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Donald J. Trump Has Failed In His Response To Coronavirus (Covid-19) AKA Trump Flu

Donald J. Trump was failed to do his number one job protect Americans. Donald J. Trump failure to act quickly and reasonably to protect the American people from the Coronavirus has put millions of America lives at risks. Trump said "We have it totally under control", we do not have it under control. Over 400,000 American have died because of the failure of Donald J. Trump. How many of those dead Americans would still be alive if Trump had done the right thing and leveled with the American about how serious the coronavirus was. How many more Americans will die because of Donald J. Trump failures? Trump said, "Anybody that needs a test, gets a test", Americans cannot get a test because there are not enough test no matter what Trump says. Because there are so, few test unless you meet certain criteria you will not be tested. Trump and McConnell have tried to claim that impeachment may have cause Trump to drop the ball, that dog don’t hunt. Trump was able to do rallies, play golf and attack Democrats, but was unable to protect the American people. As president, you need to be able to walk, talk, chew gum, spit and walk a dog at the same time, if Trump can only talk (lie) he should not be president. The coronavirus (covid-19) should be called the Trump Flu in America since his failure to protect the American people has cause far more American to get infected than anywhere else in the world.

Coronavirus kills people of all ages. Coronavirus can remain in the air and on surfaces for more than an hour. Someone who is not showing any signs of illness can infect you. Be safe; stay home if directed, keep your distance from others, stay home if sick to prevent possible spread of the disease, wash your hands with soap before you touch your face and wash your hands with soap frequently. Below you can find the latest coronavirus updates statistics, totals, new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends, timelines and more. Call it what is it in America the Trump Flu, the Trump virus or the Trump pandemic. Trump’s epic failures have cause America to become the epicenter of the virus.

Remember when Trump said when Trump said we only have 15 cases and it would got away soon. Then Trump said if we keep the number of deaths below 60,000 then we have done a good job. As of 07/13/2020, 3,479,483 Americans have been infected with coronavirus and 138,247 Americans have lost their lives to the Trump virus (coronavirus). As of 10/14/2020 8,146,377 Americans have the coronavirus and 221,801 have died. You can find the current number of Americans who have the Trump virus (coronavirus) and the number of Americans who have died from the Trump virus (coronavirus) here. Trump says the reason for the increased numbers is due to testing so if we had less testing we would have fewer cases, that is BS. If what Trump says is true, we could stop teen pregnancy by not testing, anyone who has a brain and uses it knows that is not the case you are either pregnant or you are not testing only lets you know if you are before you start showing. If what Trump says is true, people who wanted to get pregnant could get pregnant by more testing again we know that is not the case, testing will not make you pregnant it only gives you the results. Trump policy of inaction on testing and blaming others will put more America lives at risk; Trump is not doing a good job protecting the American lives. What Trump is doing is putting more American lives at risk.

Now Trump wants to open schools and that will put even more Americans at risk. Trump pressured states to reopen too soon, which has caused an increase in the number of coronavirus cases and increased the number of deaths. Now Trump wants to open schools and that will put even more Americans at risk. Trump does not care how many children, their parents, their grandparents and their friends die from the Trump virus, Trump is willing to put all Americans lives at risk so he can be reelected.You can save the lives of your children, your parents, your grandparents, your friends and people you do not know do not vote for Trump and save lives. How many Americans have died and how many more will die because of Trump’s stupidly, incompetence and arrogance. You can find more the Coronavirus here or the #TrumpFlu. #trump, #coronavirus, #covid, #virus, #covid-19, #corona

The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures.
By David Frum

“I don’t take responsibility at all,” said President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on March 13. Those words will probably end up as the epitaph of his presidency, the single sentence that sums it all up. Trump now fancies himself a “wartime president.” How is his war going? By the end of March, the coronavirus had killed more Americans than the 9/11 attacks. By the first weekend in April, the virus had killed more Americans than any single battle of the Civil War. By Easter, it may have killed more Americans than the Korean War. On the present trajectory, it will kill, by late April, more Americans than Vietnam. Having earlier promised that casualties could be held near zero, Trump now claims he will have done a “very good job” if the toll is held below 200,000 dead. The United States is on trajectory to suffer more sickness, more dying, and more economic harm from this virus than any other comparably developed country. That the pandemic occurred is not Trump’s fault.

