Donald Trump's Coronavirus Timeline

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“We have never been as a country so weak as we are now, so pitied by our friends around the world, so cheered on by our adversaries as we decline.
Trump has demonstrated an incapacity in leadership”

Nov 28

Record number of hospitalizations

A record number of Americans — 90,000 — are now hospitalized with Covid, and new cases of infection had been climbing to nearly 200,000 daily.

U.S. Hospitals Are Running Out of Beds for Patients

From New Mexico to Minnesota to Florida, hospitals are teeming with record numbers of Covid patients. Staff members at smaller hospitals have had to beg larger medical centers repeatedly to take one more, just one more patient, but many of the bigger hospitals have sharply limited the transfers they will accept, their own halls and wards overflowing. |Source: NYTimes

Nov 27

The Virus Won’t Stop Evolving When the Vaccine Arrives

Vaccines won’t put an end to the evolution of this coronavirus, as David A. Kennedy and Andrew F. Read of The Pennsylvania State University, specialists in viral resistance to vaccines, wrote in PLoS Biology recently. Instead, they could even drive new evolutionary change.

There is always the chance, though small, the authors write, that the virus could evolve resistance to a vaccine, what researchers call “viral escape.” They urge monitoring of vaccine effects and viral response, just in case.

Nov 26

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, while cities and counties set records for coronavirus infections

Masses of Americans are choosing to ignore experts’ recommendations to avoid travel and instead hold small or virtual gatherings at home, all while the coronavirus soars across the country.
In a Thanksgiving address, President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to unite in their fight against the coronavirus. He asked Americans to take “simple steps” such as wearing a mask, limiting the size of gatherings and socially distancing from others.

Nov 25

U.S. Record: Two Million New Virus Cases in Two Weeks

For the first time since the coronavirus outbreak hit the United States, the country has added more than one million cases in each of the past two consecutive weeks.

Republicans continue to make mask-wearing political

Biden has consistently worn a mask and has stuck to a consistent message. “Wearing a mask isn’t a political statement — it’s a patriotic duty.”
Face masks have become a potent symbol of the political polarization over the coronavirus in the United States. The division shows up in polling. Gallup found that while a clear majority of Americans say they’re “highly likely” to wear masks in public indoor spaces, Republicans are less likely to do so. | Source: NPR

Nov 24

PPE Stockpile Still Can’t Match The Pandemic’s Latest Surge

The Strategic National Stockpile, which the U.S. has traditionally depended on for emergencies, still lacks critical supplies, nine months into one of the worst public health care crises this country has ever seen.

A combination of long-standing budget shortfalls, lack of domestic manufacturing, snags in the global supply chain, and overwhelming demand has meant that the stockpile is short of the gloves, masks, and other supplies needed to weather this winter’s surge in COVID-19 cases. | Source: NPR

More than 85,000 covid patients hospitalized nationwide, shattering records yet again

The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized across the United States shattered records on Monday, topping 85,700. Although some of the hardest-hit states are beginning to report fewer new infections, Thanksgiving travel and gatherings could reverse that trend. Even after cases peak, deaths will continue rising for several weeks.

Nov 23

AstraZeneca Trial Promises ‘Highly Effective’ COVID-19 Vaccine

U.K.-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has developed a vaccine that initial results show to be “highly effective in preventing” COVID-19.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his excitement early Monday after AstraZeneca and Oxford announced their results.

“Incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials. There are still further safety checks ahead, but these are fantastic results,” he said. | Source: NPR

Surgeon general says Trump White House holiday parties and other celebrations ‘can be superspreader events’

“Americans have been told that we can’t even see our families for this holiday, and yet here’s the White House planning to hold these holiday parties indoors,” ABC News senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega said on “Good Morning America.” “What kind of message is this sending?”

Nov 22

FDA Grants Emergency Authorization For A Second COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

One of the experimental drugs that President Trump received while he was battling the coronavirus has been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug, made by the biotech company Regeneron, is the second antibody treatment to win emergency use approval by the FDA.

Nov 21

More than a quarter-million people in the United States have died of covid-19, surpassing even the White House’s worst predictions from the spring. More than 11.7 million cases have been reported nationwide.

Stanford University disowns Trump health advisor Scott Atlas

Stanford University’s faculty senate issued a forceful condemnation of its controversial colleague and President Donald Trump’s health adviser, Scott Atlas.

Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution, has come under increasing criticism for urging people not to wear face masks or socially distance and to resist lockdown restrictions, all of which health experts recommend to stem the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

“What Atlas has done is an embarrassment to the university,” said Dr. David Spiegel of the Stanford School of Medicine. “We strongly condemn his behavior.”

Donald Trump Jr tests positive for coronavirus

US President Donald Trump’s oldest son has tested positive for coronavirus, according to his spokesman.

Donald Trump Jr, 42, was diagnosed at the start of this week and has been quarantining at his hunting cabin since the result, the spokesman said.

Nov 20

President-elect Biden: No shut-down. Wear a mask

“No national shutdown,” president-elect Joe Biden said yesterday. “I am not going to shut down the economy. I am going to shut down the virus.”

Biden said wearing a mask was “not a political statement, it’s a patriotic duty” during remarks after the call with both Republican and Democratic state governors.

Remdesivir: don’t use drug Trump took for Covid-19, WHO says

Remdesivir, one of the drugs Donald Trump took when he developed Covid-19, should not be used in hospitals because there is no evidence it works, the World Health Organization has advised.

The US president was an enthusiastic proponent of the drug, to the point where he boasted in July that he had bought up the world’s entire stock for Americans. The WHO’s guidelines committee, however, has said Covid patients may be better off without it. | Source: The Guardian

Pfizer and BioNTech will seek regulatory clearance of their coronavirus vaccine

The companies announced plans to file for regulatory clearance, a landmark moment and a signal that a powerful tool to help control the pandemic could begin to be available within weeks.

Hospitals struggle as new Covid infections now 200,000 each day

The country is close to recording 200,000 new cases a day and setting hospitalization records. Deaths are rising steadily and hospitals are struggling to cope.

CDC warnings about Thanksgiving

“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with members of your household,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz, who leads the agency’s community intervention and critical population task force. She urged Americans to reassess plans for the coming week.

The C.D.C.’s warning runs counter to messages from Trump administration officials, who have denounced concerns that Thanksgiving celebrations will speed the virus’s spread.

Nov 19

Dozens of public health experts urge Trump administration to allow transition to proceed

“In light of the public health crisis facing the nation, it is imperative that you ascertain Joe Biden as President-elect immediately under the Presidential Transition Act,” health officials wrote, adding: “Doing so will enable the incoming Biden team to liaise with key health officials in the Trump Administration and prepare a robust, coordinated response to the pandemic.”

The letter was written to Emily Murphy, administrator of the General Services Administration, who has not yet signed paperwork that would allow Biden’s transition team to have access to government officials, office space in agencies and other resources.| Source: Washington Post

Biden: U.S. needs a “commander in chief” to fight Covid

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. asked that the government give him access now to federal resources to help him plan a coronavirus response. “This is like going to war,” he said. “You need a commander in chief.”

Nov 18

Mutated virus may be more vulnerable to new vaccines

The mutated form of the new coronavirus that is now the most common strain worldwide is more infectious but may also be more vulnerable to vaccines under development, new research suggests. In experiments reported on Thursday in Science, researchers saw that the newer strain, which originated in Europe, is more efficient at infecting airway cells and at making copies of itself, although it does not appear to produce more severe illness.  | Source: Reuters

12 million Americans could lose unemployment aid by the end of the year

Evictions, hunger, a spiraling economic crisis: A new study paints a portrait of the staggering toll that congressional inaction will have on the ranks of unemployed.

Deadlines set by Congress early in the pandemic will result in about 12 million Americans losing unemployment insurance by the year’s end. Inaction in Washington could exact on the economic health of both individual households and the economy at large.

“Nobody is talking about this,” unemployment researcher Andrew Stettner said in an interview. “We’re just careening into this huge cliff and it’s like it’s not even happening.”

Pfizer vaccine 95% effective

The coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech is 95 percent effective at preventing disease, and an application for emergency authorization will be submitted “within days,” according to a news release from the companies.

Nov 17

“There’s no time to waste. We don’t have a day to waste”

The leaders of President-elect Biden’s Covid Advisory Board said they were being prevented from working with government officials who are in charge of distributing the vaccines. And they said that they did not have access to any government data on case counts, deaths or hospitalization, relying instead on media and private reports.

“There’s no time to waste. We don’t have a day to waste,” said Dr. David Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. “Vaccine distribution is difficult and daunting under any circumstance.”

President-elect Biden: “People may die” without a proper transition

President-elect Joseph R. Biden warned on Monday that “more people may die” from the coronavirus if President Trump does not agree to coordinate planning for the mass distribution of a vaccine when it becomes available.

Republican governors told to mask-up and slow the spread

Republican governors of Iowa and North Dakota have issued mask mandates over the past few days. And in The Wall Street Journal, the Republican health care experts Scott Gottlieb and Mark McClellan wrote an op-ed called “It’s Now Up to Governors to Slow the Spread.” Gottlieb and McClellan wrote: “At least while infections are widespread and surging, governors and local leaders should mandate the use of masks and impose clear and consistent plans to restrict gatherings.”

Nov 16

Task force’s Scott Atlas calls for Michiganders to “rise up” 

Dr. Scott Atlas, controversial member of Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, suggested that Michiganders “rise up” to block prohibitions against indoor dining at restaurants and bowling. Those measures were proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who was recently the target of an alleged kidnapping plot.

“Want more mandates & lockdown? Contact your governor,” Atlas wrote. “That’s state controlled. Not federal. Period.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that he “totally disagrees” with Atlas’s approach. | Source: Washington Post

Trump’s failure to work with Biden is becoming more urgent as Covid spreads

Donald Trump is facing a barrage of calls to permit potentially life-saving transition talks between his health officials and incoming President-elect Joe Biden’s aides on a fast-worsening pandemic he is continuing to ignore in his obsessive effort to discredit an election that he clearly lost.

Early Data Show Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 94.5% Effective

Moderna is the second company to report preliminary results from a large trial testing a vaccine. But there are still months to go before it will be widely available to the public. | Source: NY Times

Nov 15

No epicenter of virus in U.S. – It’s everywhere

At the moment, that lesson appears forgotten. The nation is entering its third, and potentially most dreadful, coronavirus surge. Earlier this month, the daily nationwide case count reached 100,000 for the first time. On Thursday it passed the 160,000 mark. Hospitalizations are at their highest point yet. Unlike previous surges, there is no epicenter. The virus is spreading everywhere.

Fauci says Trump does not attend Covid meetings

Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious diseases expert, says Donald Trump last attended a Covid-19 taskforce meeting “months ago”.

Fauci made the comments during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning. He said it had been “months” since the president had attended the taskforce in person, but said the vice-president, Mike Pence, attended meetings and passed on information to Trump.

CNN host Jake Tapper asked how history would judge America’s response to Covid-19, and Fauci admitted “it’s not going to be a good report”.

Nov 14

States are at ‘breaking point’ as U.S. shatters coronavirus case record again

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said the state is at a “breaking point” and reinstated the country’s most restrictive statewide measures since the fall surge began. Other states are trying to avoid full-blown shutdowns by enacting almost every other kind of restriction, as the United States reported more than 177,000 new coronavirus cases, a record high for the third straight day.

President-elect Biden to Trump: “Urgent action is needed today”

“I will not be president until next year,” Mr. Biden said. “The crisis does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration — starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is.”

Nov 13

Virus Cases Reach New Highs in U.S., Prompting Talk of More Lockdowns

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading with frightening speed throughout the United States, shattering records on a daily basis, stretching medical resources to the breaking point and once again prompting states, counties and cities to consider economically devastating lockdowns.

Nov 12

New cases and hospitalizations break records

The tally of 145,835 new coronavirus cases came as the number of people hospitalized nationwide topped 65,000 for the first time since the pandemic began. In Illinois, the rate of new infections is so high that a group of doctors sent an urgent letter to the governor. “We’re having to almost decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t,” said one of its leaders. | Source: Washington Post

Nov 11

Pfizer CEO Sold Millions In Stock After Coronavirus Vaccine News, Raising Questions

The chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, sold $5.6 million worth of stock in the pharmaceutical company on Monday. The sale took place on the same day Pfizer announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective. The company’s stock soared on the news | Source: NPR

Nov 10

Trump officials promise fair distribution of new covid-19 antibody drug, but limited supply and logistical problems loom

Trump administration officials Tuesday promised to fairly and swiftly distribute the first covid-19 treatment that helps to protect people with mild illness from developing severe symptoms. But the drug’s extremely limited supply and logistical difficulties in administering it could restrict how many people get access to it. | Source: Washington Post

Nov 9

HUD Secretary Ben Carson tests positive for the coronavirus

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus, a HUD spokesman confirmed. Carson’s diagnosis comes days after news of a fresh wave of coronavirus infections at the White House, with Mark Meadows and five other Trump aides having received positive test results in the time around Election Day

President-elect Biden announces coronavirus task force made up of physicians and health experts

Biden’s task force will have three co-chairs: Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general during the Obama administration; David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine. Murthy and Kessler have briefed Biden for months on the pandemic.

Pfizer shares promising coronavirus vaccine results as U.S. cases approach 10 million

On Monday, Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech announced their coronavirus vaccine candidate was more than 90 percent effective, compared with a placebo. Epidemiologists and health experts were generally pleased by the news but also cautioned that more information is needed on the vaccine’s long-term efficacy and safety.

Nov 8

Six in White House, Including Trump’s Chief of Staff, Have the Coronavirus

At least one gathering at the White House — a celebration of Mr. Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Sept. 26 — is suspected of being a “superspreader” event after more than a dozen aides, reporters and guests who were in attendance or came into contact with people who were there tested positive for the virus.

Nov 7

Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff, Has the Coronavirus

Mark Meadows was in the East Room of the White House on election night when the president addressed a crowd of about 150 people. During that event, Meadows worked the room extensively, without a mask, speaking to dozens. | Source: NY Times

Nov 6

Another record amount of new cases in U.S.

NBC News confirms at least 122,365 new COVID cases have been reported in the U.S. today, eclipsing yesterday’s previous single-day record of 121,289 cases.

Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump

An Associated Press analysis reveals that in 376 counties with the highest number of new cases per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93% of those counties — voted for Trump, a rate above other less severely hit areas. | Source: Associated Press

Steve Bannon loses lawyer after suggesting beheading of Fauci

Mr. Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump, said the heads of the F.B.I. director and Dr. Anthony Fauci should be put on pikes, leading Twitter to ban one of his accounts.

On Friday, a prominent lawyer who was defending Mr. Bannon against fraud charges in federal court in Manhattan abruptly moved to drop him as a client, one person familiar with the matter said | Source: NY Times

Nov 5

Tests Show Genetic Signature of Virus That May Have Infected President Trump

The White House did not take basic steps to investigate its outbreak. The New York Times worked with geneticists to sequence the virus that infected two journalists exposed during the outbreak, providing clues to how it may have spread. At least 11 people who attended a Rose Garden celebration on Sept. 26 for Judge Barrett, which included an indoor event without masks, became infected with the coronavirus, including Mr. Trump. Additional genetic testing could help more clearly establish the role of that event.

Nov 4

United States tops 100,000 new virus cases in a day for first time

The United States reported more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. Seventeen states — including Kansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana and West Virginia — on Wednesday reported record numbers of patients hospitalized with covid-19, the disease caused by the virus

Nov 3

Dr. Birx contradicts president on covid-19 threat, urging all-out response

“This is not about lockdowns. … It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented,” says internal White House report that challenges many of Trump’s pronouncements. President Trump continues to assure rallygoers that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic

Nov 2

Trump suggests he might fire Fauci after election

President Donald Trump suggested to a Florida crowd he may fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after the election, escalating his feud with the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases and providing a window into a potential post-November 3 administration purge. The crowd broke out into a “Fire Fauci” chant.  “Let me wait until a little bit after the election,” Trump said to cheers

Nov 1

Fauci: We ‘Could Not Be Positioned More Poorly’ On COVID-19

“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors,” Fauci said.
“You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.” | Source: AOL

White House sidestepped FDA to distribute hydroxychloroquine to pharmacies

Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro wanted to make sure the administration’s top vaccine expert would be on board with a White House plan to distribute the unproven drug to hard-hit cities. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 31

‘A whole lot of hurt’: Fauci warns of covid-19 surge, offers blunt assessment of Trump’s response

The nation’s leading infectious-disease expert said, “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt,” and predicted a long and potentially deadly winter as infections and hospitalizations spike across the country.

Fauci said he phones into (Covid task force) meetings … but largely avoids the West Wing because “of all the infections there.”| Source: Washington Post


Oct 30

Birx warns of “broad surge” across the country, as Trump claims U.S. is “rounding the turn”

Dr. Deborah Birx warned the nation’s governors on Friday of a “broad surge” of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country as the weather cools, contradicting President Trump’s claim that the U.S. is “rounding the turn.”

More than 9 million people have now contracted COVID-19 in the U.S., and over 229,000 have died.| Source: CBS News

Today’s Trump Covid advisory

“What happens is, you get it — if you get it, stay away, if you get it, you’re gonna get better. And then you’re gonna be immune. And it’s a whole thing, and it goes away.”

The worst week yet

The outlook for the pandemic continues to worsen, and many areas of the United States are experiencing their worst weeks yet. The country reported a record of more than 500,000 new coronavirus cases in the past week

The Midwest, which helped deliver Trump the presidency, is now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania have all hit new weekly average highs in recent days, and in Florida and Georgia, case counts are growing again after having fallen from summer highs.

“We’re rounding the turn, regardless,” Trump told a Bullhead City, Ariz., crowd Wednesday.

Donald Trump Jr. said covid-19 deaths are at ‘almost nothing.’ The virus killed more than 1,000 Americans the same day

“This is still a high death rate, much higher than we see for flu or other respiratory diseases,” Leora Horwitz, director of NYU Langone’s Center for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Science, told the Times of the current death rate. “I don’t want to pretend this is benign.”

Oct 28

Kushner interview with Bob Woodward: “Getting the country back from the doctors”

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in April told journalist Bob Woodward that the country had progressed in its response to the coronavirus pandemic to the point where President Trump was “back in charge” and “getting the country back from the doctors.”

Police say rise in homicides is linked to Covid

In many American cities, where economies have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, there been a surge in gun violence, a 40 percent increase in homicides over all. Criminologists studying the rise in the murder rate point to the effects the pandemic has had on everything from mental health to policing in a time of social distancing.| Source: NY Times

Fauci: The time is now for a mandate on mask wearing

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said for the first time Wednesday that the United States needs a nationwide mask mandate to combat the rising tide of coronavirus infections. | Source: JAMA

Oct 27

Brains of patients recovering from COVID-19 may age 10 years

A team of researchers, led by a doctor at Imperial College London, analyzed results from 84,285 people who completed a study called the Great British Intelligence Test. “People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits.” | Source: Reuters

White House science office says Trump ended COVID-19 pandemic as US hits record cases

The White House science office listed “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” as the top accomplishment of President Trump‘s first term, even as the U.S. has set records for new daily infections and numerous hospitals across the country are stretched to their breaking points. | Source: The Hill

Oct 26

Stocks Slide as Virus Cases Surge

A rise in coronavirus cases in the United States, new restrictions on activity in Europe and a standoff in Washington over economic relief for struggling businesses and out-of-work Americans left investors reeling on Monday.

