Progressives everywhere are aflutter with anticipation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Dr. Anthony Fauci entertaining The Atlantic’s annual festival tonight with speeches and interviews before 111 other honored guests, streamed live and free.
This assembly of critics of President Donald Trump, includes one registered Republican – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who despises the President.
The Atlantic’s erstwhile editor, Jeffrey Goldberg, will host the event. He recently claimed Trump had disparaged the U.S. military, when the President was unable to attend a war memorial site.
Trump had 27 witnesses refute that accusation, which was probably woven from Trump’s claim – expressed in the past – that volunteers for the Vietnam War were being sucked into a useless, deadly conflict. Such an opinion has been shared by others, including 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry, who infamously pretended to throw away his medals to protest that war, which killed more than 50,000 Americans.
In addition to Fauci and Pelosi, other featured speakers of this week’s event include: Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State; Stacey Abrams (near-Governor of Georgia); Microsoft founder and vaccine promoter Bill Gates; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian; and alleged Marxist, who co-founded Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza.
Festival directors seemed especially proud of two late additions to the speakers’ list:
Bob Woodward will close out the festival on Thursday, interviewed by Goldberg about his new book, Rage. Woodward, the renowned investigative reporter and associate editor at The Washington Post, will take part in the final night of the festival’s events…
The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II will be in conversation with Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective, which is the majority owner of The Atlantic.
There is nothing wrong with 113 folks getting together to promote a partisan, progressive Democrat confab days before an election, except this:
The activities an employee performs must be related to his/her official duties. Any official work performed with an outside organization must also be consistent with the authority and mission of the NIH. There should be compelling agency policy reasons for official duty activities with outside organizations.
The activity must be avoided if the outside organization engages in lobbying or otherwise takes public positions on matters of significant controversy involving the NIH.
The employee remains subject to the Hatch Act. Thus, the employee may not engage in political activity – i.e., activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group – while the employee is on duty, The National Institutes of Health warns on its website:
In their own words festival promoters maintain this is a public, not private event:
For the first time, The Atlantic is making all festival events free to access, and expects to draw audiences across the country and the world. Events will be streamed live on The Atlantic’s site and other platforms and will be hosted on Tame, an interactive platform that will let attendees seamlessly enjoy all festival events.
And if you doubt that the focus is on one political party, the festival boasts:
All eyes were on the opening of last year’s festival, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the stage for an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg hours before announcing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The 2019 event also included headline-making conversations with Senator Mitt Romney, General James Mattis, former U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Disney CEO Bob Iger.
There’s time (it’s just 4 p.m. as this post is released) for Anthony Fauci to cancel tonight’s speech and interview,
If not, in my opinion he should be investigated for violating the Hatch Act and censured for ignoring the rules of his own NIH.
For more details or to comment, phone NIH at 301-496-4000.