Thursday arrived with the news, first reported by the Washington Post, that, as the Post put it, “his wife bought stock in Gilead Sciences — which makes the antiviral drug used to treat covid-19 — on Feb, 26, 2020, before the threat from the coronavirus was fully understood by the public….”
The “dog ate my disclosure form” excuse is merely a coda to a symphony of simpering coming from Sen. Paul and other conservatives. I read those explanations in the paper, in part because I love newspapers, but also because Sen. Paul has been benched from YouTube, so I could not see his smiling visage on that platform.
That statement, to put it plainly, is not true. Moreover, it violates YouTube’s policy, which prohibits videos that spread public health misinformation including “claims that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of Covid-19.”
It is true, as Sen. Paul later asserts in his video, that N-95 respirator masks are more effective than cloth masks when each are properly fitted. Respirator masks offer the wearer a higher degree of protection from inhaling pathogens that have been exhaled by other people. But if you don’t have a stockpile of respirator masks, wearing a cloth mask (which is washable and reusable) at least offers some protection to you — and a lot of protection to others.
As a senator, Rand Paul has an absolute right, guaranteed by the Constitution, to say anything he likes on the Senate floor. But a corporation like YouTube also has rights: It is free to set the terms and conditions of its service, just as a restaurant might require a jacket and tie, or post a sign that says “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.” That’s the law of the land.
I’m sure Sen. Paul already knew this. And his whingeing (the Brits’ version of “whining,” and a word I wish we’d use more often) is, perhaps, calculated. Somehow, when we weren’t looking, conservatives became whiners. It is unlovely. Conservatives complain the left is too “woke;” I think the right is too weak.
The GOP, of course, is no longer the party of Reagan. It is the party of whiny, pampered crybabies; over-privileged, coddled conservatives who spend their time looking for an excuse to whimper about how oppressed they are.
The former President, Donald Trump, of course, is the Grand Poobah of boohoo. He whines and lies about the election he lost, about fraud that never happened and about his coverage in the media. For all I know, he’s still kvetching about low-flow toilets.
My message to Sen. Paul, Mr. Trump and every right wing diva with the vapors of victimhood: Toughen up, buttercup. And while you’re at it, try telling the truth. Wear a mask. Get a vaccine. Love your neighbor.