Here's who Trump should've pardoned instead of a bully who mocked the Parkland victims.

Out of all the people Trump could pardon, Dinesh D'Souza is a terrible choice.

The conservative writer has become a pariah across the political spectrum. To many he is best known for a series of incredibly offensive tweets in the aftermath of the Parkland school shootings.

In the wake of those comments, even the highly partisan Conservative Political Action Committee dropped him from their roster of speakers, calling his actions "indefensible."


Once seen as a promising young intellectual, D'Souza has become a lightning rod for controversy over the years. For instance, he wrote and narrated documentaries on President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that critics said were loaded with conspiracy theories and light on facts.

He also pleaded guilty to making illegal financial contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign in 2012, the crime for which Trump has now officially pardoned him.

The announcement was met with near-universal scorn from both sides of the political aisle and members of the media.

The announcement comes one day after a White House visit on prison reform.

There was no shortage of jokes about Kim Kardashian West's visit to the White House on May 30. But she was there to discuss the very legitimate issue of prison reform, a subject that has surprisingly gained bipartisan support in recent years. Just this May, the Republican-led Congress passed a prison reform bill that is now in front of the U.S. Senate.

If Trump had wanted to make a big splash, he could have announced a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, who was reportedly a central focus on Kardashian West's pitch to the president. Johnson is a 63-year-old grandmother currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a non-violent drug offense.

As one of Johnson's lawyers, Brittany Barnett, said, "The message to the president is that Alice Johnson, the 21 years she has been in prison, represents a punishment that more than pays her debt to society and that to keep her prison the rest of her life is morally and economically unjustifiable."

Trump himself has signaled support for prison reform, saying that the newest bill should "restore the rule of law, keep dangerous criminals off our street, and help inmates get a second chance on life."

And a great way for him to put meaning behind such statements would be to pardon people like Johnson.

The presidential pardon is a powerful tool. Now is a great time to use it for real justice.

It's not unusual for presidents to be criticized for their presidential pardons: Nearly every president in modern history has been dinged for their sometimes questionable choices in the administration of selective mercy.

With the growing pressure to do something about prison reform, Trump could make a bold, bipartisan statement by pardoning incarcerated individuals like Johnson, who have faced punishments that greatly exceed their crimes.

It's hard to not be outraged by D'Souza's pardon.

But as long as Trump's feeling generous, perhaps enough political pressure could result in acts of mercy we can all feel good about.

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As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

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The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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