The White House physician is an important job, since he is supposed to supervise the health of the US president. So it is surprising that Ronny Jackson, who held that post under both Barack Obama and Donald Trump, is a proponent of wild conspiracies, the most recent of which concerns the Omicron variant.
Roughly 24 hours after most people in America first heard about the Omicron variant of Covid-19, Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson (R) offered a conspiracy theory to explain what was happening.
“Here comes the MEV – the Midterm Election Variant,” tweeted Jackson, who, not for nothing, is also a physician. “They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election – but we’re not going to let them!”
And then there was this from Fox News personality Pete Hegseth: “Count on a variant about every October, every two years.”
The idea here is clear: The emergence of Omicron is a political gambit by Democrats designed to aid them at the ballot box.
To all those who might be tempted to believe this nonsense, do you have any idea how hard it is to manufacture a virus in the laboratory? The idea that the Democratic party has at their disposal a secret facility that can produce viruses on demand is so absurd that you have to have lost touch with reality to believe it, let alone propagate it. Or you have to think that your supporters will believe any nonsense as long as it targets Democrats.
But problems with Jackson go back beyond this latest nonsense, suggesting that he was the wrong person for this job.
On April 23, 2018, the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs postponed a hearing on Jackson’s nomination after current and former White House medical staff accused him of creating a hostile work environment, excessive drinking on the job, and dispensing medication improperly. Senator Jon Tester told CNN on April 24 that Jackson was known as “the candy man” at the White House, according to around 20 people who brought these concerns to the Veterans’ Affairs Senate Committee, because he allegedly handed out Ambien, Provigil, and other prescription drugs “like they were candy”
The OIG concluded, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Jackson had “made sexual and denigrating statements about one of his female medical subordinates to another of his subordinates”; that Jackson “drank alcohol with his subordinates in Manila, became intoxicated, and, while in his hotel room, engaged in behavior that witnesses described as screaming and yelling, and behavior that some complained might wake the President”; and that Jackson took Ambien (a sleep medication) during official travel, “raising concerns about his potential incapacity to provide proper medical care during this travel.” In addition to findings that Jackson had “engaged in inappropriate conduct involving the use of alcohol” during two presidential trips, the report also found that he “disparaged, belittled, bullied, and humiliated subordinates”; “created a negative WHMU work environment”; and “failed to conduct himself in an exemplary manner and made an unfavorable impact on the overall WHMU command climate.”
It is possible that Jackson was once a sober and responsible physician until he got the White House position and that it went to his head and he started treating it like a frat house. But that seems unlikely. People do not develop fundamental flaws in their character in middle age. The warning signs must have been there but the people who are responsible for vetting the position clearly did a very poor job.
The Daily Show has more on the idiocy spread by Jackson and others.