Showing posts with label Trump and Corona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump and Corona. Show all posts

July 14, 2020

It Lasted Long Enough But Trump Is Found a Fall Guy for COVID-19, Dr. Fauci The Expert

   Rift grows between Trump, health experts amid coronavirus surge ...

By Josh Lederman and Kelly O'Donnell

The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, as President Donald Trump works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings of the U.S. coronavirus response.
In a remarkable broadside by the Trump administration against one of its own, a White House official said Sunday that "several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things." The official gave NBC News a list of nearly a dozen past comments by Fauci that the official said had ultimately proven erroneous.
Among them: Fauci's comments in January that the coronavirus was "not a major threat" and his guidance in March that "people should not be walking around with masks."
It was a move more characteristic of a political campaign furtively disseminating opposition research about an opponent than of a White House struggling to contain a pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 people, according to an NBC News tally
Fauci, who runs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had been a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force and a key communicator with the public until the president soured on his sober assessments of the situation, which have increasingly conflicted with the more sanguine picture of a virus in retreat that the president has sought to paint. 
In recent days, Fauci has deviated from Trump by disputing that the U.S. is "doing great" and by faulting the decision in some states to reopen too quickly and to sidestep the task force's suggested criteria for when it's safe to loosen restrictions. In a particularly alarming prediction, Fauci said he wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. was soon adding 100,000 new cases a day — a figure that would reflect an abject failure to slow the spread.
Fauci declined to comment.
The coronavirus is surging nationwide, which Trump has repeatedly downplayed as the result of increased testing rather than growing numbers of infections. Florida on Sunday reported over 15,000 new cases, the most any state has reported in a single day since the pandemic began. The U.S. on Friday also surpassed 70,000 new coronavirus cases nationwide for the first time.
As physicians and scientists have learned more about the coronavirus, the medical consensus on how to treat it and limit its spread has evolved — and not just in the U.S. Many of Fauci's assertions called into question by the White House official were based on the best available data at the time and were widely echoed by Trump, other members of the task force and senior White House officials.
"When you learn more, you change those recommendations," Surgeon General Jerome Adams, another member of the task force, told CBS News on Sunday. "Our recommendations have changed." 
The list of Fauci's comments compiled by the White House, first reported by The Washington Post, includes Fauci's saying in January— weeks before the first reported COVID-19 death in the U.S. — that the virus was "not a major threat for the people in the U.S." A month later, Trump told Americans that the virus would simply "disappear" like a "miracle."
The White House declined to provide further comment. But the signs of its displeasure have been mounting. On Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany declined to say whether Trump still has confidence in Fauci, and the president said of him the same day: "He's made a lot of mistakes." "I disagree with him," Trump said in a separate interview with Gray Television's Greta Van Susteren last week.
Signs of tension between Fauci and the president are growing. Fauci said last week that he hadn't seen Trump in person since June 2 and hadn't briefed him in person in at least two months.
Fauci, who has served in the federal government for decades, can't be directly fired by the president, and there were no signs that Trump was seeking to get rid of him altogether. Rather, the White House salvo appeared aimed at undermining the public's trust in the renowned immunologist in hope that Americans will be more inclined to believe Trump's far more optimistic version of events as the November election marches closer.
Fauci has enjoyed broad support from the public, which got to know the gruff-speaking doctor during his frequent appearances at the task force's televised briefings — a mainstay of the early response to the pandemic that has since fallen largely by the wayside. 
New York Times/Sienna College poll last month found that 2 in 3 registered voters approved of Fauci, including half of Republicans and 4 in 5 Democrats. Trump, by comparison, enjoyed support of his handling of the crisis from only 1 in 4 voters in the same poll, including just 4 percent of Democrats.
Another member of the coronavirus task force, Dr. Brett Giroir, added to the pile-on, saying Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Fauci hasn't always been correct.
"I respect Dr. Fauci a lot, but Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right, and he also doesn't necessarily, he admits that, have the whole national interest in mind. He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view," Giroir said.

