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Another kind of viral spread

There’s another worrisome, COVID-related healthcare scare infecting politically connected doctors who have a bullhorn and a bully pulpit.

Unlike the coronavirus that emanated from China, or Omicron, just discovered in South Africa, this virus comes from the land of MAGA.

“Here comes the MEV — the Midterm Election Variant! They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election — but we’re not going to let them!”

That’s Texas Republican U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson on Twitter, claiming that Omicron is just a Democratic hoax in that party’s quest to win elections at all costs — even subverting democracy. (Hmm, where would they get an idea like that?)

But Rep. Ronny Jackson is also Dr. Ronny Jackson, former White House physician under President Trump and — and! — President Obama. He joins several high-profile, medically trained, supposedly science-hugging professionals who are out of their minds — or just politically shrewd, and perverse.

REALLY?!

It’s an outlandish claim that makes Jackson’s previous assertions, calling mask-wearing a “personal choice” and saying that he doesn’t “wear a mask all that often” seem almost quaint.

But they’re not. They are part of a calculated ploy to keep the reins of power in Trump backers’ hands, no matter the cost, even one as high as 777,000 Americans dead.

Jackson joins the likes of Sen. Rand Paul — also Dr. Rand Paul — who has little use for infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s credible medical guidance. In November 2020, Paul, R-Kentucky, urged Americans who had recovered from COVID-19 to “throw away their masks, go to restaurants, live again.”

He claimed that they had become immune. Public-health experts said otherwise. But what can one expect from a politically blinded, self-certified ophthalmologist?

LADAPO, TOO

Of course, Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo has endorsed hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 — discredited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — preaches herd immunity as our way out of the pandemic and has pushed ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug as a COVID-19 treatment. Of course, the medication is not approved for such use. But many people took it anyway, including the version used for livestock, leading to a surge in poison-control-centers calls in the state.

Ladapo abhors mask mandates and refused to wear one while in the office of a state senator who’s also a cancer patient. With bona fides like this, he’s a cinch to be confirmed by the Florida’s Republican-led Legislature. Plus, it’s Gov. Ron DeSantis’ will.

We’re just not sure how this latest scourge can be contained, but voting for the science nerds next time could be the cure.

* Guest editorial by The Miami Herald.

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