The white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday was about a lot more than a statue, but the statue is where this specific event began. It’s a depiction of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, erected in 1924 in a place of honor in a city park. Today, many people in Charlottesville want this statue and…
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was clearly pandering to the Republican Party's lowest common denominator when he picked Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio as one of the five Republicans he wanted to serve on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's select committee on the January insurrection — a pick that Pelosi flatly rejected, inspiring McCarthy to angrily respond that if Pelosi wouldn't accept all of his picks, she couldn't have any of them. But Pelosi made a wise decision, given how aggressively Jordan promoted the Big Lie and former President Donald Trump's bogus elect fraud claims. And author Sidney Blumenthal, in an op-ed published by The Guardian on July 27, lists some things that Jordan might be asked if he testifies before Pelosi's committee.
Blumenthal is a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
One right-wing Republican who Pelosi herself picked for the committee is Rep. Liz Cheney, who wholeheartedly agrees with Pelosi's decision to keep Jordan off her January 6 committee. Cheney has said that Jordan should be kept off the committee because he "may well be a material witness to events that led to that day, that led to January 6."
On October 20, Jordan tweeted, "Democrats are trying to steal the election, before the election." In light of that tweet, Blumenthal writes, the committee could ask: "What does Jordan know about the creation of the 'stop the steal' myth? Were his statements about a fraudulent election and attacking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for its role in 'stealing the election' made in coordination with anyone at the White House or known to them in advance? If he got marching orders, where did he get them from?"
A few days after the 2020 presidential election, Jordan promoted the Big Lie at a "Stop the Steal" rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that was organized by Scott Presler, a former field director for the Virginia Republican Party. And Pelosi's committee, according to Blumenthal, could ask: "Who funded the Harrisburg rally? What is Jordan's relationship to Scott Presler? What are the communications between Jordan, his staff and Presler?"
On January 11, the day the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump for incitement to insurrection, Trump gave Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And Pelosi's committee, Blumenthal writes, should ask: "What conversations did Jordan have at the ceremony with Trump or others about overturning the election and how to defend Trump?"
On December 4, Jordan tweeted, "Over 50 million Americans think this election was stolen." And in light of how much Jordan promoted the Big Lie that month, Blumenthal writes, Pelosi's committee should ask: "Did Jordan coordinate his statements with Trump, the White House staff, other Republican House members, or Trump's legal team led by Rudy Giuliani?"
On December 21, according to Politico, Jordan privately met with Trump and other Republicans in the hope of finding ways "to overturn the election results." And according to Blumenthal, Pelosi's committee should ask: "What was said at that meeting? What were those plans? Was the rally discussed? Was the idea discussed of sending Trump supporters to intimidate and interrupt members of Congress in the certification process? Was Jordan's role on the House floor on 6 January against certification raised at that meeting? What did Jordan say?"
The committee, Blumenthal writes, should also ask: "Did Jordan broadcast falsehoods in order to encourage Trump supporters to come to Washington on 6 January?"
In a January 12 hearing, Jordan claimed, "I never once said that this thing was stolen." And the committee, according to Blumenthal, should ask: "Why, then, did he tweet that the election was being stolen before it had occurred, appear at a 'Stop the Steal' rally and claim that 'crazy things' had changed the vote in swing states in addition to many other statements?"
Contrary to myths circulating on social media, COVID-19 vaccines do not cause erectile dysfunction and male infertility.
What is true: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, poses a risk for both disorders.
Until now, little research has been done on how the virus or the vaccines affect the male reproductive system. But recent investigations by physicians and researchers here at the University of Miami have shed new light on these questions.
The team, which includes me, has discovered potentially far-reaching implications for men of all ages – including younger and middle-aged men who want to have children.
What the team found
I am the director of the Reproductive Urology Program at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. My colleagues and I analyzed the autopsy tissues of the testicles of six men who died of COVID-19 infection.
The result: COVID-19 virus appeared in the tissues of one of the men; decreased numbers of sperm appeared in three.
