A dad explained Trump's words to his sons and made a powerful point about masculinity.

Derek Steele couldn't believe what he was hearing.

Rudy Giuliani was on CNN, trying to clean up Donald Trump's mess after a tape leaked of him making disgusting and violent comments about women.

Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images


"Men at times talk like that," Giuliani said. "This is talk, and gosh almighty, he who hasn't sinned, throw the first stone here," he added.

Steele, a Michigan dad of three, including two boys, knew he was witnessing a pivotal moment in political history.

He knew that one day his sons — now 4 and 7 years old — might come across these words on their own. If they ever did, he wanted them to understand a few things about what it means to be a man.

So he went on Facebook and wrote a letter to his sons, Ethan and Caleb, about Trump.

He figured they might be on Facebook themselves one day and would probably get a kick out of scrolling through their dad's old posts.

If and when that day comes, they'd also find this:

"Men at times talk like that." -Rudy Giuliani Caleb and Ethan:Fortunately right now you are too young to be exposed...

Posted by Derek Steele on Sunday, October 9, 2016

The letter reads (emphasis added):

"Men at times talk like that." — Rudy Giuliani

Caleb and Ethan:
Fortunately right now you are too young to be exposed to or interested in political discourse. And you are much too young to have Facebook accounts. But I imagine there will be a time in the not too distant future when you are on Facebook and we'll be friends. I also imagine that at some point after that whether out of boredom or interest you'll look back through your old man's posts for some funny stories and maybe some tidbits of wisdom — so I'll leave this right here for you.

Men do not, at times, talk like that. Sure some individuals with an X and Y chromosome like you may say something like that, but we do not call them Men. We call them perverts, abusers, or rapists — not Men. Real Men don't do that and wouldn't even think to say that.

You will hear a lot of people tell you what Men do or what it takes to 'be a Man'. The vast majority of it will be total garbage. If you want to be a Man, forget about machoism or sexual conquest. Being a Man is not about that. It's about protecting those around you who are weak or innocent — maybe a child being bullied or your own children. It's being awake at all hours of the night to warm a bottle, change a diaper, change the sheets on a wet bed or even worse. Men get puked on, pooped on, bled on and cried on. It's about being open with someone, vulnerable and accountable. It's admitting your mistakes and failures — in all its ugliness — and seeking forgiveness, over and over and over again. Real Men play dress up and enjoy tea parties and will make a complete fool out of themselves just to hear a child laugh. They cry, even weep, when the situation calls for it. They respect, honor and cherish women because all of them are human — created in the image of the Creator.

It's tough being a Man. Hardest work you'll ever do. So when someone tries to justify abhorrent words and behavior by sullying your good reputation as a Man — be angry and speak up. Don't let them define you down by their conduct. In short — be a Man.

Sincerely,
Your Dad











Steele is right about one thing: This whole "locker room talk" thing is way bigger than Trump.

The campaign's "locker room talk" excuse doesn't pass the sniff test. Dudes don't hang around talking about sexual assault. They just don't.

But Trump's words are likely a product of other harmful ideas about men that are, sadly, more widely held. That you can measure a man's worth by how many women he's slept with. That being a loving, caring parent is something only women do. That real men don't show their emotions.

We need more and more good men like Steele to speak up, so the next generation knows the most important part of being a man is being a good human.

Americans woke up this morning to the news that the FDA and the CDC have recommended a pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine out of "an abundance of caution" while they review 6 incidences of rare blood clotting issues out of the 6.8 million J & J vaccines administered in the U.S.

Let's be super clear about the numbers here. Six out of 6.8 million. That means, of the people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since its February 27th emergency use authorization, 0.000088% of recipients have reported encountering this rare blood clotting issue. Literally less than one in a million.

On the flip side, some people are trying to compare these rare clots with the increased risk of blood clots in pregnancy and for those taking birth control pills, but this particular combination of clots and low platelets can't be treated the way clots normally are treated, which the CDC and FDA say is part of the reason for the pause—to alert doctors to treat any of these rare issues properly.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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