Shelby County officials 'gearing up' for kids 5-11 to get COVID-19 vaccine
Over the summer, Memphis teens led the state in an influx of COVID-19 vaccinations as the delta variant surged across the state.
It could soon be possible for younger kids to get vaccinated, another reason for cautious optimism as the delta surge levels out — so long as families show up for 5- to 11-year-olds to get shots.
More:'We're in the best place we've ever been': Memphis COVID-19 expert optimistic after summer surge
Pfizer has submitted data and requested authorization from federal officials for its shot for 5-11-year-olds, and local officials are preparing to have it ready soon after the approval.
"...the state and us in Shelby County Health Department are already gearing up to be prepared to roll out that vaccine to that age group as soon as it becomes available," Michelle Taylor, health department director, said Thursday.
Availability hinges on a few different federal approvals, Taylor explained.
A Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory committee will review data on the vaccine on Oct. 26. An FDA ruling is expected soon after, according to the New York Times, which reported that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisers could review an approval as soon as early November.
More:Pfizer-BioNTech say low dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for kids 5-11
More:Pfizer seeks vaccine authorization for kids 5-11
Authorization is likely to come within "a matter of weeks, not months," the FDA's Dr. Peter Marks told USA TODAY recently.
"FDA is committed to going through those as quickly as we (can)," he said. "These data will not lay around when they come in."
If the FDA approves the vaccines, Taylor expects the CDC to meet for recommendations soon after.
When the FDA approved emergency use for the vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds in May, city officials began administering the vaccine the day after receiving state guidance. State guidance came the same day as a vote by the CDC immunization advisory committee.
Vaccination rates among young people higher than state averages, but still lag
Since then, about 46.6% of 12- to 15-year-olds have completed the series of two shots in Shelby County, state data shows. Though higher than the Tennessee rate for that age group — that's at just 31% — the rate lags behind other age groups in Shelby County. Only the rate among 21-30-year-olds, at 46%, is worse.
More:Memphis teens lead Tennessee's recent uptick in COVID-19 vaccinations, new study reports
Of people aged 16-20, 50.1% are fully vaccinated. The breakdown, in order of vaccination rate, is below. Data is current as of Wednesday:
- 71-80 years: 86.7%
- 61-70 years: 81.2%
- 81+ years: 76.2%
- 51-60 years: 74.6%
- 41-50 years: 69.1%
- 31-40 years: 58.8%
- 16-20 years: 50.1%
- 12-15 years: 46.6%
- 21-30 years: 46.0%
"We remain concerned about the vaccination rates across age groups...the pediatric vaccination rate continues to lag. We are happy that the active cases are going down, but we are continuing to encourage that population 12-to-17 to continue to get vaccinated," Taylor said.
Of the total population in the county, including age groups still ineligible for vaccine, 45% are fully vaccinated, state data show. Current community immunity could be even higher, around 80%, Dr. Manoj Jain, an infectious disease expert at Baptist Memorial Health Care who also advises the city of Memphis, said recently. But that number could change as immunities wane.
Immunity from the vaccine is more durable than natural immunity, experts, including Taylor, have said.
Taylor hopes adding vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds will boost the vaccination rate, making for a "much better holiday season" as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
"We are encouraging parents to get information from a trusted source and then take advantage of the vaccine if your children are eligible for it," Taylor said.
Young people typically do not have severe COVID-19, but can, and can have long-term effects from an infection. During the delta surge, three people younger than 18 died in Shelby County and some were hospitalized. Throughout the surge locally, about a third of all infections at a given time were among kids.
More:In Memphis, nobody knows the answer to the biggest question facing schools: Where are kids getting sick?
That infection rate has improved, and Memphis teens aged 15-19 led the state in vaccination growth leading up to the worst of delta, according to findings by faculty researchers at the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt School of Medicine.
At the time, Joan Carr, spokesperson for the health department, pointed out partnerships with Shelby County Schools. The campaign included print ads, billboards and social media posts featuring photos of SCS middle school students.
The department held back-to-school vaccination events in July, despite a Tennessee state health department directive at the time to halt such efforts for all vaccines amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers.
Two other back-to-school events, also with the city of Memphis, took place in July and August with vaccines.
"It is SCHD’s goal to normalize COVID-19 vaccination so that parents see it in the same light as they do the other vaccines that protect children from infectious diseases," Carr said at the time. "We thank Shelby County Schools for their assistance on this campaign that has had a positive impact on vaccination uptake in the 12-17 age range."
What to know about the Pfizer vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds
Pfizer's vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is safe and effective, company research shows.
The adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 30 micrograms, while the companies propose a 10 microgram dose in children ages 5 to 11. As in adults, the vaccine would be given to children in two shots, delivered at least three weeks apart.
At this lower dose, the vaccine is safe for children, leading to the same types of mostly minor side effects seen in adolescents and young adults, according to the new research.
The study of 2,268 volunteers ages 5 to 11 showed they mounted the same type of strong immune response to the vaccine as teens and young adults. Because the vaccine, called Comirnaty, has already proven effective in older groups, the companies only had to show that the vaccine led to a similar immune response in children – rather than prove it prevented COVID-19 infections – which is why this study could be so much smaller than the 44,000-person trial in adults.
The companies are also studying their vaccine in children ages 2 to 5, and 6 months to age 2, but those trials are not yet complete. Younger children are being tested on a 3 microgram dose.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now fully approved by the FDA for use in adults and older teens. The vaccine is authorized for emergency use in 12- to 15-year-olds.
USA Today Network contributed reporting.
Laura Testino covers education and children's issues for the Commercial Appeal. Reach her at [email protected] or 901-512-3763. Find her on Twitter: @LDTestino
Memphis Animal Services, Shelby County Health team up for pet vaccinations
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department and Memphis Animal Services teamed up Saturday to protect the furry members of our family.
The two organizations held pet vaccination events at several locations between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
At the Orange Mound Community Center on Park Ave. and at the Shelby County Health Department on Sycamore View Rd., people were able to bring their cats and dogs to the center to receive vaccinations and license tags.
Free DA2PP vaccinations, which protect dogs against five serious illnesses including parvovirus, were given to dogs and free FVRCP vaccinations, which protect cats from three serious illnesses were given to cats.
Cats and dogs also received free microchips to help their families find their four-legged friends in case they go missing.
Low-cost rabies vaccinations were also available for cats and dogs at several locations across the Mid-South.
Animal lovers showed up on a first-come-first-serve, drive-thru basis.
Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor said the animal health care services help keep, not just pets but, the entire community healthier and safer.
“These health care services for pets will help to keep pets, their owners, and our entire community healthier and safer,” Taylor said. “Rabies is a virus that is still quite common among wild animals in our region. Cats and dogs may be exposed to infected animals in our own yards. Protecting our pets through vaccination prevents the potential spread of rabies to our children and families.”
The animal health care events continue on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Orange Mound Community Center, 2572 Park Ave. and the Shelby County Health Department at 1826 Sycamore View Rd.
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Community leader Hannah Phillips, 92, dies
WINNSBORO – Raised in the White Oak community and later a Winnsboro resident, Hannah Phillips, 92, was always involved in the community, whether as a Girl Scout leader or a member of the Governor’s Community Improvements Board. And for that involvement she received the Community Partner award from the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce last month as well as many other accolades.
Longtime friend Pelham Lyles, Director of the Fairfield County Museum, lamented Phillips’ death on Tuesday and recalled what Phillips did for the Fairfield community during her lifetime.
“She did a lot. She touched many areas of the community and made it a better place for many of us. She was the heart and soul of this museum.” Lyles said.
A graduate of Erskine College, Phillips had a keen interest in the county’s history and preservation.
She was responsible for having White Oak placed on the National Register of Historic Places and was a charter member and board member of the Fairfield County Historical Society and the recipient of its Distinguished Service Award in 1985. She was chairman of the Fairfield County Historical Commission and a charter member of the Winnsboro Downtown Development Association. She also served as Chairman of the Olde English District Commission comprising seven counties.
Phillips put her love of history into action, serving as a Fairfield County Tour guide for over 40 years. She organized several country-wide tours including one at Lake Wateree: “Come by land or come by seas!” For over 6 years, “Hannah’s History Quiz” was featured on the local radio station.
During her fifty-year membership of the Anemone Garden Club, Phillips served several terms as president. She was also a member of the first faculty of Richard Winn Academy, serving on its board as well, and she was a Cub Scout Den Mother, a Girl Scout Leader, director of a Girl Scout Day Camp and a board member of the Congaree Girl Scout Council.
Always interested in bettering her community, Phillips was the first chairman of the Fairfield County Beautification and Community Improvement Committee sponsored by Clemson Extension. Much to her credit, during this time Fairfield County won the Governor’s Award each year.
Phillips was also a member of the Friends of the Library, a board member, and she wrote several books about her family. She had a very special interest in the SC Railroad Museum where she was a Trustee and lifetime member.
She and her husband, the late Phil Phillips, were charter members of the Cotillion.
Perhaps her favorite honor was her family being named “South Carolina Family of the Year” in 1986, an award received based on the family’s unity, individual growth and service to the community.
Phillips’ family posted to her Facebook page early on Wednesday morning, prompting responses from the community of a life well-lived.
“A true Southern lady with so much knowledge of the history of Winnsboro and Fairfield County. She will be missed by many,” Rod Wilkes wrote.
“Fairfield County has lost a true treasure,” Anne Marie said.
