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  1. #1
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    Alt-Right Attacks Dr. Fauci

    Medical Expert Who Corrects Trump Is Now a Target of the Far Right


    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s most outspoken advocate of emergency virus measures, faces a torrent of false claims that he is mobilizing to undermine the president.


    Dr. Anthony S. Fauci after President Trump referred to the “Deep State Department” at a briefing on March 20.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times
    By Davey Alba and Sheera Frenkel

    • March 28

    • At a White House briefing on the coronavirus on March 20, President Trump called the State Department the “Deep State Department.” Behind him, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, dropped his head and rubbed his forehead.


    Some thought Dr. Fauci was slighting the president, leading to a vitriolic online reaction. On Twitter and Facebook, a post that falsely claimed he was part of a secret cabal who opposed Mr. Trump was soon shared thousands of times, reaching roughly 1.5 million people.

    A week later, Dr. Fauci — the administration’s most outspoken advocate of emergency measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak — has become the target of an online conspiracy theory that he is mobilizing to undermine the president.

    That fanciful claim has spread across social media, fanned by a right-wing chorus of Mr. Trump’s supporters, even as Dr. Fauci has won a public following for his willingness to contradict the president and correct falsehoods and overly rosy pronouncements about containing the virus.

    An analysis by The New York Times found over 70 accounts on Twitter that have promoted the hashtag #FauciFraud, with some tweeting as frequently as 795 times a day. The anti-Fauci sentiment is being reinforced by posts from Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, a conservative group; Bill Mitchell, host of the far-right online talk show “YourVoice America”; and other outspoken Trump supporters such as Shiva Ayyadurai, who has falsely claimed to be the inventor of email.

    Many of the anti-Fauci posts, some of which pointed to a seven-year-old email that Dr. Fauci had sent praising Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of State, have been retweeted thousands of times. On YouTube, conspiracy-theory videos about Dr. Fauci have racked up hundreds of thousands of views in the past week. In private Facebook groups, posts disparaging him have also been shared hundreds of times and liked by thousands of people, according to the Times analysis.

    One anti-Fauci tweet on Tuesday said, “Sorry liberals but we don’t trust Dr. Anthony Fauci.”

    The torrent of falsehoods aimed at discrediting Dr. Fauci is another example of the hyperpartisan information flow that has driven a wedge into the way Americans think. For the past few years, far-right supporters of President Trump have regularly vilified those whom they see as opposing him. Even so, the campaign against Dr. Fauci stands out because he is one of the world’s leading infectious disease experts and a member of Mr. Trump’s virus task force, and it is unfolding as the government battles a pathogen that is rapidly spreading in the United States.

    It is the latest twist in the ebb and flow of right-wing punditry that for weeks echoed Mr. Trump in minimizing the threat posed by the coronavirus and arguably undercut efforts to alert the public of its dangers. When the president took a more assertive posture against the outbreak, conservative outlets shifted, too — but now accuse Democrats and journalists of trying to use the pandemic to damage Mr. Trump politically.


    Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has advised every president since Ronald Reagan and encouraged action against the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.Credit...Diana Walker/The Life Images Collection, via Getty Images

    “There seems to be a concerted effort on the part of Trump supporters to spread misinformation about the virus aggressively,” said Carl Bergstrom, a professor of biology at the University of Washington who has studied misinformation.

    Adding that Dr. Fauci is bearing the brunt of the attacks, Mr. Bergstrom said: “There is this sense that experts are untrustworthy, and have agendas that aren’t aligned with the people. It’s very concerning because the experts in this are being discounted out of hand.”

    The Trump administration has previously shown a distaste for relying on scientific expertise, such as when dealing with climate change. But misinformation campaigns during a pandemic carry a unique danger because they may sow distrust in public health officials when accurate information and advice are crucial, said Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor at Syracuse University who teaches digital ethics.
    “What this case will show is that conspiracy theories can kill,” she said.

    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases did not respond to a request for comment on the misinformation being directed at Dr. Fauci, who has said he plans to keep working to contain the coronavirus.
    “When you’re dealing with the White House, sometimes you have to say things one, two, three, four times, and then it happens,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview with Science magazine this past week. “So, I’m going to keep pushing.”

    The online campaign is an abrupt shift for Dr. Fauci, an immunologist who has led the institute since 1984. He has long been seen as credible by a large section of the public and journalists, advising every president since Ronald Reagan and encouraging action against the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

    In recent weeks, much of the online discussion of Dr. Fauci was benign or positive. Zignal Labs, a media analysis company, studied 1.7 million mentions of Dr. Fauci across the web and TV broadcasts from Feb. 27 to Friday and found that through mid-March, he was mainly praised and his comments were straightforwardly reported. Right-wing figures quoted Dr. Fauci approvingly or lauded him for his comments on shutting down travel to and from China, Zignal Labs said.

    In the White House briefings on the coronavirus, he often spoke plainly of the severity of the situation, becoming something of a folk hero to some on the left. Then Dr. Fauci, who had been a steady presence at Mr. Trump’s side during the briefings, did not appear at the one on March 18.

    A hashtag asking “Where is Dr. Fauci?” began trending on Twitter. Several Facebook fan groups dedicated to praising his medical record called for his return. The first accounts tweeting #FauciFraud also appeared, though their volume of posts was small, according to the Times analysis.

    Two days later, Dr. Fauci put his head in his hand at the White House briefing after Mr. Trump’s remark on the “Deep State Department.” His gesture — some called it a face palm — caught the attention of Mr. Trump’s supporters online, who saw it as an insult to the president.
    Anti-Fauci posts spiked, according to Zignal Labs. Much of the increase was prompted by a March 21 article in The American Thinker, a conservative blog, which published the seven-year-old email that Dr. Fauci had written to an aide of Mrs. Clinton.

    In the email, Dr. Fauci praised Mrs. Clinton for her stamina during the 2013 Benghazi hearings. The American Thinker falsely claimed that the email was evidence that he was part of a secret group who opposed Mr. Trump.

    That same day, Mr. Fitton of Judicial Watch posted a tweet linking to a different blog post that showed Dr. Fauci’s email on Mrs. Clinton. In the tweet, Mr. Fitton included a video of himself crossing his arms and saying, “Isn’t that interesting.” It was retweeted more than 1,500 times.

    In an interview, Mr. Fitton said, “Dr. Fauci is doing a great job.” He added that Dr. Fauci “wrote very political statements to Hillary Clinton that were odd for an appointee of his nature to send.”

    The conspiracy theory was soon shared thousands of times across Facebook and Twitter. It was also taken up by messaging groups on WhatsApp and Facebook run by QAnon, the anonymous group that claims to be privy to government secrets. On YouTube, far-right personalities began spouting that Dr. Fauci was a fraud.

    By Tuesday, the online and television mentions of Dr. Fauci had declined but had become consistently negative, Zignal Labs said.
    One anti-Fauci tweet last Sunday read: “Dr. Fauci is in love w/ crooked @HillaryClinton. More reasons not to trust him.”

    Facebook said it proactively removed misinformation related to the coronavirus. YouTube said that it did not recommend the conspiracy-theory videos on Dr. Fauci to viewers and that it promotes credible virus information. Twitter said it remained “focused on taking down content that can lead to harm.”

    Ms. Phillips, the Syracuse assistant professor, said the campaign was part of a long-term conspiracy theory propagated by Mr. Trump’s followers.
    “Fauci has just been particularly prominent,” she said. “But any public health official who gets cast in a conspiratorial narrative is going to be subject to those same kinds of suspicions, the same kinds of doubt.”

    That has not stopped Dr. Fauci from appearing on the internet. On Thursday, he joined a 30-minute Instagram Live discussion about the coronavirus.
    In the session, Dr. Fauci, with a miniature basketball hoop behind him, conveyed the same message that he had said for weeks about the outbreak.
    “This is serious business,” he said. “We are not overreacting.”

