National Nightmare: President Donald Trump has tapped Vice President Mike Pence, an anti-science religious extremist, to lead the U.S. response to the threat of the coronavirus.
The New York Times reports:
President Trump named Vice President Mike Pence his point person to coordinate the government’s response to the coronavirus, expressing confidence that the United States would prevent a widespread domestic outbreak of the coronavirus.
The news that Pence will be in charge of the national effort to respond to the coronavirus is deeply troubling given the Vice President’s previous actions and statements on matters of science and medicine.
In fact, it is no secret that Pence is a radical religious extremist who is anti-science, anti-women, and anti-LGBT.
Pence believes that creationism should be taught in public schools.
When serving as a congressman, Pence made it clear that he opposes evolution, and believes that only creationism (intelligent design) provides a “rational explanation for the known universe.”
In 2002, Pence delivered a passionate speech on the floor of the House of Representatives arguing that evolution is “only a theory” and that public schools should teach the theory of intelligent design as well as the theory of evolution.
I believe that God created the known universe, the earth and everything in it, including man. And I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.
In other words, for Pence, the only rational explanation is “God did it.”
In his speech, Pence also made the false and misleading claim that creationism is a valid scientific alternative to the theory of evolution, arguing that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the public school science classroom.
Pence is also a climate science denier. Media Matters reports:
On the February 21, 2014, edition of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd asked Pence if he is “convinced that climate change is man-made.” Pence responded: “I don’t know that that is a resolved issue in science today.” Moments later, Pence added: “Just a few years ago, we were talking about global warming. We haven’t seen a lot of warming lately. I remember back in the ‘70s we were talking about the coming ice age.” Pence similarly stated on the May 5, 2009, edition of MSNBC’s Hardball that “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming,” as ThinkProgress noted. However, according to NASA: “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”
Pence thinks the government should pay for gay conversion therapy.
Pence is a rabid homophobe who wants to deny civil civil rights to LGBT people, and wants taxpayer money to pay for gay conversion therapy, the despicable attempt to force a child or young adult to reverse their sexual orientation or gender identity, often to satisfy the religious superstition and bigotry of ignorant parents.
As reported by PolitiFact, during his first successful run for Congress in 2000, Pence advocated for government funding of gay conversion therapy on his campaign website, under a section called Strengthening the American Family:
Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.
In other words, Pence wants taxpayers to pay for what many rational observers believe is child abuse.
In 2015, as Governor of Indiana, Pence allowed an HIV outbreak to spread, choosing prayer over a clean needle exchange.
As an HIV outbreak exploded in a rural county of Indiana, for several months Governor Pence refused to allow a clean needle exchange, despite desperate pleas from local, state and federal health officials urging the governor to allow clean needles to be distributed to slow the outbreak.
Pence could have easily prevented or mitigated a great deal of human suffering; instead, he failed to act in a timely fashion by urging prayer and rejecting medical advice, and as a consequence citizens suffered and died.
Thoughts and Prayers
In addition to rejecting evolution, promoting gay conversion therapy, and allowing a deadly HIV epidemic to spread by choosing prayer over science, Pence has also claimed that condoms are “too modern and too liberal.”
Bottom line: In what seems like a cruel joke, President Donald Trump has appointed an anti-science religious extremist to lead the U.S. response to the threat of the coronavirus.
Weep for the nation.