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Tag: anthony fauci

Dragging The Vaccine Refusers Out From Under The Porch

Let's say there's an outbreak of deadly parvovirus in your neighborhood. Your beloved golden retriever Red, however, goes into a full-scale panic attack at the sight or smell of a veterinarian. You know the disease is highly communicable and potentially fatal.

There's a reliable vaccine, but the dog won't listen. Runs and hides under the porch. Fights the leash like a smallmouth bass on a hook. Rolls over on his back and has to be dragged, panting and drooling. Maybe even bites the hand that feeds him.

God forbid you should force the issue. No vaccine shot for Red. Even a dog has his rights, after all, among them the right to die in agony while shedding the deadly virus all over the neighborhood.

Put that way, the whole national "debate" over the Covid-19 vaccine seems kind of crazy, doesn't it? When the vaccine refuser is a golden retriever, we take action because we understand that the dog can't be reasoned with.

(When I lived in the country, I learned to administer my own vaccinations. I also prevented the animals from watching Fox News. It only riles up the cows.)

That said, I agree with the Republican governor of Alabama. Asked what it would take to convince her constituents to get vaccinated—Alabama is among the least-protected in the nation—Gov. Kay Ivey responded "I don't know. You tell me. Folks [are] supposed to have common sense. But it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down."

Trouble is, folks tend not to have a lot of common sense when they're frightened. Not much more than their ancestors in 14th century Europe who blamed the Black Death on Jews poisoning wells. Also on Gypsies, beggars and foreigners generally. Many lepers were put to death.

Mainly, though, it was the Jews.

Dr. Fauci isn't a Jew, but he'll do for a certain kind of fool. I think we all know the kind I mean.

My man Charles P. Pierce of Esquire found an article about an Alabama physician on AL.com. Dr. Brytney Cobia wrote a Facebook post about admitting young, previously healthy patients to a COVID ward in Birmingham.

"One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine," she wrote. "I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late."

After they die, Cobia continued: "I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same."

"They cry. And they tell me they didn't know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn't get as sick. They thought it was 'just the flu'. But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can't."

She prays that people will learn.

Many white Southerners, Politico reports, "are turning down Covid-19 vaccines because they are angry that President Donald Trump lost the election and sick of Democrats in Washington thinking they know what's best."

Especially, of course, when they do.

Possibly they'll listen to Gov. Ivey or Dr. Cobia, but not soon enough, I fear. Besides, as in the 14th century, paranoia is worldwide. There was a recent anti-vaccine rally in London's Trafalgar Square, with a host of crackpots invoking imaginary, often self-contradictory horrors.

Vaccines are a Satanic plot for world domination; or they're a surveillance technology, turning your body into a 5G transmitter; or they alter your DNA; or they cause infertility. Or vaccines will just flat kill you.

Closer to home, the epicenter of the deadly pandemic surge in Arkansas, where I live, appears to be Branson, Missouri, the cornball country music capital of middle America.

"Branson has a lot of country-western shows," Dr. Marc Johnson, an epidemiologist at the University of Missouri School of Medicine told the Daily Beast."No vaccines. No masks. A bunch of people indoors and air conditioning, tightly packed, listening to music, possibly singing along, i.e. a superspreading [event]."

Yee-haw! The town's mayor has proclaimed "I DO NOT believe it's my place, or the place of any politician, to endorse, promote, or compel any person to get any vaccine." He's all about freedom and liberty, the mayor.

Only what about my freedom not to get infected because some country karaoke fan thinks Covid-19 is a hoax? Government and private employers can't force people to take the shot, but they can require them as a condition of employment. You already can't get into Yankee Stadium without proof of vaccination. NFL teams will likely require them too.

If people had any sense, you wouldn't have to drag them from under the porch. But history teaches that you must.

Anti-Vaxxer Faces Felony Charges For Deranged Threats Against Fauci

A Maryland anti-vaxxer is facing charges for threatening National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci over email-- going as far as to warn the face of America's COVID-19 response that he would be "hunted, captured, tortured and killed," among other things-- according to court documents that were unsealed on Tuesday.

