New Rule: Only medical experts who can provide clear, concise, accurate and transparently factual information about the coronavirus pandemic should be allowed to make “official” government statements about the spread of the disease, and what the public should do to contain the spread of the disease and to protect itself.
After that shitshow of a press conference President Trump did at the CDC on Friday, the CDC needs to obtain a “gag order” from the court to keep Donald Trump from speaking or tweeting his misinformation (disinformation) about the coronavirus, and that goes for his sycophant enabler Mike Pence, too. This pair of idiots are posing a major health threat to Americans, and to the world. Their reckless irresponsibility in the name of political spin to cover Donald Trump’s ass is going to cause deaths if these idiots will not just STFU and let the medical experts handle this situation.
If Mike Pence wasn’t such a brown-nosing ass kisser sycophant, he would be convening the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to temporarily remove Trump from office due to his “Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of [his] Office,” and for a psychological evaluation. Anyone watching these press conferences this week can plainly see that this man is completely bonkers, and a threat to himself and society.
This Washington Post report should be cause for a panic in itself. ‘Maybe I have a natural ability’: Trump plays medical expert on coronavirus by second-guessing the professionals:
[O]n Friday, as President Trump sought to calm a nation gripped with fears over coronavirus, he suggested he would have thrived in another profession — medical expert.
“I like this stuff. I really get it,” Trump boasted to reporters during a tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he met with actual doctors and scientists who are feverishly scrambling to contain and combat the deadly illness. Citing a “great, super-genius uncle” who taught at MIT, Trump professed that it must run in the family genes.
“People are really surprised I understand this stuff,” he said. “Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.”
Or maybe “I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.” Wake up, America! This man is totally bonkers!
[F]or members of the general public alarmed by more than 300 diagnosed cases in the United States — including at least 21 that his administration announced Friday were discovered on a cruise ship off the San Francisco coast — Trump’s performance during an impromptu 45-minute news conference at CDC was not necessarily reassuring.
Sporting his trademark red 2020 campaign hat with the slogan “Keep America Great” — turning an official government function into a campaign event, a violation of the Hatch Act — the president repeatedly second-guessed and waved off the actual medical professionals standing next to him. He attacked his Democratic rivals — including calling Washington Gov. Jay Inslee a “snake” for criticizing his response — and chided a CNN reporter for smiling and called her network “fake news.”
And he described coronavirus testing kits — which his administration has been criticized for being slow to distribute — as “beautiful” and said they were as “perfect” as his Ukraine phone call last summer that led him to be impeached.
Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs! Somebody get the net and call for an ambulance.
The upshot was that the self-proclaimed medical savant came off looking less interested in his administration’s unsteady efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus than he was in bolstering his own status in a campaign year. Trump repeatedly sought to judge his administration’s performance by the numbers of how many have been shown to have contracted the virus and comparing it to other nations — and, in doing so, appeared to be making judgments based solely on that scorecard.
Perhaps this is yet anther reason the CDC has been slow to provide testing kits to medical professionals: more testing means the number of cases will go higher! So let’s put everyone at risk because Donald Trump wants to lie about the “low” number of people infected. This is reckless and irresponsible beyond imaginable.
He declared he would prefer to keep the thousands of passengers and crew on the cruise ship off the California coast aboard the vessel rather than bring them ashore for quarantine, though he acknowledged that Vice President Pence and other top aides were arguing for the ship to be brought to port.
“I like the numbers being where they are,” Trump said. “I don’t need the numbers to double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.” He had been furious last month upon learning that Americans in China with coronavirus were flown back to the United States in a decision made by the State Department without consulting him.
Donald Trump admits out loud the crimes he is doing — he is telling us that he is lying about the numbers to cover for the incompetence of his administration’s mishandling of this pandemic.
Asked if a decision had been made about the latest ship’s fate, Trump appeared uncertain. “Uh, that’s a good question,” he responded. He later said he authorized his aides to decide — and Pence announced at a news briefing in Washington shortly after the president concluded his remarks that the ship would, in fact, be directed to a noncommercial port where everyone on board would be tested.
For the president, the reporters’ follow-up questions about the rate of coronavirus testing were a nuisance. CDC Director Robert Redfield and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stressed that the administration had authorized tens of thousands of testing kits to be distributed. But as Azar sought to parry with a reporter by calling on Redfield to back him up, Trump, without looking at Azar, raised his right hand and waved him off.
Redfield said the agency had sent out 75,000 kits. Then Trump jumped in: “Anybody who wants a test will get a test, that’s the bottom line.” A few moments later, he jokingly compared the situation to his phone call last summer in which he had pressured Ukraine’s president to launch an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.
“The tests are all perfect, like the letter was perfect, the transcription was perfect, right?” Trump said. “This was not as perfect as that, but pretty good.”
The tests were not “perfect.” How The CDC Botched Its Initial Coronavirus Response With Faulty Tests.
And Trump’s claim that “Anybody who wants a test will get a test” is a malicious lie. Nurses Battling Coronavirus Beg for Protective Gear and Better Planning:
One California nurse, who is in a 14-day self-quarantine after caring for a coronavirus patient, complained that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was not testing her for the virus quickly enough. “This is not the ticket dispenser at the deli counter; it’s a public health emergency!” she wrote in a statement shared by National Nurses United.
At a news conference on Thursday afternoon, the union demanded, among other things, that the federal government ensure all health care workers receive the highest levels of protective equipment, that any vaccine that is developed be offered to the public for free, and that Congress immediately pass an emergency spending package in response to the virus.
Trump was contradicted by his own Vice President. Pence admits ‘we don’t have enough tests’ to meet demands as delay in coronavirus testing persists:
Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis, acknowledged Thursday there was a shortfall in the number of testing kits required to meet demand.
“We don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward,” Pence told reporters while touring 3M facilities in Minnesota.
The vice president said the government would be able to provide testing “for those that we believe have been exposed, for those who are showing symptoms.”
But his remarks were an acknowledgment that the administration is still not prepared to meet an expected spike in demand in tests for coronavirus, which has spread to 17 states.
This was followed by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar contradiciting the Vice President. Azar contradicts Pence, says there’s no coronavirus testing kit shortage:
“There is no testing kit shortage, nor has there ever been,” Azar said on ABC News Friday. “We will have by the end of this weekend over 1.2 million tests around America in public health labs as well as in private and commercial labs, and that is scaling up by the millions, ramping up rapidly.”
The Atlantic reports an Exclusive: The Strongest Evidence Yet That America Is Botching Coronavirus Testing:
It’s one of the most urgent questions in the United States right now: How many people have actually been tested for the coronavirus?
This number would give a sense of how widespread the disease is, and how forceful a response to it the United States is mustering. But for days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has refused to publish such a count, despite public anxiety and criticism from Congress. On Monday, Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, estimated that “by the end of this week, close to a million tests will be able to be performed” in the United States. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence promised that “roughly 1.5 million tests” would be available this week.
But the number of tests performed across the country has fallen far short of those projections, despite extraordinarily high demand, The Atlantic has found.
“The CDC got this right with H1N1 and Zika, and produced huge quantities of test kits that went around the country,” Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC from 2009 to 2017, told us. “I don’t know what went wrong this time.”
Through interviews with dozens of public-health officials and a survey of local data from across the country, The Atlantic could only verify that 1,895 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the United States, about 10 percent of whom have tested positive. And while the American capacity to test for the coronavirus has ramped up significantly over the past few days, local officials can still test only several thousand people a day, not the tens or hundreds of thousands indicated by the White House’s promises.
The Trump administration is purposefully lying to the American people over a matter of life and death for political spin to cover up its own incompetence is responding to the coronavirus pandemic. This oughta be a crime!
Back to The Post:
Trump argued that the death rate in the United States — 15 Americans have died of the virus, though Trump said 11 — remains artificially high because many people who have the illness are not reporting to hospitals because their symptoms are minor. While experts have said that is probably true, the argument seemed to undercut Trump’s efforts to minimize the scope of the crisis.
While explaining this, Trump appeared irritated by the reaction of a reporter. “You’re smiling when I say that. Where are you from?” he asked. When she replied CNN, the president snapped: “I don’t watch CNN. That’s why I don’t recognize you. I don’t watch CNN because CNN is fake news.”
The medical professionals around him smiled uncomfortably. [Blink twice if you are being held hostage against your will.]
The president had a more positive reaction to Fox News. While explaining he had watched the network’s coronavirus coverage aboard Air Force One en route from Nashville — where he had toured tornado damage earlier in the day — to Atlanta, Trump cut himself off.
“How was the show last night?” Trump asked a Fox reporter in the room, referring to a Fox News-produced, town hall-style event in Scranton, Pa., that he had participated in the night before.
“Did it get good ratings?” Trump said. The reporter said he didn’t know. “Oh, really?” Trump continued. “I heard it broke all ratings records. But maybe that’s wrong. That’s what they told me.”
Trump is referring to his entirely reckless and irresponsible interview with his minister of propaganda, Sean Hannity. “This is just my hunch”: Trump goes on Fox News and spreads misinformation about the coronavirus:
On the same day that the World Health Organization (WHO) pegged the global death rate of the novel coronavirus at 3.4 percent — a figure higher than earlier estimates — President Donald Trump went on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show and insisted it’s actually not that bad.
As cases spread across the United States (in part because of expanding testing) and states declare public health emergencies, Trump cited a “hunch” to make a case that the mortality rate is actually “a fraction of 1 percent.” He recklessly dismissed the WHO mortality rate as “really a false number,” used bogus numbers to compare the coronavirus to the much less deadly seasonal flu, and didn’t discourage people with Covid-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus) from going to work.
It was a blizzard of dangerous, irresponsible misinformation, all delivered within a span of just over two minutes. Hannity responded not by challenging the president, but by quickly changing the topic.
The episode illustrated the dangers of Trump leading a response to a public health emergency — and how out of step he is with public health experts within his own administration.
[While] Trump downplayed the danger in general. And while Trump may think it’s no big deal that people with Covid-19 symptoms are “sitting around and even going to work,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, pointed out during hearings that the best course of action is “when someone is suspected of being exposed they either self-isolate or they get actually institutional quarantine.” But if someone listened to Trump’s advice, they might show up at work with symptoms and spread the virus.
Even though Trump’s comments were completely out of step with what experts are saying, Fox News aka Trump TV wasted no time normalizing them as one side of an argument.
The president clearly perceives that it’s in his political self-interest to downplay coronavirus, and Fox News — at least during its primetime programming — is taking his lead.
This approach might fend off negative news cycles for a while, but at the cost of jeopardizing the well being not only of those who take the president seriously, but also those who come into close contact with them in the workplace or elsewhere.
Back to The Post:
As his [sycophant] aides did their best to curry Trump’s favor — they praised his leadership and sought to reinforce some of his pronouncements — the president opined on the falling stock markets, insisting he is happy that Americans are canceling travel plans abroad to “stay in the United States and spend money in the United States.”
Though his CDC trip had been canceled over a coronavirus scare at the agency — before being reinstated after the employee tested negative — Trump boasted that he was taking no special precautions while touring the labs.
“Not at all,” he said. “I’m not a person who has been big on handshaking. They used to make fun of me. But as a politician, you walk in and the doctors have their hands out, ‘Hello, sir.’ That’s my business. I never thought I’d be a politician. But I feel very secure.”
It would be karmic justice if this germaphobe who is putting American lives at risk with his reckless irresponsibility came down with the coronavirus. It would serve him right.
UPDATE: Politico’s big weekend report is Trump’s mismanagement helped fuel coronavirus crisis: Current and former administration officials blame the president for creating a no-bad-news atmosphere that stifled attempts to combat the outbreak.
The AP reports “The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus.” Official: White House didn’t want to tell seniors not to fly.
President Donald Trump was harshly criticized following the AP report’s publication. Trump blasted for overruling health officials on coronavirus warning for seniors: ‘It’s sociopathic and dangerous’.
The Washington Post reports, Squandered time: How the Trump administration lost control of the coronavirus crisis: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex “Azar’s bungled announcement before the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 13 was just one of many preventable missteps and blunders in the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis — the embodiment of an administration that, for weeks, repeatedly squandered opportunities to manage and prepare for a global epidemic that has killed thousands worldwide and at least 19 so far in the United States.”
Fact Check: Trump’s bogus effort to blame Obama for sluggish coronavirus testing: “Trump is looking for scapegoats to excuse his administration’s sluggish efforts to expand testing. But he cannot blame Obama. There was no “Obama rule,” just draft guidance that never took effect and was withdrawn before Trump took office . . . Trump earns Four Pinocchios.”
Get a gag order to order him to STFU!