“Ms. Hannah is a Fairfield County icon and will be missed,” Bobby Caldwell commented.
“Ms. Hannah was loved by all because of the way she loved,” Ainsley Martin added.
But perhaps a comment from Carolyn Rutland summed Phillips’ involvement up best. “Well I guess if there was a Mrs. Winnsboro, it would surely be her.”
Is Fox News Really All That Powerful?
I’m Jane Coaston, and this is The Argument.
Earlier this month, I was scrolling Twitter, as you do. And I came across this tweet by the writer Matt Taibbi. It read, “Fox is one channel that no longer represents real institutional political influence in this country anymore. The financial, educational, political elite with all the power is on the other side. And I think they’re the people to be worrying about.”
I have known of Matt’s work for a long time. He’s a longtime political and financial journalist who covered the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. He famously argued that Goldman Sachs was a, quote, great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity. He was a lightning rod, often because he criticizes mainstream media like The New York Times. And he’s right a lot of big issues, but I think he’s wrong on this.
However, his tweet offered what I thought was a really interesting frame to think about where power actually lies in America. Is it held by the people who watch Fox News, including your neighbors and Republican representatives, senators, judges, and the former president of the United States, or the financial, educational, political, elite, like Wall Street, academia, big tech. Could the answer be both?
So I invited Matt on the show, along with Michelle Cottle. Michelle is a member of The New York Times editorial board and has been covering national politics since the Clinton administration. She was raised solidly Republican and has written about how the people Matt’s referring to, the Fox News watchers, have wielded their power to intimidate Congress.
I started by asking Matt why he wrote the tweet.
So first of all, I spent most of 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis covering Wall Street. One of the major stories that I spent a lot of time on in the last couple of decades is the rise in income inequality. And so I don’t think of politics in terms of blue versus red. I don’t think of it in terms of Democrats versus Republicans.
My way of thinking about politics is probably closer to the definitions that the Occupy Movement came up with, which is the 1% versus everybody else. And my question is, who do those people vote for? Where are they investing their money? What institutions are they sponsoring? And you know, I think overwhelmingly, we’ve seen that there’s been a shift in how those people behave politically.
I mean, Thomas Piketty did a paper recently that talked about the Brahmin Left and the Merchant Right, where the traditional picture is the wealthy people in society tend to support the right, whereas people who are educated tend to support the left. And the United States is a little bit of an exception to that picture. Increasingly, both the educational and financial elite in this country are supporting Democrats.
And I don’t mean the left by that, I mean the Democratic party.
Right, it’s important to separate this, because if you talk to people on the left, they do not think of themselves being Democrats, the same way there are a lot of people on the right who do not think of themselves as being Republicans.
Exactly. If you ask what is Fox, who do they represent? They represent a lot of people, but apart from that, you can’t really say they’re backing a major swath of the institutional power in this country as you might have 20 years ago, or during the Bush years, when Fox News was what you watch to see what the people who are getting us into the war in Iraq were thinking. That’s not so much the case anymore.
I think there’s been a shift in terms of the political picture in this country, and it’s very much expressed by, for me, the censorship issue.
Michelle, what do you think Matt is getting right and wrong about this intersection of power. In my view, wealthy people tend to support whatever will keep them wealthy.
I don’t think you can lump everything together. And I don’t think it works just as purely an economic proposition, especially because populism in this country may have economic roots, but the way it plays out in politics is not economic. It’s kind of ethnonationalist. What Trump was pitching was not an economic populism, that’s not where his policy —
That’s not true.
— that’s not where his policies went. What he was doing had a certain economic flair to it. But when you look at what really motivates people, it was the immigration issue. It was the, they’re coming for your kids issue. It’s — they’re destroying the American way of life issue. So it gets beyond economics pretty quickly.
And I would say — I wrote a piece a while back that, essentially, Trump ran as one thing and governed as another thing, and ran as kind of someone who could be all things to all people type of candidate, and then governed basically as Mitch McConnell.
Well, I covered Trump’s campaign, so I was at his speeches. And it’s absolutely not true that there was no economic component to his address in 2016. It was a huge part of the picture. Obviously, race and immigration were central issues for Trump. There is absolutely no doubt about that. And he played on some of the worst instincts of the electorate.
But there were enormous similarities between the Trump movement and, for instance, the Bernie Sanders movement. And I heard people who I interviewed over and over and over again responding to all kinds of things in Trump’s message. I heard Trump argue against the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies. I heard him going after the press. The elitist press was a huge part of his presentation.
That’s not economics. We’re talking economics —
It’s a class issue.
No, no, we’re not talking about class and culture, because the cosmopolitan —
I’m talking about class.
Well, we were talking about economics, and that’s different. His pitch in 2016, as Jane points out, was not how he governed, and it’s not how he ran in 2020. So he pretty quickly discovered that the key to maintaining his popularity wasn’t to actually provide a huge tax cut for the struggling people. It was to tell them that the immigrants were coming for their jobs.
Well, you can also make the argument that that’s how he lost the election. As Jane says, he ran as one thing. He could easily have done something else when he got into office. Who knows if that might have done better for him? I mean, maybe the fact that he didn’t win in 2020 is connected to the fact that he didn’t deliver on his message. This idea, a betrayal of sort of ordinary working people, was a huge part of his message.
Now he might have been dishonest about that, but there’s no denying that was a huge part of his message, and that his criticism of this idea of a political and financial elite that had tuned the rest of America out was central to his whole pitch.
I want to jump in here, because I think that, Matt, you mentioned Trump going after the press. You kind of mentioned, like, the cosmopolitan elite of the press. I am the cosmopolitan elite.
That’s how I think of you, Jane.
Yeah, it’s like a Jeeves and Wooster book just breaks out every ten minutes. Lots of piano. But I think that there very much is a difference of opinion here about what institutional power really means here. You see accusations of, like, the cosmopolitan media. But those accusations are coming from senators, senators who can pass legislation.
What does this mean? What are these differences in power and where power lies actually mean, when it’s between a powerful media outlet, but also getting yelled at by powerful politicians like the president.
Sure, OK, but if you want to talk about the media, it’s not even close how the media tilts. I mean, when I came in to the news media — and I’m also the son of a journalist, I grew up in a family of journalists. The composition of the news media class-wise has changed dramatically in the last 50 years and in my lifetime.
When my father was coming up in the business — and obviously, let me say, the business had tremendous problems with diversity. It was almost entirely white and male once upon a time. That was a serious problem. It was also intensely militaristic. But going back to the 1960s and 1970s, maybe the 1960s, journalism was more like a trade than a profession. People who were in journalism, they were more likely to be the sons and daughters of electricians or plumbers than they were to be Ivy League educated people.
And that changed with my generation. After All The President’s Men, they overwhelmingly voted Democratic. They were not as iconoclastic as they had been before. And by the time Trump is yelling at the press in 2016, Donald Trump is wrong about almost everything, but the observation that he was making, I think incoherently, in 2016 about us was correct. We were almost entirely very well-educated.
The national news media comes from a very narrow slice of America and they have enormous influence on how this country thinks. You can’t really grasp what this means to the rest of the country. They feel completely locked out of the debate as presented in the national news media.
Something that drives me nuts is that we have these kind of intra-media debates. There is an entire swath of people who do not care. There’s an idea I once saw on Twitter I’ve never forgotten, that liberals kind of have cultural power in America, but want political power, and conservatives wield political power in America but want cultural power. And so no one is happy.
Does that seem even to you? Because I think that for many liberals they would say, like, I would give up the Grammys to have more Supreme Court nominations, or something like that.
So you got to make a distinction between pop cultural power and cultural power. So now, I grew up in Tennessee and Alabama. Mostly, I come from a family of hardcore Republicans. They have at some point moved to Texas and went feral. So I get an earful about the media. And my father and I during the Trump administration just could not discuss the media or anything along those lines, because of his sense that they were out to get him and all of his conservative friends.
I think there is a real sense of persecution, or resentment, or feeling looked down on. And let’s be clear, my father is not a poor out of work coal miner. He is a very affluent, well-educated Republican, and has been for years. But he and all of his friends do have this real sense that the culture is leaving them behind. We are talking about the secularization of America, the ethnic and racial diversity that has kind of displaced white men.
The growth of gay rights, which — I’m not that old, but when I was younger, gay rights, what was that? That wasn’t even a thing, really. The loosening of traditional gender roles — all of these things are kind of moving in the direction that conservatives see, makes them uncomfortable, and they just kind of feel like if they speak out against it, they will be trashed by the media, the cosmopolitan elite, all of the people that Trump railed against.
For them, Trump was an opportunity to push back at the people they felt were running over them, despite the fact that they are incredibly affluent and powerful.
Right, when you’re talking about the 1% versus the 99%, part of the reason that I think that that messaging was so effective was that the 99% was encompassing millions of Americans, and that was the pop in the populism. Matt, how do we think about class and economics when you have people like Michelle’s father, who is — as Michelle said, pretty affluent — but is still seeing himself as being put upon culturally. How do you think that works?
Look, this is an argument that’s constantly made, that the people who are in populist movements in this country shouldn’t be, because they have plenty of money and they’re affluent. It’s not actually an economic situation. A couple of things in response to that. First of all, again, there’s been a tremendous demonstrated shift in how the wealthy vote in this country in the last 20 years.
After the 2010 midterms, 41 of the 50 wealthiest congressional districts now had Democrats, Democratic congresspeople. The top ten wealthiest districts were all Democratic. It’s been moving in that direction for a while. And after 2008, the only people who saw net gains in wealth were at the very top of society. There’s tremendous poverty and despair all over the country.
