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Rep. Gabbard slams younger members of Congress for getting COVID-19 vaccine before the elderly

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Congresswoman and former Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) criticized her young congressional colleagues on Monday for taking the COVID-19 vaccine before the elderly as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for not making seniors a priority.

Notably, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who is 31 years old, recorded herself Friday receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and posted it to her Instagram account.

Members of Congress have been taking the vaccine as part of the “continuity of governance” plan, which propels them to the front of the line ahead of at-risk seniors and other frontline workers.

“Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans don’t count,” Gabbard said in a morning tweet.

“They’re recommending 100 million ‘essential workers’ (i.e. healthy people working at liquor stores or phone companies) can get the vaccine before our grandparents,” she continued, also saying in the attached video that the CDC “for months” has “been telling us that the elderly are the most vulnerable.”

Gabbard at one point in the minute-long video brought up her aunt, saying, “That members of Congress, like me, we can get the vaccine before at-risk seniors can, people like my aunt who is imprisoned in her own home because of the danger that if she catches the disease, she could die.”

“This is immoral and bad health policy,” the 39-year-old congresswoman wrote below the video. “I had planned to get the vaccine but will now stand in solidarity with our seniors by not doing so until THEY can. I urge my colleagues who are under 65 and healthy to join me.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday rubber-stamped Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine about a week after okaying Pfizer’s, which has been overwhelmingly seen as a boon for the U.S. in its effort to immunize the country from the deadly virus.

There have been concerns that many elderly Americans who need vaccine doses are not getting them, with doses in the country still in limited supply.

On top of that, many Americans have expressed wariness toward taking the vaccines due to how fast the vaccines were developed, to some reports of allergic reactions to those who took the Pfizer one, as well as to some misinformation about the vaccines that have been circling around.

Public officials have received the vaccine publicly in an effort to ease concerns.

Vice President Mike Pence already took the vaccine on Friday, with President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden receiving the vaccine on Monday. On Friday, too, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) got the vaccine.

President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has been on the sidelines about himself receiving the vaccine. Earlier this month, Trump tweeted that he was “not scheduled” to take the vaccine, but looked “forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1338325735778476035

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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