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PROFILE: Leana Wen
The Nightly News' Favorite Stay-At-Home COVID Expert
Leana Wen seems to be everywhere these days on all things COVID, it seems. From CNN to CBS, from Harvard to the Washington Post, she’s quickly become one of the leading public figures when it comes to commenting on COVID, making a lot of bold statements and declarations since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s about time, heading into Year 4 of the COVID pandemic, that they’re finally reviewed and evaluated against the facts, and against the reality that Americans are presently living with - as well as the countless American lives that are no longer with us. So, let’s start with… oh, I don’t know. How about… January 2020:
Jan. 30th, 2020: In The Baltimore Sun, Leana Wen takes out an Opinion piece titled “Corona virus is a concern, but flu takes more lives.” In it, Leana writes:
Americans should keep in mind that there is a virus right here in our country that will sicken and kill many more people this year: influenza.
Well, that didn’t end up being true at all, did it Leana? Immediately going to the mat for minimizing and doing everything we can to keep the public from “living in fear” or taking any serious precautions to help blunt the impact of what was to come. There’s a heavy focus on washing your hands and not touching your face to prevent the flu, no suggestion of wearing a mask if you’re feeling unwell and have to go out during flu season. Now, let’s be fair to Leana here - this is a once in a century pandemic disaster we were soon facing. Nobody was prepared for this, but you can see the beginning of a pattern here - and a total lack of acknowledgement that Leana was wrong.
In April of 2021, on the dawn of widely available COVID vaccination in the United States, Leana Wen writes an opinion article in the Washington Post and urges the vaccinated to simply “return to normal,” titled “The vaccinated will make different choices about what they can do now. That’s OK.” Since then, what happened? Well, thanks to this handy little thing called “The Internet,” we can look back and find out.
A little over a year later on May 14th, 2022, citizen scientist and COVID data collector wsbgnl suggests that over 100,000 vaccinated Americans may have died as a result of COVID breakthrough infections. A paper by Jinkinson Smith on medRxiv from April 2022 also suggests a potential 80-100k COVID deaths in the vaccinated.
That wasn’t a lot of “normal” these people enjoyed before they caught COVID, and dropped dead. The precautionary principle of public health might have saved these lives, instead of encouraging the public to invite COVID into their bodies - an angle Leana Wen has crusaded along ever since. Yet again, Leana absolves herself of any responsibility, any apologies for getting anything wrong, or suggesting that people should protect themselves from COVID infection.
There’s a lot to cover, so we’re going to focus on the past year of Leana’s bold declarations, and descent into boosting far-right MAGAchud conspiracy theorist talking points as of late - but you should start here with this excellent Gawker piece by the excellent epidemiologist Abby Cartus, titled The Curious Case of Leana Wen, Physician-Advocate Turned Covid Pundit from June 10th, 2022, and covers how she got booted from Planned Parenthood for pushing to deprioritize abortion access as one of the organization’s goals. You should read the entire piece, but I’m going to quote this relevant paragraph:
But starting sometime in late 2021, Wen’s tone shifted from one of precaution and compromise to one of eager capitulation to the Democrats’ latest bullshit line (the most common being that “we have the tools” to manage the pandemic without comprehensive federal policy). She went from cautioning against gatherings to praising the April 2022 Gridiron Club dinner, tweeting: “The Gridiron Club dinner was probably a #Covid-19 superspreader. But events like this should still go on. This is our new normal.” (That dinner dinner did, in fact, turn out to be a superspreader event.) Her tune regarding school closures also changed; by January 2022, she was arguing that “Omicron is not a reason to keep schools closed,” despite the evidence establishing risks of in-school transmission, strain on pediatric hospital capacity when transmission is not mitigated, and the potential for children to experience severe outcomes of Covid infection including death. Where 2021 Wen insisted that people should not have the “choice” to expose others, 2022 Wen eschews government intervention and widespread policy in favor of shifting the onus to individuals’ private choices.
That’s a very bad start to 2022. It only gets worse from here. Mind you, the 2021-2022 school year with zero precautions led to over 1,000 pediatric COVID deaths and hundreds of thousands of children suffering from Long COVID - making it the leading killer and disabler of children in America. Recently, we recorded our 2000th pediatric COVID death. It’s clear that we simply cannot keep going forward like this without a lot of empty chairs at Christmas dinner tables this year, with a family staring blankly at an empty chair for 2 hours where a child should be sitting, laughing and stuffing themselves full of ham and au-Gratin potatoes. That’s the human cost, the trauma, that stay-at-home COVID pundits like Leana Wen refuse to factor into their guidance - it’s simply assumed these families have to pay a price for everyone else’s luxury and convenience.
In June of 2022, Leana Wen takes to the comment section of a recent Washington Post op-ed to address the concerns of someone suffering from Long COVID disability:
Notice the constrast between “Democracy Dies in Darkness” and “They wouldn’t just put us in a debilitating condition with nothing, right?” - Leana never bothers to answer poor Barbara, after basically declaring that there’s no solution other than to let millions more Americans get reinfected and develop Long COVID, to which we have no real treatment or cure for. It’s basically “fuck it, not my problem” in elementary paragraph essay format - even as the conservative think-tank Brookings Institute admits that millions of Americans are now too disabled to work by Long COVID, being driven into poverty, homelessness, and potentially suicide from despair. Shameful.
In July of 2022, President Biden is infected with COVID, and rebounds after a course of Paxlovid. Leana Wen takes to Twitter and celebrates his “working through infection,” suggesting that the rest of America should work through infection - greatly increasing their chances of organ damage and developing Long COVID, as well as infecting their co-workers and customers in the workplace:
This should, quite frankly, qualify as medical malpractice. An MD declaring that being infected with a deadly and disabling pathogen is not an excuse to stay home from work, and actually encouraging workers to go out and infect others in the workplace, is outright dangerous, disastrous, and completely detached from the reality we now face - with treatments such as monoclonal antibodies and Evushield now rendered ineffective against the latest variants of COVID, birthed as a result of mass, repeated infection of the population. This “guidance” from Leana Wen does nothing but further prolong the pandemic, resulting in more casualties - dead and disabled. This is the “new normal” Leana embraces with a smile from her living room.
In August of 2022, Leana Wen decides to go after COVID precautions in schools in a Washington Post Op-Ed, after over 1,000 children died of COVID in the 2021-22 school year. She commits and incredible logical fallacy here, see if you can spot it:
“Widely available” is the corpo-libertarian heavy lifter at work here. America has utterly failed in vaccinating children against COVID, and guess what - even if vaccines are “available,” if they’re not being used then those children still aren’t vaccinated! Which means that infection prevention measures are… stay with me… still needed, Leana! Even so, we still have a massive number of Americans who have died as a result of breakthrough infections in the vaccinated, and an even more massive number of Americans who developed long-term health issues and disabilities as a result of breakthrough infections after vaccination - which could have been prevented if Leana ever had the humility to see “gee whiz, we don’t really know for sure, so let’s apply the precautionary principle of public health until the data is clear.”
I know the pee-pee word is heretical to ignoramus pundits like Nate Bronze and Leana Wen, but that doesn’t make it any less factual or relevant. A great deal of harm could have been prevented - in September of 2022, the CDC reported 1,785 pediatric COVID deaths. In January of 2023, it’s now 2,028 pediatric COVID deaths. Perhaps - some of those 243 children might still be alive if Leana Wen took responsibility and made a public show of advocating for a better approach than simply reinfecting schoolchildren with COVID over and over - many of whom who would then go home, infect their family, and now hundreds of thousands of children are without a primary caregiver. That is what an MD is supposed to do - save lives, especially children’s lives - instead of demanding everyone simply ignore the disease that has become the leading disease killer of children, thanks to failed guidance and failed punditry.