June 9, 2020

{NEW} If You Have The Virus But No Symptoms (asymptomatic) It Would Be Rare to Give it To Someone

Explanation by a rabied-pissed Publisher because the governemnt and the scientists either lied or just put the S*h-- out and see what sticks while people die:
We have heard so many mistruths, lies and just the governemnt (not scientists)telling you to trust certain things thing they recomment that will cost your life or at least your health. Thank to The Donald. If you know this man he always gave advice about science, governemnt, the militaty and about a black pesident he wanted people to think he was not an American. Not because He liked the competition presiential runner up to this Black candidate and then President but because that was outrageous enough to put him in the news. Did it work? You know it did. Even people that were friends with him and repeating the lies he was saying like the show of 'Joe and Mic'a. They hated him until he brought out her plastic surgery. comments. He said she showed up at the white house invited reception with blood running down her face. He said that because he wanted to get back at them that they were awakening from the Trump fog and he did not like it. If he said they showed up and she looked as ugly as always or bettter than as ugly as she was it would have backfired. Instad she is breeding from somewhere...Now people want to hear more. 

This is what a TV Personality depending on the public tunning in would say. Why? It works. Is it not true but dirty pool but that is The Donald. Never told a truth in his life to his wife's, workers or people that depended on him. You get the picture? Lies work on tv if they are outrageous enough told by someone on the public eye. Simple, But is taken the media and high military people that even worked for him at one time or another to say: He is a lier"! Like he just became one or them just discovered it. Every militay person who is speaking now, they violated the constitution themselves by being loyalty to a man they never sworn loyalty and a man who violated the constitution on every ammendment and every point everyday. No one spoke out. At one point because Trump said he liked Generals he got all generals to be near him with the most important jobs. But these people ignored what he said before, he wanted Generals.

 He said " He knew more than the generals"!  Why would they want to work for a president that say you are stupid or ignorant which he did and I guess he will teach them? I don't now which but I was always amazed why high ranking people, generals would look away with what he is or not for three years. That hurt more than anything this man is done because they left the country down. 

It has taken so much for a few..just a few to say 'this man lies'...they didn't know? All of them from Mattis to the last general to used to clean his toilet. You know who he is. One time he even shead tears defending Trump....Can Trump pick them or not pick them? He is not stupid. He is ignorant but he is also a con. A con does not need to know eveything only th suckers he con. And if you can con the American People by 45% why not people that beg they have to bend over in order to get what they want. Work for the Whiye house because no other Prsident would want them  Take a look at all those generals which were dismmised by other Presidents. Now the have a president to make them feel good, needed and important. Maybe they lost their self respect but The Donald was brining it back.That is a different kind of soldier. If I had the power every General that is spoken about trump will go with the one that haven't, out of the system.Fired! Don't even were the uniforms on funerals.So dissapointing!  Only a non militayr, the ex State Dept Secretay. A Smart man he got from CocaCola. He was the first one to got...the man "is a Moron." He did not do his homeowrk like many Republicans dont'. Or is he Republican, so is got to be alright! Stupic just to be polite.

 Coke and Russia have a long history of partnership. So much so that the head  this company was made Secretay of State because he had a good relationship with....Putin! Still he was one of the first ones that left the man he was backing blindly only because he was also a Republican. If he said not with trump being buddies with putin it would have cost him his job. So, being picked by trump he either took the job or prepare to eventually leave the company.

