I agree with PolitiFact that the Lie of the Year is denial and deception about COVID-19. A runner-up must have been Trump's lie about the presidential election being fraudulent.
Which means the President of the United States is at the heart of two massive lies that have caused great harm to our country, leaving aside the many thousands of lies that Trump has spewed every day before and after his inauguration in 2017.
Here's an excerpt from PolitiFact's Lie of the Year story.
President Donald J. Trump fueled confusion and conspiracies from the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic. He embraced theories that COVID-19 accounted for only a small fraction of the thousands upon thousands of deaths. He undermined public health guidance for wearing masks and cast Dr. Anthony Fauci as an unreliable flip-flopper.
But the infodemic was not the work of a single person.
Anonymous bad actors offered up junk science. Online skeptics made bogus accusations that hospitals padded their coronavirus case numbers to generate bonus payments. Influential TV and radio opinion hosts told millions of viewers that social distancing was a joke and that states had all of the personal protective equipment they needed (when they didn’t).
It was a symphony of counter narrative, and Trump was the conductor, if not the composer. The message: The threat to your health was overhyped to hurt the political fortunes of the president.
With COVID-19 vaccinations starting, though it will take many months before everyone who wants to be immunized can get a shot, it's just as important now as it was in the earlier days of the pandemic to not spread lies and disinformation.
If you see someone doing this, do something about it. Don't share lies on social media. Correct people when you hear them saying stuff like "masks don't work," "there's no reason to close high-risk businesses," and "vaccines can give you Covid."
I'm surprised at how many people don't get the annual flu vaccine because they wrongly believe that it is harmful or can give someone the flu. Wrong and wrong. Immunizations of all sorts are safe and effective.
Sure, there can be side effects. My wife and I had reactions to the Shingrix vaccine that prevents shingles in us older people. I spent a difficult night shivering from chills. It wasn't pleasant, but it was a heck of a lot better than getting shingles.
Likewise, you might have some side effects from the Covid vaccines. Almost all side effects are mild. Serious allergic reactions will be rare. So jump at the chance to get immunized when your turn comes.
That's a no-brainer of a decision, given how many people suffer from lengthy "long haul" health problems produced by the coronavirus. Those problems can linger for many months, leaving sufferers without much energy, headaches, and various other nasty symptoms.
Lastly, today Politico reported this disturbing news.
A top Trump appointee repeatedly urged top health officials to adopt a "herd immunity" approach to Covid-19 and allow millions of Americans to be infected by the virus, according to internal emails obtained by a House watchdog and shared with POLITICO.
“There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD," then-science adviser Paul Alexander wrote on July 4 to his boss, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo, and six other senior officials.
"Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…" Alexander added.
Herd immunity is a lie about the coronavirus that also was spread by Scott Atlas. There's no evidence that any country has ever achieved herd immunity by letting the virus spread unchecked through the population. Vaccines are the only safe way to achieve herd immunity.
Sweden tried this to a certain extent. It was a failure.
So it's outrageous that some in the Trump administration tried to have more Covid cases in the United States. That's how we've ended up with 300,000 deaths and many more to come. Trump and his co-conspirators in public health incompetence have mismanaged our national response in astoundingly dangerous ways.
Thankfully, Joe Biden will take over as president on January 20 and begin moving this country in the correct direction to fight the pandemic.
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