‘If true, this is insane!’

The 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed 2,977 people was a little over a week ago. Americans and politicians across the nation honored and commemorated the victims, first responders, and two decades’ worth of American soldiers and veterans who served and sacrificed in Afghanistan.

Some of our political leaders chose to attend ceremonies and memorials. Some chose to meet with veterans or first responder groups. And some, Iowa’s Representative Marionette Miller-Meeks, chose to spread inflammatory misinformation about our veterans and their benefits.

That Sunday evening, Rep. Miller-Meeks made the indefensible decision to post a story on her personal twitter feed insinuating that President Biden had ordered the VA to deny unvaccinated veterans their earned benefits. The story is, of course, completely false. The source of the fiction is an online satirical website, though this is not readily apparent from the webpage Miller-Meeks linked or from Miller-Meeks’ own post.

In fact, her only comment, “If true, this is insane!” suggests the post might very well be true. When questioned on the inappropriateness of the post, the resulting confusion, and the potential for spreading misinformation about our veterans, Rep. Miller-Meeks’ office defended the tweet, lashed out at the media, and has refused to take the post down.

Representative Miller-Meeks displayed an astounding lack of judgement and respect with this stunt. It’s hard to imagine what she hoped to gain, but the cost is immense. Miller-Meeks owes our veterans and her constituents an apology. Iowa deserves better.

Drew Kelley, Clinton

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