The U.S. Department of Justice has busted Juli Mazi, a “doctor” of naturopathy from Napa, California. Mazi was hawking vials of pellets that she claimed could provide “lifelong immunity” to COVID-19. She was also selling fake immunization cards and instructions on how to fill them out to create plausible fakes. Mazi was trading on her customers’ fear, ignorance and superstition, offering them something called “homeoprophylaxis,” that has the same relationship to true immunization that astrology has to astronomy. Apparently, it’s a profitable line of work. The USDOJ reports she had sales of $221,000.
Mazi is hardly the first person to monetize American’s fear, ignorance and superstition. She’s just the first one charged with doing it over COVID-19.
But how is Mazi’s conduct that much different than what the G.O.P. is doing in its efforts to build a political platform opposed to vaccination requirements? As WC writes this blog post, he is listening to Idaho Lieutenant Governor (and Idaho gubernatorial candidate) Janice McGeachin (R, Craziness) speaking to a crowd, arguing the Idaho Legislature should be re-convened to enact a prohibition on employer mask mandates and employer vaccination requirements for their employees. Never mind the hypocrisy: McGeachin claims to be opposed to government mandates. But she is supporting a mandate on Idaho employers who want their employees vaccinated. McGeachin is selling fear, ignorance and superstition – along with hypocrisy – to support her political campaign. She’s another Mazi.
How is Mazi’s conduct different than Tucker Carlson’s? The Fox “News” gadfly recently said on his show that college students “shouldn’t get the shot” after some schools required students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus. “It’s not good for them. There’s a risk involved, much higher than of COVID, but colleges are forcing them anyway,” he said. Those are lies, but Fox News sells lot of advertising based on Tucker Carlson’s popular appeals to ignorance, fear and superstition. The advertising revenues pay Carlson his salary, a handsome $6 million a year. WC notes the irony that Fox “News” strategy may very well kill its audience, but Carlson himself simply doesn’t care. He’s another Mazi.
What takes McGeachin, Carlson and their fellow travelers beyond the usual scumbags like Mazi who profit off of catastrophes is the harm they are working to the nation, not just the victims of their crimes. In a nation founded on principles of logic and reason, they are espousing anti-logic and unreason. They entrench attitudes and beliefs that are antithetical to the survival of our nation.
Mazi is a criminal. But the Tucker Carlsons and Janice McGeachins are far more dangerous. It’s not even close.