In 2020 Marc Short, the chief of staff to then-Vice President Mike Pence, made a fateful decision that paved the way for the politicization of wearing masks. Had he chosen differently there’s no question countless lives could have been saved.
Short, who once served as the executive director of the far right Young America’s Foundation, “focused on the political and economic implications of the coronavirus response and approached many public health decisions by considering how they would be perceived,” The Washington Post reveals. That report comes from a deep-dive into the Trump pandemic response detailed in the new book, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” by Washington Post journalists Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta.
In possibly the most damaging of those decisions, Short nixed a plan, which was far along enough to have a PR campaign already created, to send face masks to every household in America. The Dept. of Health and Human Services was backing the program, while other reports have revealed the U.S. Postal Service was also working on it.
If it had been executed, “some public health experts think [it] would have depoliticized mask-wearing,” The Post reports, but Short believed it “would unnecessarily alarm people.”
Previous Post reporting revealed the program would have flooded the nation with 650 million face masks, five for every U.S. household.
Short has a long history of focusing on optics instead of fact-based communication to the public. As far back as the 1990’s he labeled efforts to educate the public that HIV and AIDS do not only affect gay people a “propaganda campaign,” a “distortion campaign,” and “intentional deception.”
And he called gay people “sodomites,” while attacking “the perverted lifestyles homosexuals pursue,” and delivered a warning to not “glorify homosexuals’ repugnant practices.”
Short tested positive for coronavirus in October.
Americans were already alarmed, but Short’s and the White House’s focus on optics and pretending the coronavirus was not as dangerous and deadly as it in fact is, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, led to hundreds of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided.
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Americans Likely Infected With COVID-19 Far Earlier Than ‘First’ US Case: CDC Study
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first detected the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in a Washington state patient on January 20, 2020. But a new CDC study shows that Americans were likely infected with the novel coronavirus much earlier.
The CDC has now studied thousands of blood donations from the Red Cross taken between December 13 and January 17, and found the antibodies produced in response to the potentially deadly virus in more than 100 samples, CNN and the Wall Street Journal report.
“The 7,389 samples, collected from nine states, were tested for SARS-CoV-2 reactive antibodies. SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19,” CNN reports. “Of the samples tested, at least 106 were found to have antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, including ones collected from California, Oregon and Washington from Dec. 13 through Dec. 16, 2019.”
The Wall Street Journal notes this timeline suggests the virus was already present in the U.S. “a few weeks before it was officially identified in China and about a month earlier than public health authorities found the first U.S. case.”
The CDC “also found 67 samples with antibodies in Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin or Iowa, and Connecticut or Rhode Island,” meaning the virus antibodies were not just found on the West Coast.
U.S. Intelligence multiple times briefed the White House of the brewing “cataclysmic” pandemic in China as early as November.
This article has been updated to more clearly reflect the CDC study.
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