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Tag: donald trump covid

'Surprised' Trump Says He's 'Very Appreciative' Biden Credited Him For Vaccines

On Tuesday, Fox News reported that former President Donald Trump was "surprised" and gratified that President Joe Biden mentioned his role in helping to get COVID-19 vaccines developed.

"Biden on Tuesday afternoon announced increased testing capacity and expanded access to vaccines and support for hospitals across the country amid a surge in cases of the omicron variant, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week makes up more than 73% of new infections in the country," reported Brooke Singman.

"Thanks to the prior administration and our scientific community, America is one of the first countries to get the vaccine," Biden said Tuesday. "Thanks to my administration, the hard work of Americans, we let, our roll-out, made America among the world leaders in getting shots in arms.'"

Trump proceeded to tell Fox that he appreciated Biden giving him and his team credit.

"'I'm very appreciative of that — I was surprised to hear it," Trump told Fox News. "I think it was a terrific thing, and I think it makes a lot of people happy."

In his last year of office, Trump presided over "Operation Warp Speed," a federal plan that helped expedite the development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines. However, he also came under criticism for his repeated efforts to downplay the virus, and for his refusal to publicize that he had been vaccinated, as well as the fact that he tested positive for the virus days before the first presidential debate with Biden and didn't disclose it.

Trump has subsequently received a booster, and urged his followers to do the same, but his announcement was met with boos from his own supporters, who have consistently polled as among the most vaccine-denialist group in the country.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Even Donald Trump Himself Cannot Sell MAGA Extremists On COVID Vaccines

During a recent event with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, former President Donald Trump was booed by some anti-vaxxers after revealing that he had received a COVID-19 vaccine booster. Trump insisted that the MAGA movement deserves the credit for COVID vaccines, but that messaging didn’t persuade the anti-vaxxers who booed him. Discussing this incident in an op-ed published on December 20, Washington Post opinion columnists Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent lament that anti-vaxxer sentiment is so ingrained in the MAGA movement at this point that even Trump himself cannot convince far-right anti-vaxxers to get vaccinated.

Not everyone in Trumpworld is pushing anti-vaxxer arguments. Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is running for governor of Arkansas, describes COVID-19 vaccines as “the Trump vaccine.” And Trump has similar messaging, arguing that his supporters should hail COVID-19 vaccines as a MAGA achievement instead of rejecting them.

Trump told the crowd, “Look, we did something that was historic. We saved tens of millions of lives worldwide. We together, all of us — not me, we — we got a vaccine done, three vaccines done, and tremendous therapeutics … This was going to ravage the country far beyond what it is right now. Take credit for it. Take credit for it. It’s great — what we’ve done is historic. Don’t let them take it away…. If you don’t want to take it, you shouldn’t be forced to take it. No mandates. But take credit because we saved tens of millions of lives. Take credit. Don’t let them take that away from you.”

The response to those comments, Waldman and Sargent note, was “boos from at least some in the crowd.”

“There is clearly a good portion of the Republican base that in this case, finds the truest expression of Trumpism in rejecting what Trump himself is telling them,” Waldman and Sargent write. “Opposition to vaccines has been woven so tightly into their political identity that not even Trump himself can remove it.”

But as Waldman and Sargent point out, being an anti-vaxxer has become a badge of honor in MAGA World.

“For some time, we’ve heard reports of people who live in conservative communities getting secretly vaccinated, fearful of letting others around them know they’ve gotten a vaccine,” the columnists point out. “It’s reasonable to assume some people in liberal communities likewise lie about having been vaccinated. The idea that one’s political identity requires fighting against vaccines is constantly reinforced from all directions, whether by conservative media or politicians who are responsive to what they know their constituents are hearing…. Red states that are this far down this road are not going to immediately reverse course now that Trump is suddenly talking sense on this matter.”

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

​Graph Shows GOP Is A Death Cult That's Killing Off Its Base

As the Supreme Court reexamines the merits of Roe v Wade, it's incredibly ironic to see how the Republican Party still considers itself pro-life. The party's seemingly bizarre hostility towards single mothers, the working poor, and same-sex couples already totally invalidates their vociferous "pro-life" position. But once you factor in the pandemic, the party suddenly becomes a death cult spiraling out of control in its lust for anti-science misinformation and daft conspiracies. Republicans seem keen on espousing anything that opposes President Biden and Democrats, even if it proves deadly to their own≥

The notion that the GOP has become a death cult is easily supported by the graph below:

Image via Independent Media Institute


The graph shows a higher incidence of death among Republicans in the 2020 Presidential Election. But things look even bleaker when broken down by state.

