My last post discussed the political motivations behind the CDC’s new guidelines, and how frustrating that is at a time when, more than ever, science should be driving our actions. It’s even more disheartening when I have literally spent the pandemic talking about how much we need to work collectively not only for ourselves but for the immunocompromised and vulnerable, how sequestering them is not the answer…and the CDC then says “well, it’s an inconvenience and a shame for everyone to wear masks, so I guess the vulnerable can just stay home more.”
*Sigh* But that was the previous post. I put that one out first to also prove that I can criticize those whose side I’m usually on - Biden and the CDC. Still, the other political party’s leadership has been more often seen in the pro-virus camp over the last two years, following Donald Trump’s terrible example in the name of “fReEdOm.” Let’s highlight some hypocrisy.
So...Mehmet Oz is hitting the campaign trail hard. He has never lived in Pennsylvania prior to last year, but he took a residence there in order to run for Senate and is trying to mislead the American people from Congress instead of daytime TV. He is paying a great deal of money (which he’s made from selling products with little to no evidence to back claims about what they do) to advertise and prey on pandemic resentment, specifically towards masks and Dr. Fauci. Now, Dr. Fauci has not been perfect, but he remains driven by evidence and evolving understanding of science, which is more than Mehmet has been able to say for years.
Oz is not even clever - he tried to make an anti-mask post with the question “who wears anything for 8 hours at a time?”, forgetting 1) He was a CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON (a subspecialty known for long surgeries) before he started peddling crap, and 2) he himself had endorsed masks early on in the pandemic as a measure to protect others, and the evidence only increased in support of that. Just the other day he posed with a cheeseburger to try to make himself look like a man of the people. I'm pretty sure he didn't actually take a bite of it.
Finally, on the heels of an announcement that further research had confirmed that COVID most likely did, in fact, originate from animal markets in China, rather than "escape from a lab", Mehmet went full pandemic racist in his Tweet, blaming China for COVID (in case I need to make this clear, "China" did not give us COVID. Animal reservoirs don't care about national lines. COVID or a similar virus could have just as easily come from animals in any other country. Remember, the 1918 flu pandemic most likely started in Kansas). John Fetterman is not a perfect political candidate, but he's not an openly racist snake oil salesman. Mehmet Oz has mastered the art of telling people what they want to hear while working to undermine their health and safety for profit.
Meanwhile, in the southwest, Greg Abbott is trying to tear families apart. He once again proves that, despite so-called “Christians” claiming him as some bastion of their AmeriJesus religion, he has no idea what the Bible or Jesus taught. Following up on SB8, which enlisted people to bounty-hunt anyone involved with abortion and reproductive healthcare (already evil and incorrect ideology), he is elevating a new formal legal opinion by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that defines evidence-based and appropriate support to transgender children...as child abuse.
Just as I discussed with SB8, this completely undermines any claim the GOP makes to “supporting freedom.” It also goes against science.
SUPPORTING TRANSGENDER CHILDREN IS NOT CHILD ABUSE. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatry Association, and the American Psychological Association all affirm that being transgender is NOT a psychiatric illness, but the trauma and mental harm that can occur without proper medical care, support, and guidance to help them be their true selves IS real. Investigating supportive parents for child abuse is a surefire way to add to that trauma. In fact, gender-affirming treatments actually IMPROVE the mental health of people undergoing them, according to more recent research.
So if you live in Texas and know someone who is transgender or who parents a child who is transgender…to the authorities, no you don’t.
If you are parent to a transgender child, I recently learned of making a "safe folder" containing your child's medical and legal records (vaccinations, court documents/passports, proof of their legal name if it's been changed), along with letters of support/testimonials to your good parenting from trusted neighbors, your child's principal or clergy or other important figures, and photos (or child-drawn pictures) of your child's transition, and any of your kids' accomplishments, because if CPS is called solely because you are a loving parent, you'll need evidence to back that up, unfortunately (this from a terrific yet heartbreaking thread by Texas parent and city council candidate Amber Briggle).
Finally, because he just can’t resist showing his ass, too, Ron DeSantis was seen the other day gaslighting teenagers for trying to protect themselves. He gears up to speak at University of South Florida and is seen bullying the kids standing behind him to remove their masks so there are no masks in his photo op. Again, Ron DeSantis does not care about your children or your freedom (part of a pattern with him, as we have discussed in previous posts), only in using them as ploys to trick people into keeping him popular.
I don’t enjoy talking about terrible Republicans. However, these three are currently among the most outspoken critics of, and in position to halt, any public health measures against COVID-19. People like to cite them as examples of politicians who care about truth and freedom, but Oz is literally building a political campaign on profits he gained by lying to Americans, while the governors of Texas and Florida are ACTUALLY restricting freedom and enforcing control over people’s bodies and autonomy, in addition to undermining public health at every turn.
I criticize Democrat politicians when it’s deserved, as I did in my last post, but as I have stated before, one political party’s leadership has been decidedly more pro-virus and anti-public health than the other over the past two years.
These are who actually lead the politicization of the pandemic and who actually want to impinge on your freedom by extending it. Ignore them and vote them out, and listen to real scientists and public health advocates. As always, I welcome your questions.
City Council Candidate Briggle on Safe Folders: https://twitter.com/mrsbriggle/status/1496584638051016712?s=21
Gender-Affirming Care is Helpful in Mental Health Outcomes: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32368216/
DeSantis Bullying Children: