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A highly respected, award-winning virologist who specializes in the fight against AIDS has reportedly stepped down from a leadership position at a prestigious cancer research facility and resigned from a university faculty position over a 2009 Halloween picture that purportedly caused “pain” or “harm.”
Dr. Julie Overbaugh, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, was a senior vice president at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (a.k.a. Fred Hutch) where she still works in the lab, and was on the faculty of the University of Washington Medical Center, and is now reportedly going through re-education.
According to Seattle talk show host and woke whistleblower Jason Rantz, a frequent guest on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, “She’s known for her research on HIV in Kenya. But her career is being ruined over a costume.”
“Nearly 13 years ago, Overbaugh attended the party at a lab at Fred Hutch. The theme of the party was Jackson’s album ‘Thriller.’ But after a photo of her costume was anonymously emailed to senior leadership at the University of Washington, UW Medicine, and Fred Hutch, she’s been forced to undergo ‘an intensive education process,'” Rantz continued in an essay for The Federalist.
After the photo surfaced, Fred Hutch put Dr. Overbaugh on administrative leave. An internal investigation determined that this transgression was an isolated incident.
“The act depicted in the photo is racist, offensive and hurtful, and we offer our sincere apologies to anyone who has experienced pain or upset because of the act or this photo,” Fred Hutch said, in part, in a statement.
“Though the incident didn’t occur at UW Medicine, its CEO and equity officer also waded into the faux controversy,” Rantz said.
Officials “notified UW Medicine staff in an email that Overbaugh was punished for engaging in the ‘racist, dehumanizing, and abhorrent act’ of ‘blackface,'” he noted, adding they also “claim that the UW Medicine community was ‘harmed’ by the 13-year-old photo that most staff didn’t know existed until reading about it in the Feb. 25 email.”
Overbaugh told Rantz that “I did not know the association of this with blackface at the time, in 2009, but understand the offense that is associated with this now. I have apologized for this both publicly and privately and beyond that have no other comments.”
“UW Medicine is lashing out against Overbaugh to show its wokeness and earn social currency. That UW Medicine is helping to ruin a woman who devoted her career to finding a cure for HIV is immaterial to its leaders. To progressive activists, highlighting one’s virtues is more important than curing a deadly disease,” Rantz claimed.
Rantz prefaced his article by noting that neither Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nor Virginia’s ex-Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam were forced to step down after both were caught in blackface scandals.
Separately, the diversity-embracing school of medicine has implemented an online bias reporting tool that enables the community to alert of concerns “ranging from one-time micro-aggressions to more severe and sustained behavior” involving alleged bigotry.
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