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Dr. Anthony Fauci. Photo by Kaveh Rezaei, Voice of America

Now that Mike Pence has taken charge of the nation's coronavirus response, he's taking bold action! Not necessarily to do anything to stop the spread of the disease, but man, is he ever on top of his most important role: controlling all government messaging about the disease and what the Trump administration is doing, and making sure no damn doctors say anything that might make the Great Leader look bad.

Following yesterday's announcement that all agencies must clear their coronavirus messaging through Pence's office, today we learned exactly who will be in charge of giving loyalty oaths to every official communication about the outbreak: Katie Miller, Pence's press secretary and the recent bride of Trump's immigration Obersturmbannführer, Stephen Miller. CNN reports she'll have to approve all statements by coronavirus task force members before they go on TV or talk to reporters:


Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney sent a brief, government-wide email on Thursday saying that all coronavirus-related communications must now go through Katie Miller, Pence's press secretary, according to two people familiar with the email. Previously, Jessica Ditto, the deputy director of communications, had been handling communications for the situation.

The tight lid on communications is aimed at keeping Chief Baby from having more tantrums about things that disloyal scientists say. Trump and his crew believe -- because they're idiots -- that the only reason stocks have been dropping all week is that his enemies are making him look bad, and he was especially cheesed at Centers for Disease Control scientist Nancy Messonnier for saying Tuesday that it was "inevitable" the virus would spread and affect Americans' daily lives. Donald Trump has declared that covid-19 will in fact go away very soon, so that is the official reality now, duh.

As an indication of the splendid job Miller is already doing, congressman John Garamendi (D-California) today said on MSNBC that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had been scheduled to appear on all five of the Sunday shows this weekend, but cancelled those TV appearances after he was ordered to "stand down." Garamendi told MSNBC's Hallie Jackson,

I can repeat what he said, he said, "I was not muzzled. However, I was to go on the Sunday talk shows five of them. The vice president's office then took over the control of this situation, and told me to stand down, not to do those shows,"

Now, you can draw your own conclusions whether he was "muzzled "or not, but clearly he was scheduled to do Sunday talk shows and he was not to proceed with that.

We can only assume that Fauci will now be taken to the woodshed for even revealing he was not muzzled, even though he's among the nation's top infectious disease experts. We bet Dr. Ronny knows enough about staying healthy to do that job -- after all, he recognized what terrific genes the very svelte Donald Trump has.

Now, lest anyone get the absolutely incorrect impression Pence is out to shut up scientists, we should also note that, according to CNN, Trump's trade adviser, the fiercely loyal and loudly stupid Peter Navarro, also had "several cable news appearances scheduled Wednesday and Thursday canceled," so how's that for balance? Pence's office is shutting down both the internationally respected disease expert and the loudmouth who repeats Trump's weird lie that other governments, not consumers, pay tariffs. So it all kind of equals out.

Besides, this isn't about silencing anyone, Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters today: "No one's being stifled. No one's being told what to say." Presumably he said this with whatever counts for him as a straight face. No, not at all, he clarified. It's all about "coordinating the message" -- and making sure America knows the Great Man is looking out for them. The virus will soon vanish, and when we hear that from Pence's office, we'll know it's true, because the message will be very, very coordinated.

Wash your hands, kids!

[CNN / The Hill / Photo: Kaveh Rezaei, Voice of America]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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