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Donald J. Trump Has Failed In His Response To Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Page 6
President plans to vote by mail in Florida
By John T Bennett

Donald Trump accused some who cast ballots in US elections by mail of "cheating," even though he intends to do so in Florida as part of the Sunshine State's primary. The president made clear he opposes states moving to all-absentee ballot elections amid the coronavirus epidemic, telling reporters Tuesday night he fears that would lead to widespread voter fraud. He defended his request for an absentee ballot because "I'm here in the White House."

By Brett Samuels

President Trump on Tuesday dug in on his opposition to mail-in voting, dismissing the concept as "corrupt" despite having voted by mail himself in last month’s Florida primary. Trump suggested there was a difference between voting by mail while living out of state and voting by mail while living in the state where one is registered to vote. "Well, there’s a big difference between somebody that’s out of state and does a ballot and everything’s sealed, certified and everything else. You see what you have to do with the certifications," he said, claiming without evidence that there could otherwise be "thousands of people sitting in somebody’s living room signing ballots." "No, I think mail in voting is a terrible thing," he added "I think if you vote, you should go." The president voted by mail last month in Florida's GOP primary, presumably for himself. Trump changed his address last year from New York to Florida. Trump decried mail-in voting as scores of Wisconsin voters lined up at polling sites despite the coronavirus pandemic posing a public safety threat. He blamed the chaos on the state's Democratic governor, Tony Evers, who signed an executive order to postpone the election but had it overturned by the state Supreme Court.


CNN's Anderson Cooper criticizes President Trump's behavior at the press conference of the coronavirus task force.

Lawmakers had called for Modly to leave after profanity-laced speech was leaked to the media.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned on Tuesday following an uproar over a profanity-laced address to the crew of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced. Modly submitted his resignation letter to Esper on Tuesday after meeting with his boss one-on-one, a defense official with knowledge of the meeting said. "He resigned on his own accord, putting the Navy and Sailors above self so that the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and the Navy as an institution, can move forward," Esper said in a statement. Army Undersecretary James McPherson will be tapped to temporarily lead the Navy Department, Esper said. McPherson was confirmed to be the Army's No. 2 on March 23, a little more than two weeks ago. In his resignation letter, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, Modly thanked Esper and President Donald Trump for their "confidence" in him. "More than anything, I owe every member of the Navy and Marine Corps team a lifetime of gratitude for the opportunity to serve for them, and with them, once again," Modly wrote in the brief letter, which was addressed to Esper. "The men and women of the Department of the Navy deserve a continuity of civilian leadership befitting our great Republic, and the decisive naval force that secures our way of life." Modly was more loquacious in a memo to the force, in which he acknowledged that he “lost situational awareness” during his address to the Roosevelt’s crew. “You are justified in being angry with me about that,” Modly wrote in the memo, which was obtained by POLITICO. “There is no excuse, but perhaps a glimpse of understanding, and hopefully empathy.”

By Justin Wise

More than 200 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the aircraft carrier whose captain was fired after warning of a coronavirus outbreak, have tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy said Tuesday. The Navy said 79 percent of the crew had been tested as of Tuesday afternoon, with 230 sailors testing positive. More than 2,000 sailors had test results that came back negative. No hospitalizations have been required, the Navy said, and 2,000 sailors were temporarily moved to shore in response to the outbreak. "As testing continues, the ship will keep enough Sailors on board to sustain essential services and sanitize the ship in port," the Navy said. The ship became the focus of national attention last week after its commanding officer, Capt. Brett Crozier, issued a memo warning that the crew would face dire consequences if the Navy failed to address the coronavirus outbreak on the ship. In a since-leaked message, Crozier asserted that sailors could die if the vast majority of the 4,800 crew members weren't evacuated. The aircraft carrier is now docked at a Naval base in Guam to test and isolate crew members.

By Reid Wilson

States across the country are racing to stockpile ventilators, personal protective equipment and necessary medical supplies as they prepare for brutal surges of coronavirus cases in the coming weeks and months. But a bottleneck in the global supply chain has forced those states to compete with each other, and often with the federal government, for limited supplies. In many states, governors have reached deals with suppliers only to have those suppliers tell them later they received a better price from another state. "Where we are now, 50 states all trying to buy the same equipment, from China, and then the federal government comes in with FEMA, which is trying to purchase the same equipment," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "The states are responsible for their own purchasing, and frankly, there's nothing left to buy anymore anyway." States that have not yet experienced a crush of COVID-19 cases like California, Oregon and Washington have lent ventilators to harder-hit states like New York and New Jersey. But for other states that are planning their own responses when peak demand hits, crucial supplies have been harder to come by. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) has been told orders his state puts in with ventilator manufacturers will go unfilled in the coming weeks.

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump's contempt for science and disdain for experts who question his political narratives are driving his increasingly defensive and brittle management of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump was short-tempered and rude during much of his daily briefing on Monday as he refused to even listen to questions about shortcomings in the federal government effort. On Sunday, Trump muzzled the country's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci before he could contradict his own gushing assessment of an unproven Covid-19 therapy. On Monday, the President also blasted a report by an experienced Health and Human Services Department watchdog official that found critical supply shortages at hospitals all over the country, claiming it was politically motivated. Tensions between science and politics that lie at the core of the battle to eradicate the pandemic while still saving the economy will become even more acute as pressure grows inside the administration to reopen normal life. Over the weekend, one of Trump's economic advisers -- Peter Navarro -- clashed with Fauci over the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, the drug the President insists could save Covid-19 patients, according to people familiar with the disagreement. Navarro told CNN's "New Day" on Monday that despite his lack of a medical education, he was competent to weigh in on the issue. But his feuds with reporters on other issues Monday underscored his wider reluctance to allow inconvenient evidence to mar his cultivated picture of hugely successful leadership amid the worst domestic crisis since World War II. "We are the federal government. We are not supposed to stand on street corners during testing," he said, when confronted with questions about deficiencies in coronavirus testing. On the day when the US death toll passed 10,000 there was something surreal in watching the President's outbursts, a familiar tactic that often pleases his political base and serves to portray himself as a victim of what he claims is a biased media.

By Evan Nierman, opinion contributor

In the world of PR, prepared remarks by top level executives during a crisis are typically calculated and calming, aimed at mollifying key audiences and dousing the flames of controversy. When Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly addressed the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt following the removal of their beloved captain, he instead threw a Molotov cocktail. Captain Brett E. Crozier was removed from his command after an impassioned email he sent pleading for help for his COVID-19-stricken crew was leaked to the press. A national media uproar followed. The ship’s crew members gathered to cheer Crozier as he departed. Videos of servicemen shoulder to shoulder on the deck of the ship, chanting his name, illustrate both the affinity his subordinates had for him and how a highly contagious virus can run rampant in the close quarters of a ship at sea. In an apparent effort to explain the decision — or perhaps to seize the narrative surrounding the saga on a broader stage — Secretary Modly addressed Crozier’s crew over the ship’s loudspeakers. Punctuated with profanity, his words provide a fascinating case study in speechmaking around sensitive topics. On its face, the speech certainly violated some communications best practices, while echoing key messages that have been reiterated by the administration. For starters, Modly asserts incorrectly and definitively that “no one expected this pandemic.” A range of astute observers and global health professionals have been warning us about this very topic for years. Bill Gates’s 2015 TEDx talk The Next Pandemic: We Are Not Ready should be required viewing for anyone who believes that America could not have seen this coming.

Business Insider
by Sarah Al-Arshani

The Trump administration received at least two memos — one in January and another in February — from his top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, forecasting various possibilities for the human and economic costs of the coronavirus outbreak. The second memo, addressed directly to President Donald Trump on February 23, said as many as 2 million people could die. Some senior officials apparently thought Navarro was being an alarmist. President Donald Trump's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, sent a memo to the National Security Council in January that predicted hundreds of thousands could die from the novel coronavirus with a loss of trillions of dollars for the economy, The New York Times reported on Monday. Navarro sent at least one other memo, in February, with both warning of a grave impact if the coronavirus outbreak were not contained in the US. Both memos were published Monday by Axios. In the first memo, sent January 29, Navarro wrote that as many as 543,000 Americans could die, costing the country $5.7 trillion. The memo described the possibility of both a "seasonal flu-like" outcome and a "pandemic flu" outcome but suggested the pandemic was likely given Americans' lack of immunity against the new virus. "The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on US soil," the January memo said. "This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans." One senior administration official who spoke with Axios described being wary of Navarro's intentions given his hawkish stance on China. The January memo advocated a travel ban on China, which the Trump administration later implemented. "The January travel memo struck me as an alarmist attempt to bring attention to Peter's anti-China agenda while presenting an artificially limited range of policy options," the unnamed official told Axios. Almost a month later, Navarro sent another memo, this time addressed to Trump directly, warning that as many as 2 million people in the US could die from the virus. Axios said both memos were circulated around the White House and multiple agencies by the NSC. In his first memo, Navarro cited an estimate by the White House Council of Economic Advisers that banning travel from China would cost $2.9 billion a month, or $34.6 billion if implemented for a year, which he recommended.

Trump removes inspector general overseeing $2 trillion coronavirus relief package days after he was appointed
By Christina Wilkie, Amanda Macias

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump has removed the lead watchdog overseeing the $2 trillion coronavirus package, just days after the official, Glenn Fine, was appointed to the role. The move came as Trump pursued similar action in recent weeks against independent inspectors general across the federal government. Fine had been the acting Pentagon inspector general until Monday afternoon, when Trump abruptly removed him from his post. “Yesterday, the President nominated Mr. Jason Abend for the position of DoD Inspector General,” said Dwrena Allen, a spokesperson for the Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a statement to CNBC. “The same day, the President also designated Mr. Sean W. O’Donnell, who is the Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General (EPA IG), to serve as the Acting DoD IG in addition to his current duties at the EPA,” Allen said. “Mr. Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee,” Allen said, and he now “reverts to his position as the Principal Deputy Inspector General.” Fine had been chosen March 30 to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee by his fellow inspectors general, who were tasked by the new law to select a chairman for their committee. By removing Fine from his Pentagon job, Trump effectively eliminated Fine from the oversight committee, since only sitting inspectors general can serve on the committee. - Is Trump removing oversite so he and his friends can steal some of the money?

While Dr. Anthony Fauci has urged caution in using hydroxychloroquine, some doctors are prescribing it to patients who have the virus despite the fact it has never been tested for it.
By Peter Baker, Katie Rogers, David Enrich and Maggie Haberman

WASHINGTON — President Trump made a rare appearance in the Situation Room on Sunday as his pandemic task force was meeting, determined to talk about the anti-malaria medicine that he has aggressively promoted lately as a treatment for the coronavirus. Once again, according to a person briefed on the session, the experts warned against overselling a drug yet to be proved a safe remedy, particularly for heart patients. “Yes, the heart stuff,” Mr. Trump acknowledged. Then he headed out to the cameras to promote it anyway. “So what do I know?” he conceded to reporters at his daily briefing. “I’m not a doctor. But I have common sense.” Day after day, the salesman turned president has encouraged coronavirus patients to try hydroxychloroquine with all of the enthusiasm of a real estate developer. The passing reference he makes to the possible dangers is usually overwhelmed by the full-throated endorsement. “What do you have to lose?” he asked five times on Sunday. Bolstered by his trade adviser, a television doctor, Larry Ellison of Oracle and Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former New York mayor, Mr. Trump has seized on the drug as a miracle cure for the virus that has killed thousands and paralyzed American life. Along the way, he has prompted an international debate about a drug that many doctors in New York and elsewhere have been trying in desperation even without conclusive scientific studies. - Trump is using the office of the president to promote products he has a financial interest in, Trump is a crook.

By Justin Baragona

President Donald Trump has a “small financial interest” in the maker of an anti-malarial drug that he has been touting as a “game changer” in treating coronavirus, according to The New York Times. Over the past two weeks, Trump and his Fox News allies have aggressively promoted hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure, despite top infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and others urging caution and noting that there was not enough evidence of the drug’s efficacy. - Trump is using the office of the president to promote products he has a financial interest in, Trump is a crook.

"He’s really being a liaison to different donors, to different corporate allies of this administration"
By Travis Gettys

Reporter Robert Costa revealed that Jared Kushner has been coordinating the distribution of medical supplies with Republican donors. The Washington Post national political reporter said President Donald Trump's son-in-law has sparked confusion in those efforts by placing himself in the chain of command, and both Kushner and trade adviser Peter Navarro were contradicting advice from White House medical experts. "When you ask about the inner circle, it is clear to me," Costa told MSNBC's "Morning Joe," "based on my reporting, that Peter Navarro, more than anyone now, whether it's on urging the president to take a position that's different than Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, or when it comes to the Defense Production Act, nudging corporations, sometimes pushing corporations to do what the White House wants, that Navarro is at the center." "Jared Kushner is there and he's really being a liaison to different donors, to different corporate allies of this administration, which has created confusion about the chain of command, about whether corporations should work through Jared, whether they should work through Vice President [Mike] Pence and the task force," he added. Navarro and other Trump advisers, including Rudy Giuliani, have been overriding medical experts on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus, and Costa said the president's confidence in that unproven drug was not matched by science.

"My fear is that this is a moment in time that can be manipulated by the powers and the government in place"
By Sarah K Burris

"The View's" Meghan McCain joined with her other co-hosts in expressing fear and frustration around the White House's dealing of the coronavirus crisis. Speaking Monday morning, co-host Sunny Hostin explained that given President Donald Trump's peddling of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a kind of coronavirus miracle cure, he has no business being on television. She said that networks should stop carrying the press conference live and merely clip major moments from the experts. McCain disagreed saying that she was concerned about what Trump is doing and the poor leadership standing behind him, namechecking Jared Kushner in particular. "There's an argument being made by some people that the press conferences shouldn't be being covered," McCain explained. "My argument for keeping the press conferences is I think we're at a place where President Trump — he's always been a sort of totalitarian president in a way that we've never historically seen before. And my fear is that he's going to play on the American public's fears in a draconian way and possibly do something akin to the Patriot Act where he uses this moment in time to play off our fears for his own benefit."

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