OXON HILL, Md.—A former White House communications staffer said the Department of Energy report lending credence to the theory that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab represents an “I-told-you-so to the nth degree” after the legacy media and Big Tech cracked down on then-President Donald Trump and others for suggesting it.
“Much of what we are seeing in the news today, especially coming from [President] Joe Biden’s agencies, has been a string of lies, so when you see a headline that reads, ‘The Department of Energy has confirmed that it does in fact suspect the Wuhan virus came from the Wuhan lab in China,’ you almost have to pause for a second and make sure you’re not reading a Babylon Bee article,” Roma Daravi, former White House deputy director of strategic communications under Trump and founder and CEO of Daravi Strategies, told The Daily Signal in a Thursday interview at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, outside Washington, D.C.
“It really is almost a laughing matter,” Daravi said. “It’s an I-told-you-so situation to the nth degree, and for those of us that were in the White House that were hunkered down, working very hard to make sure the American people were as safe as possible during the coronavirus outbreak,” it was “a sigh of relief.”
She called Trump “the truth-teller from the Oval Office directly to the American people” and touted the progress of the Trump administration, from trade deals to peace deals, such as the Abraham Accords, to tax cuts, and more.
Yet after Trump, America has “reverted back to the Obama-Biden era,” Daravi lamented. While Biden is “reversing as much as possible,” she said “the American people know how to see through the lies.”
Daravi condemned the Biden administration and big businesses for supporting “woke cultures,” such as transgender activism, and she urged Americans to use the power of their own purses to fight back.
“When it comes to fighting back against woke culture in the community of big-box stores, and companies, and places like Disney, the one thing that you cannot argue with is that money talks,” she said. “If you do not like an organization and what they are doing, do not buy their product. It will hurt them, period.”
She cited the rise of “so many conservative companies” and “made-in-the-USA products,” insisting that Americans increasingly have more options.
“Whether we like it or not, money is power, and no matter how much money you have in your pocket, where you put that money, where you buy your lunch, where you spend your money going to school, where you buy your clothing, how you get your different products and appliances through companies like Amazon, we’re all guilty of using these systems that work against us at the end of the day,” Daravi noted. “Every little bit counts.”
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Tyler O’Neil: I have here Roma Daravi who is founder and CEO of Daravi Strategies and former White House deputy director of strategic communications. Thank you so much for joining me, Roma.
Roma Daravi: Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.
O’Neil: So, we were talking briefly about your experience being at the White House through COVID-19, and then now this strange vindication of the Department of Energy saying that the lab leak theory is actually the thing that has the most supporting evidence, even though they said it was “low confidence” that that was where it came from. But how did that hit you and what does that mean for you after spending four years at the White House?
Daravi: Well, much of what we are seeing in the news today, especially coming from [President] Joe Biden’s agencies, has been a string of lies. And so when you see a headline that reads “The Department of Energy has confirmed that it does in fact suspect the Wuhan virus came from the Wuhan lab in China,” you almost have to pause for a second and make sure you’re not reading a Babylon Bee article. I mean, it really is almost a laughing matter. It’s a I-told-you-so situation to the nth degree.
And for those of us that were in the White House that were hunkered down, working very hard to make sure the American people were as safe as possible during the coronavirus outbreak, it is somewhat of a moment where you have a sigh of relief. They’re finally getting the truth.
I think the Biden administration has waited so long in order to push off this narrative of COVID-19, almost waiting for the COVID-19 conversation to be left in a dark closet so that they can make these announcements and have them hopefully fall on deaf ears. But the American people know better at this point. They have been opened into a world of transparency through the presidency of Donald Trump. He was absolutely the truth-teller from the Oval Office directly to the American people. He was the truth-teller from Trump Tower before he even got to the White House. He will tell you the hard truth whether you want to hear it or not. Right?
So having the Biden administration finally admit some of the things that our officials have known for so long and suspected for so long is certainly a welcomed news that we’re getting from them.
What I will say is that right now the country is in a moment of reflection and also progression. And what I mean by that is, having been in four years of processes moving the country forward through the Trump administration, having so many amazing trade deals made, having peace deals made, having taxes be brought down, so much progress for the American people and freedom given back to them has helped them open their eyes to what America should and could be again, which really is a stark contrast with what they’re experiencing today.
We have been reverted back to the Obama-Biden era because we are again in the third term of Obama-Biden ways with Biden as president. He is absolutely reversing as much as possible. But luckily the American people have seen the light. They know how to see through the lies at this point.
And so I think we’re going to see a lot more progress for the Republican Party moving forward because of that. They now know how to look at a situation, hear what they’re being told, and see the reality through all of it, no matter what that is. And so because of that, you’ll have a movement, a grassroots movement across the country like we saw last cycle in Virginia with moms and suburban families coming out to vote for Gov. Glenn Youngkin based on what they wanted, school choice. They wanted their kids to be safe, they wanted their kids back in the classroom. That’s a kitchen table issue. That is what you’re going to see people voting on in 2024.
Tyler O’Neil: So do you see these past few years under President Biden as a vindication of the conservative policies that really have been rejected right, left and center?
