The Trumpublican COVID-19 Disconnect From Reality
The Trumpublican Party (that’s the former GOP) has been disconnected from reality for 4 plus years. That fact was already established. Now we’re only talking about a question of extremities. Nothing brings the reality disconnect into sharper focus than the manner in which Trumpublicans view and act in regard to COVID-19.
And hard to imagine as it is, Trumpublicans, from Trump at the top of the radioactive pyramid, to MAGA members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, to the Trumpublican media apparatus and then down to the street level of Trumpublican voters – are more divorced from facts, data and medical science than they have ever been.
That’s saying a lot.
We’ve been tracking the junk medicine sources of information Trump has been following as opposed to actual trained virologists and epidemiologists who actually understand the documentation and research on COVID-19.
Arguably, the crazy factor is even more elevated now than it was when Trump first proposed the use of disinfectant to treat the coronavirus.
Trump, as has been reported yesterday, retweeted the rantings of an unhinged woman who practices medicine in Houston, Texas, who many in the medical community are scratching their head just how it is that she still holds a license to practice.
“Hello, you don’t need a mask. There is a cure.”
– Stella Immanuel
The woman, Stella Immanuel, a pediatrician, maintains that such women’s gynecological related health issues as cysts and endometriosis are the result of people having intimate relations (“Astral Sex”) with demons and witches, resulting in “Nephilim”.
Her Twitter profile describes her as, “Physician, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Deliverance Minister, God’s battle axe and weapon of war. Rehoboth Medical Center, Houston, TX. Fire Power Ministries.” At least she wraps her arms around the “battle axe” trope.
Immanuel additionally asserts that the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies are devising a vaccine that will destroy people’s capacity to embrace Christianity and alleges that “alien DNA” is currently used in medicines and medical treatments.
This woman is also invested in the notion that the federal government has been infiltrated and under the influence of “reptilians”.
In a video she recorded in 2015, Immanuel, the founder and leader of a evangelical group known as Fire Power Ministries, told viewers, “There are people ruling this nation that are not even human,” describing them as “reptilian spirits” who are “half human, half ET.”
The doctor (and I employ that title in the loosest sense of the term) is also noted, not surprisingly, as vehemently against LGBTQ persons and gay marriage, dubbing homosexuality as the “agenda of the Devil”. Additionally, Immanuel classifies opposition to Donald Trump, as emanating from dark conspiratorial entities:
“Who are the people behind this plot? It is the gay, the lesbians, the members of the new world order, the Illuminati together with IGNORANT Christians, but MASTERMINDED by Satan.”
Because her video was removed from Facebook, she responded on Twitter by threatening divine violence against the social media platform.
Hello Facebook put back my profile page and videos up or your computers with start crashing till you do. You are not bigger that God. I promise you. If my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name.
— Stella Immanuel MD (@stella_immanuel) July 28, 2020
Despite the clear evidence of this woman’s psychological pathology, Trump had not one, but two opportunities to disassociate himself with her bogus beliefs and instead of doing so, he dug in his heels.
Asked about her record of bizarre statements and behavior, Trump responded that her remarks about chloroquine were “spectacular”. “I think they’re very respected doctors. There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it and she’s had tremendous success with it.”
Immanuel is also a proponent of the use of the substance Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment and a “cure” for coronavirus. She was part of a group of like minded individuals that filmed a statement in support of Hydroxychloroquine in front of the Supreme Court building, which has named itself, “America’s Frontline Doctors”. The name is a misnomer.
None of the individuals featured have been working in emergency rooms or manning Intensive Care Units, even in a support role. Of the ten featured in the video, which was paid for and distributed by Tea Party Patriots, two were Ophthalmologists, which are a specialization that has no relation whatever to treatment of infectious diseases or those infected.
Interestingly, Senator Rand Paul (R-TX), also an Ophthalmologist, has shown himself to be a skeptic of legitimate science and research on COVID-19.
Of the remainder of the participants, MedPageToday was not able to verify whether they were even actively practicing medicine or to what extent. They are all aligned with alt-Right political ideologies and all are Trumpublicans.
Another of the self described, “America’s Frontline Doctors”, Dr. James Todaro, co-authored a paper on Google Docs, with an attorney, Gregory Rigano back in mid March, referencing the use of Chloroquine in China, which filtered its way through the right wing ghetto on social media and eventually arrived at Fox News, where it likely caught the attention of Donald Trump.
At no point did this paper ever come under the critically important scrutiny of peer review. Why? Because it was incompetent and illegitimate and because the authors are not peers of any credible scientists.
Vanity Fair describes the disinformation pathways:
On March 16, Elon Musk tweeted a link to the Google Doc, writing: “Maybe worth considering chloroquine for C19.” On March 18, right-wing websites Breitbart and The Blaze picked up the story. On March 19, Rigano went on Fox News and told Tucker Carlson that a chloroquine study had shown “a 100% cure rate against coronavirus.”
