https://t.co/fdlqpn8ZkI
— tubsjmh (@tubsjmh) May 14, 2020
I’m with you there… let’s constantly interrupt a man who’s got high blood pressure and infer he’s faking his high BP situation!
— BOB! (@whitegryphen) May 14, 2020
Is he the one asking Dr Bright why he can’t manage his blood pressure? And inferring that he shouldn’t be getting paid if he can’t handle his stress? What a complete and total jerk.
— Helen (@prsgrlks) May 14, 2020
When a man risks his own safety and career to stand up and try to save lives, what you should really do is interrogate him about his blood pressure and vacation days
— Jaynie's Got a Bun (@FreeGirlNowNYC) May 14, 2020
@RepMullin line of questioning is raising this nurse's blood pressure, the disrespect is STUNNING to me.
— helenanurse (@christianainmt) May 14, 2020
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) says he has "a hard time understanding" how Dr. Bright could have high blood pressure while at the same time handle a pandemic and congressional testimony.
Pretty gross line of questioning.
— Brian Tashman (@briantashman) May 14, 2020
Omg Mullin’s questioning is even making my blood pressure rise that was ridiculous
— Chase Laudenslager (@News2Chase) May 14, 2020
@RepMullin what an ass. Hope all your kids see how nasty you are to a man with high blood pressure illegally removed from his job. Shame on your personal attack.
— Paula Doubleday (@MsDayTwo) May 14, 2020
— Beachgal10 (@melissa_yoby) May 14, 2020
FYI, to the gentleman from OKLAHOMA, Coming forward and telling the truth helps lower that blood pressure.#DrBright
— Tammi (@TLaTela) May 14, 2020
— Pierre Infecto (@InfectoPierre) May 14, 2020
I bet 75% of those old fkrs are on blood pressure meds so … that’s irrelevant af.
— ❄️ GoͦtͭJaͣniͥeͤ? ® 🌊📚🐢💨 (@GotJanie) May 14, 2020
Mr. Mullet doesn't know ANYTHING about high blood pressure.
— Honorable Mention (@headlines_see) May 14, 2020
@RepMullin why are you focusing on Dr. Bright blood pressure rather than the dire warning he is sharing about danger to the health of the American public?
— Anne Frank Zappa (@FlyerFrightened) May 14, 2020
— Lucie`°•.♥.•♪♫ ღ¸♪• (@hidingout2) May 14, 2020
I would like to hear what Dr. Bright has to say about the preparedness of the US, but the GOP line of questioning is going like this:
GOP: Did you have eggs for breakfast? I heard you have high blood pressure, DID YOU HAVE EGGS FOR BREAKFAST?
— Bored Accountant (@don_accountant) May 14, 2020
Did you miss Mr. Mullin a few minutes ago??
— Robin Anne (@Robinanne59) May 14, 2020
The line of questioning from the majority of Republicans on the committee has been awful. But Mullin's was particularly enraging and disgusting.
— Kimberly Tyda (@Kimberly_Tyda) May 14, 2020
Rather than inquire abt the COVID-19 response, OK Rep. Markwayne Mullin viciously attacked & berated Dr Bright about his health
I guess that’s what you get when you elect someone w/ an Associates degree in applied sciences in construction technology
He’s their best & brightest?
— Mel 🆘 the Enforcer (@Fah_Lo_Me) May 14, 2020
With that line of questioning isn’t Mullin stepping all over the HIPPA laws? It’s stunning just how disgusting that man is.
— moi (@moiaussi1980) May 14, 2020
@RepMullin so, Mr. Trump says to Mr. Mullin “who’s a good boy, huh? You’re a good boy! Such a good boy!”
— neoGeezr (@rrrobert12) May 14, 2020
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COVID Disinformation Purveyor Sen. Ron Johnson Urges FDA to Not Grant Full Approval to Coronavirus Vaccine
Senator Ron Johnson has written a letter to the FDA criticizing the Biden Administration for “rushing the approval process” for political reasons, reports the conservative Washington Times.
