Eric Trump is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at an anti-vaxxers conference in October, despite his father, the former president, claiming credit for the three COVID-19 vaccines.
It’s just the “latest alliance between the Trump family and the GOP’s fringiest elements,” The Daily Beast reports. The second Trump son will be “joining a speakers’ lineup that includes some of the most prominent promoters of disinformation about vaccines, as well as leading figures in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.”
A press release from the group holding the event describes it as organized “by health freedom activists, natural medicine practitioners, and freedom-loving truth seekers,” and claims it will be “a massive in-person gathering in Nashville, TN from October 22nd to the 24th.”
In other words, a likely super-spreader event.
Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has not only refused to implement a mask mandate, he has banned local governments from ordering them.
The Daily Beast adds that the conference, called The Truth About Cancer Live! “is the brainchild of Ty and Charlene Bollinger, two major promoters of anti-vaccine disinformation who have made tens of millions of dollars promoting both alternative health cures for cancer and vaccine fears. The Bollingers have dubbed the coronavirus vaccine ‘that abominable vaccine,’ according to a Center for Public Integrity report, and sell a $200 video series promoting vaccine fearmongering on their website.”
Eric Trump denies the event is an anti-vaxx conference.
“As to labeling something an anti-vaccine event, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to attend as a vaccinated person if it was,” Trump told The Daily Beast in an email.
His hosts disagree.
In posts on Telegram, a social media app popular on the right, the Bollingers have called the vaccine a “SHOT OF POISON!” and the “COVID kill shot.”
Photo, top: Eric Trump with Charlene Bollinger
Images via PR Newswire press release
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Texas Educators Want to Change ‘Slavery’ to ‘Involuntary Relocation’ After GOP Bans Topics Making Students ‘Feel Discomfort’
An advisory group of Texas educators has proposed changing the word “slavery” to “involuntary relocation” after the Texas State Board of Education directed them to examine how to implement a new law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, banning the teaching of topics that would make students “feel discomfort.”
The group, comprised of nine educators, made the proposal for second-grade social studies instruction, but “board members have asked them to reconsider the phrasing, according to the state board’s chair,” The Texas Tribune reports.
State Board of Education Member Aicha Davis told the Tribune, that calling slavery “involuntary relocation” is “not going to be acceptable.”
“Part of the proposed social studies curriculum standards outlines that students should ‘compare journeys to America, including voluntary Irish immigration and involuntary relocation of African people during colonial times,'” the Tribune notes.
Last year in September Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law SB3, which “prohibits teaching certain concepts about race,” The Dallas Morning News reported at the time.
It also “develops a civics training program for teachers,” and “urges educators to teach only that slavery and racism are ‘deviations’ from the founding principles of the United States.”
SB3 “establishes that teachers can’t be forced to discuss current controversial topics in their classrooms,” The Washington Post reported last year.
Attorney Imani Gandy, a Senior Editor of Law and Policy for Rewire News Group, responded to the news via Twitter.
“This was always the point of the CRT hysteria— to teach white children that slavery was just ‘involuntary relocation’ so they don’t feel bad about what their ancestors did to Black people in this country,” she said. “Classic fascist move.”
‘QAnon Justice’: Clarence Thomas Under Fire as He Suggests COVID Vaccines Are Derived From Cells of ‘Aborted Children’
In a dissenting opinion published Friday the nation’s far-right Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, falsely claims that every COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. was “developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.”
As Politico reports, this is not accurate.
Thomas dissented in the Court’s decision to not take up a religious right case filed against New York State’s order requiring all health care workers to be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus that to date has killed well over one million Americans.
“They object on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children,” Justice Thomas wrote.
“Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a practice that is common in vaccine testing,” Politico notes. There is no human embryonic material in COVID vaccines.
“Justice Thomas has already proven that he is unfit to serve as a Supreme Court Justice,” said U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Twitter. “Spreading false information about a lifesaving vaccine is further evidence that he must either resign or be removed.”
Veteran journalist Katie Couric tweeted simply, “This man needs help.”
“The cells are grown in a laboratory and were derived from a few elective abortions performed more than three decades ago,” National Geographic wrote last year in response to the rise in attempts to obtain religious exemptions to the COVID vaccines. “These same cell lines are also used to test and advance our understanding of several routine drugs, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin, and they continue to be used for treatment research in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and hypertension.”
Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali accused Justice Thomas of being “a QAnon Supreme Court Justice.”
Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, both conservatives, joined Justice Thomas’ dissent.
Texas Attorney General Says He’s ‘Willing and Able’ to Defend Law Banning Sodomy if Supreme Court Reverses Ruling
Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton says he is “willing and able” to defend his state’s law banning sodomy, which was struck down in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, should the court revisit it as at least one conservative justice has urged.
Responding to several questions about Lawrence v. Texas Tuesday on News Nation, Paxton said, “look my job is to defend state law and I’ll continue to do that. That is my job under the Constitution and I’m certainly willing and able to do that.”
Attorneys General are not required to defend laws they believe are discriminatory or unconstitutional, as then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2014, before the Supreme Court found same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.
Asked if he would go even further, perhaps providing a test case for the Supreme Court to test the state’s sodomy ban, Paxton said, “I’d have to take a look at it,” as the Houston Chronicle reports.
“This is all new territory for us so I’d have to how the Legislature was laid out and whether we thought we could defend it. Ultimately, if it’s constitutional, we’re going to go defend it.”
On Friday Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared to target LGBTQ people.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote on Friday, as NBC News reports. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
NBC News explains that “Griswold was a 1965 Supreme Court decision that established the right for married couples to buy and use contraceptives. It became the basis for the right to contraception for all couples a few years later. Lawrence was a 2003 Supreme Court decision that established the right for consenting adults to engage in same-sex intimacy. Obergefell was a 2015 Supreme Court decision to establish the right for same-sex couples to be married.”
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