House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) unveiled his picks for the new select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday: Republicans who have been spreading dangerous misinformation about COVID-19, compared the port of face masks to the Holocaust and suggested that the omicron variant of the deadly virus was a Democratic hoax.
“The 118e Congress marks a new beginning for this institution,” McCarthy said in a statement announcing his picks for this subcommittee. “The Republicans’ program for government will be based on transparency, accountability and solutions.”
He’s not wrong to say it’s a fresh start: It’s a fresh infusion of crazies at the top of the House panel overseeing the government’s response to the COVID pandemic. The subcommittee was always intended to be more reality TV than legitimate policymaking; McCarthy handed out numerous high-level committee seats to extremists to secure their votes for his presidency. But in this case, his dates are just laughable.
Greene was suspended in July 2021 when she claimed that COVID-19 was not dangerous unless you were obese or over 65. She was suspended again a month later, when she falsely posted that COVID vaccines were “failing.” She was permanently banned in January 2022 after falsely tweeting about “extremely high amounts of Covid vaccine deaths”. (Twitter reinstated his account in November 2022 after Elon Musk took over the site.)
Greene also likened the requirement to wear a mask on the floor of the house to the Holocaust.
“You know, we can look back to a time in history when people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they been put on trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” she said in May 2021. “And that’s exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
Georgia Brandon’s comments came at a time during the pandemic when more than 100 House Republicans declined to say whether they were vaccinated, prompting then-Speaker Pelosi to maintain a term of office. mask in place for the House floor.
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a former physician to Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, was also selected for the House coronavirus panel. In November 2021, he claimed the omicron variant of COVID was a Democratic hoax to justify new mail-in voting rules — a version of a right-wing conspiracy theory that President Joe Biden and public health officials were acting entirely on COVID to boost the Democrats’ election prospects.
“Here comes the MEV – the midterm election variant! They NEED a reason to push the unsolicited national mail-in ballots,” Jackson tweeted, referring to omicron. “The Democrats will do anything to cheat in an election – but we’re not going to let them!”
In July 2020, in the early and deadliest time of the pandemic, Jackson called for mask-wearing “a personal choice”. His comments at the time not only contradicted universal advice from public health experts, but even undermined another Texas Republican, Gov. Greg Abbott, who had mandated that most state residents wear a mask.
A staunch ally of Trump, Jackson tweeted tuesday that he can’t wait to get to work on the new subcommittee, where “Every LIE that was used to LOCK YOU OUT will be unearthed.”
McCarthy’s other GOP picks for the COVID subcommittee include Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa), who spread false information about the CDC planning to mandate COVID vaccines for children and about children who are not affected by COVID; Representative Michael Cloud (Texas), who in March 2020 voted against the Families First COVID Response Act, which provided emergency funding for free COVID testing and paid time off for workers affected by the pandemic; Representative John Joyce (Pennsylvania), who filed an invoice prevent the government from issuing standardized COVID vaccine status cards; and Rep. Rich McCormick (Ga.), an emergency physician who spread false information on masks and COVID vaccines.
The good news about the new subcommittee, in terms of the credibility of all GOP members, is that only some of them voted to reject the 2020 presidential election results based on the same lie that has fueled a coup attempt on Capitol Hill on January 21. 6, 2021.
Of the nine Republicans selected for this panel, six attempted to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power that day: the Representatives. Nicole Malliotakis (NY), Debbie Lesko (Arizona), Cloud, Joyce, Greene and Jackson.
The other three GOP members of the committee are Miller-Meeks, McCormick and Chairman Brad Wenstrup (Ohio).
The Huffington Gt