This psychological factor explains the QAnon movement better than political ideology: scientists

The "anti-establishment" ideology is a major contributor to the belief systems that catapulted former President Donald Trump to power and the formation of the QAnon movement, according to findings published by the American Journal of Political Science and The Forum.

Speaking to PsyPost, Adam M. Enders — an assistant political science professor at the University of Louisville and co-author of the study — discussed how they compiled the information.

"While we discuss primarily historical and theoretical literature arguing that anti-establishment viewpoints are hardly new, no one has been empirically tracking them over time," Enders explained. "Our study is a first cut at taking this ignored dimension of public opinion more seriously. We need to track anti-establishment orientations over time to better understand how they ebb and flow. We also need to track them across social and political contexts to see what role these ideas play in other countries with different political systems, economic systems, etc."

Enders also explained why the project piqued his interest.

"I was interested in this project because it increasingly seemed to me that polarization and political identities were increasingly bearing the brunt of the blame –– perhaps erroneously –– for socially undesirable beliefs and actions that were probably the product of other orientations, like conspiracy thinking and a tendency to view politics as a struggle between good and evil," said Enders.

Enders noted how Trump's influence has contributed to the widening gap between red and blue political supporters. "Especially with the ascendance of Donald Trump, we witnessed a blending of left-right political concerns (e.g., partisanship, liberal-conservative ideology) with antagonistic orientations toward the political establishment," Enders said. "I wanted to try and disentangle these dimensions of opinion in order to better understand both how they are related to each other and how they differentially promote the beliefs and behaviors that have so concerned social scientists in recent years."

University of Miami's Joseph E. Uscinski, who also served as a co-author, explained how the evolution of politics and societal issues have contributed to extremism and polarization in American.

"American politics seems to be different than in previous decades and we wanted to know why," Uscinski added. "Many people blame current political problems — conspiracy theories, fake news, political violence — on polarization. But, we were not convinced that our current problems are the fault of people becoming too ideological or too partisan."

Uscinski went on to note how dangerous cancel culture has become as polarization becomes more prominent among party lines. 'We believe that efforts to 'squish' all opinions, people, and groups onto a uni-dimensional space is unwise," Uscinski explained.

He added, "Many people's opinions aren't solely 'left' or 'right,' but rather a mix. Further, many people have antagonisms toward the political system writ large and this has been vastly understudied. It may not be the case that populism is new in the United States; it may instead be the case that in recent years, more politicians are willing to use populist anti-system rhetoric to build coalitions by activating a set of opinions that are already there waiting to be activated."

A data scientist points to ominous 'warning signs' for Democrats in the Virginia governor race

Democrats may control both chambers of Congress, but there are multiple reasons why the party should be concerned about the upcoming statewide election in the state of Virginia.

In a piece published by The Washington Post, data scientist Lenny Bronner notes that the Virginia governor's race may be much closer than Democrats would like considering President Joe Biden won the state by more than 10 points less than one year ago.

Bronner pointed out that available early voting data suggests Democrats aren't turning out as enthusiastically for the race as they did in 2020. This implies, he argues, that the Democratic candidate can't expect to win by as much as Biden did — and may not win at all:

Although Virginia does not have party voter registration — meaning we don't necessarily know how many registered Democrats have voted vs. registered Republicans — we can get a sense for the partisanship of the electorate by looking at past primary participation.

When doing so, we can see that the number of votes coming from voters that voted in the Democratic primary outnumber those cast by voters who participated in the Republican primary by around 2 to 1.

This sounds encouraging to Democrats, but it's actually slightly worse than they had been doing at this point before the 2020 election, when the ratio of Democratic primary voters to Republican primary voters was closer to three to one.

Overall, turnout is far lower than in 2020, though that shouldn't be much of a surprise, as he explained:

"When looking at absentee and early in-person voting this year, it's important to remember that last year's Presidential election was unusual — in that it was held during the peak of the pandemic, with more than 100 million Americans deciding to vote early because of that and the expanded access to mail balloting that came along with it. In Virginia, 2.7 million voters chose that option instead of going to the polls on election day."

