Thoughts and prayers are in order for Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), the former White House physician who has just contracted a terrible case of “whataboutism.”
Jackson, who previously served as Donald Trump’s presidential physician, apparently didn’t like reporters asking whether he was vaccinated against the coronavirus on Thursday morning. So he accused the questioners of political bias.
The question came up because COVID-19 cases have tripled in the U.S. over the last few weeks with the spread of the delta variant. At the same time, a large percentage of the population remains stubbornly resistant to vaccination amid an onslaught of misinformation ― some of it spread by allies of the former president publicly supporting vaccine conspiracy theories.
Jackson didn’t spout conspiracy theories.
Instead, he asked why reporters were picking on him instead of other politicians.
“I think you as a press have a responsibility to ask questions of the Democrats as well,” Jackson complained. “How many of the Democrats are willing to say whether or not they’ve been vaccinated?”
Ronny Jackson: I think you as a press have a responsibility to ask questions of the Democrats as well. How many of the Democrats are willing to say whether or not they’ve been vaccinated? pic.twitter.com/gkKzfmCgs8
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 22, 2021
The first-year lawmaker, it turned out, made a rookie mistake by asking a rhetorical question without knowing the answer.
As CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale noted, every Democrat in the House and Senate told the network back in May that they had been vaccinated, hence no need to raise the question again.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 22, 2021
Democratic politicians chimed in.
Answer: ALL OF US. Every single Democrat in Congress is vaccinated because we believe in science, not tin hat conspiracy. And we care about our health and the health of our loved ones. https://t.co/fHB4GTEbCR
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) July 22, 2021
🙋♀️ vaccinated, just like every one of the Democrats in the House! https://t.co/UzN6dGOzha
— Sara Jacobs (@SaraJacobsCA) July 22, 2021
Every single Democrat would respond with a resounding YES, then show you their vaccination card. Why? Because we care about our citizenry. We want all citizens to take this seriously. Continuing with this whataboutism & misinformation campaign against COVID is costing lives. https://t.co/Go4JZpgXZY
— Russell Foster for Texas (@RussellFosterTX) July 22, 2021
Some people pointed out Jackson’s dubious past.
Doctor Ronny Jackson, who lied about tfg's health and made false HIPPA claims to keep the information private, suddenly wants reporters to ask health questions Democratic congressmen answered MONTHS AGO. https://t.co/QbDzEJtLuq
— Grant Stern is fully vaccinated (@grantstern) July 22, 2021
Others diagnosed Jackson’s “whataboutism.”
CNN reported *two months ago* that every House Democrat had been vaccinated, after contacting their offices to ask. One of the worst "whatabouts" I've ever seen here https://t.co/vN5JUGFohi https://t.co/WPJHOSQ3U0
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 22, 2021
Jackson’s time as White House doctor was marked by controversy.
He became a target of ridicule when at a news conference he praised Trump’s “incredibly good genes” and said he told the president “that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years he might live to be 200 years old.”
In March, the Department of Defense inspector general released a scathing report that concluded Jackson made “sexual and denigrating” comments about a female subordinate, violated the policy against drinking alcohol on a presidential trip and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted worries from his colleagues about his ability to provide proper medical care.
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