Contact tracing data from around the globe suggests that while there are instances of asymptomatic coronavirus patients transmitting the virus to others, they are not "a main driver" of new infections, World Health Organization officials said at a press conference Monday.
Why it matters: Evidence early on suggested that person-to-person transmission among people who didn't experience symptoms could lead to outbreaks that would be difficult to control. Young people and healthy people who did not experience symptoms were also suspected to be potential carriers to more vulnerable populations.
The big picture: The WHO is now relying on data obtained through contact tracing, said Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.
  • “We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing. They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare."
  • In the press conference Monday, Kerkhove said there are fewer asymptomatic patients than previously thought.
  • "[I]f you actually go back and say how many of them are truly asymptomatic, we find out that many have really mild disease, very mild disease, they’re not quote unquote COVID symptoms, meaning they may not have developed fever yet."
Between the lines: Don't treat these statements as a permission to treat a lack of symptoms as a "get out of social distancing" free card.
  • Infected people can be contagious well before experiencing symptoms.
  • "Some modeling studies suggest 40-60% of spread is from people when they didn’t have symptoms," tweeted Ashish Jha, incoming dean at the Brown School of Public Health.
  • Singapore's coronavirus task force also said Monday that it believes half of the country's new COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic based on testing data, Reuters reports.
Van Kerkhove later tweeted a statement that cited a June summary by the WHO on symptomatic, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission: 
"Comprehensive studies on transmission from asymptomatic individuals are difficult to conduct, but the available evidence from contact tracing reported by Member States suggests that asymptomatically-infected individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus than those who develop symptoms."
The bottom line: These statements are a reminder of just how little we understand about this virus

May 22, 2020

Trump Runs Against His Own Government with Cries of "Reopen the Country"

 Loving The American Flag but Not The Americans? For one thing flags can't talk back to you or ask you embarrasing questions.

(AP) — President Donald Trump is running against himself.
With his cries to “Reopen our country!” and his rebukes of the federal bureaucracy and health regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has tried to tap into the same populist, anti-Washington anger he rode to victory in 2016. The difference: He is now, by definition, the face of government.
Positioning himself as the outsider despite being the incumbent, Trump has feuded with governors, pushed back against government restrictions and, this week, said he was taking an unproven anti-malarial drug against the coronavirus despite warnings from his own health experts. 
Aiming to energize his base less than six months before he stands for reelection, the president has drawn a cultural link between the disaffected who voted for him four years ago and those who want to quickly restart the nation’s economy. Amplified by conservative media commentators, Trump has leaned into the pandemic’s partisan divide and urged states to reopen regardless of whether they meet the benchmarks set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
“They want to get out there, and they want to get back,” Trump said recently of those agitating to restart the nation’s economy. “That’s what they want. They want their country back, and they’re getting it back.”
On Monday, he was even more direct, tweeting in capital letters: “REOPEN OUR COUNTRY!”
The president’s political advisers contend that, even after four years in the White House, Trump will always be an outsider compared to his likely general election opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, who spent more than four decades in Washington.
Trump has also worked to cultivate that image throughout the coronavirus crisis.
He has encouraged right-wing protests against states’ stringent social distancing orders, unleashing a series of tweets calling to “Liberate!”Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. Many who attended the rallies sported Trump campaign apparel and “Make America Great Again” hats and signs, drawing the president’s support, though the protests were small and received widespread condemnation for potentially spreading the virus.
But the president’s praise echoed across the internet and on cable television by conservative pundits and conspiracy theorists, stoking a fury that in its anti-government rhetoric echoed the birth of the tea party movement a decade ago. Especially after the virus reached the United States, grabbing the mantle of the outsider was a natural play for Trump. Over the last century, history has favored incumbents seeking reelection — except for those in times of fundamental anxiety.
“If Trump runs as an outsider, he will, as ever, be playing for base turnout rather than seeking votes in the tiny but still real middle,” said presidential historian Jon Meacham. “Can he convincingly run as an insurgent against his own government? I fear the answer is yes, and his people will thrill to it. The question will come down to whether voters choose the evidence of the last four years or Trump’s addled version of those four years.”
Trump has turned his wrath against a number of Democratic governors,including those who lead battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, declaring they were ungrateful for the federal government’s assistance and insinuating they were moving slowly to reopen in order to perpetuate a damaged economy that would wound Trump’s electoral chances.
Biden has pushed back, putting the failures of the nation’s pandemic response squarely on Trump, whom he blames for missing early warning signs and being slow to ramp up national programs for testing and treatment. Democrats believe that Trump’s strategy will have limited appeal.
“The sliver of voters who will ultimately decide this election — independents and moderate Republicans — see Trump as the ultimate Washington insider, someone who uses the power of the executive branch to benefit himself, his cronies and his business interests,” said Adrienne Elrod, former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Showing no hesitation in making the pandemic a partisan battle, the president’s advisers have tried to move the focus away from the coronavirus public health crisis — more than 90,000 Americans have died — in order to emphasize the need for an urgent economic recovery.
“The first step in getting our economy booming again is to begin to reopen,” said Trump campaign spokeswoman Sarah Matthews. “Americans know the economy reached unprecedented heights under President Trump’s leadership before it was artificially interrupted by the coronavirus, and he will build it back up a second time.”
The president has also repeatedly rebelled against the health guidelines set by his own administration, refusing to wear a mask or maintain proper social distancing. He pushed the use of hydroxychloroquine despite the cautionary advice of the government’s top medical experts — and then said he had begun to use it himself — as he argued that his own instinct was better than their expertise.
His administration silenced public health professionals so that Trump himself would serve as the face of the response to the virus and has been outspoken in criticism of experts at the CDC for bungling early COVID-19 testing. White House officials complained of “rogue” CDC experts who leaked drafts of detailed, restrictive guidelines for businesses and other institutions reopening that the White House wanted eased to account for economic considerations.
The approach is reminiscent of Trump’s longtime complaints about an alleged “deep state” of established government officials that he has claimed is working to undermine him. But COVID-19 and its demands for management expertise have thrown a wrench into the campaign’s plans to fully paint Biden as an insider. 
Trump’s scattered approach to the coronavirus pandemic largely followed his efforts to balance the incongruous roles of wartime president and insurgent populist.
Early on, he dismissed the dire warnings of experts, intent on talking up a booming economy that he viewed as vital to his reelection. But when the pandemic became too large to ignore, he began using wartime powers like the Defense Production Act to try to marshal the government’s response even as he tried to rewrite the Washington playbook by deferring to the states.
Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writer Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.