Yet Bronner pointed to other indications that Democrats might be in trouble:

"There's both some tough history and some warnings signs for Democrats involved. In the past, the party that won the presidency has often lost the Virginia governor's election (though importantly, this didn't happen the last time the Democrats won the White House in 2013). This is particularly worrisome for Democrats because President Biden's approval rating has been falling significantly, including in Virginia. Also, while former governor Terry McAuliffe (D) is leading in the polling averages, the numbers have been too close for Democrats' comfort — including the most recent Monmouth University poll, which put McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin dead-even."

Virginia Democrats may be faced with some concerns, but the silver lining is that most voters have not cast ballots yet. So the election could still swing in Democratic favor. What the result means for the national political scene will undoubtedly be hotly debated.

Behind the Fortenberry scandal: Another member of secretive Christian network goes down

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., who was indicted Tuesday on charges of lying to the FBI, has deep connections to The Family, the secretive Christian group that has been tied to multiple political scandals in recent years.

Fortenberry was arraigned Wednesday on charges that he lied to federal investigators about illegal campaign payments funneled to him by a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire. In a video, Fortenberry maintained his innocence. He is blaming the prosecution on politics even though the investigation began under the Trump administration.

The indictment is not the first time a Family politician has made headlines. Rep. Mark Siljander went to jail for funneling funds tied to a terrorist organization through The Family (he was pardoned last year by President Trump). The Family also played cameo roles in the sex scandals surrounding former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., and others.

Fortenberry's involvement with The Family has not been previously reported. However, his chief of staff, Andy Braner, is a fellow insider who has spoken publicly about his attendance at the National Prayer Breakfast dating back to 2014, and has ties to The Family dating back as early as 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile.

(Braner and Fortenberry's spokesperson did not immediately respond to emailed questions.)

Fortenberry has publicly defended the National Prayer Breakfast, after multiple reports identified the lobbying that transpires there. In 2018, Fortenberry wrote that relationships forged at the event have helped avert crises.

"Common political parlance would call these engagements 'back channels,'" Fortenberry wrote. "We call them friendships."

What we know about who Fortenberry brings to the breakfast, however, suggests that he, like many others in The Family, is less interested in using the event to engage with adversaries than in strengthening existing networks of like-minded people on the right.

Unlike most members of Congress, Fortenberry actually invites people to the National Prayer Breakfast, according to internal documents obtained by TYT. One 2016 guest, a pastor in Lincoln, Nebraska, is not overtly political, according to local reporting on his work. The same can't be said of Fortenberry's other known guests.

One was controversial Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who leads the military archdiocese of the Catholic Church and recently bucked Pope Francis to oppose vaccine mandates in the military. He, too, was invited by Fortenberry in 2016.

Broglio has come out alongside evangelical causes before. He supported Trump's ban on transgender troops and tried to rile up U.S. troops against Obamacare.

In 2017, Nebraska Family Alliance (NFA) executive director Karen Bowling posted online that she had been invited to the NPB by Fortenberry. Bowling's organization opposes LGBTQ and reproductive rights.

As TYT has previously reported, at least two organizations have warned that far-right groups use prayer breakfasts to build their networks and political momentum against LGBTQ and reproductive rights. The National Prayer Breakfast's only financial donor is evangelical leader and pastor Franklin Graham.

Aside from the U.S. prayer breakfast, Fortenberry has been invited to multiple events overseas connected to The Family, two of which he was apparently invited to attend on The Family's dime. Congressional disclosure forms filed by Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., list Fortenberry as having been invited on at least two of Aderholt's trips sponsored by The Family.

In 2016, Fortenberry was invited along with other Family insiders — including some Democrats — to attend the Christian S.E. European Gathering in Serbia. The following year, The Family paid for Aderholt to attend the Gathering again, as well as Austria's first National Prayer Breakfast. Fortenberry was again one of a handful of Family insiders invited.

Fortenberry and Aderholt also share a connection with a longtime Family insider named Stan Holmes, a source close to The Family told TYT. In the past, Holmes has been on Capitol Hill weekly, ministering to politicians and their aides.

It was Holmes who invited Braner to the 2016 prayer breakfast. Later that year, Braner got a fellowship with Fortenberry to work on international affairs, specifically the Middle East. Despite a lack of government experience, Braner moved up the ranks to become Fortenberry's chief of staff last year.

