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?”
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.
Democratic politicians chimed in.
Some people pointed out Jackson’s dubious past.
Others diagnosed Jackson’s “whataboutism.”
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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