From there it was a short leap to the biggest bullhorn of all. That same day Donald Trump declared at a press conference that chloroquine was a possible “game changer” and that the FDA had approved it. “We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately,” he promised.
Todaro is now focused on promoting investment in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
Another member of the Frontline deplorables who are not the least hesitant to trash the Hippocratic Oath (“Do No Harm”), is Dr. Daniel W. Erickson, an urgent care clinician from Bakersfield, California.
If you have ever lived in California, you recognize Bakersfield and Kern County as one of the prominent retrograde population centers that could comfortably be picked up and dropped into other states like Oklahoma, Arkansas or Kentucky and no one would raise an eyebrow.
According to Gizmodo:
Back in April, Erickson promoted the idea of “herd immunity” on local TV news in San Diego, pointing to Sweden as a model. Erickson pointed to Kern County, California at the time, saying that the ICUs in the area had “very few patients.” Today, Kern County has 17,394 confirmed cases and 123 deaths. Cases in the county have increased by 161% in the past two weeks.
Members of the “America’s Frontline Doctors” collective, are unanimously antagonistic to Dr. Anthony Fauci and Jenny Beth Martin, president of Tea Party Patriots, stated falsely:
“My message to Dr. Anthony Fauci is to have a meeting with these frontline doctors who are seeing real patients. They’re touching human skin, they’re looking people in the eye, they’re diagnosing them, and they’re helping them beat the virus.”
But these quacks are not standing on any “front line” with the doctors and nurses who are actually working exhausting shifts, bravely struggling to keep COVID-19 victims alive. They are instead, fakes, frauds and the group is astroturf to the max.
Trump will boost with re-tweets, any person or group that attempt to contradict or discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci. Is it because Fauci isn’t providing expert guidance to Americans on the correct path to protect their health and that of their loved ones? No. It’s because those same Americans in the majority, find Dr. Fauci to be more credible and trustworthy on the subject of COVID-19, by a ration of 2 to 1.
As this report was being written, a stunning, but not entirely unpredicted news item surfaced. Former C.E.O. of Godfather’s Pizza and G.O.P. presidential nomination candidate in 2012, Herman Cain, 74, passed away from COVID-19 after having attended the Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma a month prior.
We also learned that Congressman Louis Gohmert, (R-TX), who disdained the requirement to wear a face covering in the Capitol and on the floor of of the House chamber, tested positive for coronavirus and consequentially was not permitted to board Air Force One with the president in his visit to Texas yesterday.
In typical fashion, Gohmert made up a silly improv quip about perhaps the mask (which he almost never wore to begin with) might have introduced him to microbes he wouldn’t have encountered if he hadn’t used one. But staffers in Gohmert Pyle’s congressional office, are in mutiny mode. One explained to Politico that:
“When you write your story, can you include the fact that Louie requires full staff to be in the office, including three interns, so that ‘we could be an example to America on how to open up safely.’ When probing the office, you might want to ask how often were people berated for wearing masks.”
Trump complained about Dr. Fauci’s popularity and lamented that he’s being unfairly treated by Americans that are polled on their approval of his handling and (lack of) leadership on COVID:
“He’s got this high approval rating. So why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect – and the administration – with respect to the virus? We should have it very high. So it sort of is curious, a man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr Fauci and Dr [Deborah] Birx also, very highly thought of – and yet, they’re highly thought of, but nobody likes me? It can only be my personality, that’s all!”
Is this a president or an insecure, petulant, child – prone to view himself as a victim?
Trump had extreme difficulty making his way through a recitation of the script given him for today’s (so-called) Coronavirus briefing.
He obviously has trouble reading and comprehending pre-prepared texts. His delivery was droning, stumbling and punctuated by awkward pauses, which furthered the speculation by behavioral scientists that he might be somewhere on the timeline to diminished mental functioning, despite his crowing about a cognitive test that signifies virtually nothing.
It was a remarkable contrast, especially given the fact that we saw former presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton delivery eulogies to the late John Lewis, and none of them were slaves to their notes, speaking naturally and fluidly, without any signs of struggle or faltering.
And Joe Biden, in his appearance in Delaware, delivering his “Build Back Better” address, made a mockery of “Comatose Trump’s” recent comments about him to Chris Wallace, in which he attempted to sell Wallace the idea that the former Vice President was mentally decrepit, while he himself, bumbled and stumbled through the interview in the most embarrassing manner possible.
Naturally, when Trump degrades someone else, what we hear is him describing his own shortcomings and character deficits.
Trump, after clumsily fielding three or four questions from reporters on the South Lawn, recognized the fact that he had not been hit with a follow up question about his promotion of Stella Immanuel and quickly ducked out.