While Holmes never had the public profile of late Family leader Doug Coe, he has held leadership roles and has spoken to the media on The Family's behalf. In 2010, he told Roll Call that The Family's sponsored trips were not political.

Although The Family maintains that its trips and the National Prayer Breakfast are nonpolitical, that's not the case. As TYT has reported, the breakfast invitations are dominated by Republican inviters. Family leaders backed Trump's lies about election fraud, as did the Congressional Prayer Caucus, to which Fortenberry belongs.

Fortenberry himself supported efforts to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election victory until virtually the last minute.

Fiona Hill believes a Trump re-election could prompt 'one constitutional crisis after another'

Dr. Fiona Hill, a former U.S. national security official who testified against former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial, is expressing concern about the possibility of a Trump re-election and what it could mean for the United States.

Speaking with The Hill, Hill offered her take on Trump's actions to overturn the 2020 presidential election, describing it as a "slow-moving coup." She also noted that if he were to win again, it would "on the back of a big lie."

"He could win again. And it will be — if he does, it will be on the back of a big lie and on an awful lot of efforts to suppress the vote and the turnout," said Hill. "And, you know, I'm sure that any election or electoral count that doesn't go his way is challenged."

"Just one constitutional crisis after another," she continued. "I mean, we're in for a wild ride. We're already in it. The slow-moving coup, you know, didn't really culminate in Jan. 6. I just see this as an episode in one long continuum. It's just a different kind of coup now because he's technically out of office but, in his view, he's not out of power."

Hill, who worked as the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the Trump administration's National Security Council, recalled her time working for the former president. While she doesn't regret being part of the Trump administration, she does wish she had done more research before taking the position. But Hill insists she had a legitimate reason for working in the Trump White House.

"It was a return to public service. It wasn't something I was seeking out, but I felt really strongly I needed to do something," Hill said. "It's like your house is on fire."

"And look, it came at great personal cost," she continued. "I didn't do this lightly. And I have people who still don't speak to me and still write me nasty grams about doing it. But I thought it was worth doing, and I still do."

Now, Hill has joined the number of former Trump administration officials who have books with incriminating details about his turbulent four years in office. Hill's book, "There Is Nothing for You Here," details her earlier years in the U.K. and her time working for the Trump White House.

After previously working for the National Intelligence Council under both the Bush and Obama administrations, Hill outlined how the Trump administration differed from previous presidential cabinets.

"The Trump administration was not a Republican administration. It was just so dramatically different from the administration around George W. Bush," she said.

"There is no continuity there. Trump is not a Republican, he's just one of these one-off characters," Hill added. "He's not part of the party. He hijacked the party."

Trump won't stop trying to hijack democracy -- but Adam Schiff is not having it

Former President Donald Trump is still obsessed with his election defeat and continues to hover over the Republican Party like a dark cloud. However, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is determined to make Trump's actions on Jan. 6 and his longterm agenda crystal clear to prevent it from happening again.

Speaking to C-SPAN's Book TV, Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman, explained what his intention is going forward.

"We want to show the country just how Jan. 6 came about -- and not just the mechanics of that day, in terms of the participation of the white nationalist groups ... but rather how this big falsehood about our elections propelled thousands of people to attack their own government," Schiff said on "Book TV."

He also highlighted his dominant questions.

"What did the president know about who was coming to this rally and what did he do when he found out?" Schiff asked. "Why did it go on so long? And so there are a lot of important unanswered questions."

Schiff's remarks come months after Trump's second impeachment following his attempt to overturn the election that subsequently led to the deadly insurrection on the U.S Capitol. In an effort to focus on "election interference involving the Trump campaign and Ukraine," Democratic lawmakers did not succeed in having Trump convicted in the Senate.

Despite Democratic lawmakers pushing back against Trump, he believes their actions are a personal attack and nothing more. In a recent statement, Trump said, "The Radical Left Democrats tried the RUSSIA Witch Hunt, they tried the fake impeachments, and now they are trying once again to use Congress to persecute their political opponents."

However, Schiff argued otherwise as Democrats have a different focus now. Per the Las Vegas Sun, the California lawmaker says, "the select committee expects to uncover fresh information about Trump's involvement that January day, as he encouraged the mob of his supporters to head to the Capitol and 'fight like hell' to reverse his electoral defeat to Joe Biden."

