Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene—whose high school graduating class named her most likely to embarrass herself in front of the outgoing director of the Centers for Disease Control and/or lose her life savings to a tic-tac-toe-playing chicken in an Arby’s parking lot—is at it again.
During a House Oversight Committee hearing featuring CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who’s stepping down at the end of June, the inimitable Flaxen Klaxon said the quiet part out loud. Or maybe she was saying the loud part even louder. Yeah, that’s it. She ratcheted her customary bellow up from “ear bleed” to “brain hemorrhage,” stopping just shy of “eyeballs boiling out of your beta cuck skull,” and proudly declared, “I don’t want my staff educated!” Or anyone else, for that matter.
The refreshingly frank declaration came during a harangue session in which MTG attempted to scold Dr. Walensky over her agency’s COVID-19 vaccine advocacy. Because millions of people like Greene have convinced themselves that the vaccines are really bad. Maybe not quite “grow a baby arm out of your forehead” bad, but pretty darn bad.
RELATED STORY: Georgia Republican Party platform opposes vaccines and reality
GREENE: [Spouts lots of nonsense about the VAERS reporting system, which includes unverified and unvetted reports about vaccine injuries; follows that up with lots of nonsense about the profits pharmaceutical companies made from the lifesaving vaccines they developed; then garnishes the poo poo platter with a soupçon of gratuitous trans hate.] “My question for you today, Dr. Walensky, is now that you’re going to be leaving the CDC pretty soon, what job are you going to take? Are you going to be on the board of either Pfizer or Moderna, because you’ve done one hell of a job in making sure that they’ve made a lot of money.”
WALENSKY: “Thank you for that question. Maybe first I will comment that the CDC is not responsible for the purchase of the vaccines, so I can’t speak to all of the economics that you spoke to. I do want to talk a minute about the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. So that system is intended for any person who has gotten a vaccine, if they’ve had an untoward event after that vaccine, whether or not it’s related to the vaccine they report. It is intended to have an overreporting. … Most of the vaccines that were being given—remember, we gave 676 million doses of the vaccine—any adverse event, if you got hit by a truck after you got your vaccine, that was reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. We at CDC have a responsibility to comb through every single one of them to review the medical charts and to see if they are related. It is the case that [crosstalk] ...”
GREENE: “Ms. Walensky, I’ll reclaim my time. You did nothing about that and continue to push vaccines. That’s what the American people care about.”
WALENSKY: “We review all of the things that come in to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. I’d be happy to have our staff educate your staff ...”
GREENE: [Shouting] “I don’t want my staff educated! You should educate the American people about what you’ve done of 1.5 million reports, because they feel like you’ve done nothing and continue to say ‘safe and effective.’”
WALENSKY: “Maybe I will just close by saying I don’t have plans after I step down. Thank you.”
Wait, that exchange at the very end feels really familiar. Oh, right. It’s eerily like Toby Flenderson’s exit interview from “The Office”:
First of all, all the brainiacs who somehow believe the CDC is involved in a conspiracy to conceal COVID-19 vaccine injuries should ask themselves why the agency publishes the VAERS data to begin with. These are the worst conspiracists in the world, apparently. I can think of only one other individual who so openly publicizes his Machiavellian plots, and he’s currently the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
This may seem like an odd thing to say in an MTG-focused story, but this is a great opportunity to educate ourselves—if not Greene’s long-beleaguered staff—about vaccines and vaccine injuries.
So, for the millionth time: Yes, they are safe and effective.
From a January 2022 USA Today fact check:
Public health agencies use VAERS as a national early warning system to detect potential safety problems with approved vaccines. Anyone – from doctors and nurses to parents and patients – can submit a report of an adverse event following vaccination to the database.
VAERS reports are unverified, and the CDC says on its website that the database "is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event." If public health officials detect a reporting pattern, they conduct follow-up studies to determine whether a vaccine was to blame.
"I can get a COVID vaccine and my dog gets hit by a car – I can make that report and it will show up in the database," [Daniel] Salmon, [director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University], said. "It does not mean that my getting a COVID vaccine caused my dog to get hit by a car."
*Cut to Marjorie Taylor Greene dimly wondering how many dogs have been hit by cars thanks to the CDC’s reckless vaccine advocacy.*
Meanwhile, Americans who have decided not to get the vaccine have contributed to a serious public health problem that continues to reap a grim harvest. While vaccine side effects are real and, in rare cases, serious, you’re still far more likely to be killed or injured by COVID-19.
The Washington Post:
Paul Offit has been battling the anti-vaccine movement for more than 20 years as a physician and head of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He told me he originally thought the anti-vaccine movement would die down with Covid because the disease was so dangerous and the vaccines so good. “I thought this would really push the anti-vaccine movement to the sideline,” he said. “Quite the opposite — this was their fuel.”
What he didn’t anticipate, he said, was that people would be motivated by politics — by the sentiment that the government shouldn’t tell them what to do. In the past, anti-vaxxers were made up of a combination of those on the political right and the left, especially those who were opposed to anything they saw as artificial or genetically modified.
That’s changed. While there are some on the left who are skeptical of the Covid vaccines, Republicans are much significantly less likely to have gotten the shot than Democrats. The counties that voted for Joe Biden in 2020 have higher vaccination rates than those that voted for Donald Trump. The Republican tendency toward vaccine-hesitancy is backed by data showing excess deaths were more than twice as high among Republicans than Democrats in Florida and Ohio after vaccines were made available.
Of course, we need to be ever-vigilant about the vaccines and medicines we take. That’s why the FDA is so circumspect when it comes to approving drugs, and why approvals take so long. Which is why it was so alarming when Donald Trump really was endangering the health of Americans by pressuring the FDA to approve the vaccines early for transparently political reasons.
But the GOP wants you to forget about all that. The vaccines automatically became poison when President Joe Biden started saving Americans’ lives with them. And Republicans have been dutifully killing themselves off ever since. And not just to avoid the dulcet tones of Greene’s voice—though that’s surely one of death’s biggest perks.
Marjorie Taylor Greene says because she was born in 1974, she doesn't know history before 1974
Marjorie Taylor Greene’s rants are the gift that keeps on giving. The latest: ‘gazpacho police’
Changes in pandemic-era benefits mean new hardship for millions
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.