If you’re on the left (🙋🏻‍♀️) and still clinging to the “Florida whistleblower” as victim soul in the “Trump fucked up the pandemic” narrative (he sure did! but this claim is loonery): a warning that within the next ~6 months she will have gone the way of Michael Avenatti. Bail now.
There are a few influential partisans who continue to dig in, defending and promoting her even now—they likely haven’t looked into the situation too deeply—and it is lending credence to outright conspiracy theory and charlatanism.
I cannot understate how much of a mistake it is to keep leaning into this personality-based house of cards.

By not distancing from this now, by not outright rebuking and disassociating from Rebekah Jones, Democrats risk further enabling a steamrolling by Ron DeSantis in ‘24.
The dynamic is pretty well-worn by this point: right-leaning outlets are the only ones covering her right now.

Reporters (like @ChristinaPushaw) are being pummeled by frivolous litigation, and it’s partisan, so Dems reflexively defend her at first.

This is Avenatti, part deux, in terms of lies and grift. Get out in front of it, folks. This automatic alliance (“but we hate the same people!!!”) will not end well for you.
Original QT now private since she has sicced an army of (well-meaning, but ultimately misled) reflexive partisans and confused acolytes to ban this guy from Twitter. In addition to pushing frivolous litigation against multiple people. It’s really bananas.

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More from @bergerbell

7 Apr
For others who have been watching the pandemic scientific discourse, the epistemic perspective of it, the preference cascade for setting a timeline to end restrictions in blue areas of the US has begun.
When this is over, every single one of you owes @MonicaGandhi9 a beer.
It’s all been about defining norms of what is acceptable, what can be pushed back against safely, what is an untouchable third rail. From day one in Spring 2020. Group dynamics forming prevailing scientific “consensus.”
Read 4 tweets
6 Apr
As with everything else, corporations are going to signal the beginning of the preference cascade back to “normal,” not Newsom rolling back formal regulations.

Like last March (NBA cancellation! Tech companies send everyone home!) but in reverse. A norms-shifting waterfall.
Even after all willing adults are fully vaccinated, distancing requirements will remain in many spaces until corporations feel they can roll them back without consumer outrage. They know where their bread is buttered.
A vocal minority often (disproportionately) sets policy. Regarding covid norms, you have a group of people who are so incredibly misinformed about relative risk, yet create enough headaches for a brand or company that it’s not worth the trade-off to become a target of their ire.
Read 6 tweets
3 Apr
“The trip from novel pathogen to familiar one is not a day at the beach—but it means that Covid will become one of those subliminal risks (like dying of the flu) that humans manage best by mainly removing them from their minds.”

The end of the pandemic, as we regular folk experience it, involves two separate phenomena: biological (the virus and its trajectory) and social (our individual and group behavior in response to it).

These two dynamics aren’t necessarily in sync.
In some places (Kristi Noem’s house?) the social pandemic arguably never started.

In others (hello from SF! 👋) avoidance of the virus has become monomaniacal and the virus itself almost mysticized, with fear ingrained far beyond what the biological pandemic might demand.
Read 4 tweets
2 Apr
Me: [Guttural screaming, at this point mostly unintelligible grunts]

Them: Stop being melodramatic, nobody is actually expecting zero risk

Science writing commentariat: 👋
Remember this? “I think it’s important to stress that it’s unlikely” (@sailorrooscout) is this spring’s iteration of “Be reassured the risk to your children is lower than that of seasonal flu” (@apsmunro) from last summer. It’s part of a greater pattern in pandemic reporting.
This has more or less been the law of pandemic journalism, especially in our panic economy: the most extreme interpretation of data must automatically be the one amplified, lest anyone Get The Wrong Idea or otherwise start Letting Their Guard Down.
Read 4 tweets
2 Apr
You see comments like this a lot, the base, reflexive desire to believe anything that affirms our existing view of the Bad Guys. We saw it when Michael Avenatti was (briefly) deified on the left.

@zeynep has one of the best takes on this phenomenon:

Update: Not only is Florida engaged in a massive 🐊 conspiracy 🐊 to cover up deaths, they could very well have more deaths than anywhere else in the country! Because Rebekah Jones!!

Very normal thought process, not cognitive dissonance at all.
In order for partisans to square the circle on restrictions as empirical necessity, they must deny reality.

If restrictions-lax Florida (Florida!!) really is middle of the pack on covid, what does that imply about much of what was supposedly a moral imperative to “save lives?”
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
I actually find this very sad. I’ve liked the guy for years.

His question is regarding a situation wherein **all adults are vaccinated**— a year of well-intentioned restrictions literalism has short-circuited understanding the spectrum of relative risk and transmission dynamics.
The public health establishment is the new clerisy. Many no longer trust themselves to make judgments; the logic is somewhat inaccessible, but most importantly the risks to ourselves and to the greater good are too great to mess around with directly.
Things like this reinforce the black-and-white thinking that has hampered us too often during the pandemic.

What metaphysical transformation happens at the moment that third family walks through the threshold which demands masks? (All adults here are vaccinated.)
Read 4 tweets

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