Marianne Williamson

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Marianne Williamson dropped out of the presidential race on January 10, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Williamson, who is widely known for her books, is calling for “a moral and spiritual awakening in the country.” She has pushed to expand social safety net programs and has said she would immediately pursue reparations to the descendants of slaves, but has cautioned that Democrats won’t beat Trump by just “having all these plans.”
Attended Pomona College, 1970-1972
July 8, 1952
Co-founder, Project Angel Food, 1989


Marianne Williamson endorses Bernie Sanders for president
Updated 7:24 PM ET, Sun Feb 23, 2020
Former Democratic hopeful Marianne Williamson made a surprise appearance at Sen. Bernie Sanders' rally Sunday in Austin, Texas, to announce her endorsement of the Democratic front-runner. "Bernie Sanders has taken a stand, and Bernie Sanders has been taking a stand for a very long time. He has been consistent, he has been convicted, he has been committed. And now it's time, I'm here and you're here, because it's time for us to take a stand with Bernie," Williamson told the crowd in Austin. Williamson dropped out of the Democratic race on January 10. She had endorsed Sanders in his first presidential run in May 2015. On Sunday, she argued that Sanders is proving the Democratic establishment wrong. "We're being told oh, it can't happen. He can't beat (President Donald) Trump. Bernie can't beat Trump, it can't happen," Williamson said. "I'll tell you what's already happened to those who say it cannot happen. You just tell them this. It already happened. He won Iowa. It already happened, he won New Hampshire. It already happened, he won Nevada," Williamson added, pointing to Sanders' growing momentum. The recanvass of more than 100 Iowa caucus precincts ended last week, resulting in former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's lead over Sanders tightening to a fraction of a standard delegate equivalent. The tightening did not, however, impact the national delegate count, which awarded Buttigieg 14 national delegates out of Iowa, compared to Sanders' 12 delegates, according to the Iowa State Democratic Party. Ahead of the Iowa caucuses in January, Williamson, who had already dropped out, had said she would campaign for Andrew Yang in Iowa, hoping to keep him in the race, but stopping short of an outright endorsement. "Bernie and Elizabeth will make it past Iowa and beyond; I admire them both, but right now they don't need my help," Williamson wrote last month. "I'm lending my support to Andrew in Iowa, hopefully to help him get past the early primaries & remind us not to take ourselves too seriously." But on Sunday in Austin, Williamson touted her support for the Vermont senator. "Today, we're tired of saying pretty please. We're going to stand up, we're going to show up because we woke up, "Williamson said. "We're here and we're with Bernie."


climate crisis
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Williamson supports the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, though she says on her campaign website that “it doesn’t cover the whole range of measures we must undertake to reverse global warming.” She supports US participation in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. She’s also set a goal of reaching 100% reduction of emissions by 2030. Williamson would phase out sales of vehicles with combustion engines – “fossil fuel vehicles” – by 2035 and remove cars that require fossil fuels from the road by 2050. She would electrify all rail traffic by 2030 and require all new airplanes to use biofuels by 2035. Williamson would also restart Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which set limits on carbon pollution from US power plants. But she has said she does not support expanding nuclear power, would ban fracking and would create mandatory carbon fees to mitigate the damage from fossil fuels. She pledges to appoint “a world-class environmentalist” to run the Environmental Protection Agency. More on Williamson’s climate crisis policy
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Williamson describes economic inequality as a dire threat to the future of American democracy and unchecked corporate power as “a sociopathic economic system,” according to her campaign website. She proposes offering all working-age Americans a universal basic income of $1,000 a month and backs a “universal savings program” – a trust fund created at birth with a government deposit, with the government matching family contributions on a sliding scale as children grow up. Williamson says she would pay for her programs by rolling back tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy from Trump’s 2017 tax law, including restoring the tax on estates over $5 million, while keeping middle-class tax reductions intact. She also proposes adding a fee to financial transactions. When it comes to trade, Williamson says she likes what Trump has done on China. She opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, an 11-nation deal negotiated under Obama that Trump withdrew from in one of his first acts as President. She has, however, echoed other Democrats by expressing concern over Trump’s newly negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a successor to President Bill Clinton’s 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. More on Williamson’s economic policy
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Williamson supports universal preschool, would raise funding for free and reduced-price meals in schools and would expand curriculums to focus on meditation, anti-bullying and other emotional learning programs, according to her campaign website. She is calling for free college or technical training for certain students, potentially paid for through a payroll tax on graduates or a public service requirement. Like other Democratic candidates, she is also calling for student loan forgiveness and for cutting interest rates on student loans. More on Williamson’s education policy
gun violence
