MAGA registered nurse running for NC superintendent pushed Trump COVID “cure” that may have killed 17,000 in 2020

Michele Morrow, the far-right Republican candidate to lead North Carolina’s k-12 public education system, erroneously claimed the anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine cured COVID-19 in 2020. A study released earlier this year estimated that nearly 17,000 people died that year after taking the drug.

Since Morrow’s unexpected upset of current Republican superintendent Catherine Truitt in the March primary, she has gained national attention for her history of calling for prominent Democrats to be executed, her support of bizarre QAnon theories, her presence at the January 6 Capitol insurrection, her distaste for people who speak languages other than English, and her claims that Islam is “evil.”

But little has been made about Morrow’s advocacy work relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morrow is a registered nurse by trade, although her LinkedIn profile gives no indication how she was trained or when she last worked in the nursing field. It’s possible she’s a little rusty on the Nursing Code of Ethics. Among other things, that code holds that a nurse takes actions “consistent with the obligation to promote health” and “advances the profession through research and scholarly inquiry.”

Presumably that research would require a higher standard than Fox News or the medical advice of Stable Genius Donald Trump.

Beginning in March 2020, Fox News host Laura Ingraham promoted the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as “a game changer,” bringing guests on her show to talk about how it miraculously cured their COVID. Unsurprisingly, as he got nearly all of his information from Fox News, President Donald Trump started saying it, too.

In May 2020 Michele Morrow posted a Facebook live video discussing the COVID pandemic. On the video she began reading a letter by the president of the Rockefeller Foundation about the importance of COVID testing in reining in the pandemic. The video quickly devolved into ranting and extolling the virtues of hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus:

The problem? Hydroxychloroquine didn’t cure COVID at all. The FDA did allow emergency use of the drug in very limited circumstances in March 2020. However, as early as April 2020 the FDA warned against the use of the drug as data indicated it led to serious heart problems, saying it was “being used inappropriately to treat non-hospitalized patients for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or to prevent that disease.” In June that year the FDA revoked emergency use of the medication entirely.

Former White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci recently offered an insider view of Donald Trump’s inclination toward snake oil cures for COVID:

I believe he wanted so badly for this to go away the way influenza goes away, and when he saw it was not going away, then he was hoping for some magical solution, and he even used those words, “It’s going to go away like magic.” And then when that didn’t work, then we had to have these miracle cures like hydroxychloroquine, which he got from Laura Ingraham on Fox News.

The problem with advocating for Fox News miracle cures instead of treating illnesses through “research and scholarly inquiry” is there are life or death consequences.

Earlier this year a team of French researchers analyzed hospitalization data for six countries and estimated 16,990 may have died as a result of taking the drug. Furthermore, the actual number of deaths could be much higher given the study included only six countries (France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the U.S.) and only from March to July of 2020. Authors of the study concluded that their findings “illustrate the hazard of drug repurposing with low-level evidence.”

In other words, don’t take drugs recommended by Fox News and Donald Trump.

Back to MAGA candidate for superintendent Michele Morrow. It’s highly irresponsible for a registered nurse to publicly advocate use of a drug based primarily on her adoration for Donald Trump, and this lack of judgment should be a red flag for anyone considering voting for Morrow in November.

But you also need to remember that Morrow is even more qualified to dispense medical advice than she is to lead North Carolina’s public schools. Michele Morrow has never held a job in any educational institution nor even had her own children attend schools in our state.

In fact, Morrow’s understanding of education comes from the same sources that told her taking hydroxychloroquine was a miracle cure for COVID: Fox News and Facebook.

The good news is North Carolina has a highly qualified education leader with no history of hawking harmful snake oil on the opposite side of the November general election ballot. Mo Green led the third largest school district in the state (Guilford County) as superintendent and is going to do a great job leading the Department of Public Instruction.

You can learn more about Green’s resume and values here and here.

“Sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”: MLK III speaks out against Mark Robinson’s attacks on his father

attribution: AP

The eldest son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. used the occasion of Father’s Day to speak out against North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson’s years of attacks on his father and the larger civil rights movement:

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson has repeatedly mocked my father.  But it’s not the petty insults that bother me.  It’s his outright rejection of a civil rights movement my father and so many others lived and died for.  Robinson called the Greensboro lunch counter protests “a ridiculous premise” and said “so many freedoms were lost.”  As my father said, “Nothing is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

After serving one term as Lieutenant Governor, Republican Mark Robinson is vying to become the first Black governor of North Carolina. But his long history of attacks on civil rights leaders and the civil rights movement show Robinson’s true colors: the man Donald Trump recently called “Martin Luther King on steroids” is MAGA through and through.

Robinson has often used the occasion of MLK Day to criticize the civil rights icon, calling him an “ersatz pastor” and ridiculing people who celebrate his contributions:

Robinson has repeatedly referred to King as a communist and indicated he opposes MLK Day as a federal holiday, pointing to those who don’t go to work on this day as “leaches” [sic].

(As an aside, it’s ironic that Robinson refers to people taking a day to celebrate King’s legacy as “leaches,” given his habit of failing to pay his mandatory state and federal taxes.)

But it’s not Robinson’s silly insults that drove MLK III to come out swinging on Father’s Day. It’s his criticism of the larger civil rights movement that fundamentally changed life in the United States for African Americans.

Mark Robinson was born in Greensboro, NC, just eight years after the Woolworth lunch counter sit-ins in that city helped spark widespread protests against racial segregation and, ultimately, led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited discrimination in public accommodations.

In a 2018 podcast interview, Robinson referred to the Woolworth’s sit-ins as “a ridiculous premise,” indicating the free market should have given Woolworth’s the freedom to deny access to African Americans and let the market decide.

In the same interview, Robinson went on to say that the civil rights movement resulted in so many freedoms being lost:

“So many things were lost during the Civil Rights Movement. So many freedoms were lost during the Civil Rights Movement. They shouldn’t have been lost.”

Mark Robinson has also attacked civil rights leader John Lewis, mocking the man who fought for African American voting rights for having his skull fractured by an Alabama state trooper during the Bloody Sunday Selma protest in 1965.

As we head toward a crucial election in November 2024, it’s important to keep the core values of Mark Robinson in this swing state front and center.

More than 20% of North Carolina’s residents are African American. They deserve to have leaders who are in tune with their needs. As Martin Luther King’s eldest son points out, Robinson’s values stand in “direct opposition” to those needs.

“Martin Luther King on steroids.” “Martin Luther King times two.” It’s an insult to my father’s and my family’s name. My father stood for peace, justice, and equity. The blatant bigotry that Robinson, Trump, and the far right have devoted themselves to promoting stands in direct opposition to what my father called “the beloved community,” a world built on peace and justice.

Let me be clear: My father would be gravely disappointed in Mark Robinson.