And it’s not just confined to a couple of places. It’s all over the country. And it’s completely myopic to say that this doesn’t have an impact on national politics on both the Republican and the Democratic side. And again, I can’t stress enough that I heard the same kinds of complaints from Sanders voters that I heard from Trump voters. On the Trump side, I would hear a former auto worker say, you know, Bill Clinton promised us that they were going to do retraining.
And after NAFTA, that there were going to be plenty of jobs for people like me. And my family was a union family and we voted Democratic for decades. And now I’m voting the other way. Like, I met a lot of people like that. And yes, there are people who have money who voted for Trump. There’s no question about that. And there are a lot of people who voted for Trump for terrible reasons.
But you can’t ignore that there’s this other contingent behind the populist movement in this country.
I think it’s worth talking about how the people who do have power in whatever sense, how they have used it in these different ways. And so occasionally we see this in conflicts over quote, unquote big tech. So you see Twitter and Facebook using their power to moderate the news and thus moderate what people see on these platforms.
But conservatives would argue that that way of shaping the cultural milieu is an incredible show of power to be able to do that.
And YouTube, yes. But then we see Republicans — there have been a host of efforts in states across the country to essentially limit the ballot box. We’ve seen already with the electoral college and the Senate being weighted towards Republicans, specifically Republicans in rural states. Michelle, is that even in any way, or not? And why is one worse than the other, would you argue?
I think if you talk to anybody across the political spectrum, there’s a kind of growing sense that big tech has too much power. But in general, we’re back to the question of balancing the political power and structure of Republican politics with what is seen as the cultural world being against them. And I think it’s important to note that both sides use this as a tool.
It is very powerful politically to say, this is against me, so it’s necessary for me to fight back with this. So Republicans say, well the culture is against me, academics are against me, big tech is against me. If you look at Marjorie Taylor Greene, every crazy thing that comes out of her mouth, she’s like, well, they’re just against me and trying to cancel me, so of course I have to do xyz.
And the same thing happens on the Democratic side, where they’re, like, Republicans are trying to tear down democracy. So of course, we have to do abc. So let’s just stipulate that this is a game that politicians play. Now, that does not mean that it doesn’t have some real world consequences.
My concern with a lot of these voter laws you’re seeing passed in the states where, incidentally, Republicans still control the vast majority of state governments, so they can meddle in elections and redistricting and all of that a lot more efficiently. But it’s not even so much the voter access laws that are quite so terrifying as the, well, if we don’t like how it comes out, we’ve given the power to the Republican state legislature to toss out whatever election officials they don’t like.
Matt, I was just thinking about how even in state legislatures where Republicans hold total power, they don’t act like it. They act as if they are being besieged by some cultural entity that is somehow more powerful than them, which is why all they can do are these signaling legislation, instead of doing things like fixing electrical grids. But I’m interested to see your thoughts on that kind of political power on that state level?
Again, I am just not focused on that. I’m deeply worried about Silicon Valley. The confluence of companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, these companies are more powerful than nations are at this point. Their ability to control information flow is unprecedented. It’s a thing that we have to worry about on a scale that we haven’t had to worry about in our history.
And this phenomenon of content moderation of a handful of unaccounted, unelected people with no transparency, making decisions about what people can and cannot see, is a completely new and terrifying and dystopian development in American history. Again, the split here is not so much about left versus right as it is about big versus small.
One of the first stories I covered was about Google’s Project Owl. And actually, it was covered in The New York Times when they made a shift in their algorithm. And a series of small, independent media outlets on both the left and the right, ranging from the World Socialist Website to Truthdig saw massive drops in traffic.
And it’s things like that — the locking out of the Hunter Biden story, which was, I think, an unprecedented act — this is where I think we have to worry about in the future. There’s no due process for any of this. It’s a complete replacement of how we used to distribute information to people. And ultimately we’re going to be dependent upon their political leanings going forward. And that’s an extremely dangerous situation.
For me, I am less concerned about Silicon Valley or Silicon Valley as it stands. I think Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is one of the greatest laws ever written in the story of collective time. With regard to giving these entities the power to moderate and edit third party as end user content and not get sued for it.
Why aren’t you concerned about it? If you work in the media, they could say tomorrow, I’m sorry, we’re not going to distribute your material. And what would you be able to do?
Yeah, but they could say that to me anyway today. I mean, The Times could do that right now if they wanted to. I recognize that these companies have an immense amount of power. But we tend to treat power as, like, a pie, that we’re like, well, if Silicon Valley has this much power, that must mean that state governments or the government writ large has less power because Twitter has more power, when I don’t think that’s how it works.
All of these entities have a lot of power, but state government has the power of state violence.
Well, state government also has the advantage of nobody pays any attention to it, in part because local media has been decimated. So you do have a lot of power in the hands of these legislatures, and not as much sunshine as would be useful as a counterbalance.
I want to back up a little bit. My argument is not that social media entities — that that’s not a form of power. And my argument is not that politicians don’t have power. My argument is that everyone in this conversation, if you are able to take part in this conversation, you have power in some ways. But it is extremely, as we’ve mentioned, very profitable to say I’m actually not that powerful and kind of foisting it off.
Y’know, we’re lowly Facebook. All we’re trying to do is help people come together and Facebook groups, I don’t know, adopt puppies — which is actually one of the few Facebook groups I am in.
Hello, this is Joey calling from New York. I love your podcast. And the thing that I’m arguing about with anyone who will listen is the existence of organized religion in today’s society. Is it necessary? More importantly, is it necessary to provide moral code for the way we ought to act. As a confirmed Catholic, someone who was raised Catholic, but these days is more agnostic, I think that the church as an institution is more harmful than it is helpful and very hypocritical in a lot of ways.
But I also a lot of Catholics who are good and honest and beyond decent people. So I just wonder what the role of organized religion is in our society? And again, how can we sort of come to a middle ground in terms of acknowledging the flaws in religion, but also seeing the good parts? Thank you very much.
Joey, I think that’s a question that would not just be a podcast episode but an entire podcast, many books, and perhaps an entire line of thinking. But I argue that much of what can be problematic within, say, Catholicism, which you and I were both raised in, was never necessarily the strictures of Catholicism, but the people of Catholicism.
Those are the people who failed the Catholic Church as the Catholic Church failed a lot of other people. I think that the challenge here is that organized religion — I don’t really see the problem being in the religion part, or in the organized part, it’s the fact that people are involved. But I think we’ve seen throughout history that the role of faith can guide people to be truly great.
So the role of organized religion in our society is an integral part of our society. And I don’t really think that we can do anything about that, because I think even the effort to exercise organized religion is itself problematic, because that again is people doing a thing. And people, again, are sometimes not so great. So I hope this was helpful and let me know if you disagree or agree.
Normally, this is where I ask you what you’re arguing about, but right now, a lot of workplaces that weren’t remote during the pandemic are making return to office plans. So I want to know, how are you feeling about going back to in-person work if you weren’t already working in person? Whether you’ve been working remotely all year or are an essential worker, leave me a voicemail by calling 347-915-4324. And we might play an excerpt of it on a future episode.
I want to ask you, Matt, like, how much power do you think voters actually have? And are voters influencing politicians or policy, or is it going the other way?
A huge theme in the reporting that I’ve done for most of my career is that voters have less power than they think. The press has always highlighted the divisions between Republicans and Democrats, whereas I think the most important areas to focus on if you’re a journalist are the areas where they agree. It’s what the donors want is the most important thing.
So you might have a significant number of people who want gun control or want to reduce the defense budget, but what we end up getting, almost always, is what the donors want. So it’s important for me, I always thought, to focus on — where’s the money? What do these institutional sectors of the country want? And what are they actually getting? I covered the financial services industry for a long time.
After 2008, the public was furious. They wanted a whole range of reforms. And they voted for politicians who said they were going to do all kinds of things. And we ended up getting almost nothing in terms of actual reform after 2008 that had any teeth in it.
Meanwhile, Wall Street got massively bailed out, including the people who were directly responsible for the 2008 crash. And my understanding of American politics is informed by that dynamic, the idea that money translates to power, and voters are kind of incidental to the picture because they’ve had limited choices.
One of the things that’s shifting, though, in that is that the activist base is what lawmakers say they’re most afraid of. And in part, it’s because now there is this ability to raise money through the internet and other means with smaller donors. Like, when corporate America for its very brief window post-January 6th decided it was going to cut off funding to a lot of members, the individual donors actually stepped up in a lot of cases.
And their funding filled the gap, especially with kind of firebrands like the Marjorie Taylor Greens and people like that, her fundraising numbers were eye popping. And this was not from folks in her district. It was from folks in her district and nationwide who like her firebrand persona. And they’re, like, this is what I want. I’m going to give to her. It’s the activist base now has a lot more oomph in fundraising as well.
I did have one more question here, which is that — I’ve said before that I think a lot of these cultural battles, or cultural war things, are kind of bread and circuses. I do think a lot of this is sort of, like, well, we’ll give them something to yell about somewhere else and then they won’t yell at us.
Or we can say that we put out a letter about how much we oppose this kind of training happening in the military, or something — like you can position yourself in all the right ways and not really have to do anything. But with that said, Michelle, is there any sign of this ever ending? I personally don’t think so, because I feel like we’ve been culture warring quote, unquote since like 1967. And this is kind of what we do.