On August 15th, 2022 Leana Wen begins her descent into far-right pro-COVID derangement, referring to pandemic protections as “restrictions,” and painting COVID activists and advocates as filthy liars who simply want to be petty tyrant totalitarians that are actually sabotaging public health by suggesting it’s bad for the public’s health to be constantly reinfected with COVID:
When I was a naive young boy, I believed that doctors had a certain sense of responsibility to their communities and the public at large. Fueling suspicion and painting public health experts and advocates as dirty two-faced lying totalitarians with completely unfounded accusations, especially as many immunocompromised and disabled Americans have been on self-imposed isolation for years now to protect themselves from rampant, unchecked COVID spread, is utterly nasty and below the belt “commentary.” Utterly disqualifying, and frankly, just declaring that you’re little more than an unempathetic jerk.
The next day, on August 16th, 2022 Leana Wen takes out another Op-Ed, this time on CNN, covering the COVID infection that popular anti-mask influencer Jill “doesn’t the air taste so much sweeter without your masks!” Biden received from her husband:
No mention of the effectiveness of N95/P100 respirators, HEPA filtration, or other measures to prevent infection. Simply declaring that we all must submit to being constantly reinfected with COVID, multiple times a year - when hardly anyone in America has the medical care that the Biden family receives - paid for by your tax dollars, while there remains no real treatment if your child is disabled by Long COVID. Siumply declaring that the Biden’s vaccine-only, mass-infection approach is the only way forward - there’s a pet theory that she was jockeying to replace Jeffrey Zients as Biden’s COVID Czar, at least until Ashish Jha outbid her for public health’s most spineless yes-man of the pandemic. To entertain this further, in October 2016, The Intercept reported that the Democrat Presidential nominee’s campaign directly worked with journalists to coordinate messaging - there’s no reason this couldn’t be happening again now, in the midst of a national crisis - this would make Leana’s writing no longer journalism, but direct propaganda of the state itself.
With pro-eugenics maniacs such as Zeke Emmanuel (brother of Rahm Emmanuel, who oversaw police blacksites in Chicago as Mayor) serving as advisors to the Biden Administration, and looking at the messaging from Democrat loyalists that it was only the unvaccinated Trump-lovers who were dying, there’s certainly the potential for a belief in well-off Democrat circles that allowing for a massive amount of death and disability as a result of COVID infectious would be beneficial to the Democrat Party’s prospects, after the failed “demographics are destiny” hypothesis that failed to pan out in the Obama years.
Anyways, enough with the quasi-conspiratorial detour. Back to the sludgefest!
On August 23rd, 2022 Leana Wen takes out yet another Opinion piece in the Washington Post, titled* “I’m a doctor. Here’s why my kids won’t wear masks this school year.” Again, in the previous school year - over 1,000 children died of COVID. Over half a million American children developed Long COVID induced disability, chronic fatigue, brain damage, organ damage, diabetes, and god knows whatever else.
There is zero mention of these facts in her “opinion” editorial - the very real human trauma of dead children - stripped of their freedoms, liberty, and futures, because they’re dead, Leana. A dead child can’t go to college and get a good paying job and live out their dreams. A child with COVID induced cognitive and neurological impairment will certainly struggle to achieve academic success. A child with COVID induced chronic fatigue and cardiovascular issues will likely have to surrender their dreams of a future as a professional athlete. Not to mention, the very real trauma of children who brought home COVID from school and played a direct role in the death of a primary caregiver - with bereavement being one of the leading contributors to a child’s academic struggle. She simply acknowledges that we’ve already infected most of America’s children with COVID, and most of them didn’t immediately drop dead, so screw it! As they say in the Raiden School of Epidemiology, let ‘er rip!