Trump's 'Big Lie' is on the ballot by way of delusional GOP candidates anxious for his endorsement

Democracy may have prevailed in the face of former President Donald Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election but unfortunately the "Big Lie" is still a problem.

According to Yahoo! News, the future of democracy is still hanging in the balance because Trump is still pushing his agenda by way of Republican candidates supporting his baseless claims.

"The single biggest issue — the issue that gets the most pull, the most respect, the biggest cheers — is talking about the election fraud of 2020's presidential election," Trump said at a rally held in Iowa as he once again claimed the election was stolen from him.

On nearly all levels of government, there are Republican candidates hoping to receive Trump's support. In order to receive that, they are echoing his post election lies. In fact their political allegiance to Trump has become so prevelant, Democrats have dubbed them as "propagators of 'the Big Lie.'"

Josh Mandel, a Republican Senate candidate in the state of Ohio, has made Trump's big lie one of the key focal points of his campaign.

"I'm the only candidate in this race who's willing to stand up all over Ohio, and all over America, and say that I believe the election was stolen from Donald J. Trump," Mandel said.

When Mandel was asked if he thought his stance would hurt him in the long run, he said, "It's the right thing to do for our country. And I don't care how it impacts me politically."

A number of election experts and political analysts have weighed in with their concerns about the message being conveyed by Trump loyalists running for key positions in government. According to Larry Norden, director of the Brennan Center for Justice, the message is clear.

"We have people who are running explicitly on the platform that the election results would have turned out different if they were in power in 2020," Norden said, adding, "And I think it's going to be up to the voters in the place where they do elect their election officials to say, regardless of party, it's not acceptable to politicize the elections."

Trump has also insisted that Republican voters may be less likely to cast ballots in 2022 or 2024 if the 2020 election is not overturned in his favor.

"If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020, Republicans will not be voting in ʼ22 or ʼ24," Trump said. "It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do."

However Nate Persily, a Stanford Law School professor and election expert, argues otherwise.

"The allegations of voter fraud are more about defining a set of beliefs for a political tribe than it is about persuasiveness, trying to persuade a group about the utility of their vote," Persily said. "I have not seen evidence in the U.S. that those kinds of messages lead to demobilization."

'The crazies have taken over': Florida county’s multi-million dollar fine for vaccine mandate sparks outrage

A Florida county is facing a multi-million dollar fine for requiring its government employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19. According to The Daily Beast, the Florida Department of Health issued a fine of $3.57 million to Leon County, Fla.

The county, which houses Florida's state capital Tallahassee, is accused of "'blatant violation' of Florida's controversial 'vaccine passport' law that prohibits governments and businesses from requiring residents to show proof they were vaccinated against the coronavirus."

According to the health agency, the county has violated Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R) order prohibiting vaccine mandates a total of 714 times by requiring employees to provide proof of vaccination. So far, 14 government employees have been terminated for failure to meet vaccination requirements.

Now, the Republican governor has released a statement criticizing the county for its mandate.

"It is unacceptable that Leon County violated Florida law, infringed on current and former employees' medical privacy, and fired loyal public servants because of their personal health decisions," DeSantis said in a statement announcing the fines. "We will continue fighting for Floridians' rights and the Florida Department of Health will continue to enforce the law. We're going to stand up for Floridians' jobs, stand up for Floridians' livelihoods, and stand up for freedom."

In the wake of DeSantis' announcement of the fine, some Florida officials have released statements expressing concern and outrage.

"Unbelievable!" Sen. Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee, Fla.) said in a statement. "We don't need the State bullying our communities or private businesses who are simply trying to serve the people and get on the other side of this pandemic. It's going to take all of us standing together to make this happen."

However, officials are not the only people angered by the fine. Describing DeSantis' action as "political posturing," Christopher Link, of Tallahassee, Fla., explained how the imposed fine will impact residents.

"It's all just political posturing," Christopher Link, a Tallahassee resident, told the publication on Tuesday. " t makes no sense and only hurts the taxpayer. The fact that the better good for the health of the state is so wrongly politicized is insane. The crazies have taken over, really."

He added, "This pandemic has been going on for over a year, and I've never really felt like the priority in Florida was about saving lives. Just careers."