According to the affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. committed two violations-- threatening a federal official and sending interstate communication containing a threat to harm, both of which are felonies.

The documents also include the absolutely deranged emails Connally allegedly sent to Dr. Fauci from late December of last year to as recently as last week.

"Hope you get a bullet in your comprised satanic skull today," read the subject line of one email sent on December 28, 2020.

In that email, Connally repeatedly refers to Dr. Fauci as an "elf," while describing in grave detail ways he wished the nation's top infectious disease expert would die.

Screenshot from UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. THOMAS PATRICK CONNALLY, JR. affidavit.

Connally sent a second email that day under the same subject, encouraging Fauci to "put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger."

But the demented threats didn't end that day, as he sent a third email months later in late April where Connally wrote, "You will hunted, captured, tortured and killed, you sickening, vile, disgusting liar and fraud, you vile disgusting satanic elf."

Following this, he then sent a series of six emails threatening not only Fauci but also his family, according to the complaint.

In addition to terrorizing Fauci and his family, Connally also bombarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins with similar manic emails threatening the life of the health official.

"Drop the 'mandatory vaccine' talk, maggot, or you're getting 6 mandatory shots in your worthless satanist [f-slur] skull," Connally wrote Collins. "You and your buddies Gates and Soros too, you sick little fuck. I'll smash every tooth out of your [f-slur] skull."

Connally used an email account from "ProtonMail," a secure, encrypted email service based in Switzerland, to send the disturbing threats to the two health officials, according to the affidavit. An investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed that the account belonged to Connally.

Fauci has been the subject of an increasing number of threats since late last year.

"I've chosen this life. I mean, I know what it is," Fauci told NBC's TODAY Show in April. "There are things about it that are sometimes disturbing. But you just focus on the job you have to do and just put all that stuff aside and try as best as possible not to pay attention to it."

Connally is expected to have an initial appearance in a U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, MD tomorrow before Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ also notes that, if convicted, Connally could face up to 10 years in federal prison for threats against a federal official and a maximum of five years for interstate communication containing a threat.

"We will never tolerate violent threats against public officials," said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner in a press release. "Our public health officials deserve our thanks and appreciation for their tireless work, and we will not hesitate to bring charges against those individuals who seek to use fear to silence these public servants."

Fauci Slams ‘Lying’ Rand Paul Over False Pandemic Accusation

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Sen. Rand Paul has been attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci for months, and on Tuesday the esteemed director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) fought back.

Sen. Paul on Tuesday accused Fauci of "responsibility for four million people dying around the pandemic."

An ophthalmologist, Paul has been trying to pin the cause of the coronavirus pandemic on Fauci for months, falsely claiming the immunologist funded the Wuhan, China lab research that allegedly led to "gain of function" ability for the SARS-COVID-2 virus to become transmissible to humans, a claim Fauci and other experts deny.

On Tuesday during a congressional hearing, Fauci unleashed over a year's worth of pent-up anger on the Republican from Kentucky.

After threatening Fauci, by saying lying to Congress is a federal offense, Paul asked him if he wanted to retract his earlier statements.

"Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you're referring to was judged by qualified staff, up and down the chain as not being gain of function," Fauci pointedly replied.

As Paul interrupted him, Fauci demanded, "let me finish."

"Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that, officially, you do not know what you are talking about," the animated Fauci declared.

Paul accused Fauci of "dancing around this," and accused him of "trying to obscure responsibility for four million people dying around the pandemic."

After a heated exchange with Paul repeatedly interrupting Fauci, Fauci laid down the law: "You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. I totally resent that. And if anybody was lying here, Senator. It is you."

Psaki Bombs Fox’s Doocy: Your ‘Biggest Concern’ Should Be Lethal Vaccine Lies

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Fox News' Peter Doocy pelted White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki with extremist conspiracy theory questions on Friday related to a study released this week finding just 12 people on Facebook are responsible for 65 percent of all coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

His questions were so contrived and baseless that Psaki at one point was forced to ask why the Fox News correspondent's "biggest concern" wasn't the increased numbers of Americans dying from coronavirus disinformation, which also happens to be the very disinformation he and his network are spreading.

