Defund… hospitals? WaPo blogger lambasted for calling to cut funding to Walter Reed medical center after Trump discharged

Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin was taken to the woodshed online after labeling the Walter Reed medical center a “public health hazard” and calling to slash its budget following President Donald Trump’s brief stay there.

The self-ordained “NeverTrump, pro-democracy” opinionator took calls to ‘defund’ public institutions to another level on Monday, urging Congress to slash Walter Reed’s budget for reasons left unstated – presumably something to do with the president, who was discharged from the medical center later on Monday after spending the weekend there to be treated for Covid-19.

“Congress might want to defund Walter Reed. It is a public health hazard,” Rubin declared from her perch on Twitter.

While she provided no explanation for her jab at the hospital in the tweet, a flurry of previousposts slammed doctors’ decision to allow the president to leave the facility “with a deadly communicable disease.” 

Netizens quickly piled on the missive, some reminding the hawkish columnist that Walter Reed “provides care to all the soldiers you spent years working to send overseas to lose their life and limbs,” not only the president.

Marine vet and sports analyst Ryan Spaeder, meanwhile, mused whether his comrades would have to hand over their prosthetic limbs under Rubin’s austerity plan.

Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna (California) took a gentler approach, noting that his own visits to Walter Reed have been “moving experiences,” adding that the staff at medical center do “inspiring work in helping soldiers with prosthetics, serious trauma and brain and spinal cord injuries” and “have my utmost admiration and respect.”

Others pointed out the basic optics of Rubin’s request, to slash funding for “a hospital that cares for our veterans,” some congratulating her for the “great idea” and encouraging the Democratic Party to take note of her ingenious political strategy.

Both Trump and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus late last week, after which the president was flown to Walter Reed for three days of treatment. He was discharged on Monday evening, returning to the White House where he said he will get “back to work.”

Since his diagnosis was made public, more than two dozen close contacts to the president have also tested positive, including a number of staffers and aides, three White House reporters and three Republican senators, among others. Many of the new patients attended a White House ceremony last month, where the president announced his latest Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. The administration has come under fire following the rash of infections, with Democrats and media critics insisting the president’s lax attitude toward the virus and disregard for masks and social distancing allowed for a “super-spreading” event at White House.

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