The S&P 500 fell about 1.9 percent after recovering some ground in afternoon trading. Still, Monday’s decline was the index’s biggest one-day drop in more than a month.

“You can only pretend that Covid was not a problem for so long,” said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers in Greenwich, Conn. “I think the market has finally kind of gotten it through its head at the same time that there’s very little shot at stimulus.” | Source: NY Times

Trump tweets “Losers!”

Source: Donald Trump’s Twitter

Fox News team told to quarantine

The president of Fox News and key members of the network’s election team have been told to quarantine after they were exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus after last week’s presidential debate.

Covid is hitting sparse populations

The coronavirus pandemic is reaching deep into the nation’s most sparsely populated states and counties, where distance from others has long been part of the appeal and this year had appeared to be a buffer against the virus.

The low-density states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota now have some of the nation’s highest per capita caseloads

Oct 25

Trump admin now admits they’re “not going to control” Covid-19

Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the US is “not going to control” the coronavirus pandemic, as cases surge across the country and nearly 225,000 Americans have died from the virus.”We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas,”

Fauci: Time to mandate mask wearing

Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is a “great idea” for there to be a uniform mask mandate, as US coronavirus cases surged on Friday.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN’s Erin Burnett, “If people are not wearing masks, well then maybe we should be mandating it.” | Source: Boston Globe

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, tests positive for the coronavirus

A fresh coronavirus outbreak in the White House has infected two of Vice President Pence’s top advisers and a third person who is on his staff, officials said late Saturday night

Oct 24

The Price for Not Wearing Masks: Perhaps 130,000 Lives

The pandemic death toll could be lowered by next spring if more Americans wear masks, a new analysis finds. | Source: NY Times

U.S. sees highest numbers of new virus cases since pandemic began

Friday’s tally, the first time the United States has seen more than 80,000 cases reported in one day,  comes as many states are seeing rising hospitalizations.

Oct 23

As of October 23 , the U.S. has recorded at least 8,380,000 cases since the pandemic began, and more than 222,000 people have died of the coronavirus.

Fact check: U.S. is not “rounding the turn” – Covid virus is again surging

The U.S. is now climbing rapidly toward a new peak in cases that may soon rival the summer surge — when the country hit more than 60,000 infections on average a day for weeks in a row | Source: NPR

Trump at final debate: U.S. is “rounding the turn”on Covid

 President Trump again said the US is “rounding the turn” in the coronavirus pandemic. Thursday was the highest day for new infections since late July.

Department of Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar said the President is “trying to give people hope” while acknowledging “we are in a very serious moment.” | Source: CNN

Oct 22

Obama says Trump ‘can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself’ from coronavirus

“Donald Trump isn’t suddenly going to protect all of us,” Obama said at a rally for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, noting that infections were rising again. “He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself.”

Hospital Bills For Uninsured COVID-19 Patients Are Covered, But No One Tells Them

The problem with the COVID-19 uninsured program is that even doctors don’t always know how it works or that the program exists.| Source: NPR

Oct 21

The coronavirus pandemic has caused nearly 300,000 more deaths than expected in a typical year

The coronavirus pandemic has left about 299,000 more people dead in the United States than would be expected in a typical year, two-thirds of them from covid-19 and the rest from other causes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday

McConnell Moves to Head Off Stimulus Deal as Pelosi Reports Progress

The top Senate Republican told colleagues that he had advised the White House against striking a pre-election deal with Democrats to deliver pandemic aid, fearing political repercussions. A majority of voters say they would support a $2 trillion stimulus package.  | Source: NY Times

Oct 20

‘Herd immunity’ theory draws fire from scientists

“I think it’s wrong, I think it’s unsafe, I think it invites people to act in ways that have the potential to do an enormous amount of harm,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, an infectious disease expert at Harvard University and one of the signatories to the Snow memo. “You don’t roll out disease — you roll out vaccination.” | Source: Boston Globe

Public Grows Increasingly Wary of Trump Vaccines

California and New York plan to review any federally approved coronavirus vaccine, part of a growing skepticism as the Trump administration has pushed for speedy drug development. | Source: NY Times

“People are saying: ‘Whatever. Just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it. You turn on CNN, that’s all they cover. ‘Covid, Covid, Pandemic, Covid, Covid.’ You know why? They’re trying to talk everybody out of voting. People aren’t buying it. CNN – you dumb bastards.” – Donald Trump

Oct 19

Trump: Fauci is an “Idiot” and a “Disaster”

Trump complained to his campaign staff about Dr. Anthony Fauci, the govt’s top infectious disease expert. “People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” he said.
“Every time he goes on television there’s always a bomb. But there is a bigger bomb if you fire him. But Fauci is a disaster. I mean, this guy, if I listened to him, we would have 500,000 deaths.”

Remdesivir Fails to Prevent Covid-19 Deaths in Huge Trial

Remdesivir, the only antiviral drug authorized for treatment of Covid-19 in the United States, fails to prevent deaths among patients, according to a study of more than 11,000 people in 30 countries sponsored by the World Health Organization. Critics said the study, sponsored by the W.H.O., was too poorly conducted to be definitive.

Winter surge in U.S. may hit 400,000 deaths

The U.S. response is increasingly plagued by distrust, infighting and lethargy, as experts predict cases could surge this winter and deaths could reach 400,000 by year’s end | Source: Washington Post

Oct 18

Oct 17

Pfizer Says It Won’t Seek Vaccine Authorization Before Mid-November

The company has repeatedly emphasized the month of October in interviews and public appearances | Source NY Times

Oct 16

Dr. Fauci warns Trump not to use his image in campaign ads

Trump adviser Chris Christie: “I was wrong”

“I believed that when I entered the White House grounds, that I had entered a safe zone, due to the testing that I and many others underwent every day,” Trump adviser Chris Christie said in a statement Thursday. “I was wrong.”

Christie, 58, is among more than a dozen people who have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending an event in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26

“I was wrong to not wear a mask at the Amy Coney Barrett announcement and I was wrong not to wear a mask at my multiple debate prep sessions with the President and the rest of the team,” Christie said. “I hope that my experience shows my fellow citizens that you should follow CDC guidelines in public no matter where you are and wear a mask to protect yourself and others.”

U.S. surpasses 64,000 new coronavirus infections for first time since late July

In 44 states and the District of Columbia, caseloads are higher than they were one month ago. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 15

Remdesivir Fails to Prevent Covid-19 Deaths in Huge Trial

An antiviral widely used to treat hospitalized patients did not lower the mortality rate in a multinational trial. “This puts the issue to rest — there is certainly no mortality benefit,” said Dr. Ilan Schwartz, an infectious-disease physician at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Oct 14

Mass casualty events in U.S. History:

Influenza pandemic, 1918-20: 675,000

Civil War: 600,000

WWII: 400,000

Coronavirus, 2020: 216,000 (so far)

H2N2, 1957-58: 116,000

WWI: 115,000

H3N2, 1968: 100,000

Vietnam: 58,000

Korea: 36,000

H1N1, 2009: 12,469

Iraq: 4,500

Afghanistan: 2,300

Oct 13

Economist says Covid stimulus is wrongheaded

Man caught Covid twice, with the second infection becoming far more dangerous than the first

The 25-year-old needed hospital treatment after his lungs could not get enough oxygen into his body.

Reinfections remain rare and he has now recovered.

But the study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases raises questions about how much immunity can be built up to the virus.

The man from Nevada had no known health problems or immune defects that would make him particularly vulnerable to Covid. | Source: BBC

SCOTUS and the ACA: Will Americans go without health care in the middle of a pandemic?

Democrats set out to make health care central to Amy Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii charged on NPR’s Morning Edition that the ACA case is why Republicans are rushing the nomination through — so that Barrett would be on the court and rule against the health law.

“People are going to be without health care in the middle of a pandemic, no less,” Hirono said.

Herd immunity is said to be “unethical”

The head of the World Health Organization said Monday that allowing the novel coronavirus to spread in an attempt to reach herd immunity was “simply unethical.”

The remark was a sharp rebuke of the approach amid mounting new infections around the world. Recent days have seen the most rapid rise in cases since the pandemic began in March.

“Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a Monday media briefing. “It is scientifically and ethically problematic.”

Nothing funny about the deaths of 214,000 Americans

Is Trump infectious?

Trump arrived in Florida only hours after the White House physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, said that the president had tested negative “on consecutive days” using a rapid antigen coronavirus test not intended for that purpose. Experts cautioned that the test’s accuracy had not been investigated enough to be sure that the president was virus-free or, as his doctor claimed, “not infectious to others.

Oct 12

Fauci says Trump is “asking for trouble”

Anthony S. Fauci told CNN that it is unwise for the president to stage a campaign event that puts people in close quarters without face coverings.

“We know that that is asking for trouble, when you do that,” Fauci said.

Oct 11

Fauci objects to appearance in Trump campaign ad

Dr. Anthony Fauci appears in new Trump campaign ad saying “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”
Fauci today stated “the comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago.”

213,000 deaths in U.S. “It’s going to disappear”

Speaking from the balcony of the White House, Trump continued to downplay the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s going to disappear,” he said, repeating a line he first uttered in February, or more than 213,000 deaths ago. “It is disappearing.”

Oct 10

Fauci says White House had superspreader event as Trump to resume public events

The White House had a “superspreader event”, Anthony S. Fauci — the nation’s top infectious-disease expert — said Friday, as the circle of infections in President Trump’s orbit widens, with many cases identified among attendees at a largely mask-free event in the Rose Garden late last month. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 9

Coronavirus hit the U.S. long before we knew. The data proves it

Disease detectives and reviewed hundreds of pages of genetic, epidemiological and computational research to determine that the coronavirus infiltrated the U.S. much earlier than previously thought | Source: Wall Street Journal

Oct 8

The New England Journal of Medicine calls for Trump’s ouster 

The Trump administration has “taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy” in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The New England Journal of Medicine says in a scathing editorial that essentially calls on American voters to throw the president out of office. The editors accuse Trump’s government of a massive public health failure — and of worsening the pandemic’s effects by prioritizing politics over sound medical guidance | Source: NPR

New COVID-19 cases in past week:

Vietnam – 5
Taiwan – 9
Yemen – 10
New Zealand – 25
Trump White House – 34

McConnell says he’s been avoiding the White House for months because of lack of virus precautions there

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican majority leader, said on Thursday that he had been avoiding the White House since midsummer over concerns that officials there were not taking proper precautions against the coronavirus.

“Their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” Mr. McConnell said. | Source: NYTimes

Oct 7

Pelosi not confident about a comprehensive relief bill

Conversations between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Republican Senate were suspended Tuesday when Trump tweeted the end to the talks. “Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP … You think the [Trump] Administration is going to do another bill? All they want is to have the president’s name on a check going out, $300, and — and that’s all he — he really cares about.” | Source: NY Times

Four more officials from Trump admin test positive

Four more Trump administration officials tested positive, including Stephen Miller, a top adviser. Inside the White House, the West Wing was mostly empty, with many staff members out sick or working from home.

Top military leaders go into quarantine

Top U.S. military leaders — including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — went into quarantine after a senior Coast Guard official tested positive for the virus. The official, Adm. Charles Ray, had attended a White House reception with Trump 10 days ago, where people sat close together and without masks.

Trump tweets he is looking forward to debate while he remains contagious

Trump’s tweet Tuesday that he looks forward to next week’s presidential debate alarmed some medical and public health experts, who warned that his coronavirus infection might still be contagious then and could endanger others. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 6

Fauci: There could be 300,000 to 400,000 Covid deaths unless precautions taken

Speaking at a virtual event hosted by American University, the White House coronavirus specialist said: “If we don’t do what we need to in the fall and winter, we could have 300,000-400,000 Covid-19 deaths.” Fauci added that a vaccine likely won’t be widely available until next summer or fall. | Source: Politico

Joe Biden says no debate if President Trump is still infected with COVID-19

Biden said “we shouldn’t have a debate” if President Trump remains infected with COVID-19. “Too many people have been infected. It’s a very serious problem, so I will be guided by the guidelines,” he said. The next presidential debate is scheduled for October 15.| Source: Associated Press

U.S. financial markets sour as Trump ends coronavirus relief negotiations

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday called off negotiations with Democratic lawmakers on coronavirus relief legislation until after the election, even as cases of the virus are on the rise across much of the country before flu season. Following Trump’s announcement breaking off negotiations, U.S. stocks reversed course to close lower on Tuesday.

Twitter tags Trump covid tweet as “misleading”

“Flu season is coming up!” Trump tweeted this morning. “Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”

Twitter later flagged the tweet as being in violation of its rules on misinformation. “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19,” the warning said. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

The CDC reports that most years, the US death toll from the flu is 34,000 to 43,000. The coronavirus death toll this year is over 210,000

Oct 5

Trump leaves hospital

Trump: Doctors and scientists are from “let’s-read-the-books” school

“I learned a lot about Covid. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the let’s-read-the-books school. And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”

Alarming details emerging from Walter Reed Hospital

The doctors said that Mr. Trump’s blood oxygen level dropped twice in the two days after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus, requiring medical intervention, and that he had been put on steroids, suggesting his condition might be more serious than initially described.

Oct 4

Trump’s latest photo-op at Walter Reed endangered secret service

Trump: “I had no choice” to refuse mask and to social distance

“I had no choice,” Trump said Sunday, “because I just didn’t want to stay in the White House. I was given that alternative. Stay in the White House. Lock yourself in. Don’t ever leave. Don’t even go to the Oval Office. Just stay upstairs and enjoy it. Don’t see people. Don’t talk to people. And just be done with it.”

Trump doctor “trying to be upbeat” while not “necessarily” lying

Trump is a trend setter: 54,000 new Covid cases in U.S.

There were more than 54,000 positive cases of the coronavirus reported on Friday, the highest single-day case count since Aug. 14, when the country recorded just over 64,000 cases, per Johns Hopkins University data.

Sacrifice grandma for sake of the economy? “No” senior voters say

The biggest declines for Trump in the poll come from seniors who are now backing Biden by a 62 percent-to-35 percent margin

White House shows little effort in contact tracing for hundreds potentially exposed to Trump

The CDC’s contact tracing agency was not mobilized, and in areas where he held events in recent days, local officials said they haven’t heard from the White House. | Source: Washington Post

Oct 3

Trump tells Giulinai he will “beat this”

The president dictated a statement to adviser Rudy Giuliani:

“I am the president of the United States. I can’t lock myself in a room. I had to confront [the virus] so the American people stopped being afraid of it so we could deal with it responsibly.

We have made tremendous progress on treating this disease. Fatality rates are very low compared to [the beginning].

I’m going to beat this.”

A call for Trump to resign

It is entirely plausible that Trump is “Patient Zero” in a number of clusters that are likely to arise from his reckless behavior when he should have been in isolation. If he knowingly put others at risk he must resign from the Presidency.

– Dr. Anthony Moore, Public Health Physician & Health Policy expert

Trump’s vitals “very concerning”

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff said Trump went through a “very concerning” period over the last day, according to the Associated Press. Meadows also said the next two days will be critical in terms of his health.

AG Barr refuses to quarantine

Attorney General William P. Barr and Kellyanne Conway at the White House reception for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, last Saturday.
Conway and Barr past Saturday.

Attorney General William Barr has decided not to self-quarantine, despite potential prolonged exposure to the coronavirus. He attended a White House event last Saturday, and several others who attended the same function later tested positive. | Source: NY Times

Americans need an accurate account of Trump’s condition. They do not have one

The president is not well. His health could quite feasibly turn for the worse as the weekend progresses. The wide variability—and the consequences—of the disease’s course mean that small details about his condition will be analyzed intensely, and must be carefully and transparently communicated. The geopolitical order hangs in the balance, waiting for incremental updates on Trump’s pulmonary function. | Source: The Atlantic

White House lies then retracts Trump’s virus timeline

Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a White House memo that he spoke incorrectly about the timing of Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis that conflicted with the White House’s previously stated timeline.

Conley created confusion at his Walter Reed news conference when he referenced Trump’s diagnosis being 72 hours old, which would have meant Trump learned he was ill Wednesday morning. Trump did not reveal his illness until 1 a.m. Friday. | Source: Washington Post

Without this reporter – America still may not know about Trump’s illness

This has been the story from the White House today: to downplay the president’s diagnosis just as he has downplayed the country’s diagnosis for the past nine months … Without Jennifer Jacobs, a dogged Bloomberg reporter who broke the story about Hicks’s illness, the world might still be in the dark about the sickness sweeping through the West Wing and the highest levels of our government. – New York Magazine

Oct 2

Trump flown to Walter Reed Hospital “for several days”


Trump knew he had been exposed, then attended NJ fundraiser

After White House officials learned Hicks was symptomatic and had close contact with the President, Trump attended a fundraiser in New Jersey where he did not wear a mask and interacted with “dozens” of people. The president did not wear a mask Thursday, including at the events at his golf course and on the plane, officials said| Source: Washington Post

Fox News’ Chris Wallace: Trump medical spokesperson “has no training in this area at all”

Trump tests positive for Covid

President Trump, 74, was diagnosed hours after it became publicly known that Hope Hicks, a top Trump aide who traveled with him on Air Force One and Marine One this week, tested positive and after months in which the president has played down a pandemic that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and sickened millions more.

October Surprise

A new study finds that President Trump was “likely the largest driver of… Covid-19 misinformation.” | Source:

Oct 1

Trump says he wears masks “when needed” and mocks Biden’s masks

“I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask,” Mr. Trump said, adding that Biden “could be speaking 200 feet away” and then “shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Sept 30

The presidential debate’s best moment

The overpowering stench of Trump’s hate was so heavy it was hard to take in anything Biden said. But he had one that went to the heart of our darkness. Biden took Trump’s execrable line about the mounting virus deaths, and added one of his own: “It is what it is because you are who you are.” | Source: The Daily Beast

Covid surge in Midwest

Covid-19 deaths now total more than 205,000 Americans. Florida is seeing a surge in new cases since Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order allowing restaurants and bars to reopen. The Midwest is also in a surge, with record numbers of new cases in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Kansas. Wisconsin hospitals are nearing capacity and South Dakota has the highest rate of spread in the country. Experts worry about a dramatic rise in cases as cold weather settles in.

Sept 29

The Joker

Ex-Pence Aide Olivia Troye: ‘A Lot of People in the White House Don’t Believe This Virus is Real’

“… It was trying to fit the data, and the guidelines and everything to the president’s narrative of, ‘Don’t mind this. Everything’s fine. We’re over it. We’ve done great. Time to open back up,’” Troye said. She added, “It’s all part of the greater messaging narrative of what the president is trying to say. It’s not true.” | Source: NY Times

U.N. chief warns that ‘misinformation kills’ as global coronavirus death toll tops 1 million

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said Monday that it was crucial that the international community learn from the mistakes made in the first 10 months of the pandemic. “Responsible leadership matters,” he said. “Science matters. Cooperation matters — and misinformation kills.” | Source: Washington Post

Sept 28

Trump won’t participate in global vaccine initiative

159 countries have joined the UN-led COVID-19 vaccine initiative, or COVAX, though the Trump administration has said the United States will not be participating. the number of global deaths inches towards a staggering 1 million.

