A recent report from The Washington Post spotlighted Donald Trump and his administration's apparent funding of prominent anti-vaccine groups amid the pandemic. Notably, the publication highlighted five organizations that are known to spread misleading information about COVID-19 and vaccinations that allegedly received over $850,000 in loans from the Trump administration's Paycheck Protection Program.
According to progressive commentator David Pakman, this is tantamount to helping the "enemy."
"Trump said he's a wartime president due to COVID. If you give money to ANTI-vaccine groups during that war...isn't that aiding and abetting the enemy?" he tweeted on Tuesday in response to the article.
The piece pointed to reporting from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which claimed that the groups in question are the Informed Consent Action Network, The National Vaccine Information Center, Mercola Com Health Resources LLC, the Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center, and Children's Health Defense Co.
"The group relied on data released in early December by the Small Business Administration in response to a lawsuit from The Washington Post and other news organizations," the publication claimed.
"Several of the Facebook pages of these organizations have by penalized by the social network, including being prohibited from buying advertising, for pushing misinformation about covid-19."The outlet pointed to the successful clinical trials for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and explained that vaccinations, in general, are known to be both effective and safe.
Imran Ahmed, Chief Executive of Center for Countering Digital Hate, slammed the financing provided to the operations and accused them of being responsible for creating long-term health problems that will likely hit low-income neighborhoods and minority communities the hardest.
"Lending money to these organizations so they can prosper is a sickening use of taxpayer money," he said.
Nevertheless, The Washington Post noted that it's not clear if the anti-vaccine operations broke any rules by receiving the assistance. The publication highlighted that the program had "few guardrails or preconditions" for receiving assistance.
Despite research supporting their efficacy, Americans are divided on vaccines. As Pakman noted in another Tuesday tweet, CNN's Ryan Struyk revealed the results of a new NPR/PBS/Marist poll, which found that 79 percent of Joe Biden voters plan to get vaccinated, while just 39 percent of Trump voters plan to do the same. Elsewhere, the majority of Democrats and white college Americans intend to get vaccinated, while less than half of Republicans, white non-college Americans, and white evangelical Christians are considering the idea.