The utter unpreparedness of the United States for a pandemic is Trump’s fault. The loss of stockpiled respirators to breakage because the federal government let maintenance contracts lapse in 2018 is Trump’s fault. The failure to store sufficient protective medical gear in the national arsenal is Trump’s fault. That states are bidding against other states for equipment, paying many multiples of the precrisis price for ventilators, is Trump’s fault. Air travelers summoned home and forced to stand for hours in dense airport crowds alongside infected people? That was Trump’s fault too. Ten weeks of insisting that the coronavirus is a harmless flu that would miraculously go away on its own? Trump’s fault again. The refusal of red-state governors to act promptly, the failure to close Florida and Gulf Coast beaches until late March? That fault is more widely shared, but again, responsibility rests with Trump: He could have stopped it, and he did not.

The lying about the coronavirus by hosts on Fox News and conservative talk radio is Trump’s fault: They did it to protect him. The false hope of instant cures and nonexistent vaccines is Trump’s fault, because he told those lies to cover up his failure to act in time. The severity of the economic crisis is Trump’s fault; things would have been less bad if he had acted faster instead of sending out his chief economic adviser and his son Eric to assure Americans that the first stock-market dips were buying opportunities. The firing of a Navy captain for speaking truthfully about the virus’s threat to his crew? Trump’s fault. The fact that so many key government jobs were either empty or filled by mediocrities? Trump’s fault. The insertion of Trump’s arrogant and incompetent son-in-law as commander in chief of the national medical supply chain? Trump’s fault. For three years, Trump has blathered and bluffed and bullied his way through an office for which he is utterly inadequate. But sooner or later, every president must face a supreme test, a test that cannot be evaded by blather and bluff and bullying. That test has overwhelmed Trump. Trump failed. He is failing. He will continue to fail. And Americans are paying for his failures.

By John Haltiwanger

"I don't take responsibility at all." That was President Donald Trump on March 13, declining to take responsibility for a nationwide shortage in testing kits for the novel coronavirus that put the US way behind other nations in responding to the virus. Those six words encapsulate how Trump has largely approached the coronavirus pandemic: He has shirked any semblance of responsibility, lashed out at those who've sought to hold him accountable, attempted to rewrite the history of his bungled response, and scapegoated or blamed others for the myriad failures of his administration and the federal government.

The president has often taken such an approach to crises. Though it was clear he pressured a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political opponent in a July 25 phone call that contributed to his impeachment, for example, Trump has maintained the conversation was "perfect." In many cases, this strategy seems to have worked. Trump has managed to maintain the loyalty of his base and congressional Republicans, despite numerous crises and scandals of his own making and an unorthodox style of leadership. But coronavirus is different. Trump can't hide the devastating toll of a pandemic with disinformation, nor can he contend the economy is in excellent shape when over 10 million have recently filed for unemployment and over 700,000 jobs were lost in March.

As Trump rejects calls to provide more ventilators and other aid to states, contending governors should've done more to prepare, the death toll across the country has continued to rise. In remarks that are already haunting Trump, the president in late February claimed the number of coronavirus cases in the US would be "close to zero" in a "couple of days." Fast-forward to April 7, and there were well over 380,000 reported cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 11,000 people have died.

On February 24, President Trump tweeted, ‘The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.’ It wasn’t.
By Michael A. Cohen Globe Columnist

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.” With these words, on Tuesday afternoon, President Trump sounded a new and welcomed tone on the coronavirus. But make no mistake, hard days lie ahead because of the president’s botched, selfish, and incompetent response to the coronavirus crisis. A change in tone can’t change that catastrophic reality. Trump’s calls for vigilance are a bit like declaring it’s time to close the barn doors after the horses have escaped — and the barn is on fire and it’s threatening to burn the entire farm down. Tens of thousands of Americans (and possibly more) are likely to die because of the president. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Trump’s public statements and actions have followed a similar trajectory: They have been dishonest, misleading, fantastical, and dangerous. It would blow over soon, he said early on. It would go away when the weather got warmer. “The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” he tweeted. It wasn’t.

  The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
  — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020

While thankfully there’s no more talk of re-opening the economy on Easter, the damage has been done. America has become the epicenter of a global pandemic. Consider that the United States and South Korea reported their first coronavirus cases on the same day — Jan. 20. More than two months later, South Korea has just under 10,000 confirmed cases and 169 deaths. By comparison, the United States has more than 216,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 5,000 people have died. Taking into account population differences (the US has 327 million people and South Korea has around 51 million people), the number of cases is more than three times greater than South Korea — and the death toll is nearly four times as great. These horrific numbers could have been avoided with genuine presidential leadership.