Sept 27

“Everything he says is false”

“Everything he says is false,” says CDC head Robert Redfield, in overheard phone call, of new Trump COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas. | Source: The Guardian

Sept 26

Trump to send seniors $200 gift card. Says “These cards are incredible”

“Under my plan, 33 million Medicare beneficiaries will soon receive a card in the mail containing $200 that they can use to help pay for prescription drugs,” Trump told a crowd in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday. “Nobody has seen this before. These cards are incredible.” Health policy researchers, advocacy groups, members of Congress and even the pharmaceutical industry say the prescription cards fall short of any lasting way to curb high drug prices.| Source: NPR

Sept 25

Trump demands FDA justify tough standards for coronavirus vaccine

As President Trump blasted the Food and Drug Administration’s plan for tougher standards for a coronavirus vaccine as a “political move,” a top White House aide demanded detailed justifications from the agency in what some fear is an attempt to thwart or block the standards designed to boost public trust in a vaccine.

Sept 24

Tearful nurse reacts to Trump’s failure: “We didn’t have to lose 200,000 people'”

‘You Are Not Listening,’ Fauci Tells Sen. Rand Paul During Senate Coronavirus Hearing

“To those who argue that the lockdown flattened the curve in New York and New Jersey, the evidence argues otherwise,” Se. Rand Paul said, accusing Fauci of being a “big fan” of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York’s “shutdown” despite its high number of COVID-19 deaths. 

“No, you misconstrued that senator, and you’ve done that repeatedly in the past,” Fauci responded.

Fauci also said he “challenged” Paul’s claim that New York has achieved herd immunity, saying around 22% of New York’s residents have likely been exposed to the coronavirus. Sixty to 80% of a population needs to be vaccinated or develop antibodies through natural infection to achieve herd immunity, top World Health Organization officials have said.  | Source: CNBC

Missouri’s governor has refused to mandate masks. Now he’s tested positive for the coronavirus

In May, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R), along with four other Republican governors in the region, wrote an op-ed for The Post promoting their effectiveness on keeping the economy open and maintaining low infection rates.

Sept 23

Money intended for pandemic response was instead sent to defense contractors on unrelated projects

Congressional Democrats sharply criticized a Defense Department decision to repurpose a $1 billion coronavirus fund into an economic stimulus for defense contractors | Source: NYTimes

If the Supreme Court Ends Obamacare

As many as 133 million Americans — roughly half the population under the age of 65 — have pre-existing medical conditions that could disqualify them from buying a health insurance policy or cause them to pay significantly higher premiums if Obamacare were overturned, according to a government analysis done in 2017. An existing medical condition would include coronavirus.

“A very good job”

(Evan Vucci/AP)
In March, President Trump said that keeping the nation’s death toll between 100,000 and 200,000 — numbers that seemed inconceivable at the time — would signal that his administration had done “a very good job.”

Sept 22

U.S. Death toll hits 200,000

During the early months of the pandemic, 200,000 deaths was regarded by many as the maximum number of lives likely to be lost in the United States to the virus.

Trump: ‘It affects virtually nobody’

CDC Publishes — Then Withdraws — Guidance On Aerosol Spread Of Coronavirus

“The consistent inconsistency in this administration’s guidance on COVID-19 has severely compromised the nation’s trust in our public health agencies,” – Dr. Howard Koh, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who served as assistant secretary for health during the Obama administration.

Sept 21

CDC reverses itself and says guidelines it posted on coronavirus airborne transmission were wrong

The agency had posted new guidelines suggesting the virus can transmit over a distance larger than six feet and that indoor ventilation is key to protection against its spread. This is a point that many independent experts have also been advancing, and it had appeared that the agency had come around to their point of view.

But the guidelines were removed late this morning because “that does not reflect our current state of knowledge,” a top CDC official said. | Source: Washington Post

Sept 20

In ‘Power Grab,’ Health Secretary Azar Asserts Authority Over F.D.A.

Alex M. Azar II, Trump’s secretary of health and human services, this week barred the nation’s health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, from signing any new rules regarding the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products, including vaccines. | Source: NY Times

In 1918 pandemic deadly second-wave began in October

The deadliest month in American history was an October during a pandemic.

In 1918, after waning through the long summer, Spanish flu came roaring back to claim nearly 200,000 lives, just in that one month, just in the United States.

“Case counts could start spiking just a few weeks from now,” Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, told me. “The most rigorous predictions are that we head into November with 220,000 deaths.”

Sept 19

Fauci disagrees with Trump’s vaccine timeline

Dr Anthony Fauci told The Atlantic that a coronavirus vaccine will not likely be in widespread distribution “until well into 2021.”

Midwest and the Southwest are reporting record infection numbers

Cases are rising sharply in North DakotaColoradoWyoming and particularly dramatically in Wisconsin, where the number of infections being reported each day is now more than double what it was two weeks ago, with more than 2,500 infections reported on Friday, the most ever in the state.

Sept 18

CNN host calls out the lies

C.D.C. Testing Guidance Was Published Against Scientists’ Objections

A controversial guideline saying people without Covid-19 symptoms didn’t need to get tested for the virus came from H.H.S. officials and skipped the C.D.C.’s scientific review process.

CDC director: Face mask may protect better against Covid-19 than a vaccine  - CNN Video
CDC’s Dr. Robert Redfield

The question of the C.D.C.’s independence and effectiveness as the nation’s top public health agency has taken on increasing urgency as the nation approaches 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic and Mr. Trump continues to criticize its scientists and disregard their assessments.

Trump contradicts health advisers on coronavirus vaccine timetable as death toll mounts

Science experts say his continued swipes at the government’s own experts are undermining public trust in their guidance — as well as in an eventual vaccine.

“If you want people to have confidence in a national vaccine program, you don’t trash the director of the CDC, especially when he was accurately describing the likely timeline of the program” | Source: Washingston Post

Covid task force adviser says U.S. response is a failure and Trump is the reason

President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic showed a “flat-out disregard for human life” because his “main concern was the economy and his reelection,” according to Olivia Troye, a senior adviser on the White House coronavirus task force who left the White House in August.

“The president’s rhetoric and his own attacks against people in his administration trying to do the work, as well as the promulgation of false narratives and incorrect information of the virus have made this ongoing response a failure.”

Trump told reporters Troye was “some kind of a lower-level person” and said he doesn’t remember meeting her or talking to her.

Sept 17

Poll: A vaccine under Trump admin is not trusted

Barely half of Americans say they will get a coronavirus vaccine, a new poll finds, down from 72 percent in May. | Source: NY Times

AG Barr compares lockdown to slavery

Attorney General William Barr argued Wednesday that coronavirus-related lockdown orders were surpassed only by slavery as the “greatest intrusion on civil liberties” in the nation’s history.

‘Herd mentality’ and waiters should not wear masks

During a live “Town Hall” television appearance last evening, the president spoke of “herd mentality,” rather than “herd immunity,” as the ultimate solution to the covid-19 pandemic. Trump also opined why he thought it was dangerous for waiters in restaurants to wear masks.

Sept 16

CDC’s Redfield testifies before congress: Wear a mask

Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told senators that if all Americans wore masks, the coronavirus could be controlled in six to 12 weeks. Redfield said masks were so vital in fighting Covid-19, that wearing a mask may even more important than a vaccine. Trump commented almost immediately that Redfield “made a mistake,” maintaining that a “vaccine is much more effective than the masks.” | Source: NY Times

Michael Caputo will be gone for 60 days to ‘rest’

Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, is taking a 60-day medical leave, three days after urging President Trump’s supporters to prepare for an armed insurrection and accusing government scientists of “sedition,.”the agency announced Wednesday | Source: Washington Post

Trump said he has saved “millions”

Trump said Tuesday that he could not have done more to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, a claim disputed by many epidemiologists and even privately by some members of his own administration. “I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half, maybe more than that, lives,” Trump said.

Gates Report is grim

The coronavirus pandemic has scorched away years of work: More families are in dire poverty, malnutrition is increasing, far fewer children are getting immunized. “The longer the pandemic lasts, the worse its economic scars will be,” said tech philanthropist Bill Gates.

If this pandemic produces “an administration and a Congress that are more open-minded, you could really do a grass-roots thing.”

Sept 15

Map showing average daily cases for the last week in each state in the US.

Vaccine Becomes Heated Campaign Issue

North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham said Monday during a debate that he would be “hesitant” to take a vaccine for COVID-19 approved by U.S. Election Day, leading Republicans nationwide to characterize him and Democrats as “anti-vaxxers.”

“Historically and traditionally I would support and have confidence in the Food and Drug Administration and the processes they go through to approve a drug,” Cunningham said. “But we have seen an extraordinary corruption in Washington.” | Source: NPR

Trump health appointee apologizes to HHS staff after accusing scientists of ‘sedition’

Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services – apologized for his remarks and the embarrassment they brought upon the agency, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the proceedings. He also indicated his departure might be imminent, saying he was considering a medical leave. He added that his family had been receiving threats and that his physical health was in question. | Source: Washington Post

The world believes Trump has handled the pandemic poorly

In a new poll of 13 nations released Tuesday, a median of 15 percent of respondents said the United States had handled the pandemic well, while 85 percent said the country had responded poorly.

The data, released by Pew Research Center, suggests that the international reputation of the United States has dropped to a new low in the face of a disorganized response to the novel coronavirus. The country leads the world in virus-related deaths. | Source: BBC News

Sept 14

Trump Health Aide Falsely Alleges Conspiracies and Warns of Armed Revolt

Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary of health for public affairs, told a Facebook audience without evidence that left-wing hit squads were being trained for insurrection, and he accused C.D.C. scientists of “sedition.”

“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” Mr. Caputo, a Trump loyalist installed by the White House in April, told followers in a video he hosted live on his personal Facebook page | Source: NY Times

Trump #MAGA loyalists refuse masks

Sept 13

Sept 12

“Americans really need to understand the historic emergency unfolding right now: the CDC is trying to get accurate information to the public about a virus that’s killed 200,000 Americans in 6 months, and a longtime *Kremlin agent* is editing and falsifying the CDC reports first” | Source: Newsweek journalist Seth Abramson

Fauci disagrees with Trump’s claim that U.S. has ‘rounded the final turn’ on coronavirus

Top infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci said Friday that he disagrees with President Trump’s claim that the United States has “rounded the final turn” of the coronavirus crisis, calling the country’s latest virus statistics “disturbing.”

Sept 11

Trump Appointees Meddled in C.D.C.’s Health Reports

Political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have repeatedly asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise, delay and even scuttle reports on the coronavirus that they believed were unflattering to President Trump. | Source: NY Times

Sept 10

Editorial: Hold Trump responsible for the deaths and economic ruin that have occurred on his watch

We have heard Trump admit that he understood the severity of the coronavirus threat but downplayed it to the American public. His refused to take prompt, aggressive action and peddled dangerous quack remedies. He goaded governors to reopen their states prematurely and scorned mask-wearing. Knowing that the virus was an airborne, deadly disease, he continued to hold rallies without social distancing or a mask requirement. His actions almost certainly contributed to the death toll of 187,000 Americans — tens of thousands of lives might have been saved by prompt, effective leadership. 

Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post

Trump acknowledges he intentionally downplayed deadly coronavirus, now says effort was to reduce panic

“So the fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country. And I don’t want people to be frightened,” Trump told reporters at the White House

Ad: Trump knew. Did nothing. Thousand died

Pandemic Financially Imperils Nearly Half Of American Households

The U.S. facing a cascade of economic and health-related problems revealed in a new survey by NPR. The poll finds nearly half the households in America — 46% — report facing serious financial pain during the pandemic

Sept 9

Facebook won’t remove anti-vaccine posts despite Covid concerns

Mark Zuckerberg of the Facebook said he would not remove anti-vaxxer posts, even as the leading virus experts express cautious optimism that a Covid-19 vaccination may become available late this year or early next year.

“If someone is pointing out a case where a vaccine caused harm or that they’re worried about it – you know, that’s a difficult thing to say from my perspective that you shouldn’t be allowed to express at all,” Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg acknowledged that conservative voices and opinions rank as Facebook’s most engaged content. | Source: The Guardian

Fauci: Lack of masks at Trump rallies frustrating

The nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said that the lack of masks at President Trump’s campaign rallies is frustrating.

“Is that frustrating to you?” host Gayle King asked Fauci on “CBS This Morning,” noting the lack of masks among some attendees at Trump’s rallies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Well, yes it is, and I’ve said that often,” Fauci, responded. “That situation is we want to set an example.”

Financial Pain From Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Much, Much Worse’ Than Expected

In America’s four largest cities, at least half of people say they have experienced the loss of a job or a reduction in wages or work hours in their household since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. That’s the finding of a new poll published Wednesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Bob Woodward’s new book says Trump intentionally downplayed ‘deadly’ virus

Donald Trump told journalist Bob Woodward that he knew the coronavirus was more deadly and contagious than the flu while he continued to downplay its dangers to the public, according to Woodward’s new book “Rage.”

“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump told Woodward on March 19 in excerpts of audio interviews obtained by CNN

N.I.H. Director Undercuts Trump’s Comments Speculating About a Vaccine by Election Day

Two top health officials appeared before a Senate panel the day after AstraZeneca announced a hold in a vaccine trial. Britain will ban most gatherings of more than six people starting Monday.

Major human trial for a coronavirus vaccine stops for an ‘unexplained illness’

As President Trump pushes for a coronavirus vaccine before the November election, one major vaccine trial has been halted after a participant developed symptoms of a “potentially unexplained illness.” After the British participant became sick, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford paused human trials to evaluate whether the person’s condition could be related to the vaccine | Source: Washington Post

Sept 8

9 Drug Companies Issue a Joint Pledge to Thoroughly Vet Vaccines

Nine drug companies issued a joint pledge on Tuesday that they would “stand with science” and not put forward a vaccine until it had been thoroughly vetted for safety and efficacy. | Source NY Times

Trump’s biker rally cost government 12 billion in health costs

Sept 7

Vice President nominee says she would not trust a vaccine rushed by Trump admin

For Long-Haulers, Covid-19 Takes a Toll on Mind as Well as Body

in recent months has more attention been given to long-haulers. In online support groups like Body Politic and Survivor Corps, long-haulers have produced informal surveys and reports to study their course of illness. Dr. Teodor Postolache, a psychiatrist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, estimates that between one-third and one-half of Covid-19 patients experienced some form of mental health problem including anxiety, depression, fatigue or abnormal sleeping | Source: NY Times

Sept 6

Fauci warns not to send students home

“It’s the worst thing you could do,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on NBC’s “TODAY” show. “When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection,” | Source: NBC

Pharma Companies Plan Joint Pledge on Vaccine Safety

The statement is meant to reassure the public that the companies will not seek a premature approval of vaccines under pressure from the Trump administration. | Source: NY Times

Sept 5

Students expelled and university keeps their tuition

Boston’s Northeastern University says it has dismissed 11 students who gathered in a hotel room in violation of the school’s coronavirus policies and will not refund their tuition, marking one of the most severe punishments that college students have faced for breaking pandemic rules.

Sept 3

Thousand of eviction notices served in U.S.
“Today it’s her, tomorrow it’s me.”

The Election Day Surprise Vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling state health officials to be ready to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to health-care workers and other high-priority groups as soon as Nov. 1, heightening fears that the agency is under pressure to approve a vaccine before Election Day.

Experts fear politics will taint COVID-19 vaccine approval

Worries deepened last week when the FDA and the CDC — another federal health agency once considered inviolable — made widely criticized decisions, apparently in response to pressure from the White House. “Any hint of political pressure would feed into the vaccine skeptic and antivaccine groups,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.| Source: Boston Globe

Polling on “Warp Speed”: 35% say they won’t accept a rushed vaccine

Per an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released in August, 60% of Americans say they will choose to be vaccinated if a COVID-19 vaccine is made available to them, and 35% would decline

“While there are no guarantees in science,” Trump officials wrote, “we can assure Americans that [Operation Warp Speed] is structured, resourced and led to maximize the probability of success.”

Sept 2

Trump’s new coronavirus adviser has questioned masks and alarmed government scientists.

Dr. Scott W. Atlas has argued that the science of mask wearing is uncertain, that children cannot pass on the coronavirus and that the role of the government is not to stamp out the virus but to protect its most vulnerable citizens as Covid-19 takes its course. | Source: NY Times

Fauci Debunks Trump’s Death Toll Retweet

Citing Johns Hopkin University data that 6 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in the U.S. and over 183,000 people have died (a number which has since risen to over 184,000), Robach asked Fauci: “can you explain why the president would retweet a theory that suggests only 9,000 people have died of COVID-19?”

“Let [there] not be any confusion about that,” said Dr. Fauci. ” It’s not 9,000 deaths from COVID-19.” | Source: Newsweek

Trump won’t join WHO-linked effort to develop, distribute coronavirus vaccine

The Trump administration said it will not join a global effort to develop, manufacture and equitably distribute a coronavirus vaccine, in part because the World Health Organization is involved, a decision that could shape the course of the pandemic and the country’s role in health diplomacy. “It’s about: Are you a reliable partner, or, at the end of the day, are you going to keep all your toys for yourself?” | Source: Washington Post

Sept 1

FEMA To Stop Paying For Cloth Face Masks For Schools

Some states may face a budget crunch as they try to carry out the protective measures necessary to reopen schools and other aspects of society. | Source: NPR

August 31

Trump’s ‘herd immunity’ strategy, worrying public health officials

Trump adviser Scott Atlas, who does not have a background in infectious diseases or epidemiology, has expanded his influence inside the White House by advocating policies that appeal to Trump’s desire to move past the pandemic and get the economy going, distressing health officials on the White House coronavirus task force and throughout the administration who worry that their advice is being followed less and less. | Source: Washington Post

August 30

Covid patients are still receiving staggering bills

Critics say Trump’s stopgap program is among the strongest evidence that he and his party have no vision for improving health coverage, and instead promote piecemeal solutions, even in a national health crisis. “This is not the way you deal with uninsured people during a public health emergency,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University. | Source: NY Times

August 29

FDA spokesperson fired 2 weeks into the job

The Food and Drug Administration’s chief spokeswoman, who has been in the job less than two weeks, was removed from that role as of noon Friday, part of continued fallout from a White House news conference featuring inaccurate claims that convalescent plasma dramatically reduced mortality for patients with covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

August 28

The past five days:

Five days

— Largest Countries in Europe (340m pop):   250 deaths

— The United States (330m pop):                5,500+ deaths

No Masks for GOP

August 27

A “dangerous step back” for a country still struggling to contain the virus 

Officials in the Trump administration told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin discouraging people without symptoms from being tested, two federal health officials said Wednesday. President Trump has long complained that the U.S. does too much testing, returning high numbers of infections that make the country look bad.

August 26

Maskless protesters storm Idaho capitol

Protesters broke down a door, ripped up signs and pulled down the rope that was meant to reserve distanced seats for legislators. Authorities arrested and wheeled anti-government activist Ammon Bundy out of the building, still tied to a rolling chair after he refused to leave an auditorium in the statehouse.| Source: Washington Post

August 25

FDA chief apologizes for misleading claim

FDA chief Stephen Hahn on Tuesday apologized for overstating the life-saving benefits of treating COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma. “I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified. What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction not an absolute risk reduction,” Hahn tweeted.

Fauci warns against emergency coronavirus vaccine approval before widespread testing

“The one thing that you would not want to see with a vaccine is getting an EUA [emergency use authorization] before you have a signal of efficacy,” Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, said in an interview with Reuters

“One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enroll people in their trial.”