Psaki mocks Ted Cruz over his false claims about vaccine protests at Southwest Airlines

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dismissed Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) false claims attributing the Southwest Airline delays to President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate.

During the press briefing on Tuesday, October 12, Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich alluded to the Texas lawmaker's remarks asking, "What's the White House response to those who say vaccine mandates have reduced the workforce and contributed to this problem?"

On Sunday, Cruz took to Twitter with a link to a CNBC News article about the Southwest Airlines flight cancellations. He also criticized the president and attributed his proposed vaccine mandate to the flight delays.

"Joe Biden's illegal vaccine mandate at work! Suddenly, we're short on pilots & air traffic controllers. #ThanksJoe," Cruz tweeted on Sunday.

Psaki offered a response beginning with a reference to the Texas senator's remarks saying, "Well I know world-renowned business, travel and health expert Sen. Ted Cruz has made that point. But I wouldn't say that is widely acknowledged or echoed by business leaders who have implemented these mandates.

"It doesn't mean this isn't hard and challenging — of course it is. We're in the middle of a global pandemic," she continued. "But ultimately, the job of the president of the United States is to lead, is to follow the advice of health experts, is to ensure that he is protecting the lives of people across the country."

She also addressed the circumstances surrounding the Southwest Airlines controversy. "We now know that some of those claims were absolutely false, and actually the issues were completely unrelated to vaccine mandates," Psaki said.

Shortly after the press briefing footage began circulating, Cruz also attempted to push back via Twitter. The senator claimed to have spoken with a reputable source for the airline who claimed "there was a 'sick out' of air traffic controllers in Jacksonville over vaccine mandates."

However, what Cruz fails to acknowledge is that Biden's proposed vaccine mandate has not yet gone into effect.

GOP senator gets busted after claiming Merrick Garland is coming after parents 'for speaking out' at school board meetings

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) falsely claimed Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland (D) is preparing to send the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after disruptive parents storming school board meetings to push back against multiple initiatives.

When the National School Boards Association asked the Biden administration for some form of assistance as a result of increasingly dangerous incidents of unrest at school board meetings, the Florida lawmaker quickly fired back with a flurry of false claims, according to Politifact.

Scott tweeted, "Joe Biden's attorney general wants the [Federal Bureau of Investigation] to go after parents for speaking out at school board meetings to protect kids from radical curriculum like critical race theory. Biden's disgusting socialist agenda must end. We won't let him intimidate & silence parents."

However, Garland's memo did not align with Scott's claims. In the October 4 memo, which was sent to the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division and U.S. attorneys nationwide, Garland addressed the situation.

"In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation's public schools," Garland wrote. "While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views."

Garland also advised the FBI to begin holding meetings in states across the country. FBI agents were asked to meet with leaders in various levels of government to assess "strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and (to) open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response."

Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle also released a statement pushing back against Scott's statement. He confirmed that "nothing in Garland's memo amounted to an 'effort to silence those with particular views about COVID-related policies, school curricula, or other topics of public discussion.'"

Hornbuckle also said, "The department's efforts are about rooting out criminal threats of violence, not about any particular ideology."

'Pure insanity': Analysis breaks down Trump and allies’ insidious effort to ​spin his voter fraud lies

A new Washington Post analysis sheds light on the extent of former President Donald Trump's plot to convince the U.S Department of Justice to possibly overturn the 2020 election.

With the election uncertainties ahead for 2022 and 2024, some Republican lawmakers have backpedaled and changed their tune in favor of Trump and his voter fraud conspiracy theories. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is a prime example.

Speaking to Newsmax, the Iowa Republican lawmaker recalled former U.S. Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark's political agenda as he placed an emphasis on having state legislatures obtain new electors.

"That was the advice that one person in the Justice Department was suggesting — but just one person. And [Trump] rejected all that," Grassley said, adding, "And they're trying to make it a scenario [where] he was trying to get the Justice Department" to obtain different electors.

WaPo highlighted one other glaring issue: "the sheer desperation and ridiculousness of what undergirded this entire effort."

The U.S. Senate report released on Thursday, October 7 "showed this effort revolved around some of the most specious conspiracy theories at the Trump team's disposal — theories that in several cases had already been debunked and in every case didn't pass the smell test."