May 12, 2020

"More Testing Will Make U.S. Look Bad" by Trump

The coronavirus has in recent days edged closer to President Trump. At least two White House aides who've been in proximity to the president and the vice president have tested positive for COVID-19.

Because of that, three key members of the Trump administration's pandemic response team are quarantining themselves: Drs. Robert Redfield, Stephen Hahn and Anthony Fauci. Redfield is head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hahn heads up the Food and Drug Administration, and Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is the nation's top infectious disease expert.

All three, plus Adm. and Dr. Brett Giroir, are slated to testify before a key Senate committee Tuesday. The hearing, which is ironically entitled, "COVID-19: Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School," will now be done via videoconference.

The chair of that committee, Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander, is also self-quarantining. His office announced Sunday night that a member of the staff tested positive for COVID-19. Alexander will chair Tuesday's hearing from Tennessee. 

Top Health Officials Enter Self-Quarantine After Exposure To Coronavirus
In recent days, Alexander has said that the coronavirus testing the United States has done so far is "not nearly enough," and "there is no safe path forward to combat the novel coronavirus without adequate testing."

Trump has touted the overall number of tests that have been conducted in the country — now more than 8 million. But at times he's read a different message in them.

"If we did very little testing, [America] wouldn't have the most cases," Trump said Wednesday. "So, in a way, by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad."

And Trump's reservations about testing appear to be rooted in politics. Trump said Friday he believes some Democrats hope the economy doesn't bounce back.

"I will tell you, you look at some cases, some people think they're doing it for politics," Trump said on Fox News Channel. "Here we go again. But they think they're doing it because it'll hurt me, the longer it takes to — hurt me in the election, the longer it takes to open up."

But Trump's focus on how the pandemic makes him and the nation look doesn't get the country closer to being prepared and able to live with the coronavirus.

"We have to figure out how to live with this virus, and that's what we're not doing," Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.

On the White House schedule Monday: a press briefing about testing.

5 things to watch this week:

1. Climbing coronavirus death toll: The confirmed number of Americans who have now died from the coronavirus is about 80,000. At a rate of 1,000 to 2,000 deaths per day, the U.S. would surpass 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 between May 21 and May 31. The country's curve has plateaued, but it appears to have a long tail. And that flattening is masked by New York and New Jersey's daily new cases coming down, because new cases are on the rise in other places. 

