There are two things I like about Rep. Ronny Jackson. Texas medical schools are among the best in the nation and he went to one. And, he represents a district in Texas (TX-13) I became very familiar with when I was a VP for a national healthcare company in Dallas. But that’s about it on the positive side.
As a former local office holder and chairman of a a rural Georgia county Republican committee, I get a lot of right-wing newsletters. Recently, I received an email from Jackson stating that he’s “President Trump’s strongest ally in Congress.” Given Trump’s continuing self-interested inaccurate attack on democracy, and his refusal to admit that he lost an election after every court his turned down his many appeals, I question Jackson’s political and personal judgement.
In his email he also talks about the “far left,” which he implies means all Democrats. Further, Jackson inaccurately states that “Democrats that want to send armies of government workers door-to-door to bully you into getting a vaccine.” In my book, Jackson lied. If the Democrats were going to strongarm anyone into getting vaccinated, it would have already happened. As it is, Democrats have not even been strong enough in requiring vaccinations of the military and others employed by the government.
As the former Director of Health Planning for Georgia, I’m amazed that a physician can still be so out of touch with the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. He’s not-so-indirectly telling people not to get vaccinated because of politics. As a local Board of Health member in a county and congressional district controlled by Republicans, I’m glad that my very conservative local congressional representative has not made these sorts of anti-vaccination statements which end up killing Americans.
Regarding the Texas state legislators who fled for DC, he states – “if they’ve all been vaccinated, then how is it possible that they’re spreading covid?” As a physician, he should know that the vaccines are at most only 95% effective regarding immunization. Jackson should also understand that those who have been immunized may get Covid without showing any symptoms.
Before he makes ridiculous and inaccurate statements, he should also check the facts. All of the state Democrats who left the state for DC were vaccinated. In fact, all Democrats serving in Congress have been vaccinated, but not all GOP members.
Finally, Jackson attacks the mainstream media for being “fake news.” However, he provides no proof that anything said by them about him is in any way inaccurate. He is the one making clearly false, unsubstantiated claims. And not just recently.
For example, he was President Trump’s personal physician until 2018. He had the audacity to say that the former President, who is morbidly obese and does not exercise except to lift KFC up to his lips, was very healthy.
However, given Rep. Jackson’s history, we should not be surprised by his conduct. He also has ethical issues.
Specifically, after receiving a dozen complaints about Jackson, the Inspector General of the Department of Defense interviewed 78 witnesses and reviewed numerous documents. He then issued a report stating that Jackson a. drank excessively while on work trips, b. used sleep drugs while on call, c. acted sexually inappropriately with female subordinates, and d. created a very hostile work environment for the people working for him. If not for intervention by the Trump White House, which objected to the investigation and intervened during the interviews, almost certainly much more would have been uncovered.
For his loyalty, and despite his clear failings, Trump nominated him as
Secretary of Veterans Affairs. After numerous charges that he handed out prescription drugs like candy, berated subordinates, and engaged in sexually inappropriate harassment of women working for him, the nomination was eventually withdrawn by Jackson himself after the Senate had begun a formal investigation of the charges.
Since his election, Jackson has continued to be an embarrassment for Texas, voting against the creation of the January 6th Commission to investigate the insurrection, as well as opposing the popular American Rescue Plan which has pulled us out of an economic slow growth and high unemployment period caused by the pandemic.
We should all hope he will not run again.