The report also highlighted the bizarre claims that were circulated by former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Many of Trump allies used claims like these to try and have the DOJ open a voter fraud investigation.

Here are some examples of the claims:

Despite Trump's efforts, former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and former U.S. prosecutor Richard Donoghue reportedly mocked the bizarre claims behind closed doors.

The report noted:

"When then-acting attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen shared the email from Meadows with Donoghue, Donoghue responded, 'Pure insanity.'

"About an hour later, Meadows shared previously debunked claims about "signature matching anomalies in Fulton county, Ga."

"'Can you believe this?' Rosen wrote to Donoghue.'"I am not going to respond to the message below.'"

"Donoghue responded: 'At least it's better than the last one, but that doesn't say much.'"

A 'dark prediction' for 2024: Bill Maher explains worst-case-scenario if Trump wins the next presidential election

Comedian and television host Bill Maher recently detailed a nightmare scenario of what the future could hold for the United States if former President Donald Trump were to be re-elected in 2024.

On Friday's episode of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," the primetime host used his New Rules segment to discuss the possibility of Trump winning the 2024 election.

"Don't make me be, and I told you so again. You know, I was a young man of fifty-nine when I started using the term slow-moving coup, and it pains me to have to report it still moving," Maher said as he noted aspects of the Eastman memo, "which was basically a blueprint prepared for Trump and how he could steal the election after he lost it in November 2020."

He went on to flip the script with an alternate version of what transpired on January 6, 2021. In Maher's depiction, Vice President Kamala Harris (D) would be the one tasked with affirming the Electoral College certification; a scenario of outrage that could easily lead to a chaotic inaugural ceremony.

"The Ding Dongs, who sacked the Capitol last year? That was like when Al Qaeda tried to take down the World Trade Center the first time with a van. It was a joke. But the next time they came back with planes," Maher said, adding "I hope I scared the shit out of you!"

Although Trump has not officially announced a 2024 presidential run, there are many subtle signs that have increased the chances of him doing so.

GOP doctor faces backlash for questionable advice on COVID-19 vaccines and immunity

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas.) may be a practicing physician, but some medical experts and doctors argue that his questionable advice on COVID-19 appears to be more politicized than backed by scientific facts.

According to The Associated Press, the Republican lawmaker has a history of making questionable statements about vaccines and immunity that do not align with any medical advice or guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Marshall has also been a very vocal critic of President Joe Biden's aggressive vaccine mandates to expedite getting individuals vaccinated. According to Marshall, Biden's initiative may infringe on Americans' civil liberties. During a recent interview, he also expressed concerns about the mandate having a potential impact on the United States' economy.

"Without even touching on the constitutionality of a federal mandate, I want people to realize the impact it's going to have on the economy," Marshall said during a recent interview.

To make matters worse, he, who happens to be COVID vaccinated, has also acknowledged "experimenting on himself with an unproven treatment for warding off the coronavirus."

Now, critics are expressing concern about the dangers of his words and advice.

Per The Associated Press:

"Critics say the lawmakers' statements are dangerous and unethical, and that Marshall's medical degree confers a perception of expertise that carries weight with constituents and other members of Congress."

Dr. Leanna Wen, an emergency physician and former Baltimore health Commissioner, recently pushed back against Marshall's claims as she highlighted the effectiveness of vaccine mandates.

"Vaccination is what we have because the price of getting immunity through natural infection is much too high," Wen said.

Arthur Caplan, the founder of New York University's medical ethics division who also heads a vaccination ethics program, also weighed in with his concerns about Marshall's remarks.

"He has an enormous role to play here because he's a doctor and a senator," said Caplan. "He bears a very powerful responsibility to get it right."

Dr. Beth Oller, a family physician practicing in northwest Kansas, offered a more blatant rebuke of Marshall saying, "He should just be ashamed of himself."

Trump's claims about vaccine hesitancy completely dismantled by CNN analyst

Former President Donald Trump thinks he understands the anti-vaccine community and recently shared why he believes so many people are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Thursday, October 7, Trump appeared on Fox News for an interview with host Sean Hannity. According to the former president, a sizable number of Americans are refusing to get vaccinated because they do not trust President Joe Biden or his administration.