2. Those CDC guidelines for reopening: If you're wondering why, with some of the top scientists in the world, there haven't been clearer and more detailed reopening guidelines for states, businesses and religious institutions coming from the federal government, you're not alone. And now we know why: The White House buried them. The guidelines from the CDC were shelved, the AP reported.

Following the publication of the report, CDC Director Redfield issued a statement that appeared to run contrary to his published internal emails. He took responsibility and said the document was "shared prematurely," "was in draft form and had not been vetted through the interagency review process." Because of that, Redfield added, he "was not yet comfortable releasing a final work product."

Will the CDC release new guidelines at some point now that this is out there?

Unemployment Numbers 'Will Get Worse Before They Get Better' Mnuchin Says

3. Will the White House push for another relief package — or not? White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday that another relief package would be "premature" given the others that have already passed and trillions total in aid. "We think that we have a little moment, the luxury of a moment, to learn about what's going on so that the next step that we take can be prudent." Luxury of a moment? The country on Friday hit its highest unemployment rate, 14.7%, since the Great Depression, most economists think that number is actually higher, and Americans lost a whopping 20 million jobs — in one month.

4. Supreme Court on religious freedom, Trump's financial records and faithless electors: People may be home, but the Supreme Court justices are working — even if remotely. On Monday, the court considers arguments about whether lay teachers at parochial schools are protected from discrimination or if the schools can have carte blanche in hiring and firing.

On Tuesday, it's Trump's financial records and whether Congress has the power to subpoena records from when before Trump was president — and whether those can be used in a potential criminal investigation. 

{{On Wednesday, the quirky Electoral College system sees a challenge. Electors are actually people, and sometimes they don't go the way their state voted. The court considers if that's OK or not}}

For everyone's sake, let's hope those mute buttons are working better this week, especially close to any toilets.

5. Will Bright be reinstated? Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a key agency in vaccine development, will testify before a House committee Thursday. It comes after he filed a whistleblower complaint against the Trump administration for being dismissed from his position, he says for sounding alarms about the coronavirus early on and expressing opposition to unproven treatments favored by Trump. Bright's lawyers say the Office of Special Counsel has made a determination that he was dismissed for retaliation and should be temporarily reinstated while the office investigates. Trump has ignored the same office's recommendations before, but Bright's case will continue to be in the public eye, especially this week — and as the pandemic fallout continues.

Quote of the weekend

"It would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of 'what's in it for me' and 'to heck with everybody else' — when that mindset is operationalized in our government."

-- Former President Barack Obama on the Trump administration's coronavirus response. The comments were revealed in a leaked recording of Obama speaking to a group of members of his administration.

May 11, 2020

Obama Finally Comes Out and Talks About Trump Chaotic Disaster of The Presidency

(Bloomberg) --

Former President Barack Obama delivered a blistering attack on Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling it “an absolute chaotic disaster” as well as “anemic.”

Obama’s remarks, first reported by Yahoo News, came in a leaked call as the former president exhorted members of his administration to rally behind presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The comments were perhaps the most scathing criticism Obama has yet delivered of his successor in the White House.

Critics have said the U.S. government wasted precious time in February by failing to ramp up testing and stockpile supplies as the coronavirus spread in Europe. The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed Covid-19 infections, with nearly 1.3 million as of Saturday. More than 78,000 have died in the U.S. from the virus.

However, Trump has defended his handling of the pandemic, repeatedly highlighting his Jan. 31 decision to impose travel restrictions barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the U.S. after recent visits to China.

“President Trump’s coronavirus response has been unprecedented and saved American lives,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement on Saturday.

“While Democrats were pursuing a sham witch hunt against President Trump, President Trump was shutting down travel from China. While Democrats encouraged mass gatherings, President Trump was deploying PPE, ventilators, and testing across the country.”

Swine Flu

Trump didn’t respond directly to the comments but in a tweet Sunday morning used the same word -- “disaster” -- to describe the response by Obama and Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, to the 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 12,469 Americans died from the H1N1 pandemic, from about 61 million cases.

