+
Democracy

Donald Trump pushed back against Candace Owens' anti-vaxxer claims. It may save lives.

candace owens, donald trump, anti-vaxxer

Candace Owens interviews Donald Trump.

Former President Donald Trump made a strong statement about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday in an interview with conservative firebrand Candace Owens. His full-throated endorsement of their effectiveness could inspire his supporters—who are among the least likely to get vaccinated—to get the jab and help stop the virus’ spread.

Owens has a long history of spreading deadly misinformation about vaccines. In the interview, she attempted to lead Trump into a discussion on their ineffectiveness, repeating the false claim that more people have died of COVID-19 during the Biden administration than during Trump’s.

In reality, the numbers show that more people died of COVID-19 under Trump’s watch (424,401 to 379,192) and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, MD, unvaccinated people are 14 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than the unvaccinated.

One can imagine how high the death toll would have been without lifesaving vaccines.


Trump:I came up with three vaccines—all are very, very good. I came up with three of them in less than nine months. ....

Owens: And yet more people have died under COVID this year, by the way, under Joe Biden than under you. And more people took the vaccine this year, so people are questioning how—

Trump:Oh, no. The vaccine worked. But some people aren't taking it. The ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don't take the vaccine.

But it’s still their choice, and if you take the vaccine, you're protected. Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it's a very minor form. People aren't dying when they take the vaccine.

Trump was far from honest in saying that he “came up with three vaccines,” but he was right in touting their effectiveness. Trump has a very big influence over American conservatives, who are one of the largest contingents of unvaccinated people. By talking positively about vaccines, he may cause some to change their minds and get the lifesaving jab.

Trump’s pushback against Owens comes three days after he was booed in front of an audience in Dallas with Bill O'Reilly for saying he recently received his COVID-19 booster shot.

When Trump was president he downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating the perception that it wasn’t a serious problem. He’s also been criticized for not promoting vaccines as much as he should.

However, Trump’s recent high-profile endorsement of vaccines is important because the areas where his supporters live have been hit much harder by the virus than in places that supported Democrat Joe Biden for president.

According to NPR, since the vaccines became available:

“People living in counties that went 60% or higher for Trump in November 2020 had 2.73 times the death rates of those that went for Biden,” the report states. “Counties with an even higher share of the vote for Trump saw higher COVID-19 mortality rates.”

A major reason for the lack of vaccination among Republicans is misinformation. According to NPR, more than 90% of Republicans surveyed believe or are unsure about at least one false statement about COVID-19.

Trump played down the deadly virus while in the White House, leading to countless deaths. Now, in his post-presidency, he has the opportunity to right that wrong by continuing to be a vocal supporter of COVID-19 vaccinations. On Wednesday, the Biden administration acknowledged the important role that Trump can play in the nation’s COVID-19 health initiatives, saying he sent an "important signal to many Americans about the importance of getting boosted.”

Let’s hope his supporters listen.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less

Surrendered mama dog reunited with puppies after she refused to leave the corner.

People surrender animals to Humane Societies for all kinds of reasons, but many do it because they don't feel like they can properly care for their animals anymore. It could be that they have to move to a home that doesn't allow pets or they lost a job, making caring for an animal difficult.

Two small dogs were surrendered to Marin Humane Society in Novato, California and the female had recently given birth to puppies. It's not clear if the previous owners felt like they couldn't care for both the older dogs and the puppies so they just kept the puppies, or if something else prompted the drop-off.

Either way, this mama dog was in distress after being left at the shelter without her babies. She refused to leave the corner of the large kennel and just looked so sad. The employees felt for the sweet mama dog and decided to do some detective work to see if they could figure out where the puppies were located.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less