On Fox News, Pete Buttigieg posed the 'Mike Pence question' so many of us have wondered about

Ever since Donald J. Trump won the Republican primary in 2016, I've had so many questions. Four years later, most of them still remain unanswered.

For example how does a man who has had so many failed businesses convince people he's a great businessman? How does a man who was fined $2 million for using misusing charitable donations for his own political gain convince people he's charitable? How does a man who paid a $25 million settlement to students he defrauded with his fake "university" convince people he'll be trustworthy with the highest office in the land? How does a man who the entire country heard say he "tried to f*ck" a married woman and grabs women "by the p*ssy" get any women to vote for him? How could a man who cheated on all three of his wives, paid hush money to a porn star, spends his Sunday mornings golfing instead of going to church, and dodges questions about the Bible gain the adoration of evangelical Christians?

It's that last question that has perhaps been the most baffling one to me. Especially considering the super devout Christian beliefs of his vice president and running mate, Mike Pence. Like, how does that even work?


Last night, former Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg, who has become a strong surrogate for the Biden-Harris campaign, actually went there on Fox News. When asked why Kamala Harris seems to have some different stances on certain issues now than she did in the primary, Buttigieg pointed out the "classic parlor game of trying to find a little bit of daylight between running mates." He said if they wanted to do that, they could—then he flipped the script and laid down the big question of why Pence, as an evangelical Christian, would want to be on a ticket with a man who was caught with a porn star.

Yep, he did.

Even the Fox News anchors seemed a bit stunned for a second. Weren't expecting that, were we?

Now, some may say—and rightly so—that it's no one's business what a man does in private, but that doesn't exactly jibe with famously anti-LBGTQ+ Mike Pence's ultra-conservative views on what other people do in the privacy of their bedrooms. And we still don't have an answer as to how Pence looks at himself in the mirror in the morning before going to work for a man who embodies everything Christ taught against.

I mean, it's not like Pence has distanced himself from Trump at all. Every time he opens his mouth, the first words that pop out are some kind of gushing praise for the president. Seeing people's positive qualities is one thing, but this is something else entirely. There are entire videos made about Pence's historically sycophantic butt-kissing, and it's the first thing that stands out the most to me when I see him walk up to a podium and start speaking. It's genuinely weird and creepy under any circumstances, but considering the gaping canyon between what Mike Pence purports to be about and what Donald Trump actually is, it's mind-boggling.

Seriously. It hurts the brain to try to make sense of it. Part of me wishes Kamala Harris had asked him that question last night, but she'd probably get called trashy for it.

Buttigieg is on a roll with his Fox News appearances, calmly and eloquently smashing through the network's standard pro-Trump tropes and laying out the facts matter-of-factly.

The guy really is good at getting to the heart of the matter. Here he is sharing his thoughts on the president backing out of next week's debate because he doesn't want to do it virtually (despite the fact that tens of millions of us are working and learning and communicating with loved ones virtually—and the vast majority of us aren't actively infected with COVID).

So many questions about this president and those who continue clinging to his sinking ship remain unanswered. All I can come up with is that partisanship combined with a cult of personality makes one hell of a cocktail.

When the "Me Too" movement exploded a few years ago, the ubiquitousness of women's sexual harassment and assault experiences became painfully clear. What hasn't always been as clear is role that less overt, more subtle creepiness plays in making women feel uncomfortable or unsafe as they move through the world, often starting from a young age.

Thankfully—and unfortunately—a viral video from a teen TikToker illustrates exactly what that looks like in real-time when a man came and sat down with her while she was doing a live video. He asked if the chair at her table was taken, and she said no, thinking he wanted to take it to another table. Instead, he sat down and started talking to her. You can see in her face and in her responses that she's weirded out, though she's trying not to appear rude or paranoid.

The teen said in a separate TikTok video that the man appeared to be in his 30s. Definitely too old to be pulling up a chair with someone so young who is sitting by herself, and definitely old enough to recognize that she was uncomfortable with the situation.

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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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