Obama, in Friday’s remarks, cast the U.S. response to the virus as an outgrowth of tribalism as he sought to emphasize the urgency of the November election.

“What we’re going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party. What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided and seeing others as an enemy -- that has become a stronger impulse in American life” as well as internationally, Obama said.

‘To Heck With Everybody’

“And it’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty,” he said.

While coronavirus “would have been bad even with the best of governments,” Obama said, “it has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset -- of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ -- when that mindset is operationalized in our government.”

Obama said that’s why he will be “spending as much time as necessary” and campaigning as hard as he can for Biden.

Although Obama endorsed Biden in April and promised to hit the campaign trail in support, he’s generally shied from delivering sharp attacks against Trump. However, that tone may change as Obama becomes a more visible cheerleader and surrogate for Biden.

  Bloomberg L.P.

May 6, 2020

A Witness (Whistle Blower) Says Trump and His Administration Ignored All Coronavirus Warnings

Introduction by adamfoxie*  in the form of editorial followed by the news on the facts as the title states:
The account of Rick Bright is easy to believe because we saw Trump on denial of the Virus when there were people dying already and it was not one like he once mentioned and it was not 15 like he also mentioned. 
Even today Trump is commenced disbanding his Corona Task force because he wants to believe everynting is ok even though the death on the nation keeps escalating. What is going to happen in two months? At least some governors have the good sence to cancel school for this year, for the kids are supposed to be our future. We don't have a future if we allow these kids to become sick and die. But he keeps pushing ahead and I can't believe some people keep making ecuses fo this behaviour. If Trump is bad or crazy it only means that we are because this nation has the capability to rid itself of anyone that is attacking it from outside but more importantly from the inside.
What ever we get after we have the information is on us........................He is still ignoring and having it his way. Would the Pandemic vote for him?
Rick Bright, the former director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), filed a whistleblower complaint Tuesday alleging that the Department of Health and Human Services failed to take early action to mitigate the threat of the novel coronavirus.
Flashback: Bright said last month he believes he was ousted after clashing with HHS leadership over his attempts to limit the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus. 
What's new: In his complaint, Bright claims he was excluded from an HHS meeting on the coronavirus in late January after he "pressed for urgent access to funding, personnel, and clinical specimens, including viruses" to develop treatments for the coronavirus should it spread outside of Asia.
  • Bright alleges it "became increasingly clear" in late January that "HHS leadership was doing nothing to prepare for the imminent mask shortage."
  • Bright claims he "resisted efforts to fall into line with the Administration’s directive to promote the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and to award lucrative contracts for these and other drugs even though they lacked scientific merit and had not received prior scientific vetting."
  • He adds that "even as HHS leadership began to acknowledge the imminent shortages in critical medical supplies, they failed to recognize the magnitude of the problem, and they failed to take the necessary urgent action."
What's next: Bright plans to testify before the House Energy Subcommittee on Health on May 14, his lawyers told reporters on Tuesday.
What they're saying: “Dr. Bright was transferred to NIH to work on diagnostics testing – critical to combatting COVID-19 – where he has been entrusted to spend upwards of $1 billion to advance that effort. We are deeply disappointed that he has not shown up to work on behalf of the American people and lead on this critical endeavor," Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokesperson, said in a statement.
The White House declined to comment on this story.

