The Donald Trump era has seen a number of embarrassing moments that have had even the most grizzled political junkies rolling their eyes in disgust. Most of them have been provided by Trump himself–retweeting hateful and violent memes, attacking the media, outright lies, the lot. Now it appears this contagion has spread to a person who, even in this era, should be among the most trusted people in the nation–Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
The Surgeon General’s primary responsibility is to serve as the nation’s leading spokesman on public health matters. With this in mind, you would have thought that Adams would take great care to make sure he doesn’t appear to give succor to conspiracy peddlers. That’s why it should have set off a lot of alarm bells on Friday when Adams sat down with two of the loudest promoters of fake news and alternative facts about coronavirus. Namely, Lynette Hardaway and her sister Rochelle Richardson, better known as Diamond and Silk.
Watch the interview here.
Adams told Diamond and Silk that coronavirus is having a particularly severe impact on people of color. He also congratulated the ladies’ viewers for “doing the right thing” and staying home, thus sparing this country the fate of Italy and Spain.
One has to wonder if Adams would have been so willing to applaud Diamond and Silk for doing the right thing if he’d known about their unashamed promotion of disinformation about coronavirus. On March 30, for instance, they claimed that the COVID-19 death toll had been inflated to make Trump look bad, and hinted that it may have been a man-made disease concocted by the deep state.
On April 8, this not-so-dynamic duo took to Twitter to rail against the growing list of stay-at-home orders. They contended that the only way to beat coronavirus was to be “out in the environment,” and claimed that staying home “will make people sick!” Twitter locked Diamond and Silk’s account and only unlocked it when they deleted the tweet. However, a few days later, they claimed that any coronavirus vaccine was an attempt to cull the population, and wondered if 5G technology was making people sick.
It is simply beyond belief that the Surgeon General would not be aware of this. After all, you would think that Adams would have had people on his staff that could do a deep dive on Diamond and Silk before he graced them with his appearance. A simple search on Google, Facebook and Twitter would have turned up this nonsense. When the best case is that the Surgeon General didn’t make it his business to vet these two, that isn’t good.
Adams’ appearance with Diamond and Silk raised even more eyebrows after word got out that Fox News had cut ties with the sisters. The duo had uploaded shortened versions of their “Chit Chat” livestreams to Fox Nation every week since December 2018, but hadn’t uploaded anything since their infamous tweet against stay-at-home orders.
Sources at Fox News told The Daily Beast that the network had lost patience with Diamond and Silk over their relentless promotion of disinformation about coronavirus. This would seem to track with reports that Fox News higher-ups feared legal action over their downplaying of the pandemic’s extent.
Granted, this appears to be a symbolic gesture in light of Fox News’ refusal to discipline Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham for pushing disinformation almost as loudly as Diamond and Silk have done. But it says a lot that Fox News appears to have higher standards than the Surgeon General.
Adams has taken a lot of flack for urging people of color to avoid drugs, alcohol and tobacco in order to keep “abuela,” “big momma” and “pop pop” from catching coronavirus. But his appearance with Diamond and Silk is far, far worse than that. It cannot be stated loudly enough–the Surgeon General has effectively given his imprimatur to people who are peddling dangerous misinformation about this virus. Adams needs to disavow Diamond and Silk, and now.
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