Of course, Leana never bothers to compile all the evidence of COVID’s effects on children and allow them to make their own choice about wearing PPE during an ongoing airborne pandemic. She simply declares she is willfully exposing and infecting her children with COVID, repeatedly. Leana’s argument is that the pandemic has “evolved” with a more infectious variant, repeating the “Omicron is mild” myth - it sure doesn’t feel “mild” for the people who developed chronic fatigue or brain fog after their “mild” COVID infection, and advocates for a brand of enlightened “COVID Centrism” by linking to a previous opinion article warning about “COVID Extremes” - because disease prevention and advocating for a brain eating bat virus are two sides of the same coin, actually. This is coming from an MD, mind you. Leana ends her opinion editorial with this drivel:
To be clear, my family’s decision not to mask our kids should not be mislabeled as being antimask; we would never stigmatize other parents and caregivers for the difficult choices they must make. We are also far from covid minimizers; I’ve written extensively about the dangers of the coronavirus to children and am clear-eyed about the unknowns of long covid. Rather, my approach to this school year reflects the evolution of the pandemic and the acknowledgment that avoiding covid-19 cannot be the singular metric of people’s overall health and well-being.
You see, all of those things that I’m doing, including declaring my willingness to repeatedly infect my kids with a virus I acknowledge I don’t fully understand, I’m not actually doing. The virus that has upended millions of Americans’ lives and driven them into poverty and homelessness, the chronic effects of which I am too cowardly to admit there’s no real treatment or cure for and become the singular metric which has destroyed their quality of life - “cannot be the singular metric of people’s overall health and well-being.” There’s a reason that this is an Opinion editorial and not a scientific article - because any reasonable public health approach, looking at the facts Leana points to, would encourage more vigilance, not less, in the face of a more contagious variant of COVID.
Leana then proceeds to jump on Twitter and minimize COVID to being just like a cold or the flu. This is obviously false, according to over 100 articles and studies that prove how COVID damages the brain and other organs. An MD being this cavalier and reckless with her own children’s health and using her platform as an influencer and pundit to suggest other parents follow her lead is incredibly dangerous and should frankly qualify as medical malpractice - encouraging parents to willingly sacrifice their children’s health that could result in disastrous consequences, even death. An MD is supposed to save lives, Leana - not help end them. She also pushes pseudoscience that PPE during an airborne pandemic has harmed her child - when in reality, most language development happens in the home, not at school.
So, it’s clear that Leana is spending too much time writing crappy, pro-viral OpEds and making CNN appearances instead of raising her own children. I hope it pays well to be this wrong, because the salary budget for the P.A.I. isn’t looking too hot. Speaking of, have you considered a paid subscription to the Pandemic Accountability Index? It’s the hot new fashion accessory to impress your date for Valentine’s Day!
A few days later on August 26th, 2022 Leana Wen finds a brave new ally in everybody’s favorite pro-COVID, anti-vaxx pundit and RCT fetishist, Vinay Prasad. (loud boos roar from the audience, I assume -Ed.)
Well, except for the thousands of dead children and hundreds of thousands of children with Long COVID, as well as the fact that we have kids on their fifth COVID reinfection - yeah, screw ‘em Vinay! They didn’t immediately drop dead, so who cares what the cumulative damage is from constantly infecting kids with COVID! It’s just a happy little bug that loves to live in brains for months after infection.
“replicating (meaning active -Ed.) Covid-19 in brain and body tissue in 44 autopsy patients up to seven months out from acute infection.”
COVID in the brain. Replicating, breeding, evolving. Months after acute infection, doing god-only-knows what damage. Something we’re absolutely not testing children for, either. This is one of those rare moments where I would like to know more.
Let’s get to the nasty of it: if a man raped your daughter and impregnated her, would you force her to carry the fetus to term and give birth to that rapist’s child? This would obviously be a grave violation of bodily autonomy and her human rights, and utterly reprehensible, damning you for a lifetime.