After the initial case was diagnosed in January, South Korea immediately began aggressive testing and quarantines. Private companies were encouraged to develop diagnostic tests. Within a month drive-through screening centers had been set up and thousands were being tested daily. In the United States, Trump refused to focus on the issue. Two days after that initial positive case he declared "We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming from China. It’s going to be just fine.” When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was first able to talk to Trump about the coronavirus on Jan. 18, Trump wanted to talk about a recently announced vaping ban. Into February, Trump was still stubbornly resisting bureaucratic efforts to deal with the emerging crisis. The weeks lost in ramping up testing were a lost — and unforgivable —opportunity to save lives. Trump’s obstinance is bad enough — but the delay was also undoubtedly influenced by Trump’s diktat that testing should not be a priority.

The more testing that was done, the more positive results there would be and that was an outcome the president did not want. Keeping the numbers low in order to avoid spooking Wall Street and negatively affecting Trump’s reelection became the administration’s focus. Those presidential-created obstacles did more than prevent essential equipment from getting to communities in need — it seeded a deadly message of doubt, particularly to Trump supporters. While more than 30 states have issued stay-at-home orders, a host of states have either not made such state-wide declarations or done partial orders. Nearly all are helmed by Republican governors. In Arizona, GOP Governor, Doug Ducey prevented cities and counties from putting in effect stay-at-home orders. He didn’t issue his own statewide decree until this week.

Last week, the Republican governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves overruled city and county social distancing measures. Under pressure, he announced a stay-at-home order on Wednesday that will go into effect Friday. Trump has also publicly suggested that Democratic governors who don’t show him proper veneration will have to get in the back of the line for medical supplies. And there is emerging evidence that Republican states are having their requests for ventilators and protective equipment met while blue states are getting the short end of the stick. How many people, simply because they live in a blue state, are going to die because of this president’s petty cruelty?


I saw it all serving 42 years in the federal government, and here's my message to undecided voters: America is damaged and needs change at the top.
Russ Travers

Millions of you living in small towns and cities across this country are on the fence about your presidential vote. You want to make an informed decision. You are frustrated with Washington. The “elite,” from both political parties, has failed large segments of our population — perhaps including you — and candidate Trump tapped into that frustration.

Many of you voted for him as a “disrupter,” believing that things needed to change.  Understandable. But the time has come for a reckoning. And that’s a challenge. So much of what you hear and read is inside Washington baseball, competing political narratives dressed up by high-priced PR firms. Sadly, much is simply not true, and the first presidential debate certainly didn’t help restore your faith in the quality of political discourse. As you consider your vote, you’re having difficulty correlating the noise you hear, to life in middle America. more...

Many of you voted for him as a “disrupter,” believing that things needed to change.  Understandable. But the time has come for a reckoning. And that’s a challenge. So much of what you hear and read is inside Washington baseball, competing political narratives dressed up by high-priced PR firms. Sadly, much is simply not true, and the first presidential debate certainly didn’t help restore your faith in the quality of political discourse. As you consider your vote, you’re having difficulty correlating the noise you hear, to life in middle America.

Let me offer some thoughts. I am admittedly a creature of Washington. But I would like to think I represent what you expect and deserve from a federal government employee. I'm someone you’ve never heard of, but who spent 42 years attempting to do “good government,” serving seven presidents of both political parties.

America is on the wrong track
Most recently I was the Acting Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, trying to protect you and your families. Earlier in this administration, I received an award from the president for "sustained extraordinary achievement," an honor reserved for the top 1% of Senior Executives. The following year I was fired. And if you care, I’m an independent. I voted for neither this president nor for Hillary Clinton. I wrote in former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.  more...

A. B. Man III

Trump likes to brag about what a good job he has done about the coronavirus he likes to tell us how he stopped it from coming in from China with his travel ban but somehow manages to forget to tell you about the 40,000 who came from China during his travel ban. He also forgets to tell you about the cases that came in from Europe that infected New York and the east coast or how deadly the coronavirus is. Trump knew early on how deadly the coronavirus but has said he wanted to downplay it; you do not down play something that can kill people doing so puts people’s lives at risk. People cannot and will not take the appropriate safety precaution if they do not how deadly the coronavirus is.

The ideal that Trump wanted to down play the coronavirus because he did not want to start panic is almost laughable if it was not so said, when you consider daily he scares people with his talk about the protesters and how Antifa and the protesters are coming for you. Other counties around the world were honest with their people and it did not cause a panic in those counties. Trump could have saved a lot of lives if had told the America people the truth this is a bad one you need to wear mask and social distance from each other. How many people would be alive today if he had been honest with the American people?

