IA-02 may be somewhat conservative, especially in the rural areas but constituents are used to having a real congressman, Dave Loebsack, who served as a Democrat in a bipartisan manner for seven terms. Seems like MMM’s partisan antics are wearing thin already out there in the district as reflected in this scathing editorial by the Ottumwa Courier.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks can, and must, do better.
The freshman Republican that represents Iowa’s second congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives has done some good things in her short tenure. But, particularly recently, has shown a concerning detachment from facts and reality — and now a refusal to apologize for it.
On Sunday night she retweeted a story from the website Delaware Ohio News. It’s a satire website, meaning its content is made up. It doesn’t hide this fact; the site even has posted a legal statement to make clear that all stories are “satire, fiction, fake, not real.”
The headline of this completely fake, made-up news story read, “Biden Orders VA To Withhold Health Benefits From Unvaccinated Veterans.” Miller-Meeks’ retweet comment was “If true, this is insane!”
In a statement provided to some media outlets, Miller-Meeks was dismissive and deflected:
“I retweeted a story about President Biden requiring the VA to withhold benefits from unvaccinated veterans, saying ‘if true, this is insane.’ The story and website is obviously satire and makes a powerful point. President Biden’s executive orders about COVID-19 have been classic examples of government overreach and these days the unbelievable has become reality.
“With Americans trapped in Afghanistan, a immigration crisis on the southern border, and an unconstitutional overreach by President Biden to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, the media surely has more important things to cover than satirical tweets.”
That brings a couple of obvious follow-up questions. What powerful point could a fake story possibly make? How is a congresswoman promoting fake, satirical news as though it could be real, not of legitimate newsworthiness?
Her team wouldn’t respond beyond their initial statement.
The tweet remains up two days later. There has been no apology or clarification other than to some members of the press. Clearly it has caused confusion among some of her constituents, some of which seem to believe the story is true.
Sunday’s Tweet was far from her first offense. Miller-Meeks — an eye doctor and not an expert on vaccines or infectious disease — has promoted natural immunity as being supreme to COVID-19 vaccinations. There isn’t enough information to make that statement, and currently, peer-reviewed studies point to vaccinations offering better immunity. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study that showed a vaccination against COVID-19 offered more protection than previous infection. This means two things: those who have had COVID should still get vaccinated, and those who haven’t gotten COVID should get vaccinated.
In July, she tweeted that children “don’t transmit virus to adults or other children.” She appeared on a Fox Business show with a similar message. We know that statement is patently false. Last week, children accounted for a third of new cases in Iowa.
We get that Miller-Meeks is not a supporter of President Joe Biden. Clearly, he will make mistakes much like any president, and there will be plenty of policy differences. Whether vaccinations should be mandated by the government is certainly a topic ripe for debate. However, before she turns to hyper-partisanship, we remind her she lost her first three runs at Congress, and only won her fourth attempt by six votes.
Our message to Miller-Meeks is simple: Listen to the experts on COVID-19, and stick to the truth.