"Okay so these 12 people who you have on a list, 12 individuals. Do they know that somebody at the Surgeon General's Office is going through their profile?" Doocy asked.

The information the White House shared came from this study by a group that is not a part of the federal government, and was published in countless news reports.

"Our biggest concern here, and I, frankly, think it should be your biggest concern, is [the misinformation] leading them to not take a vaccine. Young people, old people, kids, children – this is all being, a lot of them are being impacted by misinformation," Psaki said.

Doocy refused to address that, but went on to claim that the "big concern though, I think for a lot of people on Facebook is that now this is big brother watching you."

Minutes earlier he had falsely claimed that the Biden administration was "spying" on Americans' Facebook profiles.

Psaki did not respond to that falsehood – again, the information comes from a study of Facebook pages that are public on the social media platform -- but she slammed Doocy for prioritizing a conspiracy theory over Americans dying.

"They're more concerned about that than people dying across the country because of a pandemic where misinformation is traveling on social media platforms? That feels unlikely to me," she said. "If you have the data to back that up I'm happy to discuss it."

Doocy also fired up the old attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said at the start of the pandemic that masks were not necessary – which at that point was based on the general scientific belief guided by the number of cases and what was known at the time, coupled with the dire lack of PPE for medical first responders.

"There are videos of Dr. Fauci from 2020 before anybody had a vaccine and he is out there saying there's no reason to be walking around with a mask and so is the administration going to contact Facebook and ask them to take that down?" Doocy asked.

Psaki refused to entertain that old conspiracy theory other than to remind Doocy that "science evolves" and "information evolves," but then slammed those who are spreading a false claim about the vaccine.

"I have never seen any data such as to suggest that, that the vaccines cause infertility, that is information that is irresponsible," she said.

Watch:

Fauci: US Might 'Still Have Polio' If Misinformation Had Hindered Vaccination

Washington (AFP) - Top US scientist Anthony Fauci on Saturday blasted commentators who sound an anti-vaccination theme, saying America might still be battling smallpox and polio if today's kind of misinformation existed back then. The comments from the country's leading infectious disease expert reflected mounting frustration over the sharp slowdown in the Covid-19 vaccination rate in the United States, even as the disease has been surging in states with low rates. It also came days after President Joe Biden expressed his own visible frustration, saying social media that carry widely heard mis...

Dr. Fauci And His Enemies

Ever since the Republican Party devolved into a wholly owned subsidiary of former President Donald Trump, it is increasingly preoccupied with conspiracy theories and smear campaigns. For Trump himself, as well as such Trump operatives as Roger Stone, smears and conspiracies define their politics, rather than policy or principle. Over the past few years, unfortunately, we have become accustomed to their grimy style.

The latest target of their fantasies and defamations is Dr. Anthony Fauci, now among the most familiar faces in America as the principal presidential adviser on the coronavirus. Fauci has become someone about whom right-wing noisemakers feel free to fabricate vicious lies. They slander him incessantly because — in the course of performing his duty to the nation — he displeased their master.

You see, the renowned epidemiologist didn't think Trump was making America great when the former president suggested that we inject bleach into ourselves, or buy up hydroxychloroquine or shun masking. Fauci even dared to note that the Trump administration's horrendous mismanagement of the pandemic had led to many thousands of unnecessary deaths. Because it did.

Now these same extremists — some of whom, such as television personality Tucker Carlson, masquerade as journalists — have insinuated that Fauci is actually responsible for the virus escaping from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, where it was supposedly "engineered." This grotesque falsehood briefly gained traction when a series of Fauci's emails were disclosed by BuzzFeed — and were promptly distorted and falsified to defame him. As The Washington Post's Philip Bump demonstrated in an article dismantling Carlson's charges, the Fox fabricator didn't even try to check whether there was any factual basis for his argument.

As Bump showed, there is no evidence that Fauci misled Congress about the origins of COVID-19. Nor is there a shred of proof that he tried to suppress research into the possibility that the virus somehow escaped from the Wuhan lab — a theory that most virologists still reject, although it bears further scrutiny. Demands for transparency from the Chinese government are valid; demands to "fire Fauci" are ridiculous.

