U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) played to the cameras Friday morning as he bullied, belittled, and attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci during a House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee hearing on the coronavirus crisis.
Jordan tried to politicize the immunologist and public health official’s testimony – and tried get Fauci, who has served for decades as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), to say that the federal government should shut down the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests under the guise of combatting the pandemic.
“Do protests increase the spread of the virus?” Jordan pointedly asked.
Fauci repeated the question, offering to “make a general statement,” but Jordan immediately interrupted him after the doctor had spoken just 15 words.
“Half a million protestors on June 6 alone,” Jordan declared.
“Crowding particularly when you’re not wearing a mask contributes to the spread of the virus,” Fauci replied.
“Should we limit the protesting?” Jordan pressed.
Stunned, Fauci responded.
“I’m not sure – how do you mean? Should we limit the protesting?”
Jordan, insisting a public health official weigh in on a specific event and a specific legal issue, shot back with a terse and angry answer: “Should government limit the protesting?”
This is a question not for Fauci but for legal experts. Jordan could have asked the question another way, say, “Should the government limit outside events of more than 500 people?” But he didn’t want an answer, he wanted the television footage.
The attack went on for at least two minutes. Ultimately Chairman James Clyburn was forced to intervene.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 31, 2020
Many on social media were furious – and only too happy to remind Americans that allegations by numerous of his former college wrestlers have never been resolved.
JIM JORDAN: Dr. Fauci, do you believe wrestlers should be molested. Hey who put this question in here.
FAUCI: No. They shouldn’t. And if you see that happen you should say something.
— JeremyNewberger (@jeremynewberger) July 31, 2020
If only Gym Jordan cared as much about young boys being sexually assaulted on his watch as he does about people exercising their First Amendment rights.
— Matt Rogers 🎙️ (@Politidope) July 31, 2020
Some focused on the holes in Jordan’s line of attack:
He forgot to mention Trumps rallies no masks and pence’s campaign rallies no mask or distancing Dr. Fachi should have reminded him that they have urged masks but yet Jordon so concerned about rallies refuses to wear one &has probably been a spreader to more than the protests
— Justamom1 (@Justamom110) July 31, 2020
Maybe ask about Trump rallies that have actually killed a former presidential candidate?
— Ziggy Stardust (@ZiggyTheNazz) July 31, 2020
Why is it Fauci’s role to say whether or not the government should forcibly stop civil rights protests? Do you even know wha Fauci’s job is?
— Thomas 🐊 (@thomas_k_r) July 31, 2020
And the Democrats are missing the critical point. This virus spreads more easily and more readily when people are inside than when they are outside. He is complaining about protests which are outside while everything he wants to be opened is inside
— njevancik (@nevancik1) July 31, 2020
Some just shared their feelings about the extremely polarizing Congressman:
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) July 31, 2020
150K deaths, and this is where the energy is going right now instead of trying to make some kind of fix. Unbelievable.
— Shaurya Chawla (@_ShauryaChawla) July 31, 2020
Gym Jordan is a loudmouthed bully who defends Trump no matter what. He’s from a gerrymandered district in Ohio and unfortunately he’ll be very tough to unseat.
— Barbara Witsaman (@barwits) July 31, 2020
Jim Jordan is not great at this https://t.co/1mUPhCBkfn
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) July 31, 2020
I just hate seeing Jim Jordan be disrespectful to James Clyburn. I’ve never wrestled before. But I would wrestle Jim Jordan right this second. Pin his fucking ass right to that podium. He’s a wrestler but he’s about the size of my Dak Prescott bobble head.
— Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) July 31, 2020
You, @Jim_Jordan, are an arrogant, reprehensible creature. Like every other bully I’ve met in my life.
— 🌊🇨🇦BlueCanadian🇨🇦🌊 (@AngryCanuck70) July 31, 2020
Jim Jordan is what’s wrong with America.