Johnson has repeatedly earned his “Ron Anon” nickname throughout the pandemic as an opponent of vaccines (while denying he’s an anti-vaxxer) and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The most recent spike in cases and deaths caused by the Delta variant haven’t slowed his roll.
The Washington Times reported on the contents of his letter, which it said it had obtained exclusively:
“The Wisconsin Republican warned against the Food and Drug Administration’s pending approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected Monday.
“He said the fast-track decision appeared more political than scientific since it skipped the usual formal advisory committee meeting and did not fully account for the reports of deaths and disabilities suffered by people after being vaccinated.
“‘I see no need to rush the FDA approval process for any of the three COVID-19 vaccines. Expediting the process appears to only serve the political purpose of imposing and enforcing vaccine mandates.'”
In the letter, Johnson also charged that “over the last year and a half, the decisions of federal health agencies have dramatically affected the lives of all Americans. The impact of these decisions has been felt in Americans’ treatment options, employment, schools, housing and travel, and in countless other ways. The human toll of the social restrictions and economic devastation is incalculable.”
The Washington Times did report this from the Biden administration:
“U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told “Fox News Sunday” that moving the Pfizer vaccine from “emergency” to “full approval” would make mandates more appealing.” There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer, a workplace, a learning environment,” he said. “I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place.”
Johnson’s stature as a de facto spokesperson for the virus has long been documented. Last month, Washington Post fact checkers gave Johnson four Pinocchios for his campaign of vaccine misinformation. It quoted this bizarre claim from Johnson in a July 14 interview on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“The fact of the matter is it looks like natural immunity is as strong if not stronger than vaccinated immunity. … There is a risk to the vaccine. Again, it’s very small, but there are some pretty serious side effects, including death. We are already over 5,200 deaths reported on the VAERS system. That’s a CDC, FDA’s early warning system.”
“Johnson has emerged as the leading vaccine skeptic in Congress this year,” the Post reported. “For months, the senator has been peddling misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, undeterred by fact checkers, federal health agencies, medical experts and a growing body of scientific research. We previously dug into two Johnson claims that resurfaced in this interview on Fox News, a network whose right-wing personalities consistently bash the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts.”
A month earlier, in June, there was this from CNN: “YouTube suspended Johnson’s account after it posted a video of the senator making dubious claims about treatments for the coronavirus. In the video, Johnson voiced support for using hydroxychloroquine against the virus, the same drug Donald Trump enthusiastically endorsed and used as a preventative treatment for coronavirus last year.”
It has all been part of a pandemic-long quest for Johnson to stoke support from the Trump base. Among his most notable strange moments, Johnson brought forth a parade of dubious doctors at a December Senate hearing on the pandemic for the purpose of “elevating fringe theories,” in the polite words of the New York Times. Johnson was so repulsive that he even bridged the partisan divide on the subject. Here’s more from newspaper:
“Mr. Johnson’s inflammatory public statements and his decision to give a platform to an assortment of contrarian doctors promoting alternative treatments have also irked some fellow Republicans, who have privately groused that he is acting irresponsibly.”
‘#TrumpIsALaughingStock’ Trends as Americans Mock Right Wingers’ Belief Today Would Be #TrumpReinstatement Day
According to the QAnon crowd, the far right fanatics, the MyPillow cultists, and MAGA maniacs, August 13 is the day Donald Trump would be “reinstated” as president. And while the day is not over yet, there is exactly zero chance “the former guy” is going to be back in the White House any time soon.
Americans will not see a shadow “cabinet” or anyone else declaring “martial law” and bringing Donald Trump back into power. There will be no Supreme Court decision kicking President Joe Biden to the curb. And Democrats will not be rounded up as “traitors” and jailed – or worse.
Instead, many Americans will have – and already are having – a field day reveling in mocking the insanity that has come to represent the Republican Party, as #TrumpIsALaughingStock, #TrumpReinstatement, and other amusing hashtags trend on social media.
Trump’s spokesperson, still allowed to tweet out his press releases, posted one on Friday that appeared to acknowledge the conspiracy theory he would be reinstated. After blasting President Joe Biden, it asks, “DO YOU MISS ME YET?”