So why is it suddenly acceptable to repeatedly infect your child with a virus that damages the brain, other organs, and potentially remains there, replicating and doing damage for months after the initial infection? The fact that pro-viral freaks such as Leana and Vinay are now against bodily autonomy for the littlest, most vulnerable of our society - children - is setting a dangerous precedent, especially when anti-abortion legislature is on the rise in America. Liberals such as Leana Wen, who as head of Planned Parenthood thought abortion access wasn’t such a big deal, laundering far right talking points against a child’s basic human rights is dangerous, politically irresponsible, and quite frankly, criminal malpractice.
Having been embraced by the rightoid anti-mask & anti-vaxx sphere of pro-viral freaks, Leana soon completes her descent into complete and utter derangement.
On January 13th, 2023, Leana Wen returns to the Washington Post to amplify a far-right conspiracy theory that has existed since early 2020 - that* “We are overcounting COVID deaths and hospitalizations. That’s a problem.” She would go on to repeat this claim on CNN, four days later.
Plague rat, pro-COVID freaks such as Alex “weed makes you murder” Berenson have been screaming this talking point since 2020, because they are subscribed to the deranged ideal that COVID is just a happy little bug that puts hair on your chest, makes you stronger, and it’s only the weak and old who are dying. You see, it’s actually the vaccine that is killing people! Also, PPE during an airborne pandemic doesn’t work, kids don’t get COVID, COVID is just the flu, there’s microchips in the vaccine, mass COVID deaths are good for the country because they cull the weak, etc etc etc.
Leana Wen’s opinion editorial was immediately and completely debunked. It’s important to note here that she doesn’t cite any actual data or evidence, but instead, quotes two contrarian MDs - one of which is notable pro-COVID and anti-public health contrarian Shira Doron, who opposes PPE during an airborne pandemic, and supports the mass infection & re-infection of children. Yet again - Leana Wen is writing a hell of a lot of “OPINION” articles here - not fact-checked or even fact-based articles meant to inform and educate the public.
The media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) wrote a fantastic takedown, titled “WaPo Feeds Denial With False Claims About Overcounting Covid Deaths” in which Leana Wen admits she heard the critics, didn’t read the data, and doubles down, stating:
society must acknowledge “that data changed over time and that deaths due to the pandemic are not necessarily the same as deaths due to Covid,” as if these things weren’t related.
Ah, well. The first mistake of any Pandemic Pundit™ is to never admit that you have ever gotten anything wrong. What do actual experts say, instead of laptop class litigators? Here’s Jeremy Faust of Inside Medicine explaining how we’re actually undercounting COVID deaths - We’ve known that we’ve been undercounting cases and deaths since the beginning of the pandemic - and here’s where Jeremy cuts to the heart of the matter:
The point of this post is that anecdotal reports about people dying “with Covid” as opposed to “of Covid” are not reliable and they are not evidence-based.
That said, I understand why my fellow docs might be confused. Covid deaths look diverse these days. Some die of pneumonia (à la 2020 and 2021, before the vaccines); but most die of some other condition like a heart failure exacerbation, triggered by Covid. To physicians, these deaths look like heart failure deaths, not “old-school” Covid deaths. But had they not been infected, the heart condition would not have been instigated.
(Emphasis mine. -Ed) You should read the entire piece and support Jeremy and his team. Leana Wen’s claims are based on anecdotes, not data. Facts - that thing that science generally relies upon? I mean, you have to go to an expensive school and get a degree to do this sort of thing, I would hope, which I assume Leana did… and according to https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/ it doesn’t seem like chief fact checker Glenn Kessler or any member of his fact checking department holds any sort of relevant degree, which might be useful in examining Leana’s claims before publishing them in the Washington Post for all to rip apart with brutal efficiency.
