Republican lawmakers thanked her for theirs after Sherri Tenpenny, a doctor from the Cleveland area, mistakenly suggested during a hearing in the Ohio House of Representatives last month that Covid vaccines let people “magnetize” people and “interface” with 5G cell towers “Enlightenment”. Testimony.
In Congress, Republicans who once praised the Trump administration for its work in facilitating the rapid development of vaccines are now campaigning vaccine misinformation that cast doubt on the Capitol’s safety and effectiveness.
And this week, Republican lawmakers in Tennessee successfully pressured health officials to stop distributing vaccines to children. The guideline prohibits sending reminders of the second dose of a Covid vaccine to young people who have received a vaccination and communicating about routine vaccinations such as the flu shot.
A wave of opposition to Covid vaccines has increased within the Republican Party as conservative news outlets adhere to a constant diet of misinformation about vaccines and some G.O.P. Lawmakers invite anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists to testify in state houses and in Congress. With very little opposition from party leaders, these Republican efforts have placed falsehoods and doubts about vaccination on the fringes of American life at the center of our political discussions.
It’s a pattern seen across the Trump administration: instead of blaming conspiratorial thinking and inaccuracies when it spreads through the grassroots of their party, many Republicans tolerate extremist misinformation.
Some Conservatives are spreading the falsehoods to rally their political base by taking up ideas such as stolen elections, rampant electoral fraud, and revisionist history of the deadly siege of the Capitol. Many others say very little and prefer to evade questions from the news media.
Those who speak up remain reluctant to explicitly name colleagues who voiced misinformation or media personalities who did so, like Tucker Carlson of Fox News.
“As far as I know, we don’t control conservative media figures – at least I don’t,” Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney recently told the New York Times. “That being said, I think it’s a huge mistake if someone suggests that we shouldn’t take vaccines.”
The anti-vaccination sentiment is not new to Republican voters. During the 2016 Republican primary, a number of candidates, including Donald J. Trump, reiterated theories that vaccines cause autism in children. It was around this time that Republican lawmakers began to oppose laws that tightened immunization requirements for children.
But in recent months, change has accelerated within the party as some of Mr Trump’s supporters believe the national effort to promote Covid vaccination is harmful, unconstitutional, or perhaps even a sign of a nefarious government conspiracy.
“Think about what these mechanisms could be used for,” said North Carolina MP Madison Cawthorn of the Biden administration’s plan to go door-to-door to reach millions of unvaccinated Americans, claiming without evidence, “They could then go door to door to take your guns with you. You could go door to door to take your Bibles with you. “
In a report earlier this month, the Kaiser Family Foundation found a widening vaccination gap between Republican and Democratic areas, with nearly 47 percent of people in counties that President Biden won fully vaccinated, compared with 35 percent of people in Trump counties. In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 47 percent of Republicans said they were unlikely to get vaccinated, compared with just 6 percent of Democrats.
As Covid cases rise across the country, almost all recent hospital admissions and deaths have occurred in unvaccinated people, White House officials said. While the national outlook remains much better than on previous uptrends, Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, issued his first recommendation to the Biden government this week warning of the “urgent threat” of health misinformation.
There is a tendency among Republican leaders to quietly – and sometimes not quite so quietly – attribute support for marginal beliefs and figures to Mr Trump. But when it comes to vaccinations, it’s difficult to blame the former president.
Mr. Trump has eagerly recognized the accelerated development process of vaccines and urged Americans to get vaccinated. (He was tacitly given a vaccine before stepping down, however, rather than holding a public event for the shot, which might have encouraged his supporters to follow suit.) In an interview with Fox News last month, the former president said he made the point “Very young people” concerned about vaccination but said he was “still firmly convinced of what we did with the vaccine”.
“It’s amazing what we did,” he said. “You see the results.”
Other Republicans have not been quite as steadfast in echoing Mr Trump’s message on vaccines. Last year, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson praised Trump’s “brilliant” Operation Warp Speed. This year he made a number of dubious claims about side effects and deaths related to the vaccines.
In March, Georgia MP Marjorie Taylor Greene praised Mr. Trump for using the vaccines to save lives. That month, she urged Americans to “just say no” and used images from the Nazi era to criticize the Biden government’s efforts to reach unvaccinated people.
“People have a choice, they don’t need your medical tan shirts on their doorstep to order vaccinations,” she tweeted. “You can’t force people to be part of the human experiment.”
Less than a week later, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, encouraged Americans to get vaccinated, drawing on his experience as a childhood polio survivor.
“We have not one, not two, but three highly effective vaccines, so I am amazed at the difficulty we have in getting the job out,” he said.
However, when asked by a reporter if part of the challenge came from the words of members of his own party, McConnell disagreed.
“I’ve already answered how I feel about it,” he said. “I can only speak for myself, and I only did that a few minutes ago.”
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In numbers: $ 15 billion
… That’s roughly the amount of money deposited into American bank accounts this week for the nearly 60 million children eligible for the Extended Monthly Child Withholding Tax.
“I’m a sentimental man, don’t get me wrong,” Roland Mesnier, a former White House pastry chef, said in a recent interview. “Those were my babies.”
The Great Junk Cleanup is sweeping America.
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