August 24

F.D.A. Authorizes Blood Plasma as a Virus Treatment

It’s just extraordinary to declare this as a breakthrough…. All this does is jeopardize ever getting the truth.”

Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute

The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday gave emergency approval for expanded use of antibody-rich blood plasma to help hospitalized coronavirus patients, allowing President Trump, who has been pressuring the agency to move faster to address the pandemic, to claim progress on the eve of the Republican convention.

August 23

Trump without evidence accuses ‘deep state’ at FDA of slow-walking coronavirus vaccines and treatments

The tweet — an escalation of the president’s campaign against administration scientists — said regulators want to delay approvals until after the Nov. 3 election for political reasons. “The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics,” Trump said on Twitter | Source: Washington Post

No Covid vaccine before winter of 2021, warns Chief Medical Officer

Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty says it could take another year before a safe vaccine is developed and ready for widespread distribution. | Source: The Telegraph

August 22

Pence: “Couldn’t be more proud” of Trump’s leadership

Vice President Pence said he “couldn’t be more proud” of President Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, and said during a “Good Morning America” appearance that if Democratic nominee Joe Biden had been in charge, the losses — 171,000 dead and counting under the current administration — would have been worse.

August 21

Trump’s controversial system of reporting hospital data around COVID-19 will soon be canceled

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working “to build a revolutionary new data system” for COVID-19 hospital data collection that the CDC will run upon completion, according to Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Trump had mandated that hospitals sidestep the agency and send critical information about COVID-19 hospitalizations and equipment to a different federal database | Source: NPR

August 19

Doctors rebuff unproven and potentially dangerous oleander

“Don’t go near this plant,” said Matthew Heinz, M.D., an Arizona-based internal medicine physician currently caring for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Accidentally ingesting even small amounts of oleandrin can kill you, said Heinz. The plant extract has been promoted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who told Axios he discussed the use of oleandrin as a treatment for COVID-19 during an Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump.| Source: ABC News

Americans are “embarrassed”

A strong majority of Americans (58%) in a new poll disapproved of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 68% saying they’re embarrassed by the US response. The US has the most reported coronavirus cases and fatalities in the world.| Source: Business Insider

Kudlow says unemployed workers don’t need $600 stimulus

Fauci contradicts Trump again

“We’d better be careful when we say ‘Young people who don’t wind up in the hospital are fine, let them get infected, it’s OK.’ No, it’s not OK,” Dr. Fauci said .

Trump said on Fox and Friends Aug. 5.  “If you look at children, children are almost, I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease.”

Young people driving new outbreaks

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that young people are increasingly driving the spread of the coronavirus in many countries. There have been 22 million coronavirus cases reported worldwide.

August 18

Anderson Cooper has heated exchange with MyPillow CEO over unproven and dangerous COVID-19 treatment

August 17

Why Herd Immunity Won’t Save Us

Even in the U.S., at 60,000 cases per day, it would take at least until 2021 — and possibly years of filled hospitals and morgues — before the requisite hundreds of millions of Americans were infected.

“I think if you were to just let this process occur, it’s very difficult to project the number of deaths, but I think we’re certainly talking north of a million, probably much more,” says Dr. Joshua Schiffer, an associate professor in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. | Source: NPR

Trump now touting oleander plant extract as Covid cure

Donald Trump has expressed enthusiasm for the Food and Drug Administration to permit an extract from the oleander plant to be marketed as a dietary supplement or, alternatively, approved as a drug to cure COVID-19, despite lack of proof that it works. | Source: Axios

August 16

Vaccine: A fiasco hampered by corruption

“Everything hinges on the federal government’s effort to develop and distribute a vaccine: Will it be an honest, well-managed effort based on sound scientific principles, or will it be a fiasco hampered by corruption, cronyism, and the influence of Big Pharma? Unfortunately, we are starting to see signs of the latter.

The New York Times reported worries that the White House is pressuring government researchers and regulators to have a vaccine available before the election” | Source: Bill Moyers , NY Times

Tired of ‘winning’ yet?

New covid-19 deaths, yesterday:
France: 18
Australia: 14
Spain: 12
UK: 11
Japan: 10
Germany: 8
Canada: 5
USA: 1,120

During a pandemic …

“It is what it is”

40% of US Covid-19 Tests come back too late to be clinically meaningful, date shows | Source: CNBC News

August 15

CDC: Americans are suffering from depression, substance abuse

Nearly 41 percent of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse, a new CDC survey revealed.

Romney is only Republican to criticize Trump virus response

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) offered rare Republican criticism of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response Friday, saying the federal government dismissed the virus’s threat and failed to take charge.

“We have 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s deaths due to covid-19.”

“And there’s no way to spin that in a positive light,” Romney said.

August 14

Is it safe?

Governors face a difficult decision on schools. Many public health experts have argued that their policies on reopenings should account for not only new infections and testing but also the risks of hospitalizations and deaths | Source: NY Times

August 13

Educators, parents don’t trust Trump on virus

Trump has pushed for schools to reopen, yet key constituencies — parents and educators — have largely moved in the other direction.

A July poll by Education Week found that roughly 60 percent of educators said the pandemic had worsened their view of Mr. Trump, who already faired poorly with much of that group. A recent Washington Post poll found that parents disapprove of Mr. Trump’s handling of school reopening by a two-thirds majority. And a new Gallup poll showed that fewer parents want their children to return to school buildings now than they did in the spring.

True Covid deaths probably over 200,000

Across the United States, at least 200,000 more people have died than usual since March, according to a New York Times analysis of estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is about 60,000 higher than the number of deaths that have been directly linked to the coronavirus.

August 11

Russia will approve vaccine

A Russian health care regulator has become the first in the world to approve a possible vaccine against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced today, although the vaccine has yet to complete clinical trials. The Russian dash for a vaccine has already raised international concerns that the country is rushing approval for political purposes.

August 10

Can schools safely open?

Nearly 100,000 children tested positive in the last two weeks of July, according to a new report. | Source: NY Times

August 9

COVID-19 May Never Go Away — With Or Without A Vaccine

“In three to five years it may be that you’re still getting COVID-19 in certain populations of people or every few years, but the expectation is hopefully that it’ll just be a common cold and it’s something that we can just each deal with and it won’t lead to hospitalization and the shutting down of society.” – Dr. Vineet Menachery, Coronavirus researcher | Listen to the interview at NPR

August 8

Report on children with inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19

Hundreds of children in America, most of them previously healthy, have experienced an inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19, and most became so ill that they needed intensive care, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Source: NY Times

Governor’s false-positive creates “Covid doubt” for some Republicans

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s false-positive test is troubling public health experts, who on Friday expressed fear that the error will become a misleading data point for those who doubt the coronavirus pandemic’s severity or, in some cases, its very existence. | Source: Washington Post

States struggle without leadership from Washington

Trump’s imprudent decision to leave the pandemic response to the states have left governors overwhelmed, unable to get a foothold in global markets for supplies and equipment. | Source: Washington Post

Aug 7

Nearly 300K could die from COVID-19 by December, model projects

Nearly 300,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus by early December, according to new projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Yet the number could be lower if more Americans wore masks. | Source: MSNBC News

Coronavirus Cases Are Surging. The Contact Tracing Workforce Is Not

With coronavirus cases increasing in more than half of states, America has neither the staff nor the resources to be able to trace the contacts of every new case — a key step in the COVID-19 public health response | Source: NPR

Aug 6

Dr. Fauci receiving death threats from extreme right wing

“The unseemly things that crises bring out in the world; it brings out the best of people and the worst of people,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN . “And getting death threats to my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security — it’s amazing.”

Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19

Both Twitter and Facebook have removed a post shared by President Trump for breaking their rules against spreading coronavirus misinformation.

Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post falsely claiming that children are “almost immune from this disease.” | Source: NPR

FDA reassures nation that vaccine will not be rushed for an “October Surprise”

“I have been asked repeatedly whether there has been any inappropriate pressure on the FDA to make decisions that are not based on good data and good science. I have repeatedly said that all FDA decisions have been, and will continue to be, based solely on good science and data. The public can count on that commitment” – Stephen M. Hahn, a physician, is commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

Trump/USA’s unique failure

One country stands alone, as the only affluent nation to have suffered a severe, sustained Covid outbreak for more than four months: the United States. “If you had to summarize our approach, it’s really poor federal leadership — disorganization and denial,” said Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare and Medicaid from 2015 to 2017.| Source: NY Times

Aug 5

Relief extension now on Trump’s table

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now says he would support an extension of the now-lapsed $600 federal unemployment insurance relief every week if Trump backs it. | Source: MSNBC

New data show that Americans are suffering from record levels of mental distress

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, roughly one in 12 American adults reported symptoms of an anxiety disorder at this time last year; now it’s more than one in three. Last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a tracking poll showing that for the first time, a majority of American adults — 53 percent — believes that the pandemic is taking a toll on their mental health. | Source: NY Times

Cases near 5 Million in U.S.

With coronavirus cases nearing 5 million in the United States and average daily deaths topping 1,000, the United States is the hottest hot spot in the ongoing global pandemic

Americans Support Aggressive Measures To Stop COVID-19

With the national death toll from COVID-19 passing the grim 150,000 mark, an NPR/Ipsos poll finds broad support for a single, national strategy to address the pandemic and more aggressive measures to contain it | Source: NPR

Aug 4

Trump interview shows he is incapable of understanding the crisis

Axios National Political Correspondent, Jonathan Swan, speaks with President Donald Trump

Aug 2

Trump attacks Birks as “pathetic” 

As he has with other pandemic advisers who deliver bad news, President Trump promptly attacked Dr. Deborah Birx, tweeting Monday that the physician “hit us” to appease Democrats critical of the White House response. “Pathetic!” Trump wrote. | Source: Twitter

Dr. Birx warns US is ‘in a new phase’ of coronavirus pandemic with more widespread cases

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator: “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas,” | Source: CNN

Aug 1

Infections soar in U.S. – particularly in Midwest

The seven-day average for new infections is hovering around 65,000 for two weeks in what amounts to a second wave of cases. The U.S. recorded more than 1.9 million new infections in July, nearly 42 percent of the more than 4.5 million cases reported nationwide since the pandemic began and more than double the number documented in any other month, according to a Times database.

July 31

COVID-19 Hospital Data System That Bypasses CDC Plagued By Delays, Inaccuracies

Earlier this month, when the Trump administration told hospitals to send crucial data about coronavirus cases and intensive care capacity to a new online system, it promised the change would be worth it. Trump’s new public data hub is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors, data analysts say. | Source: NPR

Dr. Fauci testifies again before congress

August 1

Distrust may undermine vaccine effort

The current opposition to a coronavirus vaccine is rooted in a climate of conflicting information. Only about half of Americans said in May that they were willing to get a coronavirus vaccine. “We have forces that undermine science, contradictory messages day in and day out that create skepticism and diminish trust in government,” warns Dr. Sandra Quinn| Source: NPR

Dire Warnings

 “If the nation does not change its course — and soon — deaths in the United States could be well into the multiple hundreds of thousands,” 
– the Association of American Medical Colleges

July 30

The U.S. economy suffered its worst quarter since at least 1875

Florida to stop testing because of approaching storm

Florida – which has reported more than 451,000 coronavirus cases -will stop testing for the coronavirus for several days due to concerns about the potential impact from Tropical Storm Isaias. Florida’s tally is second only to California (475,305 cases) among U.S. states.

One American is dying every minute due to Covid-19

More than 1,400 covid-19-related fatalities were reported Wednesday — about one death every minute — as Florida, North Carolina and Idaho set single-day records. So far Thursday, as data rolls in, Florida again broke that record, and two other states reported their highest number of deaths in a single day.

Former presidential candidate Herman Cainhas died after contracting COVID-19

Cain, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa without wearing a mask, has died at the age of 74. The businessman and onetime Republican presidential candidate was a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Cain had been battling cancer and refused to wear mask during the months of lockdown. | Source: ABC News

20 million jobless Americans are set to lose $600 a week in emergency unemployment benefits

Congress’s failure to reach an agreement on a new stimulus package could make the recession even worse. | Source: Washington Post

July 29

Fauci’s warning: “Trouble” ahead

Infectious disease expert Anthony S. Fauci warned Wednesday. “Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana … are starting to show that very subtle increase in percent positives among the total tested, Fauci told ABC News. “Which is a surefire hint that you may be getting into the same sort of trouble with those states that the Southern states got into trouble with.” | Source: ABC News

July 28

Source: NY Times

July 27

WHO chief calls coronavirus ‘the most severe’ health emergency the agency has ever declared

The World Health Organizationsaid Monday it was “easily the most severe” such emergency ever declared by the organization.

Birx: Close the bars

During a visit Sunday to Kentucky, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx encouraged states with rising infection rates — including Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia — to close down bars and reduce the maximum size for social gatherings.

July 26

CDC: One-third of COVID-19 patients who aren’t hospitalized have long-term illness

“COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness even among persons with milder outpatient illness, including young adults,” the report’s authors wrote. | Source: NBC News

July 25

Donald Trump Golfs With Brett Favre as a Thousand People a Day Die From COVID-19

President Donald Trump golfed Saturday with NFL legend Brett Favre, and the White House shared a cheery photo of the two in the sun on the links late in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the nation’s coronavirus crisis continues to worsen. Confirmed cases in the United States topped 4 million this week, far and away the most of any country in the world.

Trump golfs with Favre

Birx warns of new hotspots

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx is likening the surges in Florida, Texas and California to the early days of the pandemic, when New York was the U.S. epicenter“What we have right now are essentially three New Yorks,” Birx told NBC’s “Today” show.

Fauci: Walk-back reopenings

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said states hit hard by the coronavirus in recent weeks need to halt or walk back their reopenings as they deal with the surge of infections | Source: Washington Post

July 24

A new C.D.C. statement on schools calls for reopening and downplays the potential health risks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the new guidance two weeks after President Trump criticized its earlier recommendations on school reopenings. “The best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms,” the statement said. 

‘Tsunami’ Of Evictions Feared As $600 In Extra Unemployment Payments End

Housing advocates and landlords alike say if Congress doesn’t extend or replace the extra payments expiring this weekend, millions of out-of-work Americans won’t be able to afford to pay their rent. | Source: NPR

July 22

Fauci: Virus will never be eradicated

U.S. reports more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a day for first time since early June

States that reopened quickly – Florida, Arizona and Texas — led the nation in reported deaths, each posting more than 130.


The number of people infected with the coronavirus in different parts of the United States has been anywhere from two to 13 times higher than the reported rates for those regions, according to data released Tuesday by the C.D.C. | Sources: New York Times; US CDC

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he wasn’t invited to Tuesday’s White House coronavirus briefing

“I was not invited...” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. During a CNN interview, Fauci said if he were to attend the meeting Tuesday, he would tell state leaders to adopt mask mandates and encourage them to close bars. | Source: CNN

July 21

At press briefing, Trump warns pandemic may ‘get worse before it gets better’

Six months after the first U.S. coronavirus case was confirmed, President Trump’s attempt to re-engage with the pandemic.

He called the virus “the China virus” and repeated his false claim that the United States has one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. He said again that the virus “will disappear,” for which there is no scientific evidence.

U.S accuses China of hacking covid-19 vaccine research

The United States Justice Department accused the Chinese government of sponsoring criminal hackers who are targeting biotech firms around the world working on covid-19 vaccines and treatments.

July 20

Trump makes false claims about Covid progress in Fox interview: “We are the envy of the world”

Progress on vaccine in UK labs

 Three competing laboratories released promising results from early trials in humans… Two of the vaccine developers published their early results as peer-reviewed studies in The Lancet, a British medical journal. | Source: NY Times

Trump continues to assail Fauci

‘Well, I don’t know that he’s a leaker,’ President Trump says of Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. ‘He’s a little bit of an alarmist.’

July 19

Failed experiment

“I just never expected that we would have such a lack of federal leadership, and it’s been deliberate … In a national emergency that is a pandemic, spreading between states, federal leadership is essential. And if there was any doubt about that, we ran that experiment from March and April until now. It failed. So we have to run a different experiment.”

  • Beth Cameron, former senior director for global health security and biodefense on the White House National Security Council

Trump admin pushing to block new money for testing

The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill. Trump and other White House officials have been pushing for states to own more of the responsibility for testing and have objected to creating national standards

Record high cases in U.S.

Arizona on Saturday reported a single-day high in new deaths, another sign that the surge in fatalities health officials had warned about is underway. And North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Missouri announced record-high new cases | Sources: Washington Post

July 18

How did it get this bad? No leadership from Washington

A New York Times investigation found that President Trump’s failure to contain the virus can be traced to mid-April, when the White House rushed to shift responsibility to the states.

July 17

CDC: Wear a mask.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the pandemic in the United States could be “under control” in just one or two months if everyone wore masks.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Walmart now requires masks

Walmart , the world’s largest retailer with a strong presence in rural communities, said masks would be mandatory in their stores.Target, CVS, Kroger, Kohl’s and other businesses have followed suit

Trump faces rising disapproval and widespread distrust on coronavirus

The Washington Post-ABC poll shows 38 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the outbreak, down from 46 percent in May and 51 percent in March. Sixty percent disapprove, up from 53 percent in May and 45 percent in March.

More than half of the public — 52 percent — now disapproves “strongly” of Trump’s handling of the outbreak | Source: Washington Post

Dr. Fauci criticizes Trump administration’s response

“You have got to do it correctly,” Fauci said Thursday. “You can’t jump over steps, which is very perilous when you think about rebound. The proof of the pudding is, look what has happened. There really is no reason that we are having 40, 50, 60 thousand (new cases daily), other than we are not doing something correctly.” | Source: Deadline

U.S. Shatters Single-Day Caseload

The daily record of 75,600 new cases comes as more than half the states have enacted mask orders and the number of deaths in the country is increasing.

July 16

In some parts of the U.S., private schools are planning to reopen while public schools are not.

Public schools, which serve roughly 90 percent of American children, have less money, larger class sizes and less flexibility to make changes to things like the curriculum, facilities or work force. | Source: NY Times

July 15

HHS confirms coronavirus hospital data will now be sent to DC instead of CDC

Hospital data on coronavirus patients will now be rerouted to the Trump administration instead of first being sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN on Tuesday. | Source: CNN

In interview, Trump again says testing is “working too well”

Pence: “We don’t want CDC guidance to be the reason people don’t open their schools”

Outbreak July 15

It’s not just Florida, Arizona, Texas and California anymore. States including Oklahoma and Nevada are reporting record numbers of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths

Weekly trend of daily new reported cases per 100,000 residents | Source Washington Post

Trump wants the National Guard to help hospitals report coronavirus data

The Trump administration is asking governors to consider sending the National Guard to hospitals to help improve data collection — a decision that is sparking controversy about whether the data is reliable. | Washington Post

July 14

“Best testing in the world” – Hardly.

Quest Diagnostics says its average turnaround time for #COVID19 tests is now 7 or more days for non priority 1 patients.
Quest Diagnostics: “We will not be in a position to reduce our turnaround times as long as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase dramatically across much of the United States. This is not just a Quest issue. The surge in COVID-19 cases affects the laboratory industry as a whole.”

July 13

Fauci now marginalized

The White House has moved to sideline Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease specialist, scuttling some of his planned TV appearances and largely keeping him out of the Oval Office for more than a month after his clashes with President Trump

“No Plan” DeVos joins push to reopen schools

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stressed the importance of getting students back in classrooms.

“[Betsy DeVos,] you have no plan,” tweeted Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).“I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child.”

Trump: Doctors are “lying” about Covid-19

Donald Trump has retweeted a claim that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the media, the Democratic party, and “most” doctors are “lying” about Covid-19 | Source: The Guardian

July 12

Source: NY Times

Trump no longer consults with Dr. Fauci

Dr. Fauci no longer briefs Trump and is “never in the Oval [Office] anymore,” said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Fauci last spoke to the president during the first week of June, according to a person with knowledge of Trump’s calendar. | Source: Washington Post

Fauci: U.S. is “not doing great”

“As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say we’re doing great. I mean, we’re just not,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a podcast interview with FiveThirtyEight

July 11

Texas governor didn’t listen – “and now Texans die”

July 10

WHO: Aerosolized Particles Unlikely To Be Significant Source Of COVID-19 Transmission

Weighing the evidence, WHO maintains that the coronavirus is mostly spread through close contact with infected people but calls for more research into the matter of transmission by aerosolized particles. | Source: NPR

U.S. Nears 60,000 New Cases a Day

The country recorded its sixth single-day record in 10 days. U.S. immigration officials have helped spread the virus, a Times investigation found. The surge has been driven largely by states in the South and the West that were among the first to ease restrictions established during the virus’s initial wave in the spring. | Source: NY Times

July 9

Trump angry with CDC recommendations

The latest clash between the White House and its top public health advisers erupted Wednesday, when the president slammed the agency’s recommendation that schools planning to reopen should keep students’ desks six feet apart … A senior adviser to a top Health and Human Services Department official accused the CDC of “undermining the President” | Source: Washington Post

July 8

US reaches 3m confirmed Covid-19 cases as Pence pushes for schools to reopen

The US has now confirmed more than 3m cases of coronavirus, far more than any other country in the world. As the Johns Hopkins tracker of US cases surpassed 3m, Mike Pence led a White House cororonavirus task force briefing at the US department of education, urging schools to reopen in the fall despite the pandemic.

“Today’s awful — and avoidable — news that America surpassed three million COVID-19 cases is yet another sad reminder of the cost our country is paying for President Trump’s failure to lead us through this crisis,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said in a statement released by his campaign. | Source: The Guardian

U.S Sunbelt is the global virus capital

There is no country in the world where confirmed coronavirus cases are growing as rapidly as they are in Arizona, Florida or South Carolina. The Sun Belt has become the global virus capital.

Trump formally announces U.S. to leave WHO

The Trump administration on Tuesday formally notified the United Nations that it is withdrawing the United States from the WHO, a move that prompted swift criticism from Democrats and showed Trump’s impulse to isolate the country even during a public health crisis.

July 7

Florida unsafe for visitors?

Nearly 1 out of every 100 residents in Florida is infected with the virus, hospital intensive care units are full or filling up and big-name visitors who chose Florida for their first post-isolation events are now mired in questions about safety.

July 6

Scientists urge WHO to address airborne spread of coronavirus

More than 200 scientists from over 30 countries are urging the World Health Organization to take more seriously the possibility of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus as case numbers rise around the world and surge in the United States.

July 5

Trump: 99% of virus is harmless

 Over the weekend, President Trump again played down the coronavirus as a serious threat, falsely claiming 99 percent of cases are harmlessIn many places, Americans continued to socialize in proximity, without masks.
Much of the rest of the world is taking a very different approach. It is slowly moving back toward more normal functioning, without setting off major new outbreaks.

July 4

“We have tested over 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless. Results that no other country will show, because no other country has testing that we have — not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality.” – Trump 7/4

July 3

“We need to live with it”

Eager to move forward and reopen the economy amid a recession and a looming presidential election, the White House is now pushing acceptance of the Covis-19 virus.

“The virus is with us, but we need to live with it,” is how one White House official said the administration plans to message on the pandemic. | Source NBC News

For This Fourth of July, Officials Say Celebrate Freedom by Staying Home

In the face of cases reaching disheartening new highs, with at least 15 states setting single-day reporting records this week, health officials around the country have urged Americans to scale back their holiday plans. | Source: NY Times

Texas virus surge forces a new mask mandate

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday issued a statewide mandate requiring Texans to wear masks in public in any county with 20 or more positive covid-19 cases — a dramatic move that comes as cases in the state continue to climb. On Thursday, Texas reported 7,915 new cases of the coronavirus. | Source: Washington Post

Secret Service agents preparing for Pence Arizona trip contracted coronavirus

Vice President Pence’s trip to Arizona this week had to be postponed by a day after several Secret Service agents who helped organize the visit either tested positive for the coronavirus or were showing symptoms of being infected.

July 2

Masks and the Culture Wars

Asked whether Americans should be required to wear them, Trump said he wasn’t sure they should be mandatory but noted: “I’m all for masks. I think masks are good. I would wear one if I were in a group of people and I was close.”

Some Republicans have shunned masks because President Trump has declined to wear them and stressed that doing so was voluntary. “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,” he said in April.

Mr. Trump also said that he believed the virus was “going to sort of just disappear,” even as cases rise rapidly across the nation. | Source: NY Times

U.S. Sets Record Ahead of Holiday Weekend

The United States set a single-day case record for the fifth time in a little over a week. Heading into the Fourth of July holiday, officials warn residents to stay home

July 1

Fauci before Senate: Death toll “is going to be very disturbing”

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, warned lawmakers Tuesday that there may be as many as 100,000 new cases per day, 2.5 times the present record rate of infections, if the United States continues on its current trajectory. When asked by the Senate’s health committee what the overall American death toll might be, Fauci said: “I can’t make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing.” 

Mushrooming outbreak in U.S.

The United States announced more than 48,000 new coronavirus infections yesterday, another daily record and an increase of 80 percent in the past two weeks. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned the Senate that the number could soon reach 100,000 a day if the country does not act quickly | Source: NY Times

The hope that summer’s warm weather would help, that the sacrifices made in March and April would be sufficient, that a miracle cure would arrive — all have been dashed. The United States faces a crisis unseen in recent generations, and if it deepens, the pain won’t be only in illness and death but also in education and economics.

Washington Post

June 30

Dr. Fauci to Testify Before Congress Again

Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top health officials will today speak about the virus, which is surging in at least 30 states. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern, and The New York Times will have live coverage.

June 29

The worldwide toll is continuing to rise, with over 10 million confirmed cases. More than a quarter of deaths have been in the United States.

Trump skips Covid meetings; blocks Fauci from media appearances

  • President Trump no longer participates in many coronavirus meetings, delegating the health crisis to Vice President Pence while the president focuses on his troubled reelection campaign.
  • The White House has blocked Anthony S. Fauci, its blunt-talking expert on infectious diseases, from some media appearances. | Source: Washington Post

Trump’s Covid response called “Amateur Hour” by former NIH head

A former National Institutes of Health chief says the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus has been “amateur hour” and said the administration “doesn’t want to or has no concept of what it takes to protect the American people and the world.” | Source: NPR

Pence now wearing mask, but not Trump

Vice President Mike Pence made a point of wearing a face mask during public events over the weekend as he and top public health officials said face coverings were critical to reversing recent spikes in coronavirus cases.

His actions stood in stark contrast to those of President Trump, who has steadfastly refused to wear a mask as a way of modeling behavior for the public — even as the nation’s top doctors have said they increasingly believe doing so is a critical step in containing the spread of the virus. | Source: NY Times

June 28

The number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. is surging

Infections nationwide have risen 65 percent over the past two weeks, including in several states that were among the first to reopen. By Saturday evening, more than 41,000 cases of the coronavirus had been announced across the U.S., including single-day records in Nevada, South Carolina and Florida; above Miami on Friday.

June 27

“Something’s not working,” says the country’s top infectious-diseases expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci

States reported nearly 38,500 new cases. Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada reported daily highs, | Source: Washington Post

43% of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Linked to Nursing Homes

At least 54,000 residents and workers have died from the coronavirus at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for older adults in the United States, according to a New York Times database. As of June 26, the virus has infected more than 282,000 people at some 12,000 facilities

June 26

CDC says Covid numbers are actually far worse

CDC Director Robert Redfield acknowledged serology testing the agency has conducted suggests about 20 million Americans, or roughly 6% of the population, has contracted Covid-19. Redfield said for every person who tests positive, another 10 cases have likely gone undiagnosed. | Source: StatNews

All-time high in new U.S. cases

The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the US hit an all-time high of 40,000 Friday — eclipsing the mark set during one of the deadliest stretches in late April  | Source: Boston Globe

Trump works to end health insurance for 23 million

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late Thursday to overturn the Affordable Care Act. If successful, the move would end health-insurance coverage, in the midst of a pandemic, for as many as 23 million Americans

June 25

Highest single-day totals of new cases in U.S.

The U.S. recorded 36,880 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day total so far. While some of that reflects an increase in testing, the virus really is spreading more rapidly than it was several weeks ago. Across much of Europe and Asia, by contrast, the situation is less dire. | Source: New York Times

June 24

No kidding

“None of us have ever been told to slow down on testing,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told a congressional panel yesterday. “It’s the opposite. We’re going to be doing more testing, not less.”

Trump has faced criticism for telling a Saturday campaign rally — where most attendees did not wear masks, ignoring CDC recommendations — that he wanted to slow coronavirus testing.

White House aides said the president’s remarks were in jest, but on Tuesday, Trump doubled down.

“I don’t kid,” he told reporters before praising the US testing scheme as the best in the world.
“By having more tests, we find more cases,” Trump said, even suggesting the high number is a political liability for him during an election year.

June 23

Trump claims he was semi-joking about “slowing down” testing during pandemic

Trump described his Tulsa rally call to slow down testing as “semi-tongue-in-cheek,” but he still blamed the country’s rising coronavirus caseload on the large number of tests conducted so far. | Source: Washington Post

Fauci to testify before congress

Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, is set to testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday alongside other leading public health officials, as the United States grapples with the course of its response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

USA now has 1 in 5 of the word’s new cases

As the virus spreads at record speeds around the world, the United States accounted for 20 percent of all the new infections worldwide on Sunday, according to New York Times data, even as the country’s population makes up about 4.3 percent of the world’s.

New cases continued to surge over the weekend in 22 states, especially in the West and the South. Oklahoma and Missouri reported their largest single-day case increases yet on Sunday.

June 22

Increased caseload in the U.S. is not solely the result of more testing

As the curve of infections in the United States begins to bulge again after flattening in the spring, the Trump administration tried to reset expectations about its efforts to contain the coronavirus and acknowledged that there would most likely be another wave of cases this fall.

Trump officials Peter Navarro also said that a comment by President Trump over the weekend about wanting to slow down virus testing had been “tongue in cheek.”| Source: NY Times

In USA – one continuous forest fire

In states with recent increases, like Arizona, California, North Carolina and Texas, the number of confirmed cases has been rising almost continually since March. Michael Osterholm, a prominent epidemiologist, said Americans should not be thinking about new waves but rather about one continuous “forest fire.”

June 21

Trump jokes about the “Kung Flu” virus at Tulsa rally

Trump’s Tulsa rally, feared as a ‘superspreader,’ is lightly attended

President Trump, ignoring the health guidance of local officials in Tulsa, Okla., held his first campaign-style rally in several months Saturday night. Speaking to a sparse, mostly mask-free crowd in a 19,000-seat indoor arena that he had hoped to pack, Mr. Trump claimed he wanted to slow down testing of the virus that has killed 121,000 Americans. | Source: NY Times

Florida and South Carolina break new-cases records for the third straight day

For the third straight day, Florida and South Carolina broke their single-day records for new cases, while infection levels for Missouri and Nevada also reached new highs on Saturday.

And on Friday, the United States reported more than 30,000 new infections, its highest total since May 1, with cases rising in 19 states across the South, West and Midwest.

Florida reported 4,049 new cases on Saturday, breaking Friday’s record (3,822) and Thursday’s record (3,207). The state now has had 93,797 cases and 3,144 deaths.

South Carolina broke its record with 1,155 new cases; Nevada had 452 and Missouri had 375.

June 20

Death tolls in U.S. will rise over coming weeks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the U.S. death toll could rise to as high as 145,000 by July 11. At least 117,000 have already died.

W.H.O. Warns of ‘Dangerous Phase’ of Pandemic as Outbreaks Widen

Beijing and Seoul have had a recent surge in coronavirus cases, and businesses are recoiling in America as infections sharply increase in Southern and Western states. | Source: NY Times

June 19

#TrumpDeathClock on Twitter

Tulsa worries about large-scale outbreak of coronavirus after Trump rally

A number of Tulsa residents and business owners, alarmed by the prospect of a large-scale outbreak of coronavirus if the Trump Rally proceeds, have sued the venue manager attempting to block the event unless it is held in accordance with social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Tulsa County judge on Tuesday denied the request for a temporary injunction, but the decision was appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. | Source: Washington Post

Warren: Did government officials profit from Covid?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is leading a group of Democratic lawmakers in an investigation of what they describe as “egregious” financial conflicts of interest in the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, citing top officials’ financial stake in companies involved with the all-important effort to find a COVID-19 vaccine. | Source: Rolling Stone

June 18

Florida set another new coronavirus case record Thursday with a jump of 3,207 new cases. The state is facing a spike of cases, reporting over 1,000 new cases in 15 of the 16 previous days. | Source: The Daily Beast

Vice President Mike Pence lied about Oklahoma’s coronavirus cases to defend Trump’s rally

” … On June 16, at least three other fact checks of Pence’s comments were published. PolitiFact rated his claim “false” and thoroughly debunked his assertion…” | Source: PolitiFact; Media Matters for America

Dr. Fauci warns of baseball in October

“If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave, ” Fauci said. | Source: NPR

Op-Ed: Mike Pence is a case study in irresponsibility

Vice President Pence, who heads the White House task force on the coronavirus pandemic, has been a case study in irresponsibility … Pence (has) declared, “We are winning the fight against the invisible enemy” and took the media to task for worrying about a second wave. “Such panic is overblown.”

The pandemic is still raging. Try as they might to spin a recovery story, Mr. Pence and Mr. Trump destroy their own credibility by ignoring reality. The American people know this is not “cause for celebration.” | Source: Washington Post

Mission Accomplished: Trump believes virus is “fading away”

The Trump administration has largely stopped treating the coronavirus as a crisis, with the president saying in an interview Wednesday night that it was “fading away.” The White House’s task force now meets just twice a week. Experts like Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx speak to the president less often. The country’s designated “testing czar” has returned to his old job. | Source: NY Times

Reality Check for Colleges

“Colleges are deluding themselves,” Michael J. Sorrell, the president of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, wrote in The Atlantic. Laurence Steinberg, a Temple University psychologist, wrote a Times Op-Ed arguing that the reopening plans were “so unrealistically optimistic that they border on delusional” | Sources: NY Times, The Atlantic

June 17

Florida, Texas and Arizona all set records for the most cases they have reported in a single day.

Higher-income individuals not spending since COVID

The wealthy aren’t holding back because they don’t have the money. By and large, they have lost fewer jobs and aren’t the ones who are worried about making rent.

That’s potentially crippling because consumer spending is a huge driver of economic activity. In fact, so much of the country’s economy depends on shopping by the top income bracket, that the lack of spending by 25% of the wealthiest Americans made up fully two-thirds of the total decline in spending since January.

They have a lot of discretionary income and before the pandemic, were spending a significant chunk of that going to nice restaurants, the theater, or traveling and staying in nice hotels. Those are precisely the things that have been off limits since the coronavirus hit. | Source: NPR

Fauci would not attend Trump rally: “Of course not”

“No,” Fauci responded when asked by the Daily Beast if he would personally make an appearance at the rally.

“I’m in a high-risk category. Personally, I would not. Of course not,” Fauci, 79, said in an interview published Tuesday night. He added that in the case of Trump’s rallies “outside is better than inside, no crowd is better than crowd” and “crowd is better than big crowd.” It is unclear if Fauci had been asked to go or if he ever planned on attending.

Coronavirus Tests Costs in U.S. Unregulated

U.S. health care prices are unregulated, opaque and unpredictable. When Congress required insurers to cover Covid-19 testing, a few providers decided to take advantage. Source: NY Times

June 16

Pence: It’s the testing, stupid

On a private call yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors to say that cases are growing nationwide because of an increase in testing. Public health experts say this is misleading.

June 15

FDA Pulls Emergency Covid-19-Use Approval for Hydroxychloroquine, Taken by Trump

The Food and Drug Administration has revoked its emergency-use authorization for two malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, for the treatment of the Covid-19 disease.

“It is no longer reasonable to believe” the two drugs “may be effective in treating Covid-19,” said Denise M. Hinton, the FDA’s chief scientist said in a Monday letter. Nor is it reasonable to believe, she added, that “known and potential benefits of these products outweigh their known and potential risks.” | Source: The Wall Street Journal

New outbreak in China

Beijing has set about testing hundreds of thousands of people for coronavirus in an exhaustive effort to stamp out a new eruption of the disease in the Chinese capital. Chinese authorities mbilized almost 100,000 community workers to carry out tests on everyone who has worked in or visited the Xinfadi market in the southwest of Beijing.

Are female leaders better equipped to handle Covid?

I compiled death rates from the coronavirus for 21 countries around the world, 13 led by men and eight by women. The male-led countries suffered an average of 214 coronavirus-related deaths per million inhabitants. Those led by women lost only one-fifth as many, 36 per million.

If the United States had the coronavirus death rate of the average female-led country, 102,000 American lives would have been saved out of the 114,000 lost.

“Countries led by women do seem to be particularly successful in fighting the coronavirus,” noted Anne W. Rimoin, an epidemiologist at U.C.L.A. “New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway have done so well perhaps due to the leadership and management styles attributed to their female leaders.” | Source NY Times

June 14

Fauci: Normality is a year away

With coronavirus cases rising in states across the country, Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, warned waves of infection could come “back and forth” for months and said it could be about a year before things return to normal.

“I would hope to get to some degree of real normality within a year or so. But I don’t think it’s this winter or fall, we’ll be seeing it for a bit more,” Fauci told the British Telegraph newspaper in an interview published Sunday.

June 13

NY Times: Surge expected in U.S.

The warning that echoed ominously for weeks is becoming a reality: Once states begin to reopen, a surge in coronavirus cases will follow.
Thousands of Americans have been sickened by the virus in new outbreaks, particularly in the Sun Belt and the West. As of Friday, coronavirus cases were climbing in 22 states amid reopenings. Arizona, Texas and Florida are reporting their highest case numbers yet.
California and Washington have reopened in a more incremental way, but have still seen an uptick in cases. Outdoor dining in San Francisco, above, began on Friday. Here’s where cases are rising the fastest.

June 12

Trump: Time for a rally … but don’t sue us

The Trump campaign is telling people who sign up for its first rally since the pandemic began that they are effectively agreeing not to sue the campaign or the venue if they contract the coronavirus

Florida And S.C. Report New Spikes In Coronavirus Cases

A record high in South Carolina. A two-month high in Florida. Record hospitalizations in Texas. Several states that were among the first to reopen their economies are now reporting spikes in new coronavirus cases, driving an alarming trend that has propelled the U.S. to 2 million cases.

Florida reported nearly 1,700 new cases Thursday morning — “the biggest jump since March,” as NPR member station WLRN reported. Hours after the state published that data, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his plan to reopen schools in August, urging local governments to aim for “full capacity” when they resume classes. | Source: NPR

Stocks Fall Sharply

Stocks fell sharply yesterday, with the S&P 500 dropping 5.9 percent, its biggest decline in nearly three months. The decline seemed to reflect a growing recognition that the pandemic would weaken the economy for a long time. In recent days, multiple employers have announced new job cuts, including BP; the University of Denver; and the city of Peoria, Ill.

Study: Covid-Lockdown Could Make America’s Gun Problem Worse

Stress and isolation combined with another feature of American life — easy access to firearms — could form a deadly brew.

Last week we released results of a new study — the largest ever on the connection between suicide and handgun ownership — in The New England Journal of Medicine revealing that gun owners were nearly four times as likely to die by suicide than people without guns, even when controlling for gender, age, race and neighborhood.

June 11

States that relaxed stay-at-home orders now reporting record-breaking hospitalizations

Covid-19 hospitalizations in at least nine states have been on the rise since Memorial Day, disproving the notion that spikes in cases are solely because of the continued increase in testing. Texas, for example — which was one of the first states to relax stay-at-home orders — reported record-breaking hospitalizations Monday and Tuesday. | Source: Washington Post

Bleak economic forecast

In their first economic projections this year, officials at the Federal Reserve said they expected the unemployment rate to end 2020 at 9.3 percent and to remain elevated for years. The Fed pledged to do “whatever we can” to support the recovery. “This is the biggest economic shock, in the U.S. and the world, really, in living memory,” Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, said.
A call for more stimulus: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called for “another bipartisan legislation to put more money into the economy.” The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have been sending mixed messages about more stimulus.

June 10

Fauci warns of “worst nightmare”

Some covid-19 patients taken off ventilators are taking days or even weeks to wake up

That question is baffling neurologists and rehabilitation physicians treating patients with severe covid-19 cases. A significant number of those who have spent long periods on ventilators are taking days or weeks — rather than hours — to awaken from medically induced comas. | Source: Washington Post

Outbreak in Arizona

Experts around the country and in Arizona are raising alarms about Arizona’s COVID-19 situation because cases and hospitalizations have increased for the past two weeks.

“I would go so far as to say alarming,” said Dr. William Hanage, an epidemiology professor at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

Arizona’s largest hospital system warned over the past week that its intensive care units are filling up, ventilator use was on the rise and capacity was reached for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation treatment. | Source: USA Today

More than half the states are failing to report likely coronavirus cases to the federal government

More than half the states are failing to report likely coronavirus cases to the federal government — sometimes excluding even those who tested positive for viral antibodies or had covid-19 listed on their death certificates.  The failures have alarmed health experts, who note that probable deaths were reported in previous outbreaks such as the H1N1 flu in 2009.

June 9

Quarantines prevented hundreds of millions of cases, study finds

The coronavirus would have infected nearly one in five Americans, 60 million people, in the first few weeks of the outbreak without shutdowns or social distancing, according to a peer-reviewed study led by the University of California at Berkeley. The paper credited quarantine policies with preventing hundreds of millions of cases globally through early April, and a separate study estimated that shutdowns saved at least 3.1 million lives in Europe. | Source: Washington Post

June 7

W.H.O. Finally Endorses Masks to Prevent Coronavirus Transmission

The agency had been opposed to public use of masks, even after governments worldwide had recommended them.

Long after most nations urged their citizens to wear masks, and after months of hand-wringing about the quality of the evidence available, the World Health Organization on Friday endorsed the use of face masks by the public to reduce transmission of the coronavirus.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, surprisingly, the W.H.O. had refused to endorse masks. The announcement was long overdue, critics said, as masks are an easy and inexpensive preventive measure. Source: NY Times

June 6

A ‘misclassification error’ made the May unemployment rate look better than it is

Some took this as a sign that President Trump or one of his staffers may have tinkered with the data to make it look better, especially since most forecasters predicted the unemployment rate would be close to 20 percent in May, up from 14.7 percent in April. But economists and former BLS leaders from across the political spectrum strongly dismissed that idea.

June 5

Unemployment approaches 20 percent

The U.S. government is expected to report that the country’s unemployment rate last month approached 20 percent, the highest level since the Great Depression.

Authors retract study showing hydroxychloroquine was dangerous

Today, three of the authors of the paper, “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, have retracted their study. They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” | Source: The Lancet

Dozens of covid-19 testing sites in vulnerable communities have been forced to close amid civil unrest

The closures add to fears that a national wave of protests inspired by the past week’s police killing of George Floyd will spread the virus, which continues to kill roughly 1,000 Americans a day on average. | Source: Washington Post

June 4

More than 1.8 million Covid-19 cases have been reported in the U.S., with 34 states and jurisdictions reporting more than 10,000 cases. Continue to help slow the spread by staying home when sick and washing your hands often

Statistics from June 2

Fencing installed around White House

General Mattis excoriates the president for setting Americans against one another

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

June 3

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 379,500 people and sickened 6.3 million. | Source: NY Times

Covid cases expected to rise after protests

Epidemiologists said the demonstrations would almost certainly lead to more cases. And a Times review detailed a series of failures at the C.D.C

CBS News

Reloacting Republican National Convention

President Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention will be moved out of Charlotte, N.C., party officials said Tuesday night, after indications that the entire event might be relocated because of a high-stakes feud with Democratic officials in North Carolina.

June 2

Authoritarians in Brazil, Russia, Britain and U.S. failing on Covid-19

The four large countries where coronavirus cases have been increasing fastest — Brazil, the U.S., Russia and Britain — have something in common: They are all run by populist male leaders who cast themselves as anti-elite and anti-establishment.
“Very often they rail against intellectuals and experts of nearly all types,” Steven Levitsky, a Harvard political scientist … The leaders, he said, “claim to have a kind of common-sense wisdom that the experts lack. This doesn’t work very well versus Covid-19.” | Source: NY Times

Trump holds bible and warns of ordering the military into cities

In Washington, police officers used tear gas and flash grenades to clear a path through a peaceful protest so President Trump could visit a nearby Episcopal church, St. John’s, where he posed for photos holding a Bible. An Episcopal bishop in Washington said she was “outraged” that he used the church “as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.” Trump also warned he would order the military into cities if local officials could not control their streets. | Source NY Times

June 1

America is “without a President”

Trump lacks the intellectual ability to process what is happening and why. He lacks the mental composition and fortitude to make smart decisions in a crisis. He lacks the moral authority to speak to the nation at a moment of crisis. America is in chaos and without a President.

– Steven Schmidt

Officials warn that protests could set off second wave of coronavirus infections

U.S. public health officials are warning that the massive countrywide demonstrations against police brutality, which show no sign of abating, could be followed by a sudden increase in novel coronavirus cases.

“We still have pockets of spread in communities that aren’t under good control,” former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a Sunday interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” Minnesota, the epicenter of the protests, has had an uptick in new cases and hospitalizations in recent days, he said. | Source CBS News

Poll: First, Control the Virus

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say the coronavirus outbreak has exacted a severe economic toll on their communities, but a majority of a divided country still says controlling the virus’s spread is more important than trying to restart the economy, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

May 31

The reopening of America was always going to be fraught, with competing fears of new virus outbreaks and economic meltdown. Now cities across the nation, from New York to Chicago and Los Angeles, are reeling from unrest that could worsen both. Violence erupted in dozens of cities following the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes. Some demonstrators broke off to rampage through shopping districts, including Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and State Street in Chicago, and set fire to police cars and municipal buildings. The chaos, amid otherwise peaceful protests, struck as the economy struggles to emerge from its coronavirus-enforced hibernation.

After the Covid-19 deaths of more than 104,000 Americans, unprecedented government intervention and massive disruptions to business and everyday life, the scenes of unrest across the country were a bleak contrast to the recent optimism of the markets. The S&P 500 registered its second straight monthly advance on Friday. | Source: Bloomberg

May 30

U.S. should reconsider decision to end relationship with WHO, European leaders say

European Union leaders on Saturday urged President Trump to reconsider his decision to end the United States’ relationship with the World Health Organization, saying international cooperation was essential to succeed in controlling the coronavirus pandemic.

“The WHO needs to continue being able to lead the international response to pandemics, current and future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President Josep Borrell said in a statement. | Source: Washington Post

Researchers say death toll hit 100,000 three weeks ago

Coronavirus deaths in the United States probably surpassed 100,000 three weeks before the official death toll reached that milestone, according to an analysis by The Washington Post and researchers from the Yale School of Public Health.

May 29

Poll: Republicans object to wearing masks

recent Quinnipiac University poll shows overwhelming support among Democrats for mask wearing, but a little more than one-third of Republicans feel the same.

Florida Attorney Jeff Childers: “It’s not an objection to wearing a mask. It’s an objection to being coerced to wear a mask.”| Source: NPR

Trump retweets a video saying ‘the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat’

A video by an account called “Cowboys for Trump” in which the speaker begins by saying, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” The speaker quickly qualifies that he’s not speaking literally.

At precisely midnight, the president felt this was the kind of message that people needed to see. “Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!” he said in a retweet.

May 28

Trump campaign is creating an alternate reality on Covid-19

Fact Checker

Unmasking the ignorant: Biden calls Trump a “fool”

Trump continues to mock those who wear them, including his Democratic rival Joe Biden. Trump dismissed a mask-wearing reporter as being “politically correct” on Tuesday. At the same time, Biden called Trump a “fool” for mocking their use.

In Trump’s America: Death and more death

The United States has had 28 percent of global deaths despite having only 4 percent of the world’s population. 

President Trump has spent his life in thrall to numbers — his wealth, his ratings, his polls. Even during the deadly coronavirus pandemic, he has remained fixated on certain metrics — peppering aides about infection statistics, favoring rosy projections and obsessing over the gyrating stock market.

But as the nation reached a bleak milestone this week — 100,000 Americans dead from the novel coronavirus — Trump has been uncharacteristically silent.

Ashley Parker | Washington Post 5/28/2020

New Executive Order aimed at Twitter for flagging Trump lies

May 27

100,000 U.S. Deaths

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has reached a somber milestone: as of Wednesday afternoon, the highly infectious viral disease has taken more than 100,000 lives nationwide. |Source: NPR

France bans drug Trump claims he’s taking

France has banned the use of the controversial anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat people with COVID-19, the diseased caused by the new coronavirus. The move follows the publication of initial findings from a large-scale study that found the drug offered no benefit to patients, and could in fact be harmful.

The Lancet medical journal reported on May 22 that the observational study on nearly 100,000 patients from multiple countries found a higher mortality rate and an increased frequency of irregular heartbeats in patients who were given hydroxychloroquine.

Trump defends himself on Twitter

“The Radical Left Lamestream Media, together with their partner, the Do Nothing Democrats, are trying to spread a new narrative that President Trump was slow in reacting to Covid 19,” Trump tweeted. “Wrong, I was very fast, even doing the Ban on China long before anybody thought necessary!”

May 26

UK buys 16 million tabs of Hydroxychloroquine

Meatpacker industry hiding data from workers

Dozens of meatpacking plants are reopening, even as the extent of the viral outbreaks at many remains unknown. Meatpacking companies and local officials in some places have chosen to withhold the data, partly to avoid bad publicity. “At this point, we are not doing anything to cast them in a bad light,” a county health official in Colorado wrote in an email, referring to a Cargill plant.
Trump issued an executive order last month designating meat plants “critical infrastructure” that must stay open. The order did not address issues like testing, leading many companies to reopen plants without fully assessing whether employees had contracted the virus. | Source: NY Times

Death toll mounts in U.S.

Sometime in the next few days, the official coronavirus death count will likely exceed 100,000. The true count is even higher — probably closer to 130,000. This larger number includes people who had the virus but weren’t diagnosed, as well as those who died for indirect reasons, such as delaying medical treatment for other illnesses.
Either way, the toll is greater than the combined death count from every war that the U.S. has fought in the past 60 years: Vietnam, Iraq, Iraq again, Afghanistan and elsewhere. | Source: NY Times

May 25

90 days ago: 0 deaths

80 days ago: 12 deaths

70 days ago: 65 deaths

60 days ago: 938 deaths

50 days ago: 8,488 deaths

40 days ago: 26,033 deaths

30 days ago: 51,017 deaths

20 days ago: 67,682 deaths

10 days ago: 85,886 deaths

Memorial Day 2020: 97,711 deaths

“I again remind everyone that the coronavirus is not yet contained. It is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community.”
– Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn

Trump threatens funds for states easing voting in pandemic

“Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. That brought strong criticism from Democrats in Michigan and elsewhere, pointing out that the state was sending applications, not actual ballots, an error the president corrected in a subsequent tweet six hours later. He stuck with the rest of his tweet: “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!” | Source: PBS

May 24

Behind Trump’s demand to reopen churches: Slipping poll numbers and alarm inside his campaign

The anxiety over Trump’s standing with the Christian right surfaced after a pair of surveys by reputable outfits earlier this month found waning confidence in the administration’s coronavirus response among key religious groups, with a staggering decline in the president’s favorability among white evangelicals and white Catholics. | Source: Politico

May 23

Trump heads to golf course as death toll nears 100,000

Donald Trump teed up fresh controversy on Saturday, by leaving the White House for his golf course in Virginia. As of Saturday morning, more than 1.6m cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed in the US, with the death toll approaching 100,000.| Source: The Guardian

More than half are Covid-related Tweets are bots

Carnegie Mellon University researchers analyzed over 200 million tweets discussing COVID-19 and related issues since January and found that roughly half the accounts — including 62% of the 1,000 most influential retweeters — appeared to be bots, they said in a report published this week. | Source: Business Insider

Trump unhappy with his Fox News coverage

“Many will disagree, but Fox News is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd,”
– Source: Trump said in a series of tweets 5/23. 

Opinion: Conspiracy theories growing and more dangerous than ever

“It doesn’t much matter if someone thinks that UFOs landed at Roswell, N.M., or that Elvis is still alive — but it matters greatly if someone thinks that the coronavirus isn’t real or that a vaccine may be more dangerous than the disease. Such beliefs, if they become widespread, pose a danger to public health. Indeed, anti-vaccine activists are already a menace.” – Max Boot | Washington Post

Opinion: Trump ordering churches to open is pandering to Religious Right

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss Trump’s call to reopen houses of worship despite the pandemic (watch below) | Source: PBS

May 22

Flags ordered at half-staff as death toll approaches 100,000

“Our nation mourns for every life lost to the coronavirus pandemic, and we share in the suffering of all those who endured pain and illness from the outbreak,” read the proclamation that was signed by Mr. Trump. He ordered American flags to be flown at half-staff through Sunday.
The death toll in the United States is expected to pass the grim milestone of 100,000 in the coming days.

Airline Travel industry operating at 10%

Airline travel remains at only about 10 percent of normal levels, despite few restrictions on flying. “Even when everything is open, our economy won’t recover until people feel safe resuming their normal lives,” they write.

May 21

Trump “not welcomed” in Michigan

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said President Trump‘s decision not to wear a mask at a Ford plant in her state Thursday shows he is a “petulant child who refuses to follow the rules.”

“The president is a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules, and I have to say, this is no joke,” Nessel said during an on-air appearance on CNN on Thursday. | Source: The Hill

Asian American doctors and nurses are fighting racism and the coronavirus

Across the country, Asian American health-care workers have reported a rise in bigoted incidents. The racial hostility has left Asian Americans, who represent 6 percent of the U.S. population but 18 percent of the country’s physicians and 10 percent of its nurse practitioners, in a painful position on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus pandemic …

Asian Americans have experienced a sharp increase in racist verbal abuse and physical attacks during the pandemic, with the FBI warning of a potential surge in hate crimes …

Some academic experts on race say President Trump’s rhetoric around the virus and China has contributed to the rise in racial harassment. For weeks, Trump deliberately referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus”| Source: Washington Post

Dismal economic projections

“CBO estimates that real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will contract by 11 percent in the second quarter of this year, which is equivalent to a decline of 38 percent at an annual rate. In the second quarter, the number of people employed will be almost 26 million lower than the number in the fourth quarter of 2019.” Source: The Congressional Budget Office of the United States

May 20

Trump continue to push hydroxychloroquine

“I would encourage any person over the age of 65 or with an underlying medical condition to talk to their own physician about taking hydroxychloroquine and I’m relieved President Trump is taking it.”
– Kansas Republican Rep. Roger Marshall 

U.S. confirms over 1.5 million cases

Source: CBS

U.S. Economic Stimulus does not appear to be working

Much of the rest of the world — including Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and South Korea — has followed one strategy on coronavirus stimulus. Governments have temporarily paid the salaries of workers in order to prevent millions of layoffs. The United States has taken a different path. It created a complicated mix of different stimulus policies, including loans to businesses and checks for families. This approach doesn’t appear to be working: The U.S. has had a sharper rise in unemployment than other countries. Many jobless Americans have also lost their health insurance — in the midst of a pandemic. | Source: NY Times

May 19

Death toll in U.S. nears 90,000

More than 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases have been recorded in the United States, where the death toll is nearing 90,000. Globally, there have been 4.8 million confirmed infections and 317,000 deaths.

Pelosi says Trump is high risk because he is “morbidly obese”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized Trump’s decision to take “something that has not been approved by the scientists,” saying that he needs to be especially careful given his age (73) and weight group, which she categorized as “morbidly obese.”

May 18

Trump says that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine

Donald Trump said Monday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment for COVID-19 that he has vigorously promoted.

“A lot of good things have come out about the hydroxy. A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers — before you catch it. I happen to be taking it, I happen to be taking it… I’m taking it — hydroxychloroquine, right now.” | Source: NBC News

U.S. Deaths will top 100,000

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, says that forecasting models now predict that total US deaths from COVID-19 will surpass 100,000 by June 1.

$500 billion meant for coronavirus relief has lent barely any money so far

A $500 billion Treasury Department fund created by the Cares Act in March to help stabilize the economy has lent barely any money, according to an initial report issued by a new Congressional Oversight Commission … Congressional Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who headed a similar oversight commission after the 2008 financial crisis bailout, have criticized the money as a “slush fund” for corporations. | Source: Washington Post

Where are the tests?

By June 1, more than 100,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19. Compare that to South Korea’s 262 and Australia’s 98 current fatalities, where unlike Trump, leaders quickly implemented widespread testing and tracing programs. Public health officials isolated infected individuals, traced their contacts with others, followed the potential spread of the virus, and targeted the response.

As Trump failed to implement an effective nationwide testing program, he lied about it. Now he’s shifting the burden to individual states while urging governors to “reopen” in violation of his own testing and tracing standards. Even Trump’s medical experts agree that such a blind push to resume social and economic activity is a fool’s errand [ . . . ] Source: Bill Moyers

May 17

Trump has brought U.S. to “unparalleded humilation”

Trump’s Health Secretary: No virus ‘spikes’ after reopenings

Authorities are not seeing spikes in coronavirus cases in places that are reopening but are seeking increases in some areas that remain closed, U.S. health secretary Alex Azar said on Sunday.

“We are seeing that in places that are opening; we’re not seeing this spike in cases,” Azar said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “We still see spikes in some areas that are in fact close to very localized situations.” Source: Reuters

Health expert: We are only at the beginning of this health crisis

“The second inning of a nine inning situation,” according to infectious disease authority Dr. Michael Osterholm. He says a small percentage of the U.S. population is infected, and the virus will not slow down until about 60-70% of the public is infected (creating herd immunity) or an effective vaccine is developed. | Read More

Armed protesters waiving Trump signs of Michigan barber shop

Armed members of the Michigan Home Guard stood outside Karl Manke’s barbershop, ready to blockade the door if police arrived. They were determined to help Manke, 77, reopen his shop Monday, in defiance of state orders, and dozens joined them, wearing Trump sweatshirts and Trump cowboy hats and waving Trump flags.

Governor Whitmer said in an interview Tuesday that she worries Republican state lawmakers, who have said she does not have the authority to continue her coronavirus executive order, are pushing people to violate it.

Highest one-day new cases total in Texas

Texas reported 1,801 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, its highest one-day total since the pandemic began

Obama says U.S. leaders have botched pandemic response

Former president Barack Obama used a pair of virtual college commencement addresses Saturday to criticize the nation’s leaders for mishandling the response to the coronavirus pandemic. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge,” Obama said, without referring to President Trump by name.

May 16

White House ordered CDC to revise reopening guidelines

The White House called the draft guidance “too prescriptive” and said it amounted to “counter messaging” as the administration pushes governors to come up with their own reopening plans. | Source: Politico

72 people in Wisconsin test positive after attending ‘large gathering’ as state sees stay at home protests

Seventy-two individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 in Wisconsin recently attended a “large-gathering” before their diagnosis, according to a report.

According to The Progressive, the state’s Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed that they had gathered tracing data on a number of people who had contracted the virus.

Wisconsin Capitol Police said about 1,500 people attended the gathering and there were no arrests and no citations issued. Only one-third of protesters were said to be wearing masks at the event. | Source: The Independent

New Study Finds Hydroxychloroquine Does Not Help COVID-19, Can Cause Heart Attacks

The largest study to date on the use of hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus has confirmed earlier research that the anti-malarial drug could cause serious heart problems and is not an effective treatment for COVID-19. Trump has repeatedly touted the drug. The latest study — published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association — looked at nearly 1,500 patients in New York and found that those on hydroxychloroquine had a similar death rate to those who did not take it, but were more than twice as likely to suffer cardiac arrest. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert and adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “The nail has virtually been put in the coffin of hydroxychloroquine.” |Source: Democracy Now

Trump sets goal of hundreds of millions of vaccine doses by January. Scientists doubt it

President Trump formally unveiled an initiative Friday afternoon aimed at making hundreds of millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine broadly available by year’s end — a goal that many scientists say is unrealistic and could even backfire by shortchanging safety and undermining faith in vaccines more broadly | Source: Washington Post

CNN Report

Leading medical journal blasts Trump’s covid response – says he should be “replaced”

Lancet – one of the world’s oldest and best-known medical journals Friday slammed President Trump’s “inconsistent and incoherent national response” to the novel coronavirus pandemic and accused the administration of relegating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a “nominal” role.

The unsigned editorial from the Lancet concluded that Trump should be replaced.

May 15

Reopening: A Chronicle of Needless Deaths Foretold

You can’t put out a house fire in one room, let it keep burning in others, and expect to be safe. One week after Georgia reopened its businesses, over 60,000 people each day traveled from out of state to patronize restaurants, hair salons, bowling alleys, and movie theaters, all returning home from these close-quarters visits, some likely bringing Covid-19 with them | Source: The Nation

Bright calls Trump Response a Failure

Dr. Rick Bright, a government whistle-blower, told Congress that the Trump administration’s failure to develop a “coordinated plan” for the coronavirus has cost American lives.

Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, using discretion written into the coronavirus stabilization law, is using millions of dollars to pursue long-sought policy goals that Congress has blocked. | Source: NY Times

May 14

Vaccine expert testifies that federal officials ‘did not respond’ to his alerts about mask shortages

Rick Bright, a former top U.S. vaccine official testifying before Congress on Thursday, said the Department of Heath and Human Services “did not respond” when he raised concerns about shortages of medical materials such as N95 masks and testing supplies, prompting Bright to reach out to a White House adviser. Trump dismisses Bright as a “really unhappy disgruntled person.”| Source: Washington Post

Private jet company founded by Trump donor gets $27 million bailout

A private jet company founded by a donor to President Donald Trump received nearly $27 million in government funding under a program run by the Treasury Department, according to government filings. Source: NBC News

Trump’s preferred test missed a large number of positive results

The speedy Abbott test, which is supposed to determine in five to 13 minutes whether a person has the virus, missed a third of the positive samples found by the diagnostic company Cepheid when both tests used nasopharyngeal swabs, said the study done by a group from New York University. It missed more than 48 percent when both firms’ tests used dry nasal swabs. The former penetrates deeply into the nasal passages, while the latter is less invasive. Trump had hailed the test as “a whole new ballgame.” | Source: Washington Post

Nebraska’s Republican governor won’t reveal virus statistics

Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced last week they would no longer share figures. Residents in those communities want to know why, saying the data is crucial to understand how the virus is spreading and what precautions, if any, are being taken at the plants. More than a thousand have been infected at meatpacking plants, but state officials won’t say which ones. Workers and families say they have a right to know.| Source: Washington Post

Prices at the grocery store continue to get higher 

Costs for products across the board — meats, eggs, fruits and veggies, cereals and bakery items — rose in April. Overall, consumers paid 2.6 percent more in April for groceries, the largest one-month increase since February 1974.

May 13

Trump scolds Fauci

President Donald Trump on Wednesday reprimanded Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of his top health advisers, after the nation’s foremost infectious-diseases expert urged caution when it comes to reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“He wants to play all sides of the equation,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump chastised Fauci’s cautious approach on Wednesday during a meeting with governors at the White House, urging schools to open back up while ignoring Fauci’s warning.

“I was surprised by his answer, actually, because, you know, it’s just, to me, it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools,” Trump said. | Source: Politico

Watch a replay

Cheney backs Fauci as conservatives call for his removal

Rep. Liz Cheney’s support of the nation’s top infectious disease expert contrasted with the views of other conservatives, most recently Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and several big-name Fox News personalities, who publicly questioned Fauci’s credibility Tuesday following his testimony at the hearing on the U.S. coronavirus response. | Source: Washington Post

Masks are for liberals

“Wearing a mask is for smug liberals. Refusing to is for reckless Republicans.” That was the headline on a recent article in Politico by Ryan Lizza and Daniel Lippman that noted that “in a deeply polarized America, almost anything can be politicized.” | Source: Politico

Obama told to keep his mouth shut

Sen. Mitch McConnell said that President Obama “should have kept his mouth shut” instead of criticizing the Trump administration’s coronavirus response in a call with former staffers. | Source NY Times

May 12

Dr. Fauci warns of “needless suffering and death”

Dr. Anthony Fauci told The NY Times that he plans to warn the Senate today of “needless suffering and death” if the country reopens prematurely.

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Fauci wrote. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”

May 11

Trump walks out of press conference after being challenged

Ignorance showing “full-scale”

“I don’t think they grasp the impact of what they do and what they say on the American public. Even though his popularity is dropping and his ignorance is showing full-scale, I still think he’s the president and he and the vice president are a role model and really, really terrible role models in this horrendous pandemic, unfortunately.”

– Dr. Irwin Redlener, who leads Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness

Most White House officials will be asked to wear masks, but directive will not apply to Trump

Most White House officials will be asked to wear masks or face coverings in public spaces on complex grounds, a move to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading further inside the presidential compound, according to three administration officials with knowledge of a directive to be issued Monday.

The request does not apply to offices, however, and President Trump is still unlikely to wear a mask or face covering, aides say.

Trump cut a coronavirus researcher’s funding after unsubstantiated claims that COVID-19 is either manmade or leaked from a Chinese lab.

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges predicts economic Depression and growing Authoritarianism

“I don’t see how we’re going to avoid a real serious Depression. Huge numbers of people are going to die unnecessarily. As things deteriorate, the desire for an authoritarian solution will grow. ” – Source THE TRUTH REPORT with Chris Hedges

White House has become a ‘scary’ place to work

There are mounting fears of a coronavirus outbreak in the White House after two confirmed infections within the president’s orbit. “It is scary to go to work,” economic adviser Kevin Hassett admitted Sunday. But, he added: “It’s the time when people have to step up and serve their country.”

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he plans to wear a mask at all times in public. | Source: Washington Post

May 10

Please remove your masks

Participants in a roundtable with Vice President Mike Pence were asked to remove their masks before he arrived at the event in Iowa on Friday, May 8, 2020.
The discussion of agriculture and food supply chain issues was held at Hy-Vee headquarters in West Des Moines.

Obama blasts Trump for “chaotic” response

President Barack Obama told ex-members of his administration that President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus has been an “absolute chaotic disaster.” Obama also claimed the “rule of law is at risk” after the Department of Justice dropped charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“This election that’s coming up on every level is so important because 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,” Obama said.

“And by the way, we’re seeing that internationally as well. It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty. 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.”

Latest far-right tactic: Threatening people who report coronavirus lockdown violations

Public naming and threats are among the latest tactics being employed by far-right, neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups seeking to exploit the pandemic, according to organizations that track their activities.

White supremacists from “accelerationist” groups — which seek to weaken the political system that they believe has been diluted by multiculturalism — have sought to weaponize the deadly virus, calling on members to engage in direct attacks in order to expedite the collapse of society, said Joanna Mendelson, a national expert on extremism at the Anti-Defamation League. | Source: Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus flares as states and countries ease social distancing guidelines

The controversy over when, and how much, to open up has taken on sharp political overtones, with protests and occasional violence against those trying to keep the rules in place.

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement that a report by the Associated Press alleging the White House had held back restrictive recommendations from experts on how to safely reopen hinged on a premature “draft” that “had not been vetted through the interagency process.”

Trump watches as Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, holds up his face covering at a briefing April 22. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Fauci, other top health officials will quarantine after coronavirus exposure

Three of the country’s highest ranking health officials are self-quarantining after two White House aides tested positive for the novel coronavirus, raising questions about how the White House is responding to the challenge of maintaining a safe work environment for Trump, Pence and their staff.

Government turned down an offer to manufacture millions of N95 masks in America

Weeks before the crisis sent the government scrambling, Texas manufacturer Prestige Ameritech offered to restart four mothballed production lines. Federal officials did not take the company up on it.

Michael Bowen’s medical supply company, Prestige Ameritech, could ramp up production to make an additional 1.7 million N95 masks a week.

In the end, the government did not take Bowen up on his offer. Even today, production lines that could be making more than 7 million masks a month sit dormant.

Bowen’s overture was described briefly in an 89-page whistleblower complaint filed this week by Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Bright alleges he was retaliated against.

Source: Washington Post

The U.S. just lost 20 million jobs. 

The unemployment rate soared to 14.7 percent, hitting nearly every sector of the labor market. That means barely more than half the adult population of the U.S. now has a job

May 9

Death Toll in U.S. 77, 179

10 wks ago: 0 deaths

4 wks ago: 18,758 deaths

Right now: 77,179 deaths

Far-Right media, fringe groups claim death tolls are being inflated to take down Trump

Since the outset of the crisis, elements of the right have sought to bolster the president’s political standing and justify reopening the economy by questioning the death toll. Climate-change skeptics have employed techniques perfected in the fight over global warming to raise doubts about the deadliness of the virus. Others, including Mr. Trump’s media allies as well as some in the anti-vaccine movement, have repurposed fringe theories about “deep state” bureaucrats undermining the president to argue that the official numbers should not be trusted. (These include) followers of Qanon, who subscribe to a web of vague, baseless theories that a secret cabal in the government is trying to take down the president. | Source: NY Times

May 8

Trump Says Coronavirus Will ‘Go Away Without a Vaccine’. His Own Task Force Says It Won’t.

President Donald Trump said Friday that he believed the coronavirus pandemic would “go away without a vaccine,” contradicting countless warnings from the medical community and his own White House task force. “I feel about vaccines like I feel about tests,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday. “This is going to go away without a vaccine, it’s gonna go away, and we’re not going to see it again, hopefully, after a period of time.” – Source: The Daily Beast

Nebraska Ends Reporting on Meat Plant COVID-19 Cases

In Nebraska, local health officials have been banned from reporting on COVID-19 data from meat processing plants. Republican Governor Pete Ricketts said Wednesday that the state will no longer release the numbers, arguing it’s a matter of worker privacy. Meat processing plants are home to some of the largest coronavirus hot spots in the country, with thousands of confirmed cases and at least 20 deaths tied to meat plants. | Source: Democracy Now

Watchdog office says ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe ouster of vaccine official was retaliatory

The Office of Special Counsel has determined there are “reasonable grounds” to believe a former top vaccine official was removed from his post last month for retaliatory reasons and plans to recommend the Department of Health and Human Services reinstate him while it investigates, the official’s lawyers said Friday.

Rick Bright filed a whistleblower complaint this week that alleged he was reassigned because he resisted pressure from the department’s political leadership to make “potentially harmful drugs widely available,” including chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. President Trump has repeatedly pushed both as possible coronavirus cures.| Source: Washington Post

Member of Pence’s staff tests positive for coronavirus

The TSA Hoarded 1.3 Million N95 Masks Even Though Airports Are Empty

TSA officials stockpiled a huge shipment of N95 masks they knew they didn’t need even after two agency officials asked to donate them. Airport traffic fell 95 percent, and the masks have sat unused as hospitals searched desperately for them. | Source: ProPublica

Top Republican fundraiser and Trump ally named postmaster general, giving president new influence over Postal Service

A top donor to President Trump and the Republican National Committee will be named the new head of the Postal Service, putting a top ally of the president in charge of an agency where Trump has long pressed for major changes in how it handles its business.

The action will install a stalwart Trump ally to lead the Postal Service, which he has railed against for years.

In part because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Postal Service is projecting a $13 billion revenue shortfall by the end of the fiscal year in September.| Source: Washington Post

May 7

Trump administration shelves CDC guide to reopening country

A set of detailed documents created by the CDC – the nation’s top disease investigators meant to give step-by-step advice to local leaders deciding when and how to reopen public places such as mass transit, day care centers and restaurants during the still-raging pandemic has been shelved by the Trump administration.

It was supposed to be published last Friday, but agency scientists were told the guidance “would never see the light of day,” according to a CDC official.
– Source: Associated Press

Trump vows complete end of Obamacare law despite pandemic

The administration’s legal position seeks to end all of the law’s provisions, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions. “Obamacare, we run it really well,” Trump said. “But running it great, it’s still lousy health care.” | Source: Washington Post

Trump snaps at nurse who says PPE “sporadic”

Flashback March 6th: “Do you think it’s not being contained?”

73, 431 dead “Warriors” in U.S.

Trump: “I call these people (Covid Task Force) ‘warriors’. I actually now call the nation ‘warriors'”

Trump Reverses on Disbanding Coronavirus Task Force after Learning How ‘Popular’ It Is

Trump announced he would not disband the White House coronavirus task force, following confirmation on Tuesday that his administration was considering the option.

“I thought we could wind it down sooner,” Trump told reporters. “But I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday when I started talking about winding down. | Source: The National Review

May 6

Trump intends to defund World Health Organization

Trump said the United States had “foolishly” been funding the World Health Organization, which “missed every single call.” Two weeks ago, Trump announced his administration would temporarily halt U.S. funding for the WHO, pending a review of its actions related to the novel coronavirus outbreak. – Source: Washington Post

Trump: Testing “makes us look bad”

“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… 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.”| Source NPR

Priority #1: Open country for business

“Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.” – Trump 5/5/2020

Trump is disbanding his coronavirus task force.

Vice President Mike Pence said the decision was a “reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country” — despite growing evidence that the outbreak is still raging.
The task force was a key part of President Trump’s response: He often shared the stage with its medical experts, Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, during televised briefings. Noah Weiland, who covers health care for The Times, commented “If the task force dissolves, people like Dr. Fauci may have a less organized role at the White House.”
– Source: NY Times

May 5

Virus Whistle-Blower Says Trump Administration Steered Contracts to Cronies

Rick Bright – a federal scientist who says he was ousted from his job amid a dispute over an unproven coronavirus treatment pushed by President Trump said Tuesday that top administration officials repeatedly pressured him to steer millions of dollars in contracts to the clients of a well-connected consultant. – Source: NY Times

Trump says deaths will rise “rapidly”

Trump said that his forecast for the number of Americans who will die from the disease has increased.

“I used to say 65,000 and now I’m saying 80 or 90, and it goes up, it goes up rapidly,” Trump said

Trump tours factory without wearing a mask

Donald Trump spent Tuesday touring a Honeywell plant manufacturing medical face masks in Phoenix, Arizona, while declining to wear one himself as the Guns N’ Roses cover of the James Bond theme “Live and Let Die” blared over the Tannoy, an absolutely extraordinary spectacle. | Source: Yahoo News

Donald Trump was criticised overnight as news broke of plans to disband the White House coronavirus task force: AFP via Getty Images

“It’s May 5th, and President Trump still doesn’t have an adequate national testing strategy.” – Senator Chuck Schumer

Trump lashes out in early morning tweets

In fact, at nearly 1 a.m. (eastern) this morning, Trump published a quartet of furious tweets lashing out at the Lincoln Project’s leaders as “losers.” He took particular aim at George Conway, who’s married to White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, writing, “I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface, but it must have been really bad.”

Trump is “weaponizing” the Inspector General position

Asked about the results of the report at his April 6 news briefing, Mr. Trump declared: “It’s just wrong. Did I hear the word ‘inspector general’? Really? It’s wrong. And they’ll talk to you about it. It’s wrong.”

“Where did he come from, the inspector general? What’s his (sic) name? No, what’s his name? What’s his name?” When told of Ms. Grimm’s two-plus decades in government under Republican and Democratic administrations, Mr. Trump dismissed her as an Obama-era agent of the deep state, an attack he continued on Twitter the next day.

“We simply cannot allow President Trump to weaponize independent oversight positions in his administration to reward his friends, punish his political enemies and cover up wrongdoing.” | Source: NY Times

World leaders join to pledge $8 billion for vaccine, but the U.S. sits out

The multilateral effort stood in sharp contrast to the solo road the United States is on as scientists everywhere scramble to develop a vaccine to stop the virus that has ravaged most parts of the globe, leaving 250,000 dead so far. – Source: NY Times

68, 934 U.S. Deaths
251,898 Global Deaths

Johns Hopkins University

Dr Fauci: There is no evidence coronavirus was created in Chinese lab
– Source: National Geographic Interview

Dr. Fauci: “No evidence”

Trump: I wasn’t warned

Trump: “On January 23, I was told that there could be a virus coming in but it was of no real import. In other words it wasn’t, ‘Oh, we’ve got to do something, we’ve got to do something.’ It was a brief conversation, and it was only on January 23” – NBC News

May 4

Dr Birx: Protesters are “devastatingly worrisome”

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx said protesters’ disregard of social distancing is “devastatingly worrisome.” Meanwhile, governors are outlining plans to reopen along widely varying timelines as federal officials defend the White House’s decision to let states decide. – Source: Washingon Post

Daily death toll will reach about 3,000 by June 1

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths over the next several weeks. The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double the current number of about 1,750

Trump now expects deaths to top 100,000

In an event with Fox News at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday night, President Trump acknowledged that the coronavirus has turned out to be more devastating than he anticipated. He now expects up to 100,000 Americans to die from it, he said, and he continued to blame China.
– Source: NY Times

May 3

Pompeo contradicts himself in ABC News interview

May 2

Trump Moves to Replace Watchdog Who Identified Critical Medical Shortages

President Trump moved on Friday night to replace a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services who angered him with a report last month highlighting supply shortages and testing delays at hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. | Read More

Dana Milbank: Trump’s gun-toting supporters are firing blanks

“At the American Patriot Rally at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on Thursday, many of the hundreds of protesters wore red “Make America Great Again” caps or flew “Trump 2020” banners and “Build the Wall” or “Drain the Swamp” signs. Others waved the yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags of the tea party. Demonstrators, several armed with military-style guns, then marched into the statehouse and stared down the police.

What did they propose to do with these weapons? Shoot the virus? Shoot the governor? Shoot themselves in the foot?” – Continue Reading

Trump blocks Fauci from testifying before House panel

The White House is blocking Anthony S. Fauci from testifying before a House subcommittee investigating the coronavirus outbreak and response, arguing that it would be “counterproductive” for him to appear next week while in the midst of participating in the government’s response to the pandemic. – Source: Washington Post

May 1

Trump contradicts U.S. Intelligence Agency and claims to have seen evidence that coronavirus originated at Wuhan lab

Trump said on Thursday that he has seen information that gives him “a high degree of confidence” that the novel coronavirus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Earlier, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced in a statement that COVID-19 was “not manmade or genetically modified” and that they will continue to examine “whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.” – Source: CNN

Trump, asked about the Office of Director of National Intelligence statement that the virus was not manmade or genetically modified, asks who specifically made the statement. Told it was the office, he says cryptically, “Oh, he would know that, huh? National Intelligence.” – Source: Daniel Dale/CNN

“These are very good people”

Trump expressed support Friday for armed protesters who had stormed the Michigan Capitol, demanding the state lift coronavirus restrictions, as researchers estimated that the coronavirus pandemic could stretch on for two more years.

Trump tweeted Friday that “these are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely!” – Source: Washington Post

Staggering Unemployment

More than 30 million people in the U.S. have filed for unemployment benefits in the past six weeks, a figure that might still undercount the number of job losses, economists say.

April 30

“Fading out” distancing

As states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, Trump indicated that he would not extend federal distancing guidelines, which expire today. “They’ll be fading out, because now the governors are doing it,” he said.

April 29

F.D.A. Plans to Announce Emergency Use of New Drug

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci calls a study of an experimental virus drug, remdesivir, “very optimistic,” as another study found no benefit to severely ill patients.

Meat processing workers told to get back to work

Trump signed an executive order in an effort to keep meat processing plants open. Unions and labor advocates said the administration needed to do more to protect workers, thousands of whom have become sick.

April 28

Data suggest a higher-than-reported toll

Total deaths in seven states that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic are nearly 50 percent higher than normal, according to new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s unclear whether the excess deaths are because of the virus or from other causes, but they reflect a global trend in which far more people have died than in previous years.
NY Times

Pense refuses to wear mask at Mayo Clinic

Vice President Pence on Tuesday visited the Mayo Clinic and spoke with patients and staff while not wearing a face mask, an apparent violation of the medical center’s policy during the coronavirus pandemic.” Apparently, he was told about the policy and chose to disregard it. (“The Mayo Clinic confirmed Tuesday afternoon in a now-deleted tweet that it had communicated its masking policy to the vice president and his team.”) Unfortunately, the clinic did not bar the vice president from the facility.
– Jennifer Rubin Op-Ed “The Cult of Trump

Repeatedly warned

While Covid-19 cases hit 1 Million in U.S. – Trump blames sanctuary cities

Trump Donor’s Hotel Companies Got $96.1 Million Meant for Small Businesses

Dallas billionaire Monty Bennett had a special hand in draining the first round of PPP money—he’s the single biggest recipient of PPP funds, with $96.1 million going to his businesses. Bennett is the the head of what The Dallas Morning News calls a “hotel empire.” Bennett personally donated $50,000 to Donald Trump’s re-election committee. – Source: Dallas Morning News

Trump will now “double” number of tests he had said were “fully sufficient”

President Trump resumed his daily coronavirus briefings on Monday with a vow to “double” the number of tests, after previously saying that testing levels were “fully sufficient to begin opening up the country.” About 1.6 percent of the population has been tested.

 About 1.6 percent of the population has been tested. – Source: NY Times

April 27

260,000 Words, Full of Self-Praise, From Trump on the Virus

At his White House news briefing on the coronavirus on March 19, President Trump offered high praise for the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn. “He’s worked, like, probably as hard or harder than anybody,” Mr. Trump said. Then he corrected himself: “Other than maybe Mike Pence — or me.”

By far the most recurring utterances from Mr. Trump in the briefings are self-congratulations, roughly 600 of them, which are often predicated on exaggerations and falsehoods. He does credit others (more than 360 times) for their work, but he also blames others (more than 110 times) for inadequacies in the state and federal response.

Mr. Trump’s attempts to display empathy or appeal to national unity (about 160 instances) amount to only a quarter of the number of times he complimented himself or a top member of his team.

Pelosi: President Trump’s Effort To Sideline The WHO Is ‘Dangerous’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is criticizing President Trump’s effort to withhold funding from the World Health Organization and other steps his administration is reportedly taking to sideline the global health agency.

“It’s stupid — it’s more than stupid; it’s dangerous,” Pelosi told NPR

– Source: NPR

April 26

Reported US coronavirus deaths:

8 weeks ago: 2 deaths
7 weeks ago: 21 deaths
6 weeks ago: 65 deaths
5 weeks ago: 413 deaths
4 weeks ago: 2,425 deaths
3 weeks ago: 9,643 deaths
2 weeks ago: 22,079 deaths
1 week ago: 40,677 deaths
Today: 54,856 deaths

Spike in New Yorkers ingesting household cleaners

An unusually high number of New Yorkers contacted city health authorities over fears that they had ingested bleach or other household cleaners in the 18 hours that followed President Trump’s bogus claim that injecting such products could cure coronavirus, the Daily News has learned.

The Poison Control Center, a subagency of the city’s Health Department, managed a total of 30 cases of possible exposure to disinfectants between 9 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday, a spokesman said. – Source: NY Daily News

April 25

Replacement of HHS Secretary Alex Azar expected

White House officials are discussing whether to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as frustrations have grown over his handling of the coronavirus crisis earlier this year, as well as of his removal last week of a top vaccine official in his agency, which created an uproar.
– Source: Washington Post

NBC’s Joe Scarborough Op-ed: The cost of Trump’s deadly state of denial

“The United States now finds itself in the worst crisis since World War II with a leader less suited for the presidency than anyone who has ever occupied the office … As long as Donald Trump remains in the White House, the crisis that stalks our land will only get worse.” – Joe Scarborough | NBC

April 24

Trump claims he was being sarcastic about disinfectants “just to see what would happen”

Trump now says virus media briefings a ‘waste of time’

“What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, and then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately…They get record ratings, and the American people get nothing but Fake News,” he complained. “Not worth the time and effort!” – Trump 4/24

Revealed: leader of group peddling bleach as coronavirus ‘cure’ wrote to Trump this week

The leader of the most prominent group in the US peddling potentially lethal industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for coronavirus wrote to Donald Trump  at the White House this week.

In his letter, Mark Grenon told Trump that chlorine dioxide – a powerful bleach used in industrial processes such as textile manufacturing that can have fatal side-effects when drunk – is “a wonderful detox that can kill 99% of the pathogens in the body”. He added that it “can rid the body of Covid-19”.

A few days after Grenon dispatched his letter, Trump went on national TV at his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on Thursday and promoted the idea that disinfectant could be used as a treatment for the virus.
Source: The Guardian

Navy Leaders Recommend Reinstating Roosevelt Captain Fired Over Virus Warning

Capt. Brett E. Crozier should be restored to command of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy’s top officials recommended on Friday.

But Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, who was briefed on the recommendations, has asked for more time to consider whether to sign off on reinstating the captain of the nuclear-powered carrier.

After he was fired by a political appointee of President Trump, the saga took on new meaning. A video of hundreds of cheering sailors yelling “Captain Crozier!” as he departed the aircraft carrier, black backpack on his shoulder, went viral.
– Source: NY Times

FDA issues warnings on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine

The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Friday against taking chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 outside a hospital or formal clinical trial after “serious” poisoning and deaths were reported. 

The drugs have been touted by President Donald Trump as a potential “game-changer” in the fight against the coronavirus. Both drugs are in clinical trials examining their effectiveness in treating the coronavirus, but neither are proven treatments.

NY Times: Trump not attending Covid task force meetings

“Mr. Trump rarely attends the task force meetings that precede the briefings, and he typically does not prepare before he steps in front of the cameras. He is often seeing the final version of the day’s main talking points that aides have prepared for him for the first time although aides said he makes tweaks with a Sharpie just before he reads them live …”
Source: NY Times

Lysol manufacturer warns against internal use after Trump comments

“Under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body through injection, ingestion or any other route,” a Lysol spokesman says.

Medical professionals were quick to dispute Trump’s claims as “irresponsible” and “dangerous.”

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.” – Trump

April 23

McConnell: U.S. states should consider bankruptcy

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, said this week that states, which shared $150 billion from previous pandemic aid, should consider filing for bankruptcy. But there is bipartisan agreement that Congress will need to help more, our chief Washington correspondent writes.
– Source: Washington Post

Calls to stop airing Trump’s press conferences

Sarah Kendzior, author of Hiding in Plain Sight today writes: “The media needs to stop airing his press conferences. Put scientists, health officials, and local officials on instead. Trump is giving advice that is killing people. Airing these press conferences makes you an accomplice to murder.”

Trump suggests ‘injection’ of disinfectant to beat coronavirus and ‘clean’ the lungs

President Donald Trump suggested the possibility of an “injection” of disinfectant into a person infected with coronavirus as a coronavirus deterrent at the White House daily briefing on Thursday.

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” the president said during the briefing, speaking to his health officials. “As you see it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

He did not specify the kind of disinfectant. A Homeland Security official, under questioning from reporters, later said federal laboratories are not considering such a treatment option.

Millions of Americans are still waiting for their first unemployment check

Out of work, out of cash and running out of patience … more than 26 million workers nationwide are seeking unemployment benefits, many of whom are still waiting for approval. The economic carnage wrought by the coronavirus has resulted in a national backlog of at least 3 million unpaid jobless claims, according to a new analysis by The Washington Post, threatening Americans around the country with even more financial hardship than they anticipated. – Washington Post

Trump lies about testing

The United States has tested about 4.2 million people. The rest of the world combined has tested a total of about 18.5 million. Yet, Trump repeated the false claim that U.S. has tested more than all other countries put together. “The testing problem,” Trump said Wednesday, “we’ve done more than any other nation in the world. Go a step further. If you added up the testing of every nation in the world, put ’em together, we’ve done substantially more than that. You people aren’t satisfied.” – Source: Washington Post


The anti-quarantine protests seem spontaneous. But behind the scenes, a powerful network is helping

The protests erupting over coronavirus restrictions are often coordinated and backed by longtime conservative activists, whose organizations were built with funding from Republican megadonors – Source: Washington Post

NPR: There’s no such thing as “coronavirus embers”

President Trump expressed doubt about a potential serious second wave of the coronavirus this fall. He claimed new cases may appear on a smaller scale. “We may have some embers,” he said, “and we’re going to put them out.” That contradicts Fauci. “We will have coronavirus in the fall, I am convinced of that,” Fauci said, adding, “Whether or not it’s going to be big or small is going to depend on our response.” The fact is: there is no lessened version of this virus. And without a vaccine or a proven treatment, another outbreak is likely – Source: NPR

Doctor removed after questioning hydroxychloroquine

Dr. Rick Bright, who led the federal agency involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine, said he was removed from his post after he pressed for rigorous vetting of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug promoted by President Trump. Fox News hosts have recently stopped talking about the drug, as studies and health experts have increasingly questioned its effectiveness. – Source: NY Times

Virus might have been spreading undetected

The discovery that a woman in the California Bay Area died of the coronavirus on Feb. 6 has rewritten the timeline of the outbreak’s early spread in the U.S. and raises new questions about where the virus might have been spreading undetected. – Source: NY Times

“Tatoo parlors… I love them. But they can wait just a little bit longer”

April 22

Reported U.S. coronavirus cases

Feb. 22: 35 cases
Mar. 22: 34,276 cases
Apr. 22: 846,982 cases

Trump, Redfield contradict each other at presser

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he was accurately quoted in an article, despite the president saying Redfield was misquoted. – Source ABC News

Coal company with ties to the Trump administration received a $10 million small business loan

Hallador Energy has several hundred more employees than the standard firm awarded money under the $2 trillion stimulus bill. And it has at least two important ties to the Trump administration: Scott Pruitt, the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator, was hired last year to lobby for it; and the company’s former government relations director now works at the Energy Department. Source: MSN

CDC director warns second wave of virus is likely to be even more devastating

The nation’s top public health official warned that a second wave of the virus would probably coincide with the start of flu season and could overwhelm the health system

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.” – Source: Washington Post

Cuomo Meets with Trump

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said late Tuesday he had a “productive” meeting with President Trump and his team at the White House. During an evening press conference in Albany, Cuomo said Trump committed to procure more coronavirus testing supplies from China and other overseas manufacturers.

The goal is for New York to double the number of people tested daily from 20,000 to 40,000 by mid-May. – Source: NPR

Trump narrows call to ban immigration

The president said on Tuesday that he would order a 60-day halt in issuing green cards, but he backed away from plans to suspend guest worker programs after criticism from business groups that feared losing access to foreign labor. – NY Times

“Trump’s own internal polling shows him sliding in some swing states, a major reason he declared a temporary halt to the issuance of green cards to those outside the United States. The executive order — watered down with loopholes after an uproar from business groups — was aimed at pleasing his political base, people close to him said, and was the kind of move Mr. Trump makes when things feel out of control. Friends who have spoken to him said he seemed unsettled and worried about losing the election.”
– Source: New York Times

April 21, 2020

Barr Threatens Legal Action Against Governors Over Lockdowns

The Justice Department will consider taking legal action against governors who continue to impose stringent rules for dealing with the coronavirus that infringe on constitutional rights even after the crisis subsides in their states, Attorney General William Barr said. Conservative groups and activists have been ramping up pressure for the Trump administration — and Barr in particular — to act against governors taking a hard line.
– Source: Bloomberg

Officials working out details of Trump’s order to suspend immigration to the U.S

The president’s announcement Monday night that he intends to sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration apparently revealed a policy that was not yet ready for implementation, leaving his aides rushing to deliver on his pronouncement. – Washington Post

40,000 dead but ratings “through the roof”

April, 20, 2020

“Leadership: Whatever happens – you’re responsible”

“There is no need to compare Trump to some lofty ideal to see that he has failed. Long before the president took office, he defined his notion of a leader. In November 2013, he tweeted: “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.”

Yet today he is pointing the finger at everyone and anyone but himself and his administration for the virulent spread of the coronavirus in the United States: the World Health Organization, China, state governors, Democrats.
-Source: The Boston Globe (editorial)


“Maybe the biggest oil deal ever made” – Donald Trump

Stocks are on track to close down over 500 points as U.S. oil prices collapsed today to their lowest levels in history, at one point falling well below $0, to negative $25 per barrel. Earlier this week Pres. Trump credited himself with saving the oil industry, saying he had negotiated ‘maybe the biggest oil deal ever made.’ The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically reduced fossil fuel usage, causing prices to nosedive and storage tanks to fill up. ‘The United States is running out of places to store its oil,’ the NY Times reported. Climate advocates called on the U.S. to take advantage of the crisis to make a fundamental shift to clean energy, but Trump and congressional Republicans say they plan to push for a fossil fuel industry taxpayer bailout.

  • Source: NowThis Politics

As of today, 40,683 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S.

Source: Washington Post

Most of the protesters “stood 6 feet apart” – Trump

Michigan Ave. Anti-Conefinement protest / #MAGA Rally

Ideological underbelly of Trump’s support for right-wing protests

In Washington state, one GOP legislator claimed an ongoing “rebellion” against Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, while hinting that if such restrictions continued, “we’ll see what a revolution looks like.”

In Michigan, signs have blared messages that include “Live free or die” and “Heil Whitmer,” a reference to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, even as some protesters toted rifles.

In Denver, protesters carried signs saying things such as “Dangerous freedom over gov’t tyranny.” – Source: The Washington Post

April 19, 2020

Crowds flocked to Florida beaches this weekend

News footage showed Jacksonville shorelines speckled with people — many swimming, running or lounging close enough to share virus particles — a day after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) mocked California’s beach bans and said, “I think we’ve got to be promoting people to get exercise.” – Washington Post

Thousands of Americans backed by rightwing donors gear up for protests

Thousands of people are preparing to attend protests across the US in the coming days, as a rightwing movement against stay-at-home orders, backed by wealthy conservative groups and promoted by Donald Trump, continues to take hold.

As with the Tea Party, the anti-stay-at-home movement has been promoted by a rightwing media eager for the economy to reopen, including Fox News.

Source: The Guardian

Trump’s assertion that the WHO failed to communicate doesn’t ring true

More than a dozen U.S. researchers, physicians and public health experts, many of them from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were working full time at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization as the novel coronavirus emerged late last year and transmitted real-time information about its discovery and spread in China to the Trump administration, according to U.S. and international officials.

A number of CDC staff members are regularly detailed to work at the WHO in Geneva as part of a rotation that has operated for years. Senior Trump-appointed health officials also consulted regularly at the highest levels with the WHO as the crisis unfolded, the officials said.

The presence of so many U.S. officials undercuts President Trump’s assertion that the WHO’s failure to communicate the extent of the threat, born of a desire to protect China, is largely responsible for the rapid spread of the virus in the United States. – Washington Post

April 18, 2020

Reported US coronavirus deaths:
7 weeks ago: 1 death
6 weeks ago: 19 deaths
5 weeks ago: 58 deaths
4 weeks ago: 323 deaths
3 weeks ago: 2,043 deaths
2 weeks ago: 8,488 deaths
1 week ago: 20,604 deaths
Today: 38,664 deaths

April 17, 2020

Trump calls protesters against stay-at-home orders ‘very responsible’

Donald Trump has posted highly incendiary tweets stoking protests against physical distancing and other coronavirus stay-at-home measures in three states led by Democratic governors.

“These are people expressing their views,” [Trump] told reporters. “I see where they are and I see the way they’re working. They seem to be very responsible people to me, but they’ve been treated a little bit rough.” – Source: The Guardian

Trump Supporters: It’s China’s fault

“I don’t think I want to buy anything again from China, even if I’ve got to pay double,” he said. “These people created a pandemic that I don’t think we’ll ever get out of 100 percent, probably in my lifetime. It’s terrible.”
– Maurice Rosenstein / Trump Supporter

– Source NY Times

Trump’s false claim that the WHO said the coronavirus was ‘not communicable’

The president’s announcement that he would suspend payments to the World Health Organization in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic contained a number of false or misleading claims. He faulted the WHO for believing that China was doing a good job and praising its transparency — when he had done the same thing at the time. He claimed the WHO “fought” his decision to impose some restrictions on travel from China, but WHO officials said nothing publicly; opposition to travel restrictions has been a consistent WHO policy. – Washington Post

April 16, 2020

Trump’s name on check may delay payments

Trump said he was not a part of the decision to have his name on the coronavirus impact checks, adding Americans will be “very happy to get a big, fat, beautiful check” regardless of his name being on it.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Donald Trump as “shameful” Wednesday after it emerged that the president’s name will be printed on stimulus checks, potentially delaying payments to Americans struggling during the coronavirus crisis.