    Medical Expert Who Corrects Trump Is Now a Target of the Far Right - The New York Times
    Last edited by tomcat; 29-03-2020 at 09:19 AM.
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
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    If you have a brain in seems pretty simple to me...

    Alt-Right Attacks Dr. Fauci-90960631_3594547440638284_1722207672956092416_n-jpg

  3. #3
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    ...related article:

    Covid-19 Brings Out All the Usual Zombies

    Why virus denial resembles climate denial.
    By Paul Krugman
    Opinion Columnist

    • March 28, 2020



    President Trump signed a coronavirus relief bill at the White House on Friday.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

    Let me summarize the Trump administration/right-wing media view on the coronavirus: It’s a hoax, or anyway no big deal. Besides, trying to do anything about it would destroy the economy. And it’s China’s fault, which is why we should call it the “Chinese virus.”

    Oh, and epidemiologists who have been modeling the virus’s future spread have come under sustained attack, accused of being part of a “deep state” plot against Donald Trump, or maybe free markets.

    Does all this give you a sense of déjà vu? It should. After all, it’s very similar to the Trump/right-wing line on climate change. Here’s what Trump tweeted back in 2012: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” It’s all there: it’s a hoax, doing anything about it will destroy the economy, and let’s blame China.

    And epidemiologists startled to find their best scientific efforts denounced as politically motivated fraud should have known what was coming. After all, exactly the same thing happened to climate scientists, who have faced constant harassment for decades.

    So the right-wing response to Covid-19 has been almost identical to the right-wing response to climate change, albeit on a vastly accelerated time scale. But what lies behind this kind of denialism?

    Well, I recently published a book about the prevalence in our politics of “zombie ideas” — ideas that have been proved wrong by overwhelming evidence and should be dead, but somehow keep shambling along, eating people’s brains. The most prevalent zombie in U.S. politics is the insistence that tax cuts for the rich produce economic miracles, indeed pay for themselves, but the most consequential zombie, the one that poses an existential threat, is climate change denial. And Covid-19 has brought out all the usual zombies.

    But why, exactly, is the right treating a pandemic the same way it treats tax cuts and climate change?

    The force that usually keeps zombie ideas shambling along is naked financial self-interest. Paeans to the virtues of tax cuts are more or less directly paid for by billionaires who benefit from these cuts. Climate denial is an industry supported almost entirely by fossil-fuel interests. As Upton Sinclair put it, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    However, it’s less obvious who gains from minimizing the dangers of a pandemic. Among other things, the time scale is vastly compressed compared with climate change: the consequences of global warming will take many decades to play out, giving fossil-fuel interests plenty of time to take the money and run, but we’re already seeing catastrophic consequences of virus denial after just a few weeks.

    True, there may be some billionaires who imagine that denying the crisis will work to their financial advantage. Just before Trump made his terrifying call for reopening the nation by Easter, he had a conference call with a group of money managers, who may have told him that ending social distancing would be good for the market. That’s insane, but you should never underestimate the cupidity of these people. Remember, Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman, one of the men on the call, once compared proposals to close a tax loophole to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

    Also, billionaires have done very well by Trump’s tax cuts, and may fear that the economic damage from the coronavirus will bring about Trump’s defeat, and hence tax increases for people like them.

    But I suspect that the disastrous response to Covid-19 has been shaped less by direct self-interest than by two indirect ways in which pandemic policy gets linked to the general prevalence of zombie ideas in right-wing thought.

    First, when you have a political movement almost entirely built around assertions than any expert can tell you are false, you have to cultivate an attitude of disdain toward expertise, one that spills over into everything. Once you dismiss people who look at evidence on the effects of tax cuts and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, you’re already primed to dismiss people who look at evidence on disease transmission.
    This also helps explain the centrality of science-hating religious conservatives to modern conservatism, which has played an important role in Trump’s failure to respond.