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Williamson has called for universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines. She supports “mandatory waiting periods for all gun dealers, including gun shows and sporting retailers,” requiring child safety locks on all stored firearms and banning all so-called assault rifles as well as semi-automatic weapons, according to her website. Williamson supports so-called “red flag” laws, which allow families and police to petition a judge to temporarily block someone’s access to firearms if there is credible concern they might hurt themselves or others. More on Williamson’s gun violence policy
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Williamson supports providing a government-run health care program that individuals can voluntarily buy into. “I think a lot of people would gravitate to that,” she said at a CNN town hall in 2019. “If people want private insurance or want to augment it, then they should be able to.” At the town hall, she said she sees health care as a broader conversation about things that stress Americans, toxins in food and the impact of environmental policies. Williamson told The Washington Post that undocumented immigrants should be covered under this government-run program. More on Williamson’s health care policy
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Williamson supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the US who lack a “serious criminal background issue.” Williamson also supports the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields from deportation some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as minors. That program was formally canceled by Trump but remains in limbo. She argues that Trump’s proposed border wall is “expensive, impractical, and unlikely to address any of the real challenges we face,” according to her website. She believes the solution to undocumented immigration lies heavily in the war on drugs, “which has created rampant crime and violence among our neighbors.” More on Williamson’s immigration policy


Masks and vaccine mandate show CDC and Biden taking emergency action amid Covid-19 surge
Updated 11:26 PM ET, Tue Jul 27, 2021
The steps President Joe Biden's administration is adopting this week to re-recommend masks and require vaccines for federal workers amount to emergency actions designed to contain a new surge of Covid-19 that has quickly become the top issue confronting the White House. The moves reflect a dramatic shift from earlier messaging about the pandemic waning and signal the fight of Biden's presidency is far from over. Biden on Tuesday explicitly laid blame for the current situation on unvaccinated people -- an escalation of his use of the bully pulpit as he furiously searches with his team for ways to curb the spread of the virus. The White House and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are adjusting its tactics because of a surge in cases driven by the fast-spreading Delta variant and new information about transmission even by vaccinated people, multiple sources familiar with the matter said. The decisions were not taken lightly, administration officials said, and came after a series of meetings, including a Sunday evening session where the new mask guidelines and a vaccine requirement at the Department of Veterans Affairs were discussed among Biden's team. Officials from the CDC and other federal health agencies continued to brief White House officials into Monday. Biden is expected to deliver remarks on Thursday laying out more of his strategy, including the announcement of a vaccine requirement for all federal workers and contractors. He said Tuesday a vaccine requirement for all federal workers was under consideration. Officials said such a requirement wouldn't include dismissing those workers who remain unvaccinated; instead, new rules would require regular testing and masks for those who have refused shots, making life difficult for anyone who decides not to get a vaccine. White House staffers were back in masks on Tuesday, required to wear them regardless of vaccination status, per an official. Biden's aides said they were aware of the potential political fallout from the recent steps, and acknowledged privately that earlier resistance to vaccine requirements was based partly on the expectation it would spark backlash. But now, officials said health concerns should outweigh what many expect will be accusations of flip-flopping and harsh blowback from Republicans. Top officials pored through new data and evidence regarding transmissibility of the variant and breakthrough cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, briefed Biden on the changes Tuesday morning. Among the more significant announcements was a recommendation everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status. "If you're not vaccinated, you're not nearly as smart as I thought you were," Biden said on Tuesday, adopting a harsher tone against the still-hesitant he blamed for the continuing outbreaks. "We have a pandemic because the unvaccinated and they're sowing enormous confusion. And the more we learn about this virus and the Delta variation, the more we have to be worried and concerned. And there's only one thing we know for sure, if those other hundred million people got vaccinated, we'd be in a very different world," he said. One person close to the White House called the Veterans Affairs mandate a "watershed" moment, putting the federal government in the business of vaccine mandates in what this person described as a test case for more action. "Delta creates a different environment," this person said, explaining the White House's shift in tactics. "This should hopefully egg along the private sector." Ultimately, concerns about spikes in hospitalizations and deaths in unvaccinated Americans led to decisions officials acknowledge will be politically fraught. The VA said four of its employees had recently died from Covid-19 -- and that none had been vaccinated. On both masks and vaccine mandates, Biden officials have acknowledged privately that taking a forward-leaning stance will open the administration to political attacks. The President's aides rejected "vaccine passports" early in their tenure, aware the concept had become a lightning rod. But since then, as the vaccination campaign stalled, health experts have increasingly called for a more aggressive posture. In another sign of the growing concern over the Delta variant, the House of Representatives' attending physician sent out new guidance later Tuesday requiring that "well-fitted, medical grade" masks