Many extremist groups have seized on the COVID-19 pandemic to gain favor among their followers, but also to peddle hate. The Nation of Islam (NOI) is no exception to that trend and as the world begins the distribution of a vaccine, their misinformation campaigns have kicked into full gear.
Recently, senior NOI official Ishmael Muhammad told followers that the flu shot given to Jews was less harmful than the version given to non-Jews, when speaking on December 6, according to video footage obtained by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“We have to be careful of what injections we allow ourselves to take,” Muhammad said. “The minister said to us did you know that there are different flu vaccine shots? According to one of our researchers, he went to the doctor, and she recommended a flu shot; and he refused, saying that he didn’t want a flu shot due to the excessive mercury and other additives used as preservatives. And she told him: ‘Oh! We have a flu shot that is a non-preservative, that does not have any additives that we give to Jewish people.’
He added, “Why do you put additives in one and remove it from another except that there is something in that additive that you want to infect the population with, that over time will manifest in ailments, sickness, disease, and a compromised immune system?”
Then, on December 20, Muhammad told NOI followers that there’s a plot to kill Black people through the distribution of vaccines and referred to Jews as “the synagogue of satan,” per MEMRI.
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Rep. Patrick McHenry Announces Retirement, Adding to Congressional Exodus
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has declared that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest in a growing list of lawmakers departing from Congress. McHenry, a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, stated that he believes “there is a season for everything,” signaling the end of his tenure in the House. Having served since 2005, McHenry is the 37th member of Congress to announce they won’t seek re-election in 2024.
In a statement, McHenry reflected on the significance of the House of Representatives in the American political landscape, calling it the “center of our American republic.” He acknowledged the concerns about the future of the institution due to multiple departures but expressed confidence that new leaders would emerge and guide the House through its next phase.
The departure of McHenry and others comes against the backdrop of political shifts and challenges within the Republican Party. The GOP has faced setbacks in recent elections, including fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Internal strife and disagreements, exemplified by the rebellion against McCarthy, have characterized the party’s dynamics. The GOP’s approval rating stands at 30%, with a disapproval rating of 66%, reflecting the challenges and divisions within the party.
As McHenry steps aside, questions loom over the fate of open seats in the upcoming election. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report identifies five open House seats as potential Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP. The departures raise concerns about the party’s unity and ability to navigate the evolving political landscape.
With a total of 20 departing Democratic legislators and 10 Republicans, the changing composition of Congress adds complexity to the political dynamics leading up to the 2024 elections. As McHenry emphasizes a hopeful view of the House’s future, the evolving political landscape will determine the impact of these departures on the balance of power in Congress.
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