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Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

In an apparent effort to control its media messaging on the potential impacts of coronavirus, the White House appears to be locking down any media appearances by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Fauci has "told associates that the White House had instructed him not to say anything else without clearance." This after President Donald Trump and Fauci gave differing messages on the virus — Trump said nobody knew whether the situation might get better or worse, while Fauci described COVID-19 as "a serious virus."

Then on the Friday edition of MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson, Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) — whose district has become a focal point of the outbreak in the U.S. and who has blamed inaction by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — said he had heard directly from Fauci himself that his planned media appearances had been called off.

This isn't the first time that Trump has objected to the statements of an actual medical expert during a potential pandemic — indeed, it's not even the first time he's publicly opposed this specific medical expert.

As Mediaite uncovered, back in 2014 Trump made frequent appearances on Fox & Friends to disparage the Obama administration's handling of the Ebola scare. Among the targets of his disdain was one Dr. Anthony Fauci. During a particular morning appearance that October, when the co-hosts asked Trump to respond to Fauci's statement that a travel ban could make the situation worse, Trump rejected his advice, declaring, "Well, I think it's ridiculous."

Fox personalities such as Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace and then-Fox & Friends co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck also questioned Fauci on the government's handling of the situation during the Ebola epidemic.

Recently, Fox News has been more positive toward Fauci, with the network's own medical expert, Dr. Marc Siegel, praising Fauci's "many decades of experience on this."

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the MAGA movement and far-right Christian fundamentalists have downplayed its severity — inspiring critics to slam MAGA as a suicidal "death cult." Christian fundamentalist Joy Pullmann, in a shocking op-ed published by the far-right website The Federalist on the day of Gen. Colin Powell's death, argues that Christians should welcome death from COVID-19, like any other cause of death, as "a good thing." And she attacks the "pagan assumptions" of those who argue in favor of widespread vaccination.

"For Christians, death is good," Pullmann writes. "Yes, death is also an evil — its existence is a result of sin. But thanks be to God, Jesus Christ has redeemed even death. In his resurrection, Christ has transformed death into a portal to eternal life for Christians…. The Christian faith makes it very clear that death, while sad to those left behind and a tragic consequence of human sin, is now good for all who believe in Christ."

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Don Winslow, the author of several New York Times bestsellers, blasted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in a newly-released video shared on social media.

For months now, Manchin has positioned himself as one of the main roadblocks of President Joe Biden's proposed Build Back Better agenda, pushing back on key provisions including child tax credits and climate initiatives.

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