A Professor Emerita of the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health had a rather uncivil message for President Trump’s supporters on Twitter Tuesday, calling them “MAGAts” who aren’t prepared to deal with the coronavirus and suggesting that President Trump’s public health policy is to #LetThemGetSickAndDie.
Helen Halpin, who claims to be “the originator of the idea of the Public Option in heath care reform,” declared (without evidence) that “the folks most likely to be unprepared for the coronavirus #COVIDー19 Are MAGAts.”
MAGAts, of course, is a derisive term used by members of the anti-Trump Resistance to describe the president’s supporters.
The retired professor also asserted (without evidence): “Those who exclusively watch Fox News aren’t being told about the virus or epidemic. Because Trump’s afraid it will hurt his re-election chances.”
She ended her tweet by slamming Trump’s public health policies, and suggesting (again without evidence or logic) that he wants his supporters to get sick and die.
“Prof. Helen” followed that tweet up with another unhinged rant accusing Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) of being a “sycophant” who is denying the risk” of a coronations outbreak. But if you look at the senator’s tweet, or anything he’s said about the issue recently, there is no evidence whatsoever that he has denied the risk of an outbreak.
She went on to write that “it’s essential that the public trust officials in an outbreak. Or all hell breaks loose. We can trust no one.”
Grassley’s a sycophant, who’s denying the risk of a #COVID-19 outbreak.
His behavior contradicts everything I was taught & taught others about Public Health.
It’s essential that the public trust officials in an outbreak
Or all hell breaks loose.
We can trust no one. https://t.co/cyg7QQphkv
— ProfHelen (@Helenhs) February 25, 2020
Halpin’s Twitter bio reads: “UC Berkeley Prof-Health Policy, Politics. Wrote Public Option, Health Affairs 6/2010 resist #VoteBlue #NeverAgain #BLM followback #TeamPelosi #NoWarInIran #ERA.”
American Greatness reached out to Halpin on Twitter requesting comment, but did not receive an immediate reply.
The Trump administration on Tuesday was criticized by lawmakers concerned that the government is not doing enough to fight what is likely to become a pandemic.
Two Cabinet members at separate hearings were grilled over what lawmakers described as an insufficient response so far, while Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said the White House’s budget request to handle the disease was lackluster.
“It seems to me at the outset that this request for the money, the supplemental, is lowballing it, possibly, and you can’t afford to do that,” Shelby told Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a hearing on the agency’s budget request.
“If you lowball something like this, you’ll pay for it later,” he added, telling reporters he planned to recommend a “higher” amount without offering details.
President Trump answered that criticism on Twitter Tuesday night, saying his administration is doing a “GREAT job of handling Coronavirus,” pointing out that they quickly closed borders to “certain areas of the world.” The president noted that the policy “was opposed” by Democrats as “too soon,” but it “turned out to be the correct decision.”
“No matter how well we do, however, the Democrats talking point is that we are doing badly,” Trump wrote in a subsequent tweet. “If the virus disappeared tomorrow, they would say we did a really poor, and even incompetent, job. Not fair, but it is what it is. So far, by the way, we have not had one death. Let’s keep it that way!”
CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus, including the very early closing of our borders to certain areas of the world. It was opposed by the Dems, “too soon”, but turned out to be the correct decision. No matter how well we do, however, the…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020
A top U.S. health official on Tuesday also attempted to allay fears that the administration was caught flat-footed.
“I’d like to let Americans know that CDC and our nation’s public health agencies are preparing every day for this type of situation. Preparedness started long before this outbreak,” Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters at a news briefing.
“The U.S. government’s response to this spread of the novel coronavirus into our country began as soon as soon as reports of an unidentified and flu-like virus emerged from Wuhan, China,” Schuchat added.
“The U.S. has been implementing an aggressive containment strategy that requires detecting, tracking, and isolating all cases as much as possible and preventing more introductions of disease most notably at ports of entry.”
— HHS.gov (@HHSGov) February 25, 2020