Another patient – this one survived COVID-19 – had a testis biopsy about three months after his initial COVID-19 infection cleared up. The biopsy showed the coronavirus was still in his testicles.
Our team also discovered that COVID-19 affects the penis. An analysis of penile tissue from two men receiving penile implants showed the virus was present seven to nine months after their COVID-19 diagnosis. Both men had developed severe erectile dysfunction, probably because the infection caused reduced blood supply to the penis.
Notably, one of the men had only mild COVID-19 symptoms. The other had been hospitalized. This suggests that even those with a relatively light case of the virus can experience severe erectile dysfunction after recovery.
These findings are not entirely surprising. After all, scientists know other viruses invade the testicles and affect sperm production and fertility.
One example: Investigators studying testes tissues from six patients who died from the 2006 SARS-CoV virus found all of them had widespread cell destruction, with few to no sperm.
A new study on vaccine safety
Additional research by my team brought welcome news. A study of 45 men showed the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines appear safe for the male reproductive system.
This, then, is another reason to get the vaccinations – to preserve male fertility and sexual function.
Granted, the research is only a first step on how COVID-19 might affect male sexual health; the samples were small. Studies should continue.
Still, for men who have had COVID-19 and then experienced testicular pain, it is reasonable to consider that the virus has invaded testes tissue. Erectile dysfunction can be the result. Those men should see a urologist.
I also believe the research presents an urgent public health message to the U.S. regarding the COVID-19 vaccines.
For the millions of American men who remain unvaccinated, you may want to again consider the consequences if and when this highly aggressive virus finds you.
One reason for vaccine hesitancy is the perception among many that COVID-19 shots might affect male fertility. Our research shows the opposite. There is no evidence the vaccine harms a man's reproductive system. But ignoring the vaccine and contracting COVID-19 very well could.
[Over 106,000 readers rely on The Conversation's newsletter to understand the world. Sign up today.]
'Sellout' Ron DeSantis faces backlash from some of his supporters after changing his tune on vaccinations
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been a devout Trump supporter, and many pundits have described him as the Republican who would be the most likely to win the 2024 GOP presidential nomination if former President Donald Trump doesn't run. But DeSantis is now coming under fire from anti-vax extremists on the far right for urging Floridians to get vaccinated from the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Politico reporter Matt Dixon explains, "Florida's COVID crisis has wedged Gov. Ron DeSantis between two competing forces: public health experts who urge him to do more and anti-vaxxers who want him to do less. The Republican governor has come under attack from the medical community and Democrats as the Delta strain of COVID-19 sweeps through Florida, turning it into a national coronavirus hotspot."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five new COVID-19 infections in the United States is in Florida. But that isn't preventing the anti-vaxxers in Trumpworld from saying that DeSantis has betrayed the MAGA cause by encouraging vaccination for COVID-19.
DeSantis, according to Dixon, is now "facing a backlash from the anti-vaccination wing of his political base." Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, for example, criticized DeSantis during an appearance on the talk show "The Right Side with Doug Billings" — saying, "Don't let political correctness get in the way of health choices." And right-wing radio host Stew Peters called DeSantis a "sellout."
But at the same time, some Florida-based health experts believe that with the Delta variant raging in the Sunshine State, the last thing DeSantis should be doing is criticizing expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci in order to score cheap political points in MAGA World.
CBSMiami.com quotes Bernard Ashby, a Miami-based cardiologist and leader of the Florida chapter of the Committee to Protect Health Care, as saying, "While hospitals in our state were filling up, DeSantis was shouting about 'Freedom over Faucism.' If DeSantis were as concerned about stopping COVID-19 spread as he was about coming up with these clever jabs about Dr. Fauci, we might not be in this position."
Mona Mangat, an immunologist in St. Petersburg, Florida, has criticisms of DeSantis as well. CBSMiami.com quotes Mangat as saying, "At the same time as DeSantis says the vaccines are effective — which they are — he's also banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. He has taken away private companies' ability to protect their employees and customers by requiring the safe and readily available vaccine."
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month