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ANALYSIS

Fox News Host Falsely Claims FDA Vaccine Approval Came ‘Out of Nowhere’ – Despite Reports for Weeks It Was Coming

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“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday falsely claimed the FDA’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine came “out of nowhere,” and accused the Biden administration of using the announcement to distract from the crisis in Afghanistan.

Kilmeade did not tell his Fox News viewers that weeks ago, on August 3 – before Afghanistan fell to the Taliban – The New York Times reported the FDA was gearing up to deliver full and final approval to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine “by the start of next month.”

The FDA’s “unofficial deadline is Labor Day or sooner, according to multiple people familiar with the plan. The agency said in a statement that its leaders recognized that approval might inspire more public confidence and had ‘taken an all-hands-on-deck approach’ to the work.”

In fact, medical professionals had been hammering the agency to grant approval even earlier.

“I just have not sensed a sense of urgency from the F.D.A. on full approval,” Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told The Times in an interview. “And I find it baffling, given where we are as a country in terms of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.”

Tuesday morning in his Times opinion column David Leonhardt blasted the FDA for “bureaucratic caution” and being “so slow to act.”

He goes on to berate the FDA:

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner, said three months ago that the vaccines “have met our high standards for quality, safety and effectiveness.” Early last month, Dr. Peter Marks, who oversees the approval process, wrote, “If we truly want our lives to return to normal, the fastest way to do so is simple — get vaccinated right now.”

The wait for full approval, then, was more about process than science.

On Tuesday Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade had a different opinion, conflating for viewers the “viral video of the Afghan airport” with the Biden administration’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

With the Fox News chyron reading “IMPACT OF POLITICS ON COVID DATA” giving credence to his claims, Kilmeade declared: “all of a sudden out of nowhere, the FDA is going to give full approval to the Pfizer vaccine, and that becomes a leak, and then that becomes an announcement.”

Except it wasn’t “all of a sudden out of nowhere.”

Watch:

 

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ANALYSIS

MSNBC’s Morning Joe Sounds Alarm Over GOP’s ‘Clear Intent’ to Steal the 2024 Election for Trump

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough sounded the alarm over Donald Trump’s continued election lies.

The twice-impeached one-term president falsely claimed during a Georgia rally that the Arizona “audit” showed he had won and called on other states to conduct similar partisan probes to justify his lies about fraud — and the “Morning Joe” host explained how Trump was setting the stage to steal the 2024 election.

“Why are they changing election laws in states where Donald Trump won?” Scarborough said. “They’re afraid in 2024 he may not do as well, it may get closer and they may need to steal the election. For those of you, again, when you hear about voting reforms, you hear about a lot of the challenges that this country and this democracy is facing, it’s so important to look at the two phases these Trump-friendly states are doing.”

“The first phase, of course, is putting up roadblocks to prevent [voting], especially for Black voters and other people of color, but even more frightening than that for all Americans is the fact that they’re trying to change the rules on the counting of the votes, changing one state legislature after another in Trump-friendly territory is trying to make it so state legislatures can throw out your vote,” Scarborough added. “If you don’t vote for Donald Trump, if they don’t like what your community does or your precinct does or what your state does, these Republican legislatures that are Trumpists are now passing legislation that takes the power away from election officials and takes the power away from secretaries of state and governors.”

Scarborough warned that Trump and his conspiracy theories posed a direct threat to democracy, and he called on Democratic senators to eliminate the filibuster and pass legislation to save it over Republican objections.

“Democrats have the votes to actually pass legislation that will stop state legislators from stealing the election — from stealing the election — their intent, my good friend Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, their intent is to steal the election,” Scarborough said. “You can see the clear intent written on that legislation. If Mitch McConnell believes there should be an exemption for the filibuster for one of the most important things the Senate does, and that is confirming Supreme Court justices, there can’t be a filibuster for saving American democracy for voting rights laws for civil rights laws?”

“I guess the question in Washington has been for some time now, will the Democratic Party have the courage to count the 50 to stop these schemes for stealing elections and destroying American democracy?” he added. “Will they have the courage to count the 50 and do what Republicans would do in a New York second?”

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ANALYSIS

Betsy DeVos and Anti-LGBTQ Groups Mobilize to Support Trump-Endorsed Glenn Youngkin’s Bid for Virginia Governor

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Anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice religious-right groups and leaders are mobilizing to help Republican Glenn Youngkin win this year’s Virginia gubernatorial election in which voting is already underway.

Youngkin has bragged about endorsements from national religious-right groups, including the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List and National Right to Life. Another right-wing anti-choice group, CatholicVote, told supporters in an email on the first day of early voting that the group had been “planning for this race for months.” The group slammed Catholic Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe’s support for Roe v. Wade and told its followers that the race has “national importance” and “the first big high-profile referendum on the Biden presidency.” The group claimed that it had recruited more than 100 volunteers for its voter outreach efforts.

