Rep. Ronny Jackson
(R-Texas), the former White House
physician who has recently contracted a severe case of "whataboutism," deserves our thoughts and prayers.
Jackson, who previously worked as Donald Trump
's presidential physician, apparently didn't like reporters asking if he was vaccinated against the coronavirus
on Thursday morning, so he accused them of political bias.
The question arose because COVID-19
cases in the United States
have tripled in recent weeks as a result of the spread of the delta variant
, while a large percentage of the population remains stubbornly resistant to vaccination
despite an onslaught of misinformation
, some of it spread by former president's allies publicly supporting vaccine conspiracy theories
Jackson did not spout conspiracies.
Instead, he inquired as to why journalists
were focusing on him rather than other politicians
“I think you, as a press, have a responsibility to ask questions of the Democrats
as well,” Jackson complained, adding, “How many Democrats are willing to say whether or not they've been vaccinated?”
Ronny Jackson: I believe it is your responsibility as a journalist to question Democrats as well. How many Democrats are willing to say whether or not they have been vaccinated? pic.twitter.com/gkKzfmCgs8 — Acyn (@Acyn) July 22, 2021
The rookie lawmaker made a rookie mistake by asking a rhetorical question without knowing the answer.
fact-checker Daniel Dale pointed out, every Democrat in the House and Senate
told CNN back in May that they had been vaccinated, so there was no need to bring it up again.
Every Democrat in the House and Senate has told CNN that they have been vaccinated, and they all disclosed this by May. https://t.co/RM9ci4iMnshttps://t.co/GQWkdu4poS
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 22, 2021
Politicians from both parties spoke up.
Answer: ALL OF US. Every single Democrat in Congress
is vaccinated because we believe in science
, not tin hat conspiracy theories, and we care about our own and our loved ones' health. https://t.co/fHB4GTEbCR
— Chris Murphy
(@ChrisMurphyCT) July 22, 2021
vaccinated, as are all Democrats in the House! https://t.co/UzN6dGOzha
— Sara Jacobs (@SaraJacobsCA) July 22, 2021
Every Democrat would answer with a resounding YES, then show you their vaccination card. Why? Because we care about our citizens. We want all citizens to take this seriously. Continuing with this whataboutism & misinformation campaign against COVID is costing lives. https://t.co/Go4JZpgXZY
— Russell Foster for Texas (@RussellFosterTX) July 22, 2021
Some drew attention to Jackson's shady past.
Ronny Jackson, who lied about TFG's health and made false HIPPA claims to keep the information private, now wants reporters to ask health questions that Democratic
congressmen answered MONTHS AGO. https://t.co/QbDzEJtLuq
— Grant Stern is fully vaccinated (@grantstern) July 22, 2021
Jackson's "whataboutism" was diagnosed by others.
CNN reported *two months ago* that every House Democrat had been vaccinated after contacting their offices. One of the worst "whatabouts" I've ever seen here https://t.co/vN5JUGFohi https://t.co/WPJHOSQ3U0
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 22, 2021
as White House physician was not without controversy.
He became a target of mockery when, during a news conference
, he praised Trump's "incredibly good genes" and claimed to have told the president "that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old."
The Department of Defense inspector general issued a damning report in March, concluding that Jackson made “sexual and derogatory” remarks about a female subordinate, violated the policy against drinking alcohol on a presidential trip, and used prescription-strength sleeping medication, raising concerns among his colleagues about his ability to provide proper medical care.
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