But I would ask, would this ever end? And who’s winning?
No, it’s not ending. That’s an easy one. And the question of who wins, it’s like — it’s little skirmishes. You’re going to gain ground here, you’re going to lose ground there. On some issues, like L.G.B.T. rights, I think there’s been massive ground gained by the progressive side. But the battles over guns and the abortion wars kind of wax and wane. I mean, it’s going to be an ongoing thing. And there’s always something new to pop up. There’s always going to be some new front in this.
I mean, again, I think we’re in the middle of a major shift in terms of a lot of the dynamics that you’re talking about. Michelle, you talked about the increased power of the activist base. Well, we’ve seen in the last couple of election cycles some major changes in patterns in American voting. So prior to 2016, it was basically a tendency that whoever raised the most money was going to win in a national election.
Donald Trump raised a little more than half of what Hillary Clinton raised and he still won the election, which was an enormous demonstration of a change in how American voters behaved. When they were told that Donald Trump was an unacceptable choice, they defied the sort of national consensus about that. Similarly, the Bernie Sanders movement was a major change in sort of how Democratic Party politics were organized.
Typically, the leading candidates had always been corporate funded and had depended upon the financial services industry, the health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies. Now, you had a candidate who was actually able in position to win without corporate influence. Now, they rallied and defeated him anyway, but this is something we’re seeing all around the world, this phenomenon of people trying to take back power from the institutions that had concentrated power previously.
And the tendency here is that the institutional powers are going to strike back. They’re going to clamp down. They’re going to have authoritarian solutions to try to curb the impulses of the population. And we’ve seen that in countries all over the world. And I think this is a new reality that we’re going to see in politics, not just in America, but around the world, that we’re going to stop thinking in terms of left and right, Democrat and Republican, and we’re going to think about insiders versus outsiders.
And that’s going to be the new framework that’s going to be definitional.
So Matt, I did have just one more question for you. If you have people who are gathered together in opposition to, say, state government, but their reasonings are so disparate that it almost doesn’t make any sense — like Senator Josh Hawley isn’t mad at Twitter or Facebook because they curtailed the rights of leftist activists. He’s mad at Twitter or Facebook because he thinks that they’re censoring conservatives.
And if they were to censor people on the hard left, he’d be, like, amazing get the Ayatollah off Twitter. But there are a host of people who still count him among the people who are challenging tech hegemony. Where does that go?
I keep thinking about — there was an incident. I had to do a story about foreclosure in Jacksonville, Florida, and had to go to this thing called a rocket docket, where the courts were so overloaded with foreclosure cases they had to create special courts and bring judges out of retirement to rubber stamp. They rented out, like, little tiny conference rooms to do this.
And they had this ancient, retired judge who was just basically foreclosing a family every couple of minutes. Now, in that room were people who were across the political spectrum. There were hardcore conservatives, Republicans, and then there were poor minorities who voted Democrat their entire life. And they’re all saying the same thing, which was I can’t believe that they bailed out those banks on Wall Street and they’re going to put us out in the street.
Those people had something in common. You know what I’m saying? And I think at some point when things get bad enough, then their distaste for the status quo is going to outweigh their distaste for each other is my sense. They’re never going to agree about everything, but we have to weigh the things, the disagreements, that are more important, and figure out what’s most crucial to us, whether we hate each other about x or y cultural issues or whether we want to have more political influence over our economic futures.
That’s something that still has to be decided. But I do think that it’s a possibility that you could see those divisions being overridden by the kind of common misery.
You’re a very hopeful person. I have a —
He’s a glass half full kind of guy.
I was like, wow, I did not — that’s an incredible amount of optimism. I have witnessed and seen that people who agree on many things will let their overpowering loathing for one another supersede everything. Hate is an incredibly powerful emotion. And on that note —
Matt Taibbi is author of several books — most interestingly to me, Hate Inc. And he’s the writer of Substack newsletter “TK News.” Michelle Cottle is a member of The New York Times editorial board. Thank you both so much for joining me.
Thank you. Thank you, Jane.
I can’t recommend you read all the think pieces out there about power, but there are a couple of things I referenced in our conversation, including the book Dignity: Seeking Respect In Back Row America by Chris Arnade. And my piece in Vox, “Trump Was Supposed To Change The GOP: The GOP Changed Him.” You can find links to these in our episode notes.
The Argument is a production of New York Times Opinion. It’s produced by Phoebe Lett, Elisa Guterres, and Vishakha Darba, edited by Alison Bruzek and Paula Szuchman, with original music, mixing, and sound design by Isaac Jones. Additional mixing by Carol Sabouraud, fact checking by Kate Sinclair, and audience strategy by Shannon Busta.
Taylor facebook michelle
Marjorie Taylor Greene
American politician, businesswoman, and conspiracy theorist
"Marjorie Greene" redirects here. For the philosopher, see Marjorie Grene. For the mathematician and tennis player born Marjorie Greene, see Marjorie Hahn.
Marjorie Taylor Greene (born May 27, 1974), also known by her initials MTG, is an American politician, businesswoman, and far-rightconspiracy theorist serving as the U.S. representative for Georgia's 14th congressional district. A member of the Republican Party and a strong supporter of former president Donald Trump, Greene was elected to Congress in November 2020 and sworn into office on January 3, 2021.
Greene has promoted far-right, white supremacist, and antisemitic conspiracy theories including the white genocide conspiracy theory,QAnon, and Pizzagate, as well as other disproven conspiracy theories such as false flag mass shootings, the Clinton body count, and those related to 9/11. Before running for Congress, she advocated for executing prominent Democratic politicians. As a congresswoman, she equated the Democratic Party with Nazis and compared COVID-19 safety measures to the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust. She apologized for the latter comparison.
A supporter of Trump's efforts to overturn his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, Greene has repeatedly and falsely claimed that Trump won the election in a landslide victory that was stolen from him. She called for Georgia's election results to be decertified and was among a group of Republican legislators who unsuccessfully challenged votes for Biden during the Electoral College vote count, even though federal agencies and courts overseeing the election found no evidence of electoral fraud. Greene filed articles of impeachment against Biden the day after his inauguration, alleging abuse of power.
The House of Representatives voted to remove Greene from all committee roles on February 4, 2021, in response to her incendiary statements and endorsements of political violence. Eleven Republicans joined the unanimous Democrats in the vote. Greene is running for reelection in 2022.
Early life and education
Greene was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, on May 27, 1974, the daughter of Robert Taylor. She graduated from South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Georgia, in 1992, and the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1996.
In statements made during 2019, and in a House floor speech on February 4, 2021, in which she explained her position on gun rights and school shootings, Greene alluded to being affected by a September 1990 incident at her high school in which an armed student held 53 students hostage for over five hours.
Early career and activism
In 2002, Greene's father sold Taylor Commercial, a general contractor based in Alpharetta, Georgia that he founded, to Greene and her husband, Perry. The couple are vice president and president, respectively, of the company.
Greene was listed as the chief financial officer of Taylor Commercial from 2007 to 2011, but a 2021 Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation determined that she had no significant presence at the company. In 2011, Greene stepped down as the company's CFO and began CrossFit training.
By 2012, Greene was working as a part-time coach at an Alpharetta CrossFit gym. In August 2013, she co-founded a CrossFit gym, CrossFit Passion, in Alpharetta, along with Travis Mayer, a CrossFit athlete, before leaving the business in early 2017. In a 2015 interview, Greene said that when she and Mayer founded the gym, they knew little about how to run a business.
In 2021, Greene said that she became politically engaged during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. Beginning in 2017, she wrote 59 articles as a correspondent for the now defunct American Truth Seekers, a conspiracy news website, and beginning in January 2018, 27 articles for Law Enforcement Today, a pro-police fake news website. In 2017, Greene visited Washington, D.C. to protest against a Republican gun control compromise.
Greene was a top official of the Family America Project, a conservative group founded in January 2018. She was a moderator of the organization's Facebook group, in which members posted death threats against Democrats, bigotry directed at the Obamas, and support for multiple conspiracy theories, including claims associated with the John Birch Society about the U.S. government being infiltrated by communists.[a]
In February 2019, Greene visited the U.S. Capitol and congressional offices. In a livestream video Greene posted on Facebook, she is seen outside Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's office, calling through the mail slot for Ocasio-Cortez to unlock the door and "face the American citizens that you serve", as well as telling her to "get rid of your diaper". She also called Ocasio-Cortez's office a day care. When visiting the offices of Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, Greene falsely claimed that they were not "official" representatives because they were sworn in to Congress on the Quran. In the videos, Greene said that she wanted Omar and Tlaib to instead be sworn in on the Bible and accused them of supporting Islamic law.
U.S. House of Representatives
Main article: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia § District 14
Having originally announced her intention to run in Georgia's 7th congressional district, Greene instead began her campaign in the 6th district, where she resided, on June 4, 2019.[b] She stated her commitment to balance the federal budget and restrain Congress from using its constitutional power to spend new money into existence, adding: "If we look at our country as our household, we're going to go under foreclosure because we're overspending." Greene also criticized her expected primary opponent, former U.S. representative Karen Handel, for supporting large omnibus spending bills and a series of electoral losses: "She's lost seven races in her entire political career... She steps down from seats that she does win so she can campaign for something else. Basically I would call her [a] professional campaigner, but she loses."