The World Health Organization also wrote last year that we’re undercounting COVID deaths. Nearly half of the states in America aren’t reporting COVID deaths anymore, as well. Does Leana present any evidence that the WHO has gotten it all wrong? It’s a big claim, one with roots in anti-vaxx conspiracy theorist drivel - I would hate to get this one wrong, if I was in her shoes! Nope! Just anecdotes from pro-COVID contrarian Pandemic Pundits™. What’s the endgame of this approach, other than encourage the public to further drop precautions and accept regular reinfection with a deadly and disabling virus that is known to damage the brain and other organs?
To quote the FAIR article linked above, emphasis mine:
As Brian Castrucci, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation, told FAIR, “All she’s doing is reinforcing a right-wing talking point, contributing to confusion and ultimately contributing to a higher death toll from Covid.”
Personally, I would be ashamed to be considered an “MD” and find myself getting paid to contribute to mass death and disability, much less debasing myself for adoration from MAGAchud jackass anti-vaxxers, a literal nemesis of hardworking doctors and nurses around the world, especially those driven to the breaking point of the pandemic, with hospital staffing shortages becoming a nationwide pandemic - these vigilant heroes deserve far better from their colleagues, especially those with the luxury to sit at home all day and clicky-clacky on the keyboard before Zoom calls.
Alex “Reefer Madness, but seriously” Berenson also recently made an absurd claim:
Notice how this lines up with what Leana Wen wrote above, comparing COVID to just the flu or a cold? This is something I’ve watched liberals do since the early 2000s, going back to the Iraq War when “centrist” Democrats laundered the Republican Bush Administration’s claims about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, which were obviously 100% false, and something amplified by Head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Joe Biden in 2002. They launder billionaire backed, rightoid talking points through a sort of “enlightened centrism” in order to manufacture a consensus of these moronic fictions as accepted fact.
In Iraq, millions of innocent Muslims were slaughtered, kidnapped, tortured, raped, or generally had their lives devastated by this consensus, the chaos of which eventually gave birth to ISIS, a terror group which was a scourge of the Middle East for many years. Millions of Americans have been and continue to be killed or disabled by this pandemic and the mainstream consensus of fiction around it, peddled by everyone from plague rats like Berenson to mainstream pundits like Leana Wen. The human cost of this ideological laundering, and overall devaluing of human life, has been utterly devastating to society - breeding selfishness, apathy, sadism, and God only knows what else is coming down the pipe.
The complacency with which Americans, especially liberals, wrote off the atrocities committed in countries like Iraq, was a national disgrace then, and the writing off of mass death and disability now, emboldened by laptop class Pandemic Pundits™ such as Leana Wen, is a national disgrace now.
You’re probably wondering why I keep referring to Leana Wen as a “laptop class” Pandemic Pundit™ - I mean, she’s an MD, right? Shouldn’t she be working in a hospital, treating patients during a once in a century pandemic disaster? That’s what one would assume, right? Well, I mentioned before that Leana has appeared on CNN. Let’s check the tape - and all the other tapes… and see if you can spot something peculiar… the top left is from January 2023, by the way.
Nice “hospital,” Leana. Really swanky digs, I mean if I ever came down with COVID, I would looove to be treated in this classy medical facil- oh. It’s your house. You see, the media loves Leana Wen, because she’s an MD who is always available for interviews, and doesn’t have to deal with those pesky distractions in a typical hospital, like… “patients dying,” or “surgeries,” or whatever it is doctors do - I only watch 24 hour news channels, so all I know about doctors is that they sit at home all day and teleconference into live broadcasts to insist that me and my family learn to love the virus, and introduce every variant of this vascular disease into my blood.
Just what does Leana actually do for a living? From her own website:
Dr. Leana Wen is an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. A nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, she is also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post, writing on health policy and public health, and an on-air commentator for CNN as a medical analyst.
