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Trump Lies, Science Doesn't. So Scientists Aren’t Faring Well With This Administration

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and U.S. President Donald Trump participate in the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 22, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and U.S. President Donald Trump participate in the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 22, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

I’m currently dating Tracee Ellis Ross.

That is a lie.

Anyone who knows me knows that she and I broke up a while ago. Whatever. I didn’t like seafood and she wouldn’t hear of it.

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My dating Tracee Ellis Ross is a lie, but in Trump’s world, there are a few unsophisticated ways that I can push this lie as truth, and while it wouldn’t work on anyone that made it past the ninth grade, there are some who would walk away thinking that I and that famous actress once had a thing. (I’m happily married btw, but if you are reading this, Tracee, feel free to hop in the DM. I kid—unless you are serious. What I’m saying, Tracee, is I’m willing to risk it all.)

The first Trumpian trick is to state the falsehood as fact. The second is to make overly broad statements that aren’t easily provable and, in that vein, are easily deniable. You have to say things like “Scores of people have talked about how lovely Tracee and I look together” and “Several people have come up to me and said that I should leave Tracee, but I keep holding on.” The third is to control the narrative by limiting those who will point out the lie. No matter what happens, I can never let you speak with Tracee because she will clearly say, “Who the fuck is this nigga?”

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And while this generally works with normal lies like building that dumb-ass wall along the Mexican border, the draft-dodging, self-proclaimed “war president” has met his match and it’s not the silent, unseen coronavirus—
it’s science.

And it works like this: Science is fact-based and Trump is a liar, and therefore Trump and scientists from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to Dr. Rick Bright, the director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), have butted heads or been silenced during this global pandemic because Trump is a liar and scientists, based on their profession, aren’t supposed to be out here lying.

If anything is to be learned here, it’s the treatment of Dr. Rick Bright during this pandemic. Until this week, Dr. Bright led the agency working on a coronavirus vaccine—and he says he was removed from that job because he challenged the Trump administration’s insistence on promoting an unproven drug to the public, according to the New York Times. A drug that was not only found to be ineffective but, in some cases, deadly. The guy leading the charge to find a vaccine for this fucked-up virus was put on the sideline for pushing the truth and trying to prevent people from dying. Now, he’s been reassigned to some bullshit job because Trump’s ego trumps all.

“I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the Covid-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit,” he said in a statement to the Times. “I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science—not politics or cronyism—has to lead the way.”

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And while Dr. Bright didn’t name Trump specifically, he’s clearly fed up with his bullshit.

“My professional background has prepared me for a moment like this—to confront and defeat a deadly virus that threatens Americans and people around the globe,” Dr. Bright wrote. “To this point, I have led the government’s efforts to invest in the best science available to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“Unfortunately, this resulted in clashes with H.H.S. [Health and Human Services] political leadership, including criticism for my proactive efforts to invest early into vaccines and supplies critical to saving American lives. I also resisted efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections,” he said, adding that hydroxychloroquine was “promoted by the administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit.”

And, because Trump wasn’t done, on Wednesday, he played the shit out of Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after Redfield told the Washington Post that dealing with the flu and a coronavirus outbreak in fall and winter “will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” adding that calls and protests to “liberate” states from stay-at-home orders—as President Trump has tweeted—were “not helpful.”

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Trump went on Twitter (shocker!) to claim that Redfield was misquoted and the story was fake news. Trump then paraded Redfield out during his daily White House coronavirus briefings to clear the whole thing up, and Redfield tried to backtrack on his earlier claims:

“I didn’t say that this was going to be worse,” Redfield said, the Washington Post reports. “I said it was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated because we’ll have flu and coronavirus circulating at the same time. It’s more difficult’ doesn’t mean it’s going to be more impossible.”

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Basically, Trump punked him into walking his scientifically verified statement back because Trump is fighting for re-election and is willing to do anything to win, including smearing shit all over the camera and telling you that the image you’re seeing is perfect. Well, the whole thing stinks.

While Redfield tried to soften his words, he had to admit that he’d been accurately quoted. Dr. Fauci, however, is not here for Trump’s lies and has the temperament of a Southern auntie, which is why his biting truths might be a little easier for Trump to swallow. During the same press conference in which Trump kept touting that there could not be a threat of coronavirus in fall and winter and that if Jon Snow could beat the White Walkers, he could do anything, Dr. Fauci took to the mic and said, “I don’t know what the fuck this dude is talking about but coronavirus is the new Cash Money Records and they are taking over for 2020 and beyond.”

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OK, fine he didn’t say that but what he did say was: “We will have coronavirus in the fall. I am convinced of that because of the degree of transmissibility that it has, the global nature. What happens with that will depend on how we’re able to contain it when it occurs.”

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While doctors may find themselves in a precarious situation while trying to maintain employment by placating a liar, science will be sitting here undefeated and defiant. Science is the ultimate truth-teller and Trump can’t manipulate science the way that he can people, which means that Trump may have met his match, and hopefully, this spells the end of his presidency.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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DISCUSSION

MSNBC had the best clip this morning..

Trump: The Washington post completely misquoted Dr. Redmond

cut to Dr. Redmond.

Reporter: Did the Washington Post quote you correctly?

Dr. Redmond: Yes they did.

Cut to Trump: It may not even return in the fall.

Cut to Fauci: I am positive it will return in the fall.

That’s it.  Took 10 seconds.