On December 13, 2019, Greene announced that she was shifting her campaign to the 14th district after incumbentTom Graves announced he would not run for reelection there. The district includes much of Northwest Georgia, stretching from the Georgia side of the Chattanooga metropolitan area to the exurbs of Atlanta. Members of the House are constitutionally required to live in the state they represent, but not necessarily in the same congressional district. Hence, although Greene had long lived in Milton, in the 6th district, there would have been no legal barrier to Greene running for the 14th. Still, she said she intended to move to the 14th if she ran there. She subsequently bought a home in nearby Paulding County, which is in the 14th. By the time she was sworn in in January 2021, Greene reported having moved to Rome, also firmly in the 14th.
On February 29, 2020, Greene spoke at a gun rights rally in Villanow hosted by Silent No Longer, a group campaigning to make Walker County a Second Amendment sanctuary. At the rally, she held up a banner for American Patriots USA – a far-right group attempting to further its influence with Georgia Republicans. Greene posed for photos with Chester Doles, a 5th-generation Ku Klux Klansman, Grand Klaliff leader, and founder of APUSA; Doles has nearly a dozen assault arrests and served two separate prison sentences in Maryland.
Greene campaigned as a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump. She ran on the slogan "Save America, Stop Socialism!" In the days before the primary, Facebook took down a Greene video for violating its terms of service. In the video, Greene held an AR-15 style rifle and warned antifa groups to "stay the hell out of Northwest Georgia."
Greene finished first in the June 9 primary. Trump tweeted, "A big winner." Because no candidate received a majority of the vote, she faced neurosurgeon John Cowan – a Trump supporter Greene labeled a RINO – in a runoff election.
|Republican||Marjorie Taylor Greene||43,892||40.3|
In a July 14 runoff debate, Cowan questioned Taylor Commercial's acceptance of Paycheck Protection Program money in relation to Greene's opposition to congressional appropriations of relief funds during the pandemic and also Taylor Commercial's donations to Greene's political campaign. Taylor Commercial received $182,300 in PPP funding from the Small Business Administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. SBA filings declared Taylor Commercial expected to save 12 jobs with the funds. Around two months after her company received the PPP loan, Greene donated $450,000 from her company to her campaign.
Greene won the August 11 runoff. On the day after her runoff victory, Trump tweeted his support for her, calling her a future Republican star.
|Republican||Marjorie Taylor Greene||43,813||57.1|
Greene was considered an overwhelming favorite to win the seat in the general election, as the 14th district typically votes heavily Republican. In 2017 The Cook Political Report ranked the district the 10th-most Republican in the country.
On September 3, 2020, Greene shared a meme to her Facebook page depicting herself holding an AR-15 style rifle next to a collage of pictures of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib. She wrote that it was time for "strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart"; the caption under the images was "Squad's worst nightmare". Pelosi called the meme a threat of violence, and Omar demanded that it be deleted after claiming it had triggered death threats. In response to questions from Forbes about whether the meme was a threat, a Greene campaign spokesperson dismissed that idea. Facebook deleted the meme the next day for violating its policies on inciting violence, prompting Greene to claim that Democrats were trying to cancel her. On September 19, 2020, Greene appeared at a gun rights rally in Ringgold, Georgia, where the Georgia III% Martyrs provided security "wearing camouflage, body armor, radios, and in one case a battle ax." During the rally, Greene had Chester Doles – with whom she had posed for a photo earlier in the year – ejected, and U.S. SenatorKelly Loeffler made a brief appearance.
Greene was expected to face Democratic IT specialist Kevin Van Ausdal, but he withdrew from the race on September 11. This left Greene unopposed in the general election, which she won with 74% of the vote. Van Ausdal, whose name remained on the ballot, took 25%. During her victory speech, Greene called Pelosi "anti-American", a "hypocrite", and a "bitch" whom "we're going to kick ... out of Congress", and had a reporter from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ousted from the venue after he tweeted quotes from her speech. She later mocked Van Ausdal's appearance and got into an argument with former Republican senator Jeff Flake on Twitter.
In the days after the election, Greene made deceptive claims that her husband Perry's Floyd County voting record revealed voter fraud, writing on social media that when her husband went to vote early, he was told he had received an absentee ballot despite not requesting one. Floyd County chief elections clerk Robert Brady told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that nothing happened to the missing ballot, and that it was canceled according to procedure, adding that: "he [Perry Greene] signed an affidavit on [October] 23rd and he was allowed to vote. [...] He only voted one time."
Prominent Republicans who supported Greene in her candidacy included Donald Trump; U.S. representatives Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Matt Gaetz; Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk; and Trump's chief of staffMark Meadows. Meadows's wife, Debbie Meadows, is the executive director of RightWomen Pac, which endorsed Greene and contributed $17,500 to her runoff campaign. Other donors included Barb Van Andel-Gaby – the chair of board of the Heritage Foundation – and attorney L. Lin Wood, who later promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. Greene also received support from the House Freedom Fund, a political action committee and the campaign fundraising arm of the House Freedom Caucus. The Georgia Republican Party contributed $5,220 to her campaign treasury on March 2, 2020.
In September 2021, the Federal Election Commission asked Greene's 2022 reelection campaign treasurer, Perry Greene (her husband), to provide information about $3.5 million of unitemized donations from undisclosed donors in the first half of 2021. By federal law, only individual donations under $200 are allowed to be unitemized or have donor identity withheld. Greene received more donations than any other House Republican in the first three months of 2021.
Jennifer Strahan, a businesswoman, is challenging Greene in the Republican primary.
On her first day in office, Greene wore a face mask onto the House floor that read "Trump Won"; Trump in fact lost the 2020 U.S. presidential election to Joe Biden. During the counting of electoral votes, Greene raised an objection to counting Michigan's electoral votes. The objection was not signed by a member of the U.S. Senate and therefore was rejected.
In response to the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021, Greene called for an end to violence and for support for Trump. She refused to wear a face mask while sheltering in place during the riot, and during the debate to impeach Trump she tweeted: "Democrats must be held accountable for the political violence inspired by their rhetoric." This prompted Democratic representative Jason Crow to call her "morally bankrupt", "depraved" and "frankly dangerous".
In a series of tweets following the attack on the Capitol, Greene falsely suggested that the rioters were members of antifa dressed as Trump supporters. Greene made these claims even though Anthony Aguero, a conservative activist and close associate of hers, was one of the people who stormed the Capitol. She also retweeted a clip from Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in which Carlson – citing Revolver News, a right-wing news website – claimed that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation might have organized and participated in the attack.
On January 21, 2021, the second day of Biden's presidency, Greene filed articles of impeachment against him, alleging abuse of power. In an interview with Greg Kelly of Newsmax, she perpetuated conspiracy theories that Biden had been bought off by foreign interests.
On January 27, 2021, Representative Jimmy Gomez announced he had drafted a resolution to expel Greene from the House after reports that she had previously called for violence against Democrats. Representative Jake Auchincloss also called for Greene's resignation or expulsion due to her threats of violence against fellow lawmakers. On January 28, with the revelations of Greene's threats against Democratic members of the House, Pelosi spoke of an "enemy within the House of Representatives" and the need to increase security measures, stating that this referred to "members who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress" – alluding to Greene and other Republican representatives, such as Lauren Boebert, who wanted to bring guns onto the House floor. Pelosi also criticized the House Republican leadership for placing Greene on the Education Committee after Greene had questioned the authenticity of deadly school shootings around the country.
On January 29, 2021, Representatives Nikema Williams and Sara Jacobs introduced a resolution to censure Greene for making threatening comments to her colleagues and to call for her resignation. On March 19, Gomez formally introduced his resolution to expel Greene, with the support of 72 Democrats and no Republicans. It is considered unlikely to gain the required two-thirds majority needed to pass.
The Washington Post reported in May 2021 that two of its reporters observed Greene aggressively confront Ocasio-Cortez outside the House chamber, loudly asking why she supported antifa and Black Lives Matter, which Greene falsely characterized as terrorists. Ocasio-Cortez did not respond and called on House leadership to ensure that Congress remains "a safe, civil place for all Members and staff."
Later in May, Greene voted against the January 6 commission, a proposed commission which would have investigated the attack on the Capitol. During a speech she made against establishing a commission, Greene called for justice for Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter who was fatally shot by a Capitol police officer when she stormed the Capitol and attempted to break into the House chamber.
Also in May, Greene and Gaetz initiated a nationwide "America First Tour", beginning in The Villages, Florida. Throughout the tour, the two repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraud purported to have occurred during the 2020 election. Later in July, a scheduled rally in Laguna Hills, California, was canceled after the venue withdrew.
In June 2021, Greene was one of 21 House Republicans to vote against a resolution to give the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6. When Pelosi announced the creation of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, Greene declared her interest in being seated on it.
In August 2021, after the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack requested that over 30 telecommunications companies retain phone records related to the attack, including those of Greene and several other members of Congress, she promised that companies that complied would be "shut down".
Further information: § Removal from House Committee assignments
Greene was briefly a member of the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Education and Labor before she was removed from all committee assignments on February 4, 2021, for incendiary remarks she had made before her election.
Since February 4, 2021:
Before February 4, 2021:
After she won the 2020 Republican primary runoff election, Greene asserted on Twitter: "The GOP establishment, the media, & the radical left, spent months & millions of dollars attacking me." She has expressed support for Donald Trump and declared her intention to push Republicans further to the right.