The Coronavirus Election Tilts Against Trump

Doug Sosnik: "The coronavirus election" tilts against Trump
America was going through the final stages of a political realignment even before the virus hit. Now, our biggest national crisis since World War II has set off a tectonic shift, transforming the country in ways we couldn't have imagined. 
  • That's the big idea of a new political frame by Doug Sosnik, a former White House political director for President Clinton whose periodic "big thinks" are eagerly awaited by political insiders and activists alike. 
Doug's full deck and memo are linked below, as an exclusive for Axios readers, but here are some of his most provocative, market-moving top lines: 
1) America was a divided country before COVID-19: President Trump’s election in 2016 was the culmination of a trend toward tribal politics in our country that began forming in the early 1990s. Early indications are that the fallout from COVID-19 will at least initially exacerbate these divisions.
  • This partisan splinter is evident in a Gallup poll out April 26, which found that 44% of Republicans say they’re ready to return to normal activities, compared to only 4% of Democrats. 
2) For the next 180 days, Trump’s campaign will try mightily to make the election about a choice between him and Joe Biden.
  • But given the political landscape, it will likely come down to a referendum on Trump's presidency. 
3) Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Trump entered his re-election race in a reasonably good position — undermined since the onset by his handling of the crisis and the economic devastation.
  • During this period, the Democratic Party consolidated behind Biden. This is the earliest it has united behind a nominee in 20 years.
  • Smart brevity™: Trump's chances for re-election have diminished significantly since early March due to: 1) Sen. Bernie Sanders, the presumed nominee back then, won't be his opponent ... 2) Trump’s failure to prepare for and manage the pandemic ... 3) The resulting economic crater.
4) The six states that were considered battlegrounds before COVID-19 — Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — will continue to define the presidential contest. 
  • Midwestern states, Michigan and Pennsylvania in particular, have been really hard hit by the crisis.
Read the full memo by Doug Sosnik.
Mike Allen/Axios

May 3, 2020

Two Times Trump Received Intelligence Reports and Assessments on Coronavirus

Can Donald Trump NOT READ?! | What's Trending Now - YouTube

President Trump twice received intelligence briefings on the coronavirus in January, according to a White House official. The official tells NPR the briefings occurred on Jan. 23 and Jan. 28. 
"The president was told that the coronavirus was potentially going to 'spread globally,' " the official said of the first briefing, which came two days after the first case of the virus was reported in the United States. "But the 'good news' was that it was not deadly for most people," the official said the president was told. 
Five days after that initial briefing, the president was briefed again, according to the official. This time, he was told the virus "was spreading outside of China, but that deaths from the disease were happening only in China," the official said. "He was also told that China was withholding data."
The question of what Trump knew about the coronavirus, when he was aware of it and the tenor of those conversations have come under heavy scrutiny, as the administration faces criticism that it was slow to respond to early warnings about the virus. In the time since the president's January briefings, the U.S. has reported more than 1.1 million cases of the coronavirus — more than any other nation. In all, more than 66,000 Americans have died.  
The president has defended his handling of the crisis — pointing to steps like his decision at the end of January to restrict travel into the U.S. from China. But for much of the following month, the president and some of his top surrogates downplayed the threat of the virus.
"We pretty much shut it down coming in from China," the president said in an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News early in February. By the end of the month, with the virus reported in several dozen countries at that point, he continued to tell reporters that the risk "remains very low."
During his State of the Union address, roughly a week after being told that China was withholding data, Trump said his administration was "coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the coronavirus outbreak."
To this point, the White House has offered little clarity publicly about the exact dates when Trump was briefed about the virus. Asked about this on Thursday, Trump told reporters that he spoke with intelligence officials about the coronavirus "in January, later January," adding that intelligence officials had confirmed that this was the case. 
On Monday, when The Washington Post reported that Trump received more than a dozen classified briefings in January and February, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence responded, "The detail of this is not true," and declined to elaborate.

May 2, 2020

A Short Story But Important: Trump Blocks Fauci's Testimony on COVID-19 (So We Get Trump's Science Instead!)

In this image, Anthony Fauci sits in front of Dr. Birx
Fauci speaks next to Deborah Birx, in a meeting with President Trump on April 29. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
In this image, Anthony Fauci sits in front of Dr. Birx
The Trump administration has blocked Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, from testifying on the coronavirus pandemic, a House Appropriations Committee spokesperson told the Washington Post on FridayWhy it matters: Fauci has often given Americans a reality check on the administration's response to the coronavirus and has garnered bipartisan credibility for his straight-forward approach to the crisis. Flashback: Fauci testified in March that America's system of making coronavirus tests available is not set up in a way it needs to be. 
Fauci and Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, are set to "take a back seat" to the White House messaging on coronavirus, a White House official told Axios' Jonathan Swan this week. 
What they're saying: "While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings. We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time," White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement. 

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