be worn in all interior spaces of the House in light of the new CDC guidance. "To be clear, for meetings in an enclosed US House of Representatives controlled space, masks are REQUIRED," Capitol Attending Physician Brian Monahan said in a memo. Worried over moving too slow Some of the administration's health officials were concerned the CDC was moving too slowly to update its mask guidance as the Delta variant ripped through communities, according to a senior administration official. White House officials have repeatedly said it would be up to the CDC whether to change official guidance and that they would follow the lead of health and medical experts. Two months ago, when the CDC updated its mask guidance saying most who are fully vaccinated could go without masks indoors, it moved so quickly that administration officials were informed less than a day before. Biden himself delivered a statement hailing the milestone. This time, officials said, the process moved in a more methodical way as the CDC decided how to proceed. A senior administration official said the decision was spurred by the more transmissible Delta variant. "It's based on the fact that the Delta variant is clearly more transmissible than the prior ones," the official said. New evidence also found that levels of virus found in the bodies of vaccinated people with breakthrough infections are similar to those found in unvaccinated individuals who contract coronavirus, raising concerns that vaccinated individuals may be able to spread the virus, the officials said. Versions of the virus that dominated in the past generally did not appear to be transmitted by people who had been fully vaccinated. "When you get information about risks and how to mitigate risks, there's a public health obligation to let people know about it," the official said. The White House is hoping that the new guidance will give local officials "a lot of cover" to implement new mask mandates where appropriate. It's still unknown whether the new steps will be effective. New recommendations for fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors apply to areas of the country with high rates of transmission. But many of the hardest-hit areas are places where mask wearing was already unusual. And some Republican governors -- many in Covid hot spots -- have declared they will not return to mask mandates. A psychological setback The new guidance comes about two months after Biden declared it a "great day in America" when the CDC revised its mask guidelines for vaccinated people and reflects a psychological setback for a country struggling to emerge from the grips of the pandemic. Still, the new steps are a sign that Biden and his team are looking for additional ways to contain a pandemic that is now entering a new phase because of the Delta variant. White House officials have been encouraged in recent days by upticks in vaccination rates, notably in states where caseloads are rising. But concerns over vaccine hesitancy remain, leading to new vaccine mandates for cities and states across the country. California said state employees and health care workers would need to get vaccinated or be tested regularly. New York City said its municipal workers would need to be vaccinated or face a test once a week. And in San Francisco, 500 bars said they'd require proof of vaccination or a negative test for all customers. VA vaccine mandate could be a key test After resisting implementing any vaccine mandates for federal workers or overseeing a vaccine credentialing system, the Biden administration dipped its toes in the business of compelling Americans to get vaccinated, beginning with a narrow requirement requiring Department of Veterans Affairs' health care workers be vaccinated. The White House views the VA mandate as a key test that could clear the way for other vaccine mandates within the federal government and which could encourage private sector entities to follow suit, two sources familiar with the decision said, but a national mandate is not feasible nor being contemplated. Biden administration health officials increasingly believe that making vaccination mandatory or unavoidable is the only way to break stalled vaccination rates that are keeping the US from reaching herd immunity. About 6% of adults said they would only get vaccinated if required, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's most recent monthly survey. Another 10% said they will "wait and see" before getting vaccinated. France saw a spike in vaccinations after that nation's president, Emmanuel Macron, said residents will need to be vaccinated or show a recent negative coronavirus test to enter restaurants and bars beginning next month. The White House has long resisted getting involved in coronavirus vaccine mandates and credentialing systems, fearing that doing so would only feed right-wing accusations of government overreach and undermine efforts to convince hesitant conservatives to get vaccinated. Heading in a tougher direction But stalled vaccination rates -- particularly in southern, conservative states -- are now propelling the White House in a different direction. "You don't pursue routes that we announced today until you've gone through and given people the opportunity to get vaccinated," one source close to the White House said, pointing to the importance of giving Americans the choice to get vaccinated before turning to harder-line tactics. On Monday, a collection of medical groups representing doctors, nurses and pharmacists called for mandatory vaccinations for US health care workers, writing, "The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it." Press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House supported that call. "These actions, in our view, are meant to keep patients and employees safe, and in fact I expect our own federal health care providers may look at similar requirements, as they do with other vaccines," she said. Asked whether such requirements could help improve vaccination rates, Psaki said they could. "It may," she said. "And beyond the President's goals, it may save lives, and that's the most important factor, in our view." Biden's powers to mandate shots among the wider public is limited. He could make them compulsory for members of the military but hasn't taken that step yet, as the three vaccines currently authorized for emergency