Greene opposes abortion, calling it "the worst scar a woman can carry for the rest of her life." In videos apparently recorded between 2017 to 2019, Greene said that abortion and Planned Parenthood are two factors holding back minorities in the country, and in an August 2020 interview with Fox News, she indicated her support for defunding Planned Parenthood. On April 15, 2021, Greene and Boebert cast two lone votes against a bill to reauthorize the National Marrow Donor Program. Explaining her vote, Greene falsely claimed: "Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue by taxpayers." In 2021, Greene falsely claimed that the Plan B contraceptive "kills a baby in the womb"; Plan B actually prevents ovulation and thus prevents pregnancy, instead of terminating a pregnancy.
See also: COVID-19 misinformation by the United States
In September 2020, Greene wrote on Twitter that "children should not wear masks", calling recommendations by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention and other public health officials "unhealthy for their psychological, emotional, and educational growth" and "emasculating" for boys. She called restrictions imposed in the U.S. Capitol in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including face mask requirements, "tyrannical control" by Democrats. She opposes any form of mandatory mask-wearing, compulsory vaccination, or lockdowns in response to the pandemic. After Greene called masks "oppressive", National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci responded that her stance was "very disturbing" given the data on the seriousness of the outbreak. Greene and other Republicans refused to wear masks in a secured room with other members of Congress during the storming of the Capitol in January 2021; afterward, it was reported that several Democratic representatives tested positive for the virus, including Bonnie Watson Coleman, Pramila Jayapal and Brad Schneider.
Greene refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine, claiming there was no reason to because she is "perfectly healthy". By March 2021, the private sector had begun efforts to create vaccine passports to better enable those who had been inoculated to resume public gatherings, and some states and the federal government were considering such plans, though the Biden administration said participation would not be compulsory. On Facebook and Twitter, Greene suggested the plan might be "Biden's mark of the beast," a reference to the Book of Revelation, echoing a far-right conspiracy theory that getting vaccinated is equivalent to pledging allegiance to the devil. She added: "It's still fascism, or communism, whatever you want to call it, but it's coming from private companies. So, I have a term for that. I call it 'corporate communism.'" Days later, Greene introduced a bill in the House, the We Will Not Comply Act, which sought to ban vaccine passports, as well as the Fire Fauci Act, which would eliminate Fauci's salary until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, although Senate confirmation is not required for Fauci's position as NIAID director.
On May 18, 2021, Greene was fined $500 for entering the House floor without a mask. Two days later, on a podcast hosted by evangelical commentator David Brody, Greene called Pelosi "mentally ill" and said that Pelosi's requirement that House members continue wearing masks until they all prove they have been vaccinated "is exactly the [same] type of abuse" as Jews being "put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany" during the Holocaust. Greene said she incurred a second fine of $2,500 after she again entered the House floor without a mask, and she dubbed Pelosi "Speaker Maskhole" in response. The day after the podcast, she defended her comments, adding, "any rational Jewish person doesn't like what's happening with overbearing mask mandates and overbearing vaccine policies." Her comments drew widespread criticism, including from leading Republican representatives and the Jewish community. On June 14, Greene publicly apologized for her comments after a private visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Three weeks later, she compared Biden's suggestion to provide door-to-door vaccinations to "medical brownshirts" and said: "You can't force people to be part of the human experiment."
On June 4, 2021, Greene sent Biden a letter calling for an investigation into Fauci over his statements on the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In the letter, she called COVID-19 a "manufactured plague" caused by a "Chinese-made virus". Greene urged Biden to respond to the letter by June 31; June has only 30 days. Days later, she suggested that only a bioweapon could explain the existence and spread of the virus. Greene also said that she did not support the use of gain-of-function research to identify emerging diseases and develop vaccines and treatments.
In July 2021, Greene dismissed the COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant, saying, "no one cares". She also posted misinformation about the virus, saying it "is not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65". When a reporter informed Greene that non-obese and young people were also dying from the virus and asked her whether she bore "responsibility for keeping people in Georgia safe", Greene laughed and said, "I think people's responsibility is their own."
At an August 2021 Republican fundraiser in Alabama, Greene claimed that Biden would be "sending one of his police state friends to your front door" to inquire whether they had received a vaccine, and said, "in the South, we all love our Second Amendment rights, and we're not really big on strangers showing up on our front door." At the same event, Greene claimed that the virus was Fauci's "experiment". When NBC News contacted Greene's office to confirm that a video of the event was genuine, a spokesman for her responded, "These claims are ridiculous and yet another conspiracy theory from the left." On August 12, Greene admitted that COVID-19 is spreading, but falsely said that hospitals were not overwhelmed with afflicted patients, further arguing that "we're human, we can't live forever, we're going to catch all kinds of diseases and illnesses and other viruses."
Donald Trump and Joe Biden
Greene is a strong supporter of former president Donald Trump; on January 4, 2021, she called for the results of the presidential election in Georgia to be decertified. After Trump's second impeachment, she introduced an article of impeachment against Biden on January 21, the day after he took office; nobody co-sponsored it.
During an interview with Steve Bannon on July 7, 2021, Greene rejected a conspiracy theory that suggested Trump would be reinstated as president in August 2021.
During a speech at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference, Greene adamantly opposed foreign aid, saying: "I wanted to take my regular, normal person, normal, everyday American values, which is: We love our country. We believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for America, not for... China, Russia, the Middle East, Guam – whatever, wherever." This remark about Guam, which is a U.S. territory whose residents are U.S. citizens, prompted Guam delegateMichael San Nicolas to offer Greene Chamorro chip cookies in what he called "cookie diplomacy".Guam governorLou Leon Guerrero told the Guam Daily Post that her office would be "more than happy to send Representative Greene's office a copy of Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam."
In March 2021, Greene was one of 14 House Republicans to vote against a measure condemning the Myanmar coup d'état, for reasons reported to be unclear.
In June 2021, Greene was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
In July 2021, Greene stated on Bannon's show that, if she had the authority to, she would kick out every Chinese person in the United States who is loyal to the Chinese Communist Party and impose strict tariffs on China. Also in July, Greene voted against the bipartisan ALLIES Act, which would increase by 8,000 the number of special immigrant visas for Afghan allies of the U.S. military during its invasion of Afghanistan, while also reducing some application requirements that caused long application backlogs; the bill passed in the House 407–16.
At a September 2020 gun rights rally in Ringgold, Georgia, Greene said she would always protect gun owners' rights and would not vote for any laws making it harder for people to possess guns. She said: "The government will never tell me how many guns I can own, and how many bullets I am allowed to fire if someone were to attack me or my kids".
In June 2021, Greene introduced a bill to abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The bill also sought to provide monetary grants to the families of Border Patrol agents killed as a result of Operation Fast and Furious.
On February 2, 2021, Greene co-sponsored the Old Glory Only Act, a bill to ban U.S. embassies from flying pride flags. Two days later, she said she was "censored" by Twitter for "absolutely believing with all my heart that God's creation is he created them male and female".
On February 24, 2021, Greene tried to block the Equality Act while it was being debated on the House floor, saying that it would "destroy God's creation" and "violate everything we hold dear in God's creation." She proposed replacing it with a bill that would exempt nonprofit organizations, allow people to sue the federal government "if their religious rights are violated", and prevent trans women and girls from participating in women's sports. After floor debate on the bill that day, Representative Marie Newman, whose congressional office is directly across from Greene's, displayed a transgender pride flag outside her office. In response, Greene displayed a transphobic poster outside her office reading: "There are TWO genders: Male & Female. Trust The Science!" Newman has a transgender daughter, whom Greene called Newman's "biological son".
In April 2021, Greene supported a bill by Representative Mary Miller that would bar schools from allowing transgender students to use facilities such as bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity.
In June 2021, during an interview with Bannon, Greene called transgender women "men playing dress up" and "literally having an identity crisis", saying, "They never will be [women], and I refuse to recognize them that way." Later in June, she said that schools teaching about LGBT people is "mental/emotional child abuse".
Race, religion, and immigration
Greene opposes the Black Lives Matter movement and has called it a Marxist group. In a video, she compared Black Lives Matter activists to white nationalist participants at the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a rally she had previously called an "inside job". She ended one of her videos commenting: "The most mistreated group of people in the United States today are white males." After the murder of George Floyd, Greene posted on Facebook that his death "must be investigated and justice will be served", calling the video "heartbreaking". One year later, when Derek Chauvin was found guilty of Floyd's murder, Greene claimed the verdict was a result of jury intimidation by Black Lives Matter – which she compared to the Ku Klux Klan and called "the most powerful domestic terrorist organization" in the United States – and falsely asserted that Washington, D.C. was "completely dead" on the night of the verdict because people were "scared to go out" for "fear of riots". Greene denounced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a civil rights and police reform bill, as an "Anti-Police bill", erroneously claiming it would completely bar law enforcement from using facial recognition.
In a recording obtained by Politico, Greene said that Muslims who believe in Sharia law should not be in the U.S. government. She also contended that the Democratic Party is holding Black Americans as "slaves". Her comments on black people, Muslims, and Jews were denounced by Republican House leaders and a spokesman for National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Emmer. Greene said that the election of Omar and Tlaib in the 2018 midterm elections was part of "an Islamic invasion of our government", and in 2021, she called the Squad supporters of "terrorism" and "Hamas" who "don't belong in Congress" and referred to them as the "Jihad Squad". In a late January 2021 interview with far-right British political commentator Katie Hopkins, Greene said that she would "love to trade [Hopkins] for some of our white people here that have no appreciation for our country."