Roma Daravi: Oh, absolutely. And the Biden administration is almost exposing themselves really, especially when it comes to these woke cultures. You see so many companies that are feeling the push from the Biden administration to join these woke movements. And the immediate backlash that they receive from the American public is so loud nobody can hide from it. Everybody’s laughing at it. I mean it’s comical really, like I said, because none of it is common sense policy. When you say we want men in men’s restrooms and women in women’s restrooms, we want men in men’s sports and women in women’s sports, and then somebody says, “Well, I am a man, I am a woman.” And they argue that from a transgender’s point of view, it’s just ridiculous. Right? And everybody here-
O’Neil: Well, you want your children to grow up as boys or girls the way that they are.
Daravi: Yeah, the way that God makes you in his perfect image, and that is straight from the Bible. Those are not my words. God made you in his perfect image and he really does not make mistakes.
So I find it to be very interesting when you see major organizations jumping into this woke culture mentality and saying that they are going to allow—and this is just one example, one policy—they are going to allow men in women’s sports. Why are they doing that? Why are they not saying, “We’re going to allow women in men’s sports”? They don’t need to say it because no one’s out there trying to do that, right? No one is out there trying to say, “I want to join the men’s football team.” No, you don’t. You’re going to get crushed.
O’Neil: Well, you did have Lia Thomas on the flip side, who, as a men’s swimmer, he was in the middle of—
Daravi: In the women’s sport?
O’Neil: … of the pack, and then suddenly he becomes the No. 1 women’s swimmer in the NCAA. I wonder—
Daravi: Very interesting.
O’Neil: … what might be going on there.
Daravi: Yeah. On that same note, so I am from Southern California—from Surf City, USA; Huntington Beach, California—and I have many friends who have taken their professional career in surfing. And you have the World Surf League that came out just recently a couple weeks ago saying, “We’re going to allow men to compete in the women’s league.”
Daravi: Unfortunately, the women are not able to speak up because they are part of this organization that is touring and competing already, really puts them in a difficult spot. They were not confronted on their opinion on the situation. And luckily, there are individuals who have retired from the sport of professional surfing and have spoken out on this. And you’re seeing some pushback and you’re seeing parents of young athletes that are pushing back as well.
So this is not something that is a mainstream idea. No matter how much the mainstream media tries to say that it is, it absolutely is not. And at the value, the core base of American values, you will find that it falls at a conservative point, no matter what the policy is, whether it is immigration, whether it is trade, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s health care. When you boil it down to the very basic degree of common sense, conservative values is really where Americans will fall.
O’Neil: Well, how do we encourage Americans who are constantly hearing from the Left, from the Biden administration, from the media, from even companies like Disney who are going into these issues, and acting as though if you dare question, you’re evil? I mean, you must know, working at the Trump White House, where everything he said—even the things that have been proven true after the fact—was demonized relentlessly, was suggested that, “Oh, he wants to clamp down on immigration, he’s a racist. Oh, he hates ‘X’ people because of this policy.” And how do we encourage Americans to stand up when they’re terrified that, as you noted, a lot of surfers are scared to speak the truth?
Daravi: Yeah. And it’s across every community too. What I will say is that it’s very important to talk to your community. You don’t necessarily have to be an influencer with a microphone to get your message heard and make a difference. Talk to your neighbors, talk to your family members, talk to your classmates. Because when you can have an intellectual conversation, very level-headed, and communicate with people about why you believe the conservative values are right and are the way of the future, you will change hearts and minds, you will see a light bulb go off. Because it really is the commonsense values and you can’t argue with much of what’s being said.
And I will say that as we move forward, out of the Biden administration, we will get out of this. Just wait a couple more years, we will be back, and there will be some hope there.
But when it comes to fighting back against woke culture in the community of big box stores and companies and places like Disney and outlets like Disney, the one thing that you cannot argue with is that money talks. Money talks. If you do not like an organization and what they are doing, do not buy their product. It will hurt them, period.
That’s why you see so many conservative companies starting in this day and age, they’re saying that they’re coming forward with “made in the USA” products. They’re having all of their employees as U.S. citizens. There are plenty of companies that are coming out against woke culture and saying, “I’m another option for you.” And the reason why I say it’s so important that you are spending your money with companies that you support their values is because there really is no arguing with that transaction.
And that goes across every single different type of business deal, whether it be diplomatic exchanges that are occurring with peace deals, it’s all about how to make a deal. That’s why Donald Trump was such a great president, because he really did know the art of the deal. And it is all about how you are willing to use your power.
Whether we like it or not, money is power. And no matter how much money you have in your pocket, where you put that money, where you buy your lunch, where you spend your money going to school, where you buy your clothing, how you get your different products and appliances through companies like Amazon, we’re all guilty of using these systems that work against us at the end of the day.
So really take a moment to think, “How can I do my part in my community in order to make a difference, even at a small level?” Because all of that amplifies. Every little bit counts. Every one of us has a vote. That vote matters and that vote cannot be diminished. So you have to realize how you’re able to use that and really be intentional about it.
O’Neil: Great. Well, thank you so much, Roma. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Where can people find you and see your work?
Daravi: Yes, yes. So you can find me @RomaDaravi on Twitter and Instagram. I’m working under my own PR agency at the moment, Daravi Strategies, and it’s been absolutely wonderful. Two years of growth. And on my own time, also fighting for the Republican movement and speaking with their audience like you.
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