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Stefanik waits for the party line

From late June through September, I asked Elise Stefanik the following questions via her congressional website. All were acknowledged as received. All were ignored.

1. President Trump made the following tweet on June 9. “Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”

Do you agree with the president’s assertions? If so, what evidence exists to support it? If you do not agree with the tweet, will you make a public statement noting the president is wrong? If not, why?

2. Speaking of the coronavirus at the Trump rally in Tulsa on June 20, the president stated that he “told my people to slow the testing down, please. … When you do testing to that extent, you are going to find more people, more cases.” Do you agree with this statement? Please explain.

3. Regarding intelligence reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, President Trump tweeted on July 1 that these reports were “just another made up Fake News tale told only to damage me and the Republican Party.”

Do you agree with Trump’s assessment? If not, are you willing to tell him publicly that he is wrong and this matter should be thoroughly investigated?

4. On July 1, with coronavirus cases increasing dramatically, Dr. Anthony Fauci noted that reported infections could hit 100,000 a day. President Trump stated: “And I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. It think at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear. I hope.”

Do you agree with President Trump’s assessment of the COVID-19 situation? If you disagree, are you willing to tell him publicly that he is wrong?

5. President Trump stated that painting “Black Lives Matter” on Fifth Avenue in New York City would be “a symbol of hate.” Trump has adamantly refused to rename military bases named after Confederate military officers who fought to preserve slavery. Do you agree with Trump’s stand on these issues? If so, please elaborate. If you do not agree, will you issue a public statement noting that you disagree with the president?

6. In early July, President Trump stated that 99% of COVID-19 cases “are totally harmless.” According to the World Health Organization (also in early July), “data indicate that 80 percent of infections [COVVID19] are mild or asymptomatic, 15 percent are severe infections requiring oxygen and 5 percent are critical infections requiring ventilators.” Do you agree with Trump or the WHO? Please explain.

7. In early July, President Trump stated that “Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that were villains.” Do you agree with President Trump? Are children in the 21st Congressional District of New York being taught to “hate their own country?” If you do, please provide specific examples of where these hate America lessons are being taught?

8. On July 9, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, told the House Armed Services Committee, “The American Civil War was fought and it was an act of rebellion, it was an act of treason at the time, against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the U.S. Constitution, and those officers turned their backs on their oaths.”

Noting that the U.S. Army is about 20% African American, Gen. Milley stated, “For those young soldiers that go onto a base — a Fort Hood, a Fort Bragg or a fort wherever named after a Confederate General — they can be reminded that that general fought for the institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their ancestors.”

Do you agree with Gen. Milley’s statement? If so, will you go on record supporting the changing the names of these military bases? If you do not support names changes, please explain?

9. The QAnon conspiracy theory posits there is a worldwide cabal of devil-worshiping pedophiles in control of all major levels of power including the government, media, business and Hollywood. Your colleague Rep. Liz Chenery of Wyoming stated that QAnon is “dangerous lunacy that should have no place in American politics.” Why haven’t you condemned QAnon?

10. In late March, President Trump stated that if the number of COVID-19 deaths could be held to “between 100 and 200,000. … We altogether have done a good job.” Do you agree? In what sense is 200,000 dead Americans a “good job?” A Sept. 3 projection by the University of Washington noted that by Jan. 1 the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. could hit 410,000. If this transpires. would the Trump administration still be doing a good job controlling the virus? Please explain. What number of coronavirus deaths is no longer a “good job?” Be specific.

11. At a Nevada campaign rally on Sept. 12, Donald Trump stated, “Now I can be really vicious.” Do you agree that during these trying times with so much suffering, death and uncertainty, it’s appropriate for the president to be “really vicious?” Please explain.

How is it that Elise Stefanik represents all the people of the New York 21st Congressional District when she refuses to answers questions from her constituents? Over the past four years, Stefanik has repeatedly demonstrated she is an obedient Trump loyalist who becomes more Trump-like every day.

Imagine a science-fiction scenario wherein a person steps into a beam of light one gender and steps out the other gender. If Donald Trump walked into that beam, he would emerge as Elise Stefanik.

George J. Bryjak lives in Bloomingdale and is retired after 24 years of teaching sociology at the University of San Diego.

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