An anti-vaxx Republican official who refused to certify Biden’s election win died after being hospitalized with COVID-19. A Republican official who opposed coronavirus vaccines, and tried to block certification of President Joe Biden’s election win, died after being hospitalized with COVID-19.
The New York Times reported that William Hartmann’s sister said he had been hospitalized with the disease, writing on Facebook before his death that he was “in ICU with Covid pneumonia and currently on a ventilator.”
Gustavo Portela, a communications director for the Michigan GOP, confirmed Hartmann’s death, The Detroit News reported. He was 63.
Hartmann was a Republican member of the Wayne County, Michigan, Board of Canvassers, which has a role certifying election results.
He and another canvasser in November 2020 refused to certify the results the presidential election results there after Biden won, but later changed their minds and certified them after all.
Hartmann shared anti-vaccination conspiracy theories on social media before his death. In posts seen by Insider, he belittled the virus and shared posts opposing mask mandates, mandatory vaccines, and incentives schemes like vaccine lotteries.
During the election, I wrote a column warning voters that Kamala Harris isn’t ready to be president should she be needed to replace Joe Biden in the big chair if elected. A year into her tenure as vice president, her disastrous poll numbers and staff bolting for the door speak for themselves.
In recent weeks, four prominent staffers have announced their departures, including Ashley Etienne, the veep’s communications director, and Symone Sanders, a top aide serving as senior adviser and chief spokesperson. More staff are reportedly eyeing exits. What on earth is going on?
The Washington Post recently spoke with 18 current and former Harris staffers. Their assessment was uninspiring, to say the least. “It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” one ex-staffer said in the scathing Dec. 4 piece. “With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.”
And to think the establishment media told us former President Donald Trump was a bully. Talk about glass houses.
Notwithstanding, serving in the White House under any administration is an honor and privilege. Especially when you’re working for the first female and person of color to serve as VP. So imagine how badly things must be going in the East Wing when Harris’ senior staff are running for the hills.
No, you can’t blame it on “burnout” or any other silly excuse when capable staff who are quitting haven’t even logged a year on the job. Get real.
What’s increasingly apparent is Harris’ lack of leadership and problem-solving and management skills required in the highest echelon of government. At every test this year, when our country needed the vice president to step up to the plate and solve serious problems affecting American lives — including the safety and security of US troops — she fell short.
Vice President Kamala Harris attends a meeting of the National Space Council at the US Institute of Peace on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021
With the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan — that needlessly killed 13 US military personnel — Harris didn’t intervene and push back on the incomprehensible moves her boss and his military advisers made. Instead, she boasted about being “the last person in the room” before Biden made disastrous decisions that placed Americans living in the war-torn country in harm’s way.
At minimum, Harris could have advised the president to get all American civilians and our Afghan allies out of Afghanistan before the Taliban took over and US military withdrew from the region. Instead, while hundreds of Americans were trapped behind enemy lines and our allies were being hunted down by the Taliban and its terror proxies, she was conspicuously absent from public view, opting to take an unnecessary trip to Vietnam and Singapore.
This wasn’t just an optics failure in the world of American politics; it was a leadership test she failed in spades by not leveraging her power and resources as vice president to rescue Americans and our allies in grave danger.
To the contrary, America’s first female veep split town and let the “guys” figure it out: the president, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and so on. A missed opportunity that could’ve shown voters a female vice president has the chops to be commander in chief, someone our nation can trust to take that proverbial 3 a.m. call.
Perhaps Harris missed reading the 2013 bestseller “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, which encourages women to not take a backseat in the workplace and instead challenge the assumption that “men still run the world,” per Amazon’s top review.
With the crisis at the southern border, voters are concerned about illegal weapons and deadly drugs such as fentanyl pouring into our country, killing Americans and making our communities less safe. We hear the drumbeat of disturbing reports of human trafficking, women being sexually abused as they make the treacherous journey to America and other horrors on the administration’s watch.