For many the answer is “no.”
Here are some of the best takes:
Oh look at that, they lied again. Biden is still the President.
— tiredTexan (@tired_in_texas) August 13, 2021
— Liberal15 ⭐⭐ (@Liberal151) August 13, 2021
I was up all night practicing my dance for #ReinstatementDay. I think I finally got it.
— Mel the Enforcer (@Fah_Lo_Me) August 13, 2021
— Garland John Gates (@garlandgates) August 13, 2021
I assume since the price of bleach hasn’t gone up today and the stores still have lots of toilet paper, Trump has yet again failed to assume power. lol😁#TrumpIsALaughingStock
— Leigh (@LeighCBrandt) August 13, 2021
Congratulations to all #Qanons who are finally realizing that you’ve been duped again. #ReinstatementDay is a joke and the #TrumpReinstatement joke’s on you. You’ve finally caught up with what every country at the UN knew in 2018: #TrumpIsALaughingStock pic.twitter.com/Un4N8TJnJj
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) August 13, 2021
Trump Reinstatement Day is like April Fools’ Day but for actual fools.#TrumpIsALaughingStock
— Juan Rivera (@BoricuaEnMaui) August 13, 2021
— NoDogma13 (@NoDogma13) August 13, 2021
— Michael Essentially (@Essentialworker) August 13, 2021
— ✌🏻 The Dude ✌🏻 (@TheDudeTrader1) August 13, 2021
Trumpist Terrorism Is Becoming Normalized: Signorile
In the past three weeks we learned of two violent domestic terror plots by Trump supporters to overthrow the government
This article first appeared in Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter. To see the article in its original location or to subscribe, click here.
A very particular, cultish and dangerous brand of domestic terrorism has been honed, and we should call it what it is: Trumpist terrorism.
We’ve rarely if ever experienced domestic terrorism organized not only in the service an ideology — white supremacy — but in the name of one person, a cult figure for whom people will kill and die, devoted to his cause and taking perceived orders from him.
But that is what is happening now.
Last week the news broke that two California men were arrested for plotting to bomb Sacramento’s Democratic headquarters in the name of Donald Trump, inspired by the Big Lie that the election was stolen by Joe Biden. One of the men is alleged to have had five live pipe bombs in his home and “between 45 and 50 firearms, including at least three fully automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.”
That man, Ian Rogers, also wrote in text messages, before the January 20th inauguration of President Biden, which one agent said showed an attempt to try to stop the inauguration from proceeding:
I hope 45 goes to war if he doesn’t I will…
…I want to blow up a Democrat building bad…
…Sad it’s come to this but I’m not going down without a fight…
…These commies need to be told what’s up…
The men were organizing both before and after the January 6th Capitol assault, and discussed other targets including California’s governors mansion, the corporate offices of Facebook and Twitter and Democratic donor George Soros.
In a different time this would be wall to wall media coverage, with strong condemnations coming from the former president himself, and from the leaders of his party. But for much of the media, though they covered it, this was just another story in the blur of insurrection-related stories — including the story of a Virginia insurrectionist group exposed the week before, planning for a “revolution”and led by a man who stormed the Capitol on January 6th and now had the components for 50 homemade bombs.
Needless to say, there was no condemnation statement by the former president — who likely revels in these stories — nor from any Republican Party leader. Even Democratic leaders seemed too busy dealing with all the other assaults on democracy by Republicans to speak out forcefully about these cases.
Trumpist terrorism is becoming normalized.
It’s now expected that people will engage in violence in the name of a former president of the United States. That’s a blood-curdling reality, but in America right now it’s not very shocking, nor surprising. And the greater danger is that if the outcry isn’t loud enough — if we don’t express outrage no matter how commonplace it now may appear — then it will not only be expected; it will be accepted. More and more extremists will be inspired to take up arms, to organize plots to cause massive violence in the name of Trump, hoping for bigger, more disruptive events to break through.
Read the entire article and subscribe at The Signorile Report.
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