The unsubtle goal of Trump's minions is to wipe away the blood of dead Americans that is now all over him and deflect the blame elsewhere. Republicans are now echoing a true meme about their fallen idol — "Trump Lied. People Died." — and trying to stick it on Fauci. But their noise cannot exonerate Trump. History will record him as a failed president who oversaw the worst American medical catastrophe in a century.

How will history regard Anthony Fauci? Unlike Trump, born to wealth and privilege, Fauci was a Brooklyn kid who grew up in an apartment over his father's pharmacy. He earned his way through merit, whether as the diminutive captain of his college basketball team or as the eventual winner of nearly every prize and award that matters in his chosen field. Having joined the National Institutes of Health as a clinical associate as soon as he completed his medical residency, he has served this country for more than 50 years.

Fauci is a professional, not a politician. He was appointed to his current position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases during the Reagan administration and has served both Republican and Democratic presidents ever since. In that position, where he has earned the world's trust, Fauci has led the nation's defense against a series of medical challenges, including the AIDS pandemic, the Ebola threat and a series of potential pandemics including the earlier SARS, the Middle East variant, and swine flu. To the extent that we have escaped the worst consequences of living on a planet where disease spreads like wildfire, he deserves much of the credit. He is one of the scientists most often cited in medical journals.

In 2008, then-President George W. Bush — another Republican whom the right once decreed as God's anointed leader — awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Fauci. That honor was based on Fauci's direction of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, which was among the most successful government efforts in U.S. history and probably saved at least 18 million lives. Back in those days, the nation's conservative evangelicals helped persuade Bush to fund PEPFAR as a work of faith. Now, worshipping the golden calf, they disparage the man who made that program work.

Tony Fauci is a great American of no party or ideology. He would be the last to say that he has never made an error, because scientists make mistakes and learn from them. But if his dishonest critics live a thousand years, all of them together will never achieve a tiny fraction of the good he has done.

We don't need to hear any more from them.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Why Dr. Fauci Has Honor — And George P. Bush Has None

Donald Trump is no longer president. COVID-19 is no longer the threat it was. And Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, is back to more routine briefings on vaccination rates and such. So why does Fauci remain so much in the news?

Because the Trump camp can't stop bashing him. And why is that? Why does the right continue to portray this mild-mannered public official as the enemy?

It may be that Fauci publicly refuted some of Trump's ignorant musings during that presidency, but that's not really it. Republicans such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz hit at Trump in the past. During the 2016 campaign, Cruz called Trump a "sniveling coward."

The difference is that Cruz later came crawling on his belly to praise Trump, a man who insinuated that his father helped kill JFK and that his wife was ugly. Fauci never made that kind of round trip. Nor would he.

And what surely riles the right even more than Fauci's refusal to cave is that he didn't care. Fauci saw Trump as a politician to manage rather than to fear. The lack of abject submission punched a few holes in the Trumpian myth centered on an all-powerful authority.

Fauci met the attacks on him with sighs. He responded to nutty declarations on science with patient correction. The right wants angry conflict, and Fauci never delivered on his end.

We now have the sad sight of another Texan sacrificing his good family name to appease Trump. George P. Bush is campaigning to be the Republican nominee for Texas attorney general on the wings of Trump's remark that he was "the only Bush who got it right." It's printed right on George P.'s campaign beverage sleeves.

George P. is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whom Trump demeaned as "Low-Energy Jeb." Trump tweeted that Jeb "has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife," who immigrated from Mexico. That Mexican immigrant would be George P.'s mother.

George P. is the nephew of former President George W. Bush, whom Trump maligned after George W. put out a video applauding health care workers but not praising him. He is the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, who found Trump so appalling he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. And Trump wasn't invited to speak at the grandfather's funeral as presidents traditionally do.

If George P. Bush's name had been George P. Jones, his political rise undoubtedly would have been less smooth. But now he's shocking a lot of Bush family admirers in his quest to receive a pat on the head from Trump — or at least not a swat. Sure, a lot of Texas Republican primary voters worship Trump, but is winning a nomination for state office worth losing one's honor?

