Yesterday the government agency which has to approve any medicine that will be used to treat the Covid-19 virus took a big step forward to begin acting like a scientific organization rather than like a PR company promoting Donald Trump. The Food and Drug Administration, known as the FDA, fired their head of public relations, Emily Miller, who had been on the job exactly 11 days.
She was fired because the FDA began promoting a totally unproven idea about the benefits of plasma treatments which Trump then began touting as having saved thousands of lives. In fact, the plasma treatment experiment didn’t necessarily save anyone’s life, and even the researchers who worked on this study didn’t know who had ever said that the plasma represented any kind of life-saving therapy at all.
So for once, science has actually managed to rear its ugly head and push back against Trump’s continued effort to lie, distort, and fabricate anything and everything having to do with Covid-19.
What caught my attention most of all about this episode was the name of the ousted PR lady, Emily Miller, because I actually wrote a review of a gun book she published back in 2013, when she was a reporter for The Washington Times and later did a TV gig for Fox News. She also appeared frequently at pro-gun rallies and was interviewed and promoted by the NRA.
According to Emily, she decided to apply for a pistol license in D.C. after having been the victim of a home invasion when she came back from walking her dog and found a guy inside the house robbing the place. In a re-enactment of the scene for NRA-TV, the event allegedly took place at night, which made the invasion all the more dangerous and scary for dear Emily.
Emily’s book is basically a long kvetch about how she tried again and again to get the DC Police to approve her application to become an armed citizen, along with anecdotes about how this brave, gun-toting person and that brave, gun-toting person saved themselves and others because they had access to guns. The book represents a piece of investigative journalism about as much as my local pizza take-out menu represents a 5-star restaurant in the Michelin guide.
I wish I could find the link but you’ll just have to take my word for what I’m about to say. Which is that when Emily’s book came out, they had a publishing party at a hotel in DC and one of the invitees at the party who not only showed up but said something positive about the book was none other than Donald Trump. I recall reading about the party and actually wondering why Trump was cozying up to all those pro-gun types. Now I know.
Obviously, Emily Miller was put into her job at the FDA as part of Trump’s strategy to pretend that the pandemic is under control. But in her case, we not only have someone who is responding to a directive from the White House; her hiring was also a directive from – God! Think I’m being overly sarcastic about Emily’s direction and goals? Here’s what she put on her Facebook page after getting the White House call: “In May, the White House called me ask asked if I would consider a high level communication role at the FDA. I knew God was directing my path, and I had to come back to DC to work.”
And how did Emily describe her approach to her new job? Try this from the same Facebook page: “For as long as I’m in this role, I will work nonstop to get information on COVID-19 treatments and the vaccine process communicated to people as accurately and quickly as possible.”
One small victory for science, one small defeat for Trump. Sooner or later, the playing-field will always tilt back to the way it should.