American Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, hailed as a rising star of the Republican Party by former president Donald Trump, has lashed out at Twitter after being suspended from the platform for spreading false information about the coronavirus vaccines.
Ms Greene is in the habit of believing in outlandish conspiracy theories, and this is the fourth time Twitter has suspended her.
One of those suspensions was for spreading debunked theories about the 2020 presidential election. Another was for claiming covid is not dangerous to people unless they’re obese or over the age of 65.
(If you agree with her, may I suggest you read this story about a five-year-old boy who recently died from covid in the United States.)
Anyway you get the idea. She’s not a reliable source of information.
RELATED: Greene walks back her support for QAnon
Yesterday, the Georgia Congresswoman told her followers the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “should not approve” the coronavirus vaccines, which are currently available to the public under emergency use authorisations.
The FDA’s final, permanent approval is expected to happen within weeks.
“There are too many reports of infection and spread of covid among vaccinated people,” Ms Greene said.
“These vaccines are failing and do not reduce the spread of the virus and neither do masks.
“Vaccine mandates and passports violate individual freedoms.”
That last part about mandates is a matter of opinion. The rest is blatantly false.
While there are some breakthrough covid infections among vaccinated people in the United States, such cases are rare. When they happen, the symptoms tend to be significantly milder than in an unvaccinated person, and the risk of death is much lower.
According to data shared by America’s health agency, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 6587 fully vaccinated people had either been hospitalised with covid or killed by it as of July 26.
About 163 million Americans were fully vaccinated by then. So to put things in perspective, we are talking about 0.00004 per cent of vaccinated people.
And as the CDC has repeatedly said, more than 99 per cent of covid deaths are now among the unvaccinated.
So no, the vaccines are not “failing”.
The evidence also shows that, while vaccinated people can probably infect others with the virus, high vaccination rates do reduce its spread. This is apparent in the US at the moment, where the states with the lowest vaccination rates are experiencing larger surges in cases and hospitalisations due to the Delta variant.
There is also ample evidence that masks help slow the spread of the virus.
Here’s the tweet in question. Twitter slapped a warning on it saying it “may be misleading”, which seems like a bit of an understatement.
The social media company has locked Ms Greene’s account for seven days, after which she will be allowed to post again. But a permanent ban could loom, as Twitter has a five “strike” policy for covid misinformation, and she has already been suspended multiple times.
In a statement today, Ms Greene accused Twitter of censoring her for “speaking the truth”.
“I have vaccinated family who are sick with covid. Studies and news reports show vaccinated people are still getting covid and spreading covid,” she said.
“I’ve talked with numerous people who have scary side effects like myocarditis, blood clots and miscarriages. And nearly 7000 deaths are reported in VAERS on the CDC website.”
We’ll pause for a moment here.
As you’re aware, a small number of people have developed blood clots after being vaccinated against covid. This adverse response is serious but extremely rare.
Incidentally, you know what else causes blood clots? Covid. Americans are far more likely to develop clots from a covid infection than from a vaccine.
There is no evidence at all that covid vaccines raise a pregnant woman’s risk of suffering a miscarriage.
VAERS is America’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. It pops up a lot in covid misinformation, because people like Ms Greene do not understand how it works.
The system logs reports of suspected adverse reactions to drugs. Anyone can make a report to VAERS, and the CDC’s own website warns that the data may contain “incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental or unverifiable” information. VAERS data does not include any information gained from investigating the adverse events.
“The inclusion of events in VAERS data does not imply causality,” the CDC says.
We can use VAERS data to glean that several thousand people died after getting their covid vaccine. We cannot establish whether that vaccination had anything to do with their death. But in the fever swamps of the internet, some people are using the data to imply the vaccines killed all the people in question.
It’s like saying 7000 people died after eating a ham sandwich last year, and therefore the ham sandwich is what killed them. That just isn’t what the data shows.
Back to Ms Greene’s statement.
“In my opinion, the FDA should not approve these vaccines until more research is done. But Twitter suspended me for speaking the truth, and tweeting what so many people are saying,” the Congresswoman said.
“Why does Dr (Anthony) Fauci only harshly criticise bikers at Sturgis riding in open air with no masks, but is silent on Obama’s ‘sophisticated’ birthday party super spreader event for Hollywood and Democrat elites?”
The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota is running until August 15, and is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people. Health experts are concerned it will turn into a superspreader event, just like it did last year.
Former president Barack Obama was planning to host a massive birthday party at Martha’s Vineyard last weekend, but dramatically reduced its size after copping a wave of criticism. Ms Greene has a point there.
“Why is it ‘right and moral’ to allow tens of thousands of covid-positive illegal aliens into our country and fly them into every state on the taxpayers’ dime, yet force our children to mask up for school?” Ms Greene continued.
Illegal immigration indeed may be a factor in the current covid surge, though Ms Greene and other Republicans have been mischaracterising the government’s border policies.
“But if I dare say the truth, Twitter suspends me because the truth is so offensive to the fragile hypocrites all over Twitter!” she said.
“I refuse to be silent about these important life-changing issues and the Communist Chinese bioweapon covid.”
There isn’t any evidence that China created covid to be a bioweapon, though the theory that it leaked from a lab is credible enough that President Joe Biden has asked America’s intelligence agencies to look into it.
“Clearly Twitter only cares about the left’s radical narrative,” said Ms Greene.
“They will allow porn on Twitter. They will allow posts about parents transitioning their children and changing their gender on Twitter.
“But Twitter won’t allow any real discussion of the truth from an elected Congresswoman because Twitter only cares about the Democrat Communist agenda for Americans.
“It’s a good thing my voters couldn’t care less about Twitter.”