December 7, 2021

Anti-Vaxxersโ€™ $1 Million in Forgiven PPP Loans Spark Questions From Lawmakers

2 min read

A bunch of Democratic Home members is demanding solutions from the Small Enterprise Administration following a The Daily Beast report that high anti-vaccine teams acquired greater than $1 million in free money by means of an initiative meant to assist struggling entrepreneurs survive the pandemic.

The Each day Beast acquired a missive that Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) despatched SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman on Monday, questioning whether or not the half-dozen disinformation superspreadersโ€”together with complement hawker Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.โ€”who had Paycheck Safety Program loans absolved this 12 months had fulfilled all the necessities of this system. These necessities, Sanchez famous, embody refraining from political exercise. The anti-inoculation activists maintained to The Each day Beast on the time of the unique story that they had been in full compliance.

โ€œA number of of those people and their organizations acquired loans within the first spherical of PPP availability whereas many small, family-owned companies had been unable to entry this system,โ€ wrote Sanchez. โ€œSome teamsโ€”who proceed to revenue from COVID-19 and vaccine disinformationโ€”have acquired taxpayer {dollars} to help them in spreading misinformation thatโ€™s prolonging the pandemic, taking lives, and stopping small companies from returning to regular.โ€

Co-signatories to the letter embody Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-WA), chairwoman of the reasonable New Democrat caucus; Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), chairman emeritus of the Home Progressive Caucus; Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN); Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA); and Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA). Sanchez famous that the entire lawmakers supported the favored but oft-criticized program, first instituted underneath former President Donald Trump.

The Middle for Countering Digital Hate, which has reported on the various ways anti-vaxxers are reaping funds from pandemic disinformation, lauded each The Each day Beastโ€™s uncovering of the mass mortgage forgiveness and Sanchezโ€™s response.

โ€œAnti-vaccine propaganda is a enterprise, and lots of of those organizations are getting cash hand over fist,โ€ mentioned Imran Ahmed, the groupโ€™s founder. โ€œThe Each day Beastโ€™s reporting has make clear how taxpayer {dollars} have been used to unfold disinformation thatโ€™s prolonging the pandemic, taking lives, and stopping small companies from returning to regular operations.โ€

The SBA didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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