    Second, conservatives do hold one true belief: namely, that there is a kind of halo effect around successful government policies. If public intervention can be effective in one area, they fear — probably rightly — that voters might look more favorably on government intervention in other areas. In principle, public health measures to limit the spread of coronavirus needn’t have much implication for the future of social programs like Medicaid. In practice, the first tends to increase support for the second.

    As a result, the right often opposes government interventions even when they clearly serve the public good and have nothing to do with redistributing income, simply because they don’t want voters to see government doing anything well.

    The bottom line is that as with so many things Trump, the awfulness of the man in the White House isn’t the whole story behind terrible policy. Yes, he’s ignorant, incompetent, vindictive and utterly lacking in empathy. But his failures on pandemic policy owe as much to the nature of the movement he serves as they do to his personal inadequacies.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/o...gtype=Homepage

  4. #4
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    Check out the cackling Republican hens. Nothing like social distancing...
    Last edited by aging one; 29-03-2020 at 09:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    These people have weaponized their ignorance and stupidity.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    These people have weaponized their ignorance and stupidity.
    ...true... and add that notion to the receptivity of folks like evangelicals for such nonsense and you have: the tRump base...

  7. #7
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    Check out the cackling Republican hens. Nothing like social distancing...
    One can only hope then . . .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    These people have weaponized their ignorance and stupidity.

    ...quite a shame and cowardly, from all circles, that this whole pandemic mess is looked upon through blind partisan politics -

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    the only good thing with that disaster is that Chinese will now face a lifeban for traveling overseas,

    that's going to take a lot of businesses down,

    we always knew the next economic crisis would originate from China, and here it is

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    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    the only good thing with that disaster is that Chinese will now face a lifeban for traveling overseas,
    How did you figure this out? Seriously? Just another brain-fart . . .

  11. #11
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    In the OP, why is the Covid-19 expert Fauci touching his face?


    How face-touching can spread viruses — and why you can't help yourself

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    It is a bit odd imo that Mercans seem to feel the need to inform us (Non Mercans) on how stupid their pres is and then a load of other non Mercans also feel the need to agree with them, like no one knows Trump is a fukin idiot but is from the same gene pool the people telling us he's a idiot came from, a self lickin lolly in action - now where's that doggie bloke.

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    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    does trump always sign with a big crayon ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKkin View Post
    In the OP, why is the Covid-19 expert Fauci touching his face?
    You try to listen to Trump's idiocy and not facepalm.

    Damn near impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post
    It is a bit odd imo that Mercans seem to feel the need to inform us (Non Mercans) on how stupid their pres is and then a load of other non Mercans also feel the need to agree with them
    ...this is a forum...folks express themselves because they feel the need. If they don't feel the need, they don't post...

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot
    It is a bit odd imo that Mercans seem to feel the need to inform us (Non Mercans) on how stupid their pres is and then a load of other non Mercans also feel the need to agree with them, like no one knows Trump is a fukin idiot but is from the same gene pool the people telling us he's a idiot came from, a self lickin lolly in action - now where's that doggie bloke.
    Yeah why would people come onto a forum to discuss stuff outside of the sphere beyond their own noses and bubble right. Weird!

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post
    It is a bit odd imo that Mercans seem to feel the need to inform us (Non Mercans) on how stupid their pres is and then a load of other non Mercans also feel the need to agree with them, like no one knows Trump is a fukin idiot but is from the same gene pool the people telling us he's a idiot came from, a self lickin lolly in action - now where's that doggie bloke.

    Were you trying to make some kind of drunken point mate?



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post

    .
    I was wondering if you were aware that they exist.

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    Sorry folks that was the wrong thread, apologies, no harm meant.

  20. #20
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...this is a forum...folks express themselves because they feel the need. If they don't feel the need, they don't post...

    Or....slightly obsessed in any regard.
    Which is probably more of a reflective character trait.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Or....slightly obsessed in any regard.
    Which is probably more of a reflective character trait.
    ...took the words right out of my mouth...

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  23. #23
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    ^Inevitable in a world full of tinfoil hats

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