“Did Joe Rogan become a medical doctor while we weren’t looking?”
In a rare move several Biden White House officials are responding to podcaster Joe Rogan, a popular culture warrior on the right who appeals to a wide audience, in an effort to combat vaccine hesitancy as COVID inoculations drop thanks to conservatives spreading false information and misinformed opinions – which Rogan shared last Friday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who also serves as President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor blasted Rogan for telling listeners younger Americans should not get the coronavirus vaccine – an opinion not based in science.
“That’s incorrect,” the usually diplomatic immunologist told “TODAY” show co-host Savannah Guthrie Wednesday, “and the reason why is you’re talking about yourself in a vacuum then.”
“You’re worried about yourself getting infected and the likelihood that you’re not gonna get any symptoms,” he added. “But you can get infected and will get infected if you put yourself at risk. And even if you don’t have any symptoms, you’re propagating the outbreak because it is likely that you — even if you have no symptoms — that you may inadvertently and innocently then infect someone else who might infect someone who really could have a problem with a severe outcome.”
Rogan on his Spotify podcast (the company paid him $100 million to license his show), said, “you should get vaccinated if you’re vulnerable,” but added “it’s crazy” that it’s “controversial” to say “I’m not going to inject my child with the vaccine.”
“We are not talking about even the flu, that we just found out killed 20,000 people last year, we’re not talking about that right, we’re talking about something that is not statistically dangerous for children,” Rogan told his millions of listeners, spreading more misinformation that will likely help even more Americans decide to not get vaccinated.
“COVID-19 has killed thousands of young Americans,” a January Business Insider article revealed. Countless articles over the past six months, especially in local news outlets, detail deaths of younger Americans, and especially those who are people of color.
“Are you healthy?” Rogan said he would ask a 21-year old. “Are you a healthy person? Like, look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. You should – if you’re a healthy person, and you’re exercising all the time, and you’re young, and you’re eating well, like, I don’t think you need to worry about this,” meaning the coronavirus.
Spotify’s Joe Rogan encouraged “healthy” 21-year-olds not to get a coronavirus vaccine; experts estimate that in order to achieve herd immunity, society may need to get to a critical mass of 70% to 90% of people vaccinated. https://t.co/3Q5Ub8bEDR pic.twitter.com/xaZBC6ObNR
— Media Matters (@mmfa) April 27, 2021
While the death rate for younger Americans is less than that of middle aged and older Americans, children and young adults do contract the disease, and do die from it. They also are more likely to spread the virus to others, given their often asymptomatic status. And death is not the only concern, as millions with “long COVID” can attest.
Fauci is not the only Biden official to criticize Rogan.
“I guess my first question would be, did Joe Rogan become a medical doctor while we weren’t looking? I’m not sure that taking scientific and medical advice from Joe Rogan is perhaps the most productive way for people to get their information,” White House communications director Kate Bedingfield told CNN on Wednesday (relevant segment begins at 4:16 mark):
“We really have a once-in-a-generation opportunity right now to seize the moment … not only create jobs but create jobs for the long haul,” says White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield ahead of Biden’s address to Congress tonight.https://t.co/mrVyxXNd3R pic.twitter.com/vx2X8HH7gL
— New Day (@NewDay) April 28, 2021
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Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.
But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.
A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”
Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.
The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”
Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.
“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”
Read the entire Times report here.
Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’
Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”
Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”
“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”
Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”
This will kill kids, @RonDeSantisFL. You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in. In a national survey (@TrevorProject), 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year. Now they can’t talk to their teachers? https://t.co/VtfFLPlsn3
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) January 20, 2022
The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”
JUST NOW: “”What kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet and saying we can’t talk about you? … [Kids] take that trauma to heart.”@Chasten on what is being called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in FL.pic.twitter.com/M1Qiz9Zt9f
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) January 25, 2022
Image by Pete for America via Flickr
Psaki Schools Doocy on Trump’s Infamous Twitter Tantrums After He Whines About ‘Hashtag’ Diplomacy
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy on Tuesday by reminding him that former President Donald Trump had a history of conducting diplomacy through tantrums on Twitter.
At a White House press briefing, Doocy asked why Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed support for Ukraine on Twitter with the hashtag “#IStandWithUkraine.”
“Has that ever worked in stopping an authoritarian regime from doing anything, a hashtag?” Doocy wondered.
“I will have to say that, unlike the last administration, we don’t think Twitter is the only means of engaging or negotiating or discussing important topics,” Psaki replied. “But it is important for us to convey to the Ukrainian people who do view commentary through a range of forums.”
Watch the video below from Fox News.
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