On April 16, 2021, it was reported that Greene and other House Republicans, such as Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, and Paul Gosar, were interested in launching an America First Caucus, and Gohmert confirmed Greene's involvement to reporters. According to a leaked seven-page document on the aims of the caucus, they believe that "America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions." The document also stated the caucus would "work towards an infrastructure that reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture." House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy indirectly criticized the caucus as pushing "nativist dog whistles." Greene's office said on April 16 that the new caucus would be launched "very soon", but the next day her spokesman said it was still in an early planning stage and that Greene was not "launching anything". Greene disavowed the caucus and stated she was not involved, calling it a "staff level draft proposal from an outside group that [she] hadn't read."
Greene rejects the scientific consensus that climate change is caused primarily by human activity, explaining her position as: "maybe perhaps we live on a ball that rotates around the sun, that flies through the universe, and maybe our climate just changes." She has also said that she does not believe the scientific fact of evolution, calling it a "type of so-called science" and saying: "I don't believe in evolution. I believe in God."
Political violence and extremism
In an interview with gun activist Chris Dorr on October 27, 2020, a week before election day, Greene told viewers: "the only way you get your freedoms back is it's earned with the price of blood." On January 29, 2021, The New York Times detailed Greene's support for and past ties with extremist militia groups, including the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers; both groups had members participate in the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Rhetoric involving killing of opponents
Greene has called for the execution of Democratic politicians and FBI agents, whom she alleged were part of the "deep state" against Trump.
In a January 2019 Facebook video, Greene said Pelosi is guilty of treason and that treason is a crime punishable by death. Greene made the video to promote a petition she started on We the People to impeach Pelosi for treason – a remedy that does not exist in the U.S. Constitution – due to her opposition to Trump's proposed border wall, as well as alleged support for sanctuary city policies. More than 140,000 people signed the petition. In February 2019 videos live-streamed on Facebook, Greene visited Pelosi's office and suggested that Pelosi would either be killed or imprisoned for treason. She then suggested that Representative Maxine Waters had also committed treason.
In 2018 and 2019 Greene's Facebook account expressed support for the execution of leading Democrats, including Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, as well as support for the execution of FBI agents. For example, in response to an April 2018 post asking, "Now do we get to hang them?? Meaning H & O???", Greene's account responded: "Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off." Greene did not deny the authenticity of the reported content, but stated that the CNN article was "focused on my time before running for political office", that "teams of people manage my pages", and that CNN had reported on content that "did not represent my views."
Advocacy based on conspiracy theories
See also: § COVID-19
After the first round of voting in the 2020 Republican primary election, but before the Republican primary runoff election, Politico rereleased videos Greene published in which she expressed racist, antisemitic, and Islamophobic views. Her support for bigotry and the QAnon conspiracy theory in the videos were condemned, including by conservatives, such as McCarthy and Republican whipSteve Scalise, but they took no action against her, with McCarthy remaining neutral in the runoff. Some of Greene's social media postings and publications remained online through her 2020 campaign. After they drew attention in January 2021, she deleted them.
Greene has promoted multiple baseless conspiracy theories, including the claim that Clinton is responsible for a series of murders, that Democratic Party elites are responsible for a satanic child sex trafficking ring, that the government orchestrated the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, that the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, was a false flag attack intended to help introduce gun control, that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was staged, that Barack Obama secretly visited North Korea and sabotaged nuclear diplomacy to cover up untoward dealings with Iran, that Obama and his advisor Valerie Jarrett were secretly Muslim, and that the September 11 attack on the Pentagon was fake. Greene also promoted a false anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that the 2018 Camp Fire, a deadly wildfire in California, was caused by space lasers owned by the Rothschild family.
Pizzagate and QAnon
Further information: Pizzagate conspiracy theory and QAnon
Greene has said there are links between Hillary Clinton and pedophilia and human sacrifice and in 2017 speculated that the Pizzagate conspiracy theory is real. Reviving the Clinton Kill List conspiracy theory, she claimed Clinton murdered her political enemies. In a video posted to YouTube in 2018, Greene suggested John F. Kennedy Jr.'s death in a plane crash in 1999 was a "Clinton murder" because he was a possible rival to her for a U.S. Senate election in New York.
In January 2021, Media Matters found a 2018 Facebook post that showed Greene agreeing with a conspiracy theory known as Frazzledrip, which asserts that there is a video of Hillary Clinton and her assistant Huma Abedin murdering a child in a satanic ritual and that Clinton later ordered a hit on a police officer to cover it up. Greene dismissed Media Matters' findings as the work of "Communists [sic] bloggers".
Greene supported the debunked far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, saying in a 2017 video that "many of the things" said on 4chan by the eponymous Q – whom she called a "patriot" – "have really proven to be true." She said, "There's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it."
According to her author biography page, Greene wrote 59 articles for the now-defunct conspiracy theory website American Truth Seekers, including one linking the Democratic Party to "Child Sex, Satanism, and the Occult". When she ran for the House of Representatives in 2020, she distanced herself from that conspiracy theory and said she had not referred to Q or QAnon during her campaign. She said she no longer had a connection with QAnon and mentioned having found "misinformation".
False flag claims
In a 2017 video posted to Facebook, Greene expressed doubt that the perpetrator of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, a large-scale incident she believes was intended as an attack on the right to bear arms, acted alone. She claimed that the August 2017 Charlottesville white nationalist rally, in which a counter-protester was killed in a car attack, was an "inside job". She said the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand were a false flag for the same end.
In a 2018 interview, Greene expressed support for a conspiracy theory that a plane did not hit the Pentagon during the September 11 attacks; she referred to "the so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon" and said that "it's odd there's never any evidence shown for a plane in the Pentagon," despite an abundance of evidence. On another occasion, at a conservative conference in 2018, Greene said 9/11 was part of a U.S. government plot. Following an August 2020 Media Matters report on her comments, Greene wrote on Twitter: "Some people claimed a missile hit the Pentagon. I now know that is not correct." She has also claimed that Democratic National Committee staff member Seth Rich was murdered by the MS-13 gang on Obama's behalf. According to Greene, Obama is secretly a Muslim; in actuality, he is a Christian.
In a February 2019 interview, Greene suggested that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been replaced in public appearances by a body double. A QAnon-related conspiracy theory claimed that Ginsburg had died years earlier and that Democrats used a body double to conceal her death so they could hold onto her Supreme Court seat during Trump's presidency. Ginsburg actually died on September 18, 2020, during Trump's presidency, and Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett as her replacement.
In a 2018 Facebook post found by Media Matters in January 2021, Greene claimed that the 2017 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, was an organized false flag operation. In another post, she claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was also a false flag operation. In another Facebook post later in 2018 she wrote: "I am told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month that 'we need another school shooting' in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control." Parkland shooting survivors such as David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, as well as Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting, condemned Greene's remarks and demanded that she resign from Congress. Greene called Hogg, who advocates gun control, "#littleHitler" and, in a 2019 interview with a gun-rights group, denounced him as an "idiot" who is trained "like a dog." A March 2019 video shows Greene following and taunting Hogg, accusing him of using children for his cause. After the encounter, she called him a "coward" and falsely claimed he is funded by George Soros. The website Snopes found the video uploaded by Guttenberg and others was the second incident in which Greene targeted Hogg. Both occurred on March 25, 2019, and Greene live-streamed the first to her Facebook account. The second video was uploaded to Greene's YouTube account in January 2020.
In January 2021, a Greene staffer threatened to have WRCB-TV reporter Meredith Aldis arrested after Aldis tried to ask Greene a question at a town hall event about her harassment of Hogg.
Soon after these comments came to light, Representative Jahana Hayes, whose district includes Sandy Hook, circulated a letter to the House Republican leadership urging them not to seat Greene on the Education Committee. Hogg called for Greene to be expelled from Congress, saying that McCarthy tacitly supported Greene by not taking actions to sanction her.
Antisemitism and white genocide conspiracy theory
In 2018, Greene shared a video, With Open Gates: The Forced Collective Suicide of European Nations repeating the antisemitic white genocide conspiracy theory that Zionists are conspiring to flood Europe with migrants to replace the native white populations. The video, uncovered by Media Matters, said that those supporting refugees are using "immigrant pawns" to commit "the biggest genocide in human history". In sharing the video, Greene wrote that: "This is what the UN wants all over the world". The white genocide conspiracy theory has been associated with white supremacy and espouses the unsubstantiated belief that white people, in a "Great Replacement", will eventually become a minority in Europe and North America due to declining white birth rates and high rates of immigration. Greene has also falsely called George Soros – a Jewish businessman and Holocaust survivor – a Nazi. She promoted the conspiracy theory that Soros' family collaborated with the Nazis in Hungary and is "trying to continue what was not finished".
Camp Fire conspiracy theory
In January 2021, various media outlets reported that in November 2018, Greene's Facebook account shared a conspiracy theory about the Camp Fire, a deadly wildfire in 2018 in California, suggesting that it could have been caused by "space solar generators" in a scheme involving California governor Jerry Brown, companies PG&E, Rothschild & Co, and Solaren. The Rothschild family has been the target of numerous antisemitic conspiracy theories since at least the 19th century; the theories allege they are an "international cabal of Jewish bankers." For these comments, Greene was condemned by Jewish legislators, including Jacobs and Jacky Rosen, as well as various Jewish groups, such as the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Christians United for Israel, with the latter group stating that Greene had promoted "wild anti-Semitic conspiracy theories". Meanwhile, Representative Jimmy Gomez and the Jewish Democratic Council of America called for Greene to be expelled from Congress.
