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GOPer Tom Cotton slammed for pushing China virus conspiracy: ‘One step removed from anti-vaxxer rubbish’

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In a column for the Washington Post, conservative Jennifer Rubin expressed disgust with Ivy League-educated Republican lawmakers who have descended into anti-intellectual “know-nothingism” in an effort to parrot whatever the GOP is trying to sell to their most rabid supporters.

Following up on comments made by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Fox News where he implied that the coronavirus was concocted by Chinese scientists at the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, which has been strongly disputed by health experts (“In response to Cotton’s remarks, as well as in previous interviews with The Washington Post, numerous experts dismissed the possibility the coronavirus may be man-made”), the columnist got right to the point.

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 “When Ivy League-educated, formerly sane politicians spew conspiracy theories, debunked talking points and contempt for science, the question often arises: Do they believe this nonsense (i.e. have they become thickheaded by listening to Rush Limbaugh and watching all that Fox News?), or are they cynical purveyors of claptrap designed to woo unsophisticated voters?” she asked.

In the case of Cotton, Rubin suggested that that would appear to be the case since he should know better.

“This is unadulterated nonsense, one step removed from anti-vaxxer rubbish and UFO-spotting,” she charged. 

According to Rubin, Cotton’s conspiracy-mongering is nothing new for Republicans who have long courted “mostly white, non-college-educated men who attribute their loss of prestige and status to ‘elites,’ especially those in colleges and the media.”

“Even right-wingers who should know better have felt compelled to pander to audiences that wear ignorance and anti-intellectualism as a badge of honor,” Rubin accused. “With Trump, the resort to lies, conspiracies and propaganda has become a matter of political survival for the ambitious right-wingers. Trump’s authoritarian contempt for truth sets the tone, forcing military hawks such as Cotton to remain mum when Trump dismisses traumatic brain injuries as ‘headaches’ and former Cold Warriors such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to parrot Russian propaganda on Ukraine.”

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Rubin went on to note that Trump has made such blathering even more acceptable with his fact-free diatribes that have ramped up attacks on the scientific community — and the US government — as part of his populist pitch.

“Trump has merged the know-nothingism of right-wing populism with a far more dangerous intellectual evolution from defense of limited-government conservatism, which was formerly at the heart of modern conservatism, to outright worship of authoritarianism,” she explained. “Now, far too many conservatives have reverence for executive power and reject constitutional government.”

The columnist then took Cotton — and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — to task for selling themselves as Ivy League-educated and then cynically pandering to the lowest common denominator with falsehoods that validate their distorted worldviews. 

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“In all of this, the Tom Cottons and Ted Cruzes who used to fancy themselves as intellectuals and originalist scholars have chosen to simply go with the flow,” she wrote. “Too ambitious to endanger a future in a party they imagine will be permanently deformed by Trump, and too cowardly to defy the willful ignorance of their peers, voters and political universe (including right-wing think tanks, publications and advocacy groups), they now pride themselves on their willingness to adopt non-factual conspiracy theories — no matter what the public safety or constitutional implications might be.”

You can read more here.

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Trump is deploying national guardsman to provide pandemic support without any health benefits: report

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The National Guard are an essential part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of them have potentially been exposed to infected civilians, making it a particularly dangerous and important time to serve.

But according to The Daily Beast, the guard has been deployed in a way that prevents them from being eligible for the military's health care system.

"The approximately 20,000 guardsmen who have been called up to help states around the country deal with the spread of the coronavirus are federalized on what’s called Title 32 status, which puts them in command of their various state governors but with the federal government paying costs," wrote senior national security correspondent Spencer Ackerman. "But according to the National Guard’s advocates and the U.S. governors’ association, the guardsmen are activated on orders that last 30 days. That puts them one single day shy of the requirement allowing the military health insurance system known as TRICARE — think of it as Medicare For All In Uniform — to cover them."

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Vaccine researchers grew ‘alarmed’ as Trump’s CDC wasted weeks of their time with a flawed coronavirus test: report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, in the early days as health officials became concerned about the possibility of the COVID-19 pandemic blossoming out of China, researchers sat and wasted days they could have used to start developing a vaccine because they were assured by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that a testing kit was on its way.

As it turned out, that test was flawed.

Relying on emails and interviews, the Post is reporting, "On a Jan. 15 conference call, a leading scientist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assured local and state public health officials from across the nation that there would soon be a test to detect a mysterious virus spreading from China. Stephen Lindstrom told them the threat was remote and they may not need the test his team was developing 'unless the scope gets much larger than we anticipate,' according to an email summarizing the call."

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Lawmakers need to step up and stop Trump from ‘killing Americans’ with his ‘incompetence’: Ex-prosecutor

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On Saturday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner excoriated President Donald Trump's mismanagement of the national health care system on Twitter — and called on elected leaders to "stop letting Trump kill Americans."

Trump’s mixture of incompetence and exploitation for political purposes of our national health emergency is costing lives. The most pressing question at this moment is: at what point do our elected politicians stop letting Trump kill Americans?

— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) April 4, 2020

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