It's a guarantee that Fauci would not kiss the rear end of anyone who insulted his family. What we have here is a short guy from Brooklyn basically brushing off Trump's menacing antics while swaggering Texas Republicans collapse at the sign of a New Yorker's displeasure.

And there's one other reason for Trump's continued obsession with Fauci: envy. Trump is fading from national prominence. Even Fox News no longer carries all his speeches live.

But Fauci goes on. He's still respected by the sort of people whose respect serious leaders want. His polls numbers remain high.

As the virus threat recedes, not every pronouncement Fauci makes will grab headlines, but he's not there for that. He's there to do the science. The right-wing attacks on him can't be pleasant, but Fauci will end his long career with a legacy of public service and, importantly, his dignity intact.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Greene Blames Fauci For Virus Because ‘I Don’t Believe In Evolution’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) asserted on Tuesday that COVID-19 was a "bioweapon" and said she did not believe otherwise "because I don't believe in evolution."

Greene made her statement during an appearance on the Real America's Voice network's War Room: Pandemic, a program hosted by disgraced former Donald Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon.

Greene accused Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of being "criminally liable" for the pandemic outbreak because, she charged without evidence, he "was using American tax dollars and sending it to the Wuhan lab to fund this research that was creating viruses."

"That's a bioweapon," Greene said. "There's no other reason to create a virus that makes people sick, spreads so quick, and kills people. There's no other intent but it's a bioweapon."

Bannon then asked her if she found it implausible that the virus was the subject of research meant to find vaccines and somehow the material evolved into COVID-19.

"No, I don't buy it because I don't believe in evolution," Greene replied. "I don't believe in that type of so-called 'science.' I don't believe in evolution. I believe in God."

The origins of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 remain unclear, but no evidence has emerged to verify any claim that the virus was a "bioweapon" created in a Chinese lab.

President Joe Biden in May ordered the intelligence community to prepare a report "on their most up-to-date analysis of the origins of COVID-19, including whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident."

Greene is well-practiced in advancing conspiracy theories. She has expressed belief in and support for the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory that celebrities and politicians are running a satanic global child-trafficking ring.

Greene also falsely claimed that a 2018 California wildfire was caused by a laser beam from space financed by the Jewish Rothschild family's "international" banking firm, long a favorite target of anti-semitic rhetoric.

From the June 8 edition of Real America's Voice's War Room: Pandemic:

STEVE BANNON, host: Why do you say you're just not for firing [Dr. Anthony Fauci], you're for bringing criminal – you think he ought to face criminal charges?
MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: Well, my Fire Fauci Act asks for a full investigation, because we've suspected all along that he is criminally liable. Here's why: If you go back, you can go back to 2012, you can go back to 2014, where Anthony Fauci was using American tax dollars and sending it to the Wuhan lab to fund this research that was creating viruses.
Why is there any need to create a virus that can spread rapidly through a population, make people sick and kill them. That's a bioweapon. So we need to be very clear about what was the intent of COVID-19 and these viruses that they experiment with like some sort of Dr. Frankenstein experiments.
These are bioweapons. There's no other reason to create a virus that makes people sick, spreads so quick, and kills people. There's no other intent but it's a bioweapon. And then our American —
BANNON: You don't – hold it, hang on – you don't buy that, you don't buy the argument that says the gain of function is all because we've got to take these viruses and we've got to power them up to look for vaccines and to look for other solutions in case somehow they come up with this. You don't buy the logic of that, is that what you're saying?
GREENE: No, I don't buy it because I don't believe in evolution. I don't believe in that type of so-called "science." I don't believe in evolution. I believe in God.
And these viruses were not making people sick until they created them and made them into – weaponized these viruses to be able to attach to our cells and make us sick. This has caused so many people to die all over the world.
This is a bioweapon. You can call it – people can call it whatever they can for research, and to create vaccinations, but there's no need for a vaccine if the virus doesn't make the human population sick to begin with.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.