Just looking at the raw numbers alone, Leana’s a failure at public health. The Brookings Institute think-tank has already admitted to millions out of work with Long COVID, and that’s a lot of terrible anecdote-based, fictional opinion editorials attached to her name. Sitting at home, freewheeling the keyboard… what are actual, working clinicians who deal with COVID on a daily basis saying - excluding pro-COVID rightoid celebs like Leana’s friend Shira Doron, who is proven to have gotten the facts entirely wrong? Let’s jump the ocean and ask Dr. Satoshi Akima of Sydney, Australia what he’s seeing:
Oh. Shit. That’s… a lot of syllables. You should absolutely click through and read the entire thread for more. Looking at this anecdotal evidence and the included scientific material, one might infer, even as an uneducated layman, that the potential inconvenience of wearing an N95 or P100 respirator in public, is utterly irrelevant compared to the chances of rollin’ the damn dice on being reinfected with this virus multiple times a year. If I were a highly paid public health “expert” who is regularly read and seen by millions, I might just consider one of my responsibilities to stay on top of new scientific developments such as this, followed by publicly advocating for PPE during the current, ongoing airborne pandemic. Anything, instead of getting paid handsomely to sit at home, neglect my children, and declare that I don’t really care what COVID might just do to their long-term health.
This is a question of ethics, something I recently explored in a previous article. As epidemiologist Justin Feldman writes on Twitter, the lion’s share of deaths from COVID is disproportionately higher in black and brown lives, according to the CDC. Often it is because these racial groups are more likely to be poor or working class, and thus unable to afford healthcare in this hellscape known as the American health denial system. Line cooks have been the most dangerous profession throughout the pandemic, and what Pandemic Pundits™ such as Leana expect from this underclass is for them to simply suffer and die quietly, accepting the burden of the deaths and disabilities with a smile on their face, so the wealthy in their gated communities and fancy condominiums can continue to enjoy the luxury and comfort they’ve known pre-pandemic. It is an utterly criminal betrayal of the communities that an MD is supposed to be protecting from death and disease - not serving up on a platter for the short-term benefit of capital & convenience. Leana Wen is now directly pandering to plague rat bullies such as New York based realtor and utter loser Nick Rafter of The Corcoran Group, who does nothing but piss on the monitor all day and harass medical experts & professionals. He recently made this bold statement:
How is this at all acceptable? It’s utterly pathetic and deranged, and I would be ashamed to be in business with someone so abusive and sociopathic such as Nick Rafter, who openly admits they have no problem being repeatedly infected with COVID, and spreading it to others, forging the chains of transmission that have already killed over a million Americans, and disabled many more.
It’s always free to say “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” and then follow up with insisting upon the precautionary principle of public health, dating back half a century. It’s always free to double check the facts before publishing your article. It’s even free to admit that perhaps you were wrong about something, especially in light of new evidence! In fact, it would be preferred if you were willing to admit fault!
What is not free, however, is making a name for yourself as a pundit who not only worked to sabotage Planned Parenthood and abortion access in America in a critical moment, but then encouraged mass, repeated infection in children with a deadly and disabling virus, via a series of dodgy opinion editorials based on anecdotes and falsehoods, and encouraging the harassment, abuse, and even violence against your colleagues. That is unacceptable, and frankly, unforgivable.
Leana Wen’s legacy will go down in history as someone who has betrayed every single one of her fellow doctors and nurses in America, in the midst of an ongoing pandemic for her own personal profit and media platform, and now launders the fictions of deranged, billionaire backed rightoid conspiracy theorists - something that has led to a rise of very real, physical violence against doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers throughout the pandemic. Here’s one specific, and fatal example:
This is the cesspool that Leana Wen has decided to make her bed in. For a little while, I used to think of “Judas” as a fun entrance jingle for professional wrestler and dad-rock musician Chris Jericho. Now I think of someone who lines her own pockets whilst betraying her colleagues and neglecting not only her children, but the tens of millions of children across America. If you’re going to be a sit-at-home MD all day Leana, why don’t you pick up a hobby instead - like solo-boardgaming or papercraft or something relatively harmless. It’s never too late to make a positive change.
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*sometimes the editor will revise a headline after publication. Hence the differences between included screencaps and the live article.