The time-honored campaign tactic of smearing a candidate as a Socialist is being used again early in the new year — but this time one of the targets is a Republican.
Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez, who is running for a second term in 2022, has been branded a Socialist several Facebook ads by the conservative America First Political Committee.
The former Miami-Dade County mayor has a “dirty (sic) socialist record,” one of the To sue says, and “he wants a national database to track and discriminate against you.”
The ad quotes the voice of Gimenez Hour 550, which claims the bill would “give the green light for the development of a federal vaccine registry, aka a database.”
We have found no evidence of this.
The bill would authorize $400 million in grants to state and local health departments to update their computer databases of immunization records — not to create a database or registry.
it would direct the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services to “improve data exchange and other aspects of vaccination information systems. These are confidential, population-based databases that maintain records of vaccine administration,” according to a summary from Congress.gov.
Several experts said the Post’s characterization of the bill was inaccurate.
Sharona Hoffman, professor of law and bioethics and co-director of Case Western Reserve University’s Law-Medicine Center, said the goal is to improve the accuracy of existing databases and the ability to share information; Assisting in the delivery of vaccines; and request a report assessing immunization access in underserved, rural and border areas.
Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, agreed that the bill would not create a federal database. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine data systems “are weak, and this legislation would help improve the agency’s collection and sharing of data,” he added.
dr Joseph Kannry, chair of the American Medical Informatics Association’s Public Policy Committee, said the bill “would allow doctors to assess how much of the population is at risk during a pandemic, including potential future outbreaks.” It could ensure fair distribution of vaccines and other resources.”
Asked for information to support its claim, the America First Political Committee sent us a Explanation of December 7, which repeated his claim about Gimenez, among others.
The office and campaign of the House of Gimenez have not responded to our requests for comment.
Thomas Miller, a senior fellow for health policy at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said the bill “would seem like the typical effort in earlier times to enable better health data related to immunizations — not an unusual goal given its current limited state.”
“This legislation and the responses to it illustrate our overheated and polarized reactions to many changes in national data reporting and development during the pandemic era. Much of this could be seen as a necessary update of poorly functioning health data standards and processes, provided a limited number of good-faith guesses are allowed on the part of federal health administrations and regulators.
“Of course, when you mostly fear the worst, every change is a threat.”
The ads were paid for by the Republican campaign. Drew Ferguson of Georgia and Pete Stauber of Minnesota; and the campaign of GOP House candidate Kalena Bruce of Missouri; and by the Kentucky Freedom PAC against Charles Booker, a Democrat running for Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky’s seat.
The Facebook ad said Gimenez “wants a national database to track and discriminate against you.”
We found no evidence of the attack on Gimenez. We rate it False.