In response, Solaren, a solar energy company, noted several fundamental problems with the conspiracy theory, including that its space-based solar power system did not beam power using the visible light part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and so could not be observed as the "blue beams of light" referenced by the theory; that the system does not use lasers, and so could not have "laser beams"; that Solaren's power contract with PG&E ended in 2015; and that by 2021, Solaren had not launched any solar power satellites into space at all, let alone had one in space in 2018.
Democrats have condemned Greene's incendiary statements and promotion of conspiracy theories. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduced a motion to remove Greene from her committee assignments, saying that Greene's behavior is "appalling" and "has helped fuel domestic terrorism, endangered lives of her colleagues and brought shame on the entire House of Representatives." On February 1, 2021, House majority leaderSteny Hoyer gave McCarthy and other Republican House leaders an ultimatum: unless they stripped Greene of her committee seats within 72 hours, the Democrats would bring Wasserman Schultz's motion before the full House. In turn, McCarthy called some of Greene's comments "deeply disturbing".
With Republican officials under mounting pressure to denounce Greene, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement to The Hill in which he attacked "loony lies and conspiracy theories" as a "cancer for the Republican Party". The statement did not name Greene, but reporting described the statement as "unmistakably about" and "clearly targeted" at Greene. McConnell confirmed it the following day, referring to his comments on Greene and adding: "I think I adequately spoke out about how I feel". His statement said: "Somebody who's suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.'s airplane is not living in reality." In response, Greene tweeted that the Republican Party's only problem are "weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully." After McConnell's statement, several other Republican senators voiced criticisms of Greene.Mitt Romney said that the Republican Party's "big tent is not large enough to both accommodate conservatives and kooks."Kevin Cramer said that he would have "a hard time supporting ... [Greene] being on the Education Committee" in the light of "her positions on the school shootings being staged", adding: "Real authority has moral authority." Both Florida senators condemned the idea that the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting might have not have been real; Marco Rubio said that anyone arguing it was a false flag is "either deranged or a sadist." Greene used the criticism for a fundraising push, saying, "Democrats are trying to expel me from Congress" and telling her supporters to "StandWithMTG".
McCarthy met with Greene on February 2 and then held meetings with the House GOP Steering Committee, which is responsible for committee assignments for Republican members of the House. No decision was made that day, but Greene was a major topic of discussion for the Republican Congressional Caucus meeting on February 3, along with the fate of Representative Liz Cheney after her vote in favor of Trump's second impeachment. Greene retained Trump's support, which presented McCarthy with the problem of having to manage the expectations of the Republican Party's various factions in dealing with Cheney and Greene.
Removal from House Committee assignments
As controversy grew about her previous comments, Greene removed her old social media posts and spoke before the House Republican Conference on February 3, 2021, to assert that her social media content did not reflect who she is, prompting a standing ovation. In lieu of total removal from her assignments, McCarthy stated that he had suggested Greene be moved to the Small Business Committee. That day, the Democratic-controlled House Rules Committee passed Wasserman Schultz's motion to remove Greene from her committee assignments. McCarthy indicated his conference would not act against Greene. Pelosi chastised McCarthy for acquiescing to Greene, referring to him as "McCarthy (Q-CA)," in reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory. On February 4, the full House voted to remove Greene from her committee assignments. The vote was 230 to 199, with 11 Republicans joining all Democrats. After the vote, Greene described herself as "freed", calling the committees part of "basically a tyrannically controlled government". She is unlikely to be able to serve on a committee for the rest of her term in the 117th Congress.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Republican Jewish Coalition condemned Greene's statements.
On February 9, 2021, Shaun Holmes, the father of a 10-year-old boy with Down syndrome, confronted Greene at a Whitfield County Republican Party meeting. Asked about her use of the word "retard" to refer to individuals with the syndrome, Greene said: "I guess it was a slang word. You can actually look it up in the dictionary", adding: "I do apologize for that being offensive to anyone."
In February 2021, CrossFit attempted to distance itself from Greene, who once owned an affiliated gym and is an avid proponent of CrossFit fitness regimens. CrossFit spokesperson Andrew Weinstein told BuzzFeed News: "CrossFit supports respectful fact-based political dialogue to address our common challenges, and we strongly oppose the loathsome and dangerous lies attributed to Ms. Greene."
On May 21, 2021, Common Cause filed an FEC complaint against Greene for an alleged violation of McCain–Feingold campaign finance provisions, accusing her of "implicit" unlawful solicitation of unlimited contributions in an advertisement appearance made on behalf of a super PAC that targeted Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. In the ad, she calls on viewers to "fight back now, before it's too late" before a separate voice-over asks them to contribute to the PAC seconds thereafter.
During her 2020 campaign and the beginning of her first term in Congress, Greene became one of the most recognizable names in the GOP. On January 29, 2021, Greene stated she had raised $1.6 million amid criticism from Democratic lawmakers. In a February 2021 poll by YouGov, shortly after her removal from her committee assignments, 45% of surveyed adult U.S. citizens viewed her unfavorably, 33% didn't know, and 21% viewed her favorably. In a mid-May 2021 poll by Morning Consult, the majority of GOP voters surveyed had either never heard of or had no opinion on Greene; among those who had an opinion, Greene was seen overall more favorably than unfavorably. As of July 2021[update], opinions on Greene among her constituents in the 14th district are split.
Greene's Twitter account was locked for 12 hours on January 17, 2021. A Twitter spokesperson said that Greene was sanctioned "for multiple violations of our civic integrity policy". Twitter's action was based on a company policy it had used to remove thousands of QAnon-related accounts after the storming of the United States Capitol. Before the suspension, Greene's posts included false claims about voting fraud and statements blaming electoral officials in Georgia for their failure to act on such claims. Upon returning to Twitter, she criticized the company: "Contrary to how highly you think of yourself and your moral platitude, you are not the judge of humanity. God is." She was later suspended again from Twitter for 12 hours in the late evening of March 18, 2021, the ban expiring around midday the following day. Twitter later said it was an error, and access to her account was restored. Her account was briefly suspended in error a second time by an automated system on April 5.
As of March 19, 2021, Greene was barred from blocking anyone on her public Twitter or any other social media account while in office and was forced to pay $10,000 to cover legal fees for MeidasTouch, whose co-founder says it will donate the money to two nonprofits. This resulted from an out-of-court settlement between Greene and MeidasTouch after MeidasTouch sued Greene for violating the political action committee's First Amendment rights when she blocked it from posting on her Twitter page.
In July 2021, Twitter placed Greene's account in read-only mode, a form of temporary suspension, for 12 hours after she claimed the virus was not dangerous. In August, Twitter suspended her account for a week for spreading misinformation regarding vaccines and masks.
On January 30, 2021, the first episode of Saturday Night Live's 46th season featured a cold open where a caricature of Greene, played by Cecily Strong, espoused debunked conspiracy theories and discussed how she "told [her] supporters that they should physically murder Nancy Pelosi." After Greene opposed the Equality Act, her character featured again in February on the Weekend Update sketch, wherein she misspelled "science", compared herself to Pennywise the Dancing Clown, pulled a handgun on co-anchor Colin Jost, and claimed to be possessed by a demon.
On June 15, 2021, after Greene's visit to the Holocaust Museum, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel called Greene "human excrement", "Klan Mom", and "the sorriest excuse for a congresswoman we've ever had", comparing her understanding of the Holocaust to that of a sixth-grader and digitally imposing a toothbrush mustache over her apology video.Daily Show host Trevor Noah called her "your crazy aunt's even crazier friend" who has become "notorious for saying absolutely anything with zero shame."The View co-host Joy Behar called Greene's apology "as empty as her head" and jokingly remarked, "wait till she hears about slavery!"
Greene married Perry Greene in 1995 while in college. They have three children. Greene rebaptized in 2011 into North Point Community Church, an evangelical megachurch network based in Alpharetta, in a baptism published in an online video. Greene speaks often about her faith and has said that she wants to bring "my faith and my family values to Washington".
According to ABC Affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta, in May 2021, Greene broke Georgia law by claiming two homestead tax exemptions on her properties, an older home and one she bought in the 14th congressional district when she ran for office; only one exemption may legally be claimed. Greene responded that the issue was "paperwork, which is being taken care of".
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Michelle Taylor joined the Setnor School of Music as the assistant director for operations in February 2011, where she coordinates scheduling, assists students, faculty, and artists with their performance needs, and manages the facilities for the school of music.
Taylor moved to the Syracuse area after a 16-year career at Carnegie Hall in New York City, most recently in the role of hall manager, where she helped to coordinate the opening of a new performance space in the historic building. Her responsibilities at Carnegie Hall included project and event management, long-range planning, contract negotiations, scheduling, budgeting, special projects, and more. She had the opportunity to work with performers, producers, composers, arts administrators, unions, educators, performance staff, and the public. She also worked in freelance positions at the Metropolitan Opera and other locations in the city. She currently runs a weeklong immersion program in New York City to provide music students with the opportunity to learn more about careers in music.
She earned a B.A. in music and studio art from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and a master’s degree in arts administration from New York University.
- Master’s Degree, New York University
- B.A., SUNY Potsdam
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An earthly child. He was generally an unearthly entity, but found himself on earth. Maybe that's why his soul, thrown to earth, was lost and embittered at all this earthly, as well as the Heavenly. World. And unlike her sister and brother, something else appeared inside her.