"During my administration, everybody wanted the vaccine. There was nobody saying oh, gee, I don't want to take it," Trump said. "Now they say that. And that's because they don't trust the Biden administration. I can think of no other reason.

"But they say we don't want it, we aren't going to take it. When I was there, everybody wanted it and we were doing great. Well, the military did a fantastic job."

According to a Gallup polling recorded in September, "92% of Democrats had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while just 56% of Republicans had done the same."

Now, CNN political reporter Chris Cillizza is breaking down Trump's seemingly odd theory while pushing back with a different perspective.

"It couldn't be -- and stay with me here -- a persistent effort to undermine the very idea of truth over a four-year presidency, could it?" Cillizza asked. "Or a president who consistently downplayed the threat posed by the virus, mocked the necessity of wearing a mask to mitigate the spread and sought to undermine experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci? And that, once this seed of denial of facts and expertise takes root, it grows in all sorts of malformed and malicious ways."

According to Cillizza, it appears to be a combination of all those things. He also emphasized the vaccine development timeline and the fact that it was developed during Trump's presidency; not Biden's.

He concluded, "It's either all of that or it's Republicans not trusting Biden even though the vaccine was developed under a plan put in place by Trump."

Missouri newspaper torches Josh Hawley for defending angry mobs amid school threats

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board is torching Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for defending angry mobs of parents storming school board meetings across the country in the name of "freedom."

In areas all across the country, anti-mask and anti-vax parents have attempted to hijack efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Per the Post-Dispatch:

"The most common culprits are parents who have disrupted school board meetings around the country, shouting down, threatening and in some cases assaulting board members over mask mandates. It has become so common that the National School Boards Association last month asked President Joe Biden for federal help, writing that 'America's public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat.'"

Despite the dangers these parents' actions pose, Missouri leaders have defended them. The Post Dispatch laid out the problem with their actions as it criticized their stance. In short, justifying angry parents' actions only fuels them to do more harm than good.

"It would be one thing if Hawley, Schmitt and the rest were merely opposing federal involvement in local criminal matters — a legitimately debatable aspect of Garland's memo," the editorial board writes. "But the pushback from them and other Republicans goes way beyond that, holding up these misbehaving parents as heroes of advocacy and victims of intimidation instead of the purveyors of it."

The editorial board also highlighted the distortions plaguing today's society where freedom of speech is concerned.

"What is happening in society today when people interpret their constitutional right to free speech as a right to disrupt public meetings, hurl insults and threats at officials in public forums and even physically assault those officials? The Constitution protects the right of the people "peaceably to assemble," the editorial board writes. "The fury that so defines today's political landscape has been aimed at public servants by citizens who seem to have forgotten the word peaceably."

'Wait until he hears about Florida': Trump slammed after racist rant

Former President Donald Trump found himself at the center of a brutal Twitter storm after his offensive remarks about Haitian migrants.

Trump slammed after racist rant about Haitian migrants

On Thursday, October 7, Trump appeared on Fox News with primetime host Sean Hannity where he suggested Haitian asylum seekers "probably have AIDS."

During their discussion about immigration Hannity insisted he supports "legal immigration" but also pondered the idea of incorporating a "'security check to make sure you don't have radical associations,' a COVID-19 test and proof that you 'won't be a financial burden on the American people,'" HuffPost reports.

Trump insisted that he agreed with Hannity before mentioning "one other thing that nobody talks about."

"So, we have hundreds of thousands of people flowing in from Haiti. Haiti has a tremendous AIDS problem. AIDS is a step beyond. AIDS is a real bad problem," Trump ranted. "Many of those people will probably have AIDS and they're coming into our country. And we don't do anything about it. We let everybody come in."

He added, "It's like a death wish for our country."

The offensive remarks were not missed by Twitter users and, subsequently, prompted a flurry of critical comments chastising the former president. Many noted that Trump's information appears to be outdated as he referred to Haiti as if the country is still in the 1980s.

"Did I trip and fall back to the 1980's? Has Trump learned anything in the last four decades? The answer, of course, is no to both of these questions," one Twitter user wrote.

Some users even highlighted the fact that the United States' epicenter for HIV/AIDS is actually right in Trump's backyard.

Another user wrote, "Looking forward to a day where neither of these men have a platform and I never have to hear their voices again. Dreams."

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