The top U.S. military official makes loyalty clear: 'We do not take an oath to a king...'

With President Trump still refusing to concede the election to Joe Biden, despite his own administration's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency saying,"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history," and "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised," the U.S. finds itself in an embarrassingly awkward position. It was predictable, of course—Trump is incapable of admitting defeat, even when it's obvious—but the scenario we're in raises questions about how far he'd be willing to go to cling to power.

One of those questions is "What if Trump tries to use the military to help him stay in power?" That question seems to have been answered by General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a speech he gave at the opening of the US Army's museum. As the top ranking member of the military, Milley made it clear that the armed forces do not serve an individual, whether it be a king or a dictator. And though this may have been a run-of-the-mill reminder of where the military places its loyalty, his remarks feel almost as if they're directed at President Trump himself.


"We are unique among armies," Gen. Milley said. "We are unique among militaries. We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual."

"We do not take an oath to a country, a tribe, or a religion," he continued. "We take an oath to the Constitution. And every soldier that is represented in this museum—every sailor, every airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman—each of us will protect and defend that document regardless of personal price."

General Milley had recently expressed concern about the politicization of the military in the wake of President Trump complaining about leadership at the Pentagon and amid questions about the possibility of the president invoking the Insurrection Act in possible post-election unrest.

Milley had also distanced himself from Trump after the president's photo stunt at St. John's church during the country's widespread racial justice protests. Milley had accompanied the president on his walk to the church, which was preceded by the National Guard being deployed to forcibly clear a path for the president, resulting in peaceful protesters and members of the press being hurt—a move that Milley later called "a mistake."

"My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics," the general said in his National Defense University commencement ceremony remarks. "As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it."

Yes, being complicit in the U.S. government attacking its own citizens so that the president can get a photo of himself holding a bible in front of a church and create a North Korea-style propaganda video of the whole thing was definitely a mistake.


So yeah. It is good to hear the top military official in the country make it clear that our troops will not be used to satisfy the narcissistic whims of a wannabe autocrat who doesn't know how to lose with grace and dignity. Especially as that wannabe autocrat is taking sledgehammer to leadership at the Pentagon as we speak, and to what end, no one knows. Somebody has to be willing to be the grown-up who tells the child that they can't always get what they want. If the nation's top Army general couldn't or wouldn't do that, the U.S. would be in a world of trouble.

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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via The Walt Disney Company / Flickr

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Of course, there's a healthy way to approach such a potentially dangerous topic.

Telling your partner you find someone else attractive shouldn't be about making them feel jealous. It's probably also best that if you're attracted to a coworker, friend, or their sibling, that you keep it to yourself.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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