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) July 31, 2020
Fauci basically told Jim Jordan to Fuck off
— José (@yoruguaenusa) July 31, 2020
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Ivanka Trump and Kellyanne Conway Sent ‘Dictates’ to CDC to Downplay COVID Severity Say Former Trump Appointees
Ivanka Trump and Kellyanne Conway sent “dictates” to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordering the public health agency to downplay the severity of its coronavirus messaging, two former members Trump appointees tell The New York Times.
“Every time that the science clashed with the messaging, messaging won,” former chief of staff at CDC Kyle McGowan says. McGowan had worked with Tom Price, first in the Georgia Republican Congressman’s office, and then at Health and Human Services after Trump appointed him Secretary of the agency. Price left HHS in disgrace.
Conway and Trump, both top advisors to the president, were focused on churches and schools. During the course of the pandemic the CDC first held back guidance it had prepared to help churches re-open safely. The Trump administration rewrote that guidance to allow houses of worship greater freedom, but at a huge cost in American lives. President Trump spent months demanding schools reopen, ignoring CDC guidance, and providing state and local governments few if any tools or financial support to protect students and staff.
McGowan and his deputy, Amanda Campbell, say the White House slowly but surely crushed the CDC, interfering with public announcements or pronouncements, all in the interest of protecting the health of the economy instead of the health of the American people.
In one instance McGowan says he and CDC Director Robert Redfield were forced to alter language on social distancing guidance, after White House budget director Russell Vought told them specifics on spacing requirements would be too onerous for businesses. In the end, no specifics on social distancing requirements were provided.
McGowan and Campbell say they “mediated between Dr. Redfield and agency scientists when the White House’s requests and dictates would arrive: edits from Mr. Vought and Kellyanne Conway, the former White House adviser, on choirs and communion in faith communities, or suggestions from Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and aide, on schools.”
CDC Updates Guidance It Had Removed: Coronavirus Can ‘Spread by Airborne Transmission’ and at Even ‘More Than 6 Feet’
Weeks ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was criticized for quietly updating its COVID-19 guidance to admit that the deadly coronavirus is airborne and can travel by air at distances further than six feet – and then quickly taking that guidance down once the press reported on it. The CDC claimed it had erroneously published a draft that was not finalized.
Finally, after a week that included President Donald Trump, the First Lady, and at least ten others who attended the Rose Garden Supreme Court nominating ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett contracting COVID-19, the CDC has again quietly updated its guidance to admit what many, including experts, believed for months.
“COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission,” the CDC is now admitting, weeks later.
“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away,” the new guidance reads. “These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.”
“Under these circumstances, scientists believe that the amount of infectious smaller droplet and particles produced by the people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people. The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left.”
But the draft guidance which was pulled Sept. 21 was more descriptive – and thus more helpful in preventing the spread of the virus. For example, one portion noted spread can occur “for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes.”
That violates the Trump administration’s push to have all businesses and public spaces fully re-opened.
Trump Shuts Down International Coronavirus Task Force
The Trump administration is shutting down its international Coronavirus Task Force despite the pandemic surging across the globe, including in the United States. Coronavirus deaths globally just passed 900,000, with the number of cases approaching 28 million.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which was the base of operations for the administration’s international Coronavirus Task Force, will deactivate the unit Wednesday, according to Politico.
“As we approach the deactivation of the Task Force on Sept. 9, the entire team is focused on ensuring a smooth transition of key functions back to Bureaus and Independent Offices,” an internal note to staffers reads.
President Donald Trump has not held a regular coronavirus press briefing in weeks, and during the Republican National Convention many in his administration referred to the pandemic in the past tense. He also has not been seen wearing a mask since July.
Since April “the White House has placed a slew of new political appointees at USAID,” Politico notes, “some of whom have in the past made comments that have offended women, Muslims, members of the LGBTQ community and others. There have been calls for several of these political appointees to be fired.”
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