Another religious-right political operation, My Faith Votes, is mobilizing to maximize turnout of conservative Christian voters in the Virginia election. In an email sent to supporters Tuesday, My Faith Votes’ Jason Yates said, “What happens in Virginia will send a loud signal to the rest of the nation.” He asked activists to join an operation to send letters to “Christians who are unlikely to vote unless encouraged to go to the polls and stand for biblical values.”

“Impact the elections in Virginia for the Lord,” says a My Faith Votes webpage recruiting volunteers. “He promises blessings from our obedience and so we do as He instructs and trust the results to him.”

My Faith Votes invested heavily in an unsuccessful effort to elect Republicans in the 2021 Georgia U.S. Senate races won by Sens. Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff and in the failed campaign to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom. My Faith Votes’ page for Virginia voters promotes a video in which Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson urges people to vote for “godly” candidates and against  people who “practice perversion.”

Youngkin has said he believes “life begins at conception” and will “proudly stand up for the unborn and their mothers.” Already, ]he has backed new restrictions on access to abortion. Youngkin has admitted to downplaying his anti-choice positions in order to attract votes in the general election, telling a questioner on the campaign trail that he could “start going on offense” once he was elected.

Youngkin has also been endorsed by FRC Action, a political arm of the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council. Youngkin has publicly supported right-wing activists campaigning against LGBTQ-inclusive policies in Loudoun County schools, and he has promised religious-right activists to fight for policies that would allow anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the name of religious freedom. While some conservative gay activists have claimed that Youngkin is “inclusive,” the candidate has refused to say whether he supports marriage equality.

The GOP ticket includes Winsome Sears, a candidate for lieutenant governor who the Human Rights Campaign says “ran on her staunch opposition to LGBTQ rights” in previous runs for office.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that Youngkin had received $87,500 from former Trump cabinet member and anti-public education activist Betsy DeVos and her family. It also reported that Youngkin’s campaign had given $20,000 to the political arm of the anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice Family Foundation of Virginia. The extraordinarily wealthy Youngkin, who made his fortune in private equity, has also loaned his campaign more than $16 million.

According to the Washington Post, the Youngkin campaign has enlisted one of his former Republican competitors, hard-right state Sen. Amanda Chase, as a campaign surrogate. Chase, who advocated for martial law last winter, and former President Donald Trump have claimed that Democrats might try to win the election by cheating. For his part, Youngkin refused to acknowledge that President Joe Biden’s election was legitimate until after he secured the Republican nomination, and he has helped promote Trump’s bogus “stolen election” narratives by speaking at an “election integrity” rally at Liberty University.

As The Atlantic recently noted, “Youngkin has said he’s ‘honored’ to have Trump’s support, and that Trump ‘represents so much of why I’m running.’”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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ANALYSIS

Kavanaugh Probe Must Be Reopened After FBI Allegedly Ignored Thousands of Tips About Him: Ex-Federal Prosecutor

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Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner is demanding an investigation into the FBI after it was revealed that there were 4500 complaints filed against then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh that went ignored and were merely handed over to the White House.

The Guardian reported that the FBI claimed they didn’t have the authority to investigate Kavanaugh during his nomination process. It comes while the FBI is facing demands of a probe into how it mishandled allegations that Dr. Larry Nasser was molesting and raping Olympic gymnasts.

In 2018, when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with her allegations of sexual assault when they were in high school. A Yale classmate also accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her when they were in college. The FBI has been accused of not thoroughly investigating those allegations, as well as flat-out ignoring thousands of others while doing a background check into Kavanaugh.

The FBI closed their background check after just four days, handing over all 4500 allegations against him to President Donald Trump’s White House officials.

“The very person — the very office that was trying to cram Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court down America’s throat,” said Kirschner.

It was only this week that the FBI revealed to the Senate Judiciary Committee how many tips they got about Kavanaugh that went ignored.

“At the heart of the new questions that [Christopher] Wray will face later this week, when he testifies before the Senate judiciary committee, is a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding that the FBI has recently said constrained the agency’s ability to conduct any further investigations of allegations of misconduct,” said the report.

Kirschner explained that presumably the new administration has those 4500 accusations and could conduct an investigation into them. He went on to call for the 4500 citizen tips to be subpoenaed by Congress so that they can see the accusations that were ignored.

“Let’s start doing some damn justice,” he said, noting that women in Texas deserve it as do the rest of America.

“In its years-late response to our questions, the FBI leaned hard on the notion that this MOU limited its authority to be the FBI and investigate wrongdoing. Now that we have the MOU, it’s even harder to understand the Bureau’s excuses for ignoring credible information it received. Director Wray ought to be ready to answer my questions about this episode — I won’t stop asking until he does,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

See the analysis below:

 

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