States that voted for Donald Trump in 2020 have higher COVID-19 death rates than those that went for President Biden. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the average death rate from state to state was about the same along party lines before vaccines were available. But since Feb. 1, states that went for Trump averaged 116 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people, which is 52% higher than the average of 77 deaths per 100,000 people in Biden states. Not surprisingly, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia--all won by Trump--had the worse per capita covid death rates.

What Does This All Mean And Why Would Republicans Want To Kill Off Their Base?

Even though nothing in this seemingly upside-down universe and toxic political landscape seems far-fetched or implausible anymore, it's difficult to fathom the Republican National Committee endorsing killing off its very own voting base as part of its 2022 midterms strategy. Complicating matters, however, and making all of this information even more difficult to digest is the fact that a large contingent of Trump supporters refuse the vaccine despite the fact that the former president is fully vaxxed and encourages his supporters to do so. In fact, former President Trump was just booed by supporters at an event with former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly. So is this a mystery wrapped in an enigma?

Wilful ignorance, discrediting sound and unbiased science, and the complete and utter worship of misinformation were all hallmarks of the Trump Administration. With every unhinged, conspiracy-driven tweet and fact-free egotastic rally, former President Trump made wearing ignorance with pride as fashionable as a silly red hat. After all, it was Trump who claimed the worsening of the virus was a "fake news media conspiracy", ignored and discredited the science while promoting unproven therapies (bleach, anyone?), mocked mask-wearing, and encouraged his supporters to violate lockdowns from the very beginning. Trump even got covid himself, unsurprisingly.

In short, it's really no wonder that all the recklessness, loony conspiracies, and willingness to politicize a virus that cares nothing about party affiliation resulted in his sheeplike adherents dying off at levels far higher than Democrats.

Bombshell Report Shows Trump Officials' Political Maneuvers Damaged COVID Response

A massive, bombshell report published Friday by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis reveals the Trump administration engaged in "unprecedented political interference" in the work of scientific experts, including at CDC, and "was responsible for a series of critical failures that undermined the nation’s ability to respond effectively to the coronavirus pandemic."

One heading from the 46-page report reads: "The Trump Administration’s Persistent Political Interference in the Pandemic Response Contributed to One of the Worst Failures of Leadership in American History."

In a devastating revelation, the report adds that "Trump Administration officials purposefully weakened" CDC's "testing guidance to reduce the amount of testing being conducted and obscure how rapidly the virus was spreading across the country.

"The Select Committee finds administration officials "championed a dangerous 'herd immunity' strategy inside the White House—including by arranging a roundtable event between then-President Trump and a fringe group of herd immunity proponents—that would have placed millions of lives at risk."

It alleges it has new evidence showing that "Trump White House officials blocked CDC briefings and media appearances, and attempted to sidestep CDC in finalizing coronavirus guidance. The Select Subcommittee also uncovered evidence showing that Trump White House officials neglected the pandemic response to focus on the 2020 presidential election and promote the Big Lie that the election results were fraudulent."

But the Trump administration's failures date back to the very beginning of the pandemic, the reports reveal, with the administration ignoring warnings from its own officials to obtain critical supplies including PPE (personal protective equipment) which ultimately led to medical professionals including doctors and nurses being forced to wear trash bags and reuse medical-grade face masks for days and weeks at a time.

The report often avoids accusing specific individuals but in one damning example it says career scientists were "instructed to destroy evidence of political interference."

A "CDC official confirmed...she was instructed to destroy evidence of political interference by a Trump Administration political appointee. The CDC official told the Select Subcommittee that she understood this instruction—which 'seemed unusual' and made her 'uncomfortable'—came from then-CDC Director [Robert] Redfield.

The report also delves into massive fraud and waste, and while not using the word "corruption " offers concerning examples of the administration's interference in coronavirus programs. Trump White House officials were involved in the approval process of the Treasury' Department's approval of a $700 million loan to one trucking company.

"Reports have raised serious doubts that [the trucking company] satisfied the criteria to be deemed 'critical' to national security and questioned its use of funds." That one loan represented 95 percent of the entire program's funding.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet