Kushner Nixed National Testing Strategy Because he Thought Covid-19 Would Only Ravage Dem States

A troubling Vanity Fair report says that at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner cobbled together a team which actually managed to come up with a decent national testing strategy for covid-19. Shockingly however, instead of the plan being rapidly deployed nationwide to curb the spread of the deadly virus, Kushner and some White House political operatives decided it would be politically advantageous for Trump, if they shelved the testing plan because the virus at that time was only ravaging blue/Democratic states like New York.

As unbelievable as this sounds, Kushner and the White House operatives believed it would be politically advantageous for Trump if they let people die in blue/Democratic states because they could turn around and blame Democratic Governors for incompetence in the run up to the November elections. The author of the Vanity Fair piece, Katherine Eban, told CNN’s Erin Burnett;“There was a shared feeling which turned out to be spectacularly wrong, that the virus was receding, it was going to be under control, and at the time it was just the blue states where the virus was surging. So the idea was, why go through all the effort to surge up a national plan? It wasn’t going to have political resonance, and if there was a political response that was needed, the blue state Governors could just be blamed..”

You’ll remember a recent Washington Post piece which said Trump, who had previously downplayed the seriousness of covid-19, even calling it a hoax at one point, changed his attitude towards the deadly virus only after senior White House officials presented him with data and maps showing that the virus is beginning to ravage “our people”–Trump’s base of rural White voters in Republican states. This means Trump’s bungled covid-19 response, which has led to more than 150,000 deaths so far and counting, is not only the result of a callous political decision by his son-in -law Kushner, but also the administration’s deep seated racism towards communities of color who Trump considers not “our people”, and who data has consistently shown to disproportionately bear the brunt of covid-19, both in infection rates and deaths. A sad state of affairs indeed.

Bottom line folks, as it currently stands, the coronavirus pandemic is arguably one of the biggest crisis ever to befall the United States, especially if you consider the fact that it has claimed more than 150,000 lives in the U.S. in less than six months, led to levels of unemployment most of us have never witnessed in our lifetimes, dealt a severe blow to the U.S. economy leaving economic giants such as the airline industry teetering on the brink of collapse, changed the manner and format of our beloved professional sports leagues, just to mention but a few. Reasonable people will agree that given the seriousness of covid-19, the American public is totally justified in expecting that the Trump administration, without regard to partisan politics or race, will spare no resources, and do everything in it’s power to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, the Vanity Fair piece saying Kushner shelved a covid-19 national testing strategy for political reasons, and the Washington Post piece saying Trump has not been serious about the pandemic because it’s not ravaging “our people”, prove beyond any reasonable doubt that partisan politics and racism are guiding Trump administration’s covid-19 response. All Americans of good conscience must loudly rebuke this immoral and callous disregard for people’s lives. We owe that to the families of the 150,000-plus people who have needlessly succumbed to covid-19.

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Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick Wants To Limit Mail Voting To Voters Over 65 Because Covid-19 Mostly Kills Them

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick(R)

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom show and parroted the falsehood currently being spread by President Trump that mail-in ballots are prone to massive voter fraud. Lt. Gov Patrick argued that because CDC data has established that it is people over 65 who are mostly losing their lives due to covid-19 , only Texas voters over 65 should be allowed to vote by mail. As shocking as this sounds, Lt Gov Patrick is literally telling Texas voters under 65 not to worry about contracting covid-19 at the polling places because even if they do, it will not kill them–it only kills people over 65. This is sadly, the kind of reasoning you get from a guy who’s second-in-command to the Texas Governorship.

Lt. Gov Patrick said when asked about voters’ valid fears of covid-19, “I want to go back to what the CDC said. 80% of people who have died from the virus [covid-19] are over 65. Anyone over 65 in America can vote safely from home. That’s already the law virtually everywhere–some states have all mail-in ballots on the west coast. So anyone 65 who is really vulnerable can vote from home. This idea that we want to give you a disability claim because ‘I’m afraid to go vote’ if you are under 65 is laughable. You have more chance of being in a serious auto accident if you are under 65 on the way to vote, than you do from catching the virus and dying from it by voting.”

One of the biggest flaws in Lt Gov Patrick’s reasoning (it’s actually totally flawed), is this idea that covid-19 affects one’s life only if it kills you. A leading pulmonologist Dr Andrew Martin, told Heathline, a medical journal that, “Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), seen often in severe COVID-19 illness, sometimes develop permanent lung damage or fibrosis as well.” So voters of color who are especially vulnerable to covid-19, have a valid reason to fear contracting covid-19 because even if it does not kill them, there’s a good chance it will leave them with long-term medical problems. It is not unreasonable, or “laughable” as Lt Gov Patrick put it, for them to opt for mail-in voting.

Lt Gov Patrick also pointed out in the same Fox News segment that some states in the west coast already conduct all their elections by mail. Notably, he didn’t point to any reports of widespread voter fraud in elections conducted by the said west coast states.

Another eye-catching moment in Lt Gov Patrick’s interview was his unprompted revelation that he knew of ways someone can easily steal votes to swing a close election. This was an eye-catching revelation because Texas voters to this day, have a lot of questions as to how Senator Ted Cruz narrowly defeated his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in the 2018 elections.

Lt. Gov Patrick told host Ed Henry, “We [Texas] have so many elections that are so close…….you can swing the balance easily Ed. I can give you ten scenarios but I won’t because I don’t want to give anyone ideas how you can easily steal thousands of votes…” Actually Lt Gov Patrick, Texans would like to find out what you know about easily stealing thousands of votes.

Bottom line folks as we’ve seen numerous times before, Republicans in Texas and elsewhere, will do everything in their power to get as few people as possible to vote. Republicans nationwide have come to terms with the fact they are increasingly becoming a regional party, totally out of step with mainstream American political thought. Lt Gov Patrick’s desperate attempts to stop voting by mail has nothing to do with voter fraud and everything to do with voter suppression–ensuring as few Texans as possible vote in November. It is truly a sad way to “win” an election, but that’s exactly where we are with Trump’s GOP.

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Dallas Doctor Claims Hydroxychloroquine Cures Her Covid-19 Patients Within 24 Hours

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham Interviewing Texas Doctor Ivette Lozano

Dr Ivette Lozano, a Dallas area doctor, appeared on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle show and made the startling claim that hydroxychloroquine “resolves” covid-19 symptoms in her patients within 24 hours. This startling claim comes just a few weeks after the food and drug administration (FDA) issued a warning about the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment drug for covid-19 because of among other things, the potential for patients developing heart rythm problems.

Dr Lozano told host Laura Ingraham, “Every patient that I’ve treated, serious, moderate, has had resolution of symptoms within 24 hours, that are improved within five hours, the fevers are gone within two days, the lung restriction which is the most important, resolves within about four to five hours. You see dramatic improvement. It’s incredible. I’m surprised myself.”

Instead of vetting Dr Lozano’s claims given FDA’s recent warning about hydroxychloroquine, host Laura Ingraham who has been a major pusher of the drug, used the opportunity to attack FDA’s stance saying, “Dr. Lozano, I hope the FDA is watching this. Peoples’ lives are on the line because of these [FDA]restrictions or these warning I should say, because it’s trickling down to the pharmacies and the pharmacy boards. You educated a lot of people with this segment tonight.”

Bottom line folks, it’s very clear that Laura Ingraham and many other conservatives are keen on pushing hydroxychloroquine as a covid-19 treatment drug despite FDA’s warning. It is therefore very important for the FDA to come out and forcefully challenge Dr Lozano’s claim before members of the public, desperate for a cure for covid-19 either for themselves or their loved ones, get harmed by the information they consume from Fox News and other conservative media outlets. Simply put, the FDA needs to step up and clear up the hydroxychloroquine confusion once and for all.

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Is Barr’s DOJ Targeting Sen Burr To Thwart His TrumpRussia Collusion Findings?

Senator Richard Burr(R-NC) and U.S. Attorney General William Barr (right)

On Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (TRMS), host Maddow advanced a provocative theory as to the real reason Attorney General Barr’s Department of Justice (DOJ) may be going after senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr(R-NC) for possible covid-19 insider trading. According to Maddow, DOJ and by extension AG Barr’s pursuit of senator Burr may have very little to do with the serious covid-19 insider trading allegations, and more to do with the fact that senator Burr was getting ready to release the final installment of his committee’s findings on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.

Host Rachel Maddow said, “As bad as the insider trading allegations are against Senator Burr, we also simultaneously have to worry whether the U.S. justice department under Attorney General William Barr might be targeting Senator Burr for reasons that are less about insider trading and more about convenience to the Trump administration. Sen Burr you will recall, has led the only functional bipartisan congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His committee’s findings have supported the intelligence community’s conclusions that for example, Russia interfered in the 2016 election to support Donald Trump’s candidacy. That is something President Trump continues to deny as recently as an interview that aired this morning. More to the point though, Senator Burr’s committee is set to release it’s final report on the Russia issue in the coming months and that last installment we are expecting is on ‘possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.’ That’s what Burr is working on right now, but he’s had to step down as chair of the committee.”

As Maddow correctly points out, given AG Barr’s demonstrable pattern of acting as president Trump’s personal defense attorney, it is not entirely implausible for one to conclude that the AG’s pursuit of senator Burr is also about defending Trump from a potentially damning senate intelligence committee finding that the Trump campaign did indeed collude with Russia in 2016. Maddow also correctly points out that an investigation into a sitting U.S. senator, especially one who chairs the powerful senate intelligence committee, must have been approved at the very highest levels of DOJ meaning AG Barr’s footprints are all over this.

Bottom line folks, AG Barr has so tarnished DOJ’s reputation that even when it undertakes a valid high profile criminal prosecution like senator Burr’s, the general perception among members of the public is that it must have something to do with helping president Trump politically. The very same thing happened during Jeffrey Epstein’s high profile criminal prosecution. I will say again what I have repeatedly stated before and that is, the only way DOJ can cure its tarnished reputation is for career officials within the DOJ to pressure AG Barr to step aside. Because it is highly unlikely that Trump will ever push aside his trusted defender, the onus is on career DOJ officers to begin demanding that AG Barr step down for the good of the department. Simply put, continued silence by career DOJ officials regarding AG Barr’s conduct at this juncture is tantamount to complicity.

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GOP Sen Burr And His Brother-In-Law Suspected Of Covid-19 Insider Trading

Senator Richard Burr(R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee

In case you missed it, there was a bombshell revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show by ProPublica’s Robert Faturechi, that the chairman of the senate intelligence committee Richard Burr(R-NC), may have fed his brother-in-law Gerald Fauth, who is Trump’s appointee to the national mediation board, with confidential covid-19 information, which Fauth then used to make profitable stock trades. Interestingly, Senator Burr’s brother-in-law made the questionable stock trades on the very same day Senator Burr dumped a significant portion of his stock, a strange coincidence that is sure to catch the attention of investigators, congressional and otherwise.

ProPublica’s Robert Faturechi told host Joy Reid, “Senator Burr sold a significant portion of his stock holdings on February 13th. What we [ProPublica] discovered last week was that his brother in law Gerald Fauth who is on the National Mediation Board and therefore needs to disclose his securities trading as well, sold on the exact same day between $97,000 and $280,000 worth of stock. I gave Gerald Fauth a call…..I asked him if he and Senator Burr coordinated and he immediately hung up on me.”

You’ll remember recent media reports that Senators Burr, Kelly Loeffler and others may have traded stocks based on information they obtained from a senate covid-19 briefing. DOJ reportedly launched an insider trading investigation into this issue. This latest bombshell that Senator Burr’s brother-in-law made questionable stock trades on the very same day Senator Burr dumped a significant portion of his stock should be cause for some serious scrutiny by the said DOJ investigators. According to ProPublica’s Faturechi, Burr’s brother-in-law hung up on him when he inquired as to whether there was any coordination with Senator Burr regarding the stock trades. While hanging up on a reporter is not by itself sufficient proof of guilt, it certainly opens up both Sen Burr and Gerald Fauth to a perception by the public that they have something to hide.

Bottom line folks, coronavirus pandemic has dealt a serious blow to Americans whether that be through lost loved ones, lost livelihoods(businesses and jobs), disruption in their children’s education, drastic lifestyle changes in a covid-19 world (masks), just to mention but a few. The idea that as covid-19 was knocking millions of Americans to the ground, the chairman of the senate intelligence committee Richard Burr, Senator Kelly Loeffler and other U.S. Senators were using their privileged positions not to shield Americans from the fall, but to personally enrich themselves, should enrage all Americans regardless of their political affiliation. Simply put, if Senators Burr, Loeffler, et al cannot demonstrate conclusively to the public that they did not engage in covid-19 insider trading, then they need to step aside. The burden should be on them to demonstrate conclusively to public that they did nothing wrong, not for the public to chase them around, begging for transparency.

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Trump Repeatedly Praised China’s Covid-19 Response

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping

If you’ve paid attention to President Trump’s covid-19 responses lately, then you’ve definitely noticed a common theme emerging and that is, him blaming everything related to coronavirus on China. This appears to be the new tactic adopted by Trump, his Republicans in Washington and their media surrogates. Trump’s chief media surrogate and in many ways his unofficial adviser Laura Ingraham, is one of the key proponents of this “blame it on China” strategy.

The problem with this “blame it on China” strategy is that Trump has previously gone on the record several times praising China’s response to covid-19.

Trump for example said on February 10 2020, “I spoke with President Xi and they[China] are working very very hard and I think it’s going to all work out fine.”

On February 17 2020 Trump said, “I spoke with President Xi of China and he’s working very hard on this. It’s a tremendous problem[covid-19] but they are very capable and they’ll get to it.”

One day after that on February 18 2020 Trump said, “I think he is doing it very professionally. I know this, President Xi loves the people of China, he loves his country, and he is doing a very good job with a very tough situation.”

No reasonable person presented with President Trump’s previous pronouncements about China’s response to covid-19 can take seriously the severe criticism and blame he now heaps at the nation and its leader Xi. Reasonable people will conclude that Trump’s new found criticism of China and its leader regarding covid-19 is nothing but a desperate effort to scapegoat the foreign nation for his own administration’s bungled response to the pandemic.

There’s also this Jan 24 2020 tweet from Trump which further proves that the “blame it on China” strategy has no legs to stand on.

Bottom line folks, the record is very clear that the Trump administration was fairly warned about the severe threat of covid-19 and instead of heeding the dire warnings, Trump and key members of his administration, with the help of their surrogates on Fox News, chose to downplay the threat . 2020 is an election year which means covid-19 response will be on the ballot. It is very important that Team Biden and indeed Democrats nationally make sure that the voting public knows the real covid-19 response story. Simply put, Democrats must reiterate to the voting public that China is not the reason so many Americans needlessly died of covid-19.

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Gov Reynolds Says Iowans Must Return To Work Or Lose Unemployment Benefits

Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds(R) with President Trump

As the push by Republican Governors to lift covid-19 stay-at-home orders and “reopen” America for business intensifies, an interesting theme is emerging as the reasoning behind their hasty and quite frankly, reckless move. There is no question that covid-19 testing rates in the U.S. are nowhere near the levels that would justify safely reopening the states for business at this juncture. Texas in particular, is notoriously lagged behind in testing yet Governor Greg Abbott has slated this Friday(May 1), as the day many businesses in the states are authorized to reopen.

So what is the reason behind this hasty “reopen America” move by Gov Abbott, Reynolds, and other Republican Governors across the U.S.? The answer to this question lies in the national embarrassment the unemployment programs in these states have subjected these Republican governors to. Florida’s unemployment program in particular has become such a national embarrassment following widespread media reports, that Governor Ron DeSantis was not only forced to confess that it is broken, but also issued an executive order relaxing some of the requirements for workers to qualify for benefits.

Unflattering media reports about the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) which handles unemployment claims in Texas have also been a constant source of embarrassment for Gov. Greg Abbott. The same story has played out in other Republican-controlled states including Iowa. Simply put, contrary to popular belief, covid-19 did not break these state unemployment programs. These programs have been broken for years, thanks to GOP’s anti-worker’s rights policies. Covid-19 simply exposed on a grand scale, the unemployment insurance sham in GOP-controlled states.

Well, it appears Republican Governors have settled on the “reopen America” push as a way of dealing with the unemployment insurance embarrassment. By hastily reopening businesses in their states, GOP Governors can technically force workers to return to work because refusal by the workers to do so will amount to quitting, which in turn disqualifies them from unemployment benefits. This is especially cruel and insensitive to minorities especially Blacks and Hispanics, who have a valid reason to fear returning to work before covid-19 testing rates are ramped up to a level that will reassure them that it is safe for them to do so. GOP Governors don’t seem to care about the plight of vulnerable minority populations validly fearful of covid-19 and appear hell bent instead, on blackmailing them back to work by threatening them with losing their unemployment benefits. This is precisely what Gov Kim Reynolds just did.

Gov Kim Reynolds specifically said, “If you are an employer and you offer to bring your employee back to work and they decide not to that’s a voluntary quit, and so therefore they will not be eligible for unemployment benefits.” Make no mistake about it folks, this is an “order” by Gov Reynolds and other GOP Governors to employers in their states to call back workers so as to forcibly take them off the unemployment rolls–essentially cruelly forcing people back to work regardless of their valid covid-19 fears. There is no effort being made by Gov Reynolds and others to fix the numerous problems covid-19 has exposed with the state unemployment programs. Forcing vulnerable people back to work appears to be the GOP Governors’ way out of the problem.

Bottom line folks, covid-19 has exposed some serious problems with the state unemployment programs, especially the ones in Florida and Texas. It is imperative that the mainstream media and members of Congress call for changes to these woefully broken state unemployment programs. Simply put, Governors Reynolds, Abbott, DeSantis and others must not be allowed to sweep these unemployment insurance problems under the rug simply by forcing their residents to go back to work. The GOP Governors must be forced to address the reasons why these programs are broken in the first place.

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Texas Dog Trainer Now Leads Covid-19 Task Force

Former Dallas Dog Breeder Brian Harrison now leading the nation’s covid-19 response

In case you missed it, there was a stunning revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show that the Trump administration has chosen a former Dallas area dog breeder Brian Harrison who has zero background in medicine or public health, to lead the nation’s coronavirus task force. The Trump administration apparently chose Harrison to replace outgoing Dr Rick Bright, a career vaccine expert who took a cautionary stance towards Trump’s favorite drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for covid-19. Because the vaccine expert refused to follow Trump’s blind push for hydroxychloroquine as covid-19 treatment, he was pushed aside and has been replaced by Harrison, a former dog breeder.

Host Joy Reid specifically said, “Dr Bright is a career vaccine expert and similar to an increasingly silent Dr Fauci, he insisted on sticking to the science and he seems to be the polar opposite of the guy now heading the administration’s coronavirus task force, Brian Harrison. He[Harrison] is a Health and Human Services[HHS] aide who for six years ran Dallas Labradoodles–no that is not code for some Texas antiviral operation meant to save lives–instead, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The new HHS leader of the covid-19 response does not have a formal background in medicine or public health but instead, was a dog trainer. This isn’t just cronyism over normal politics, this is cronyism over saving lives.”

Even the staunchest of President Trump’s supporters will agree that for a global pandemic that has already claimed 50,000 lives in the U.S., it is not a lot to ask that the person chosen to lead the administration’s response be someone with a background in medicine or public health. That person is definitely not Brian Harrison who appears to be per AM Joy’s reporting, a political crony.

It also bears pointing out that at a recent press conference in Austin, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said a major reason why he decided to reopen the state for business despite the state’s lagging covid-19 testing numbers was because he had been assured by Trump’s coronavirus task force that Texas would be provided with all the testing supplies it needed. One can reasonably infer given this new development that the assurances the Texas Governor was referring to probably came from former Dallas dog breeder Brian Harrison.

Bottom line folks, incompetence has been a recurring theme surrounding Trump administration’s coronavirus response whether that be from the serious foot dragging we are witnessing with the testing, the numerous contradictory statements the administration issues to the public regarding safe practices, etc. Where, as here, the Trump administration settles on a dog trainer with zero background in medicine or public health to head the nation’s coronavirus task force, the public has every right to assume that the administration is not taking the threat posed by covid-19 seriously, even after it has claimed the lives of 50,000 Americans. As Joy Reid correctly stated, this is not just incompetence, this is deadly incompetence.

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Betsy Devos’ Aide Behind Reopen America Protests

In case you missed it, there was a bombshell revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show that prominent republican operatives are behind the reopen America protests that are springing up across the country in opposition to stay-at-home orders issued to prevent the spread of covid-19. One of those prominent republicans, per AM Joy, is Greg McNeilly, a longtime political aide to the Devos family. McNeily was apparently behind the recent reopen America protests in Michigan which were highly promoted by Fox News and it’s number one customer President Trump.

AM Joy’s host Joy Reid perfectly nailed down what these so-called protests boil down to–rich people getting regular folk out on the streets to advocate for what they(rich people) want and that is, a return to making profits, the human cost be damned! Joy Reid specifically said, “You do have very very wealthy people who see their own interests as getting as many people back on the cog in the wheel as possible for themselves who are then creating these supposed grassroots movements, sort of astroturf movements…..The Devos family…. is one of the groups promoting this group the MIchigan Freedom Front. It’s run by Greg McNeilly the longtime political adviser to the Devos family, who are prolific Republican donors and have funded Conservative causes for decades. McNeilly was campaign manager for Dick Devos the husband of current U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos..”

It is vitally important for the public to understand the point Joy Reid is making and that is, these so-called protests we are witnessing across the country in opposition to covd-19 stay-at-home orders are not organic grassroots protests from regular folk clamoring for their freedoms. Instead they are well organized and financed campaigns led by rich republicans like the Devos family, who are desperate to get the economy back up and running regardless of how many human lives are expended in the process.

It cannot also be left unsaid that President Trump who for all practical purposes leads the coronavirus task force, has also shockingly encouraged such protests–essentially urging the public to disobey the recommendations of his own task force that people continue to stay at home to curb the spread of the disease. Of the many reckless actions President Trump has undertaken while in office, encouraging the public to protest reasonable stay-at-home orders in the face of a pandemic certainly ranks at the very top.

Bottom line folks, it is important that we remember who is really behind these so-called protests. As Joy Reid perfectly put it, it is rich folk looking out for their own financial interests. Your duty, especially if you are a person of color and thus more susceptible to death from covid-19, is to exercise due diligence and make sure your local officials are basing their “reopening” decisions on scientific data as opposed to going along with Trump’s/Republican party politics. The best way to do that is to ensure covid-19 testing numbers and results at your locality support the conclusion that it is safe for you or your family member to go back to work. Simply put folks, look out for yourself and your family when making covid-19 related decisions and be very skeptical of the reopen America “protests” that are designed to deceptively suggest that the public is raring to go back to work. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, NFL star Malcolm Jenkins gives the same prudent advice.

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