Currently 8,146,377 Americans have the coronavirus and 221,801 have died in six months from the coronavirus, because of Trump’s inaction, maybe in America we should call the Trump Flu. Most of the Americans who have died may have lived if not for Trump’s inaction. We do not know how many more Americas will die from the Trump Flu but most of them would have lived if not for Trump’s inaction. Trump knew the dangers of the Trump Flu his inactions caused the needles deaths of most of the 221,801. We do not know full total number of people who have died from the Trump Flu or how many more Americans will die because of Trumps inaction.

Instead of being honest with the American people, he continues to be dishonest about how deadly it is by telling the American people that it is no deadly that the flu and that is not true. The flu killed 37,000 people in 2019; in 2020, the Trump Flu killed 221,801 in six months, nearly six times as many people died in half the time, which is not like the flu it is six times deadly than the flu. Trump and Republicans have been using alternative fact on us maybe they are using alternative math as well.

Trump should be charged with homicide because he knew how deadly the Trump Flu was and did not tell the America people and to this day, he has not come out and told the truth to the America people. In addition, Trump and his campaign went around the country infecting people including themselves at his campaign events, Herman Cain died shortly after attending a Trump event. We do not know how many people have gotten the Trump Flu or died from it by attending a Trump event, but it was reckless for Trump to put people at risk without telling them how high deadly the Trump Flu and not taking the appropriate precaution such as mask and social distancing to protect the people at his events.

Trump could have saved a lot of lives if had of told the American people the truth about how dangerous the Trump Flu was and to mask up and practice social distancing to save American lives, instead he did just the opposite. Now Trump is thinking we could use herd immunity to stop the Trump Flu the problem is herd immunity will not work because some can be re-infected and the second time around is worse than the first time and because some be re-infected each time could be worse and could cause more deaths. The other problem is a lot more Americans would die that did not need to reach herd immunity and because people can be re-infected, there is not guaranty that herd immunity would work. Maybe Trump really does not care about the American people and has been using herd immunity all along and that is the reason he did not tell the American people about how bad it is and to mask up and practice social distancing.

Maybe we were expecting too much of Trump to think he could or would protect us from the Trump Flu, considering Trump could not or rather would not protect himself, his family, his staff the White House, his supporters or the American people from the Trump Flu obviously he is not up to the job.  The America people need to fire Donald J. Trump, we need to vote him out of office before he kills more Americans and does even more damage to our institutions and our democracy.

Doses should be flowing. But instead, states are complaining of vaccine shortages. And Team Biden officials don’t know exactly what the holdup is.
Erin Banco

Millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine are likely lost in the complex system to distribute the shots, U.S. officials believe. And no one working on the federal response to the coronavirus is quite sure why. Members of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force have spent their first days in office working overtime to find an answer to this puzzle. So far, one hasn’t emerged. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 41.4 million doses have been handed out to the states. Only 21.8 million have been administered. Officials say they think there is a vaccine surplus, although how large of one is unclear. Bottom line: Doses should be flowing, they said But instead, states are complaining of vaccine shortages. more...

By Christina Zhao

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said that former President Donald Trump tried to get him to downplay the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 25.6 million individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in America as of Sunday, and over 429,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus. At the time, Fauci's routine public contradictions of Trump's pandemic claims drew harsh backlash from MAGA supporters, who would chant "fire Fauci!" at campaign rallies. Now working for President Biden's administration, Fauci told The New York Times, in an interview published Sunday, that Trump had urged him to be optimistic—even as things got dire. "I would try to express the gravity of the situation, and the response of the president was always leaning toward, 'Well, it's not that bad, right?' And I would say, 'Yes, it is that bad,'" he recalled. "It was almost a reflex response, trying to coax you to minimize it. Not saying, 'I want you to minimize it,' but, 'Oh, really, was it that bad?'" Fauci continued. more...

CBS News

Washington — Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House coronavirus response coordinator under former President Donald Trump, revealed that she had no full-time team in the White House working on the response to COVID-19 under the former president. In an interview with "Face the Nation" airing Sunday, Birx said that she was "an N of 1" during her tenure in the White House as the coronavirus response coordinator. In contrast, she praised President Joe Biden for building a team of experts in testing, vaccines, data and data use, as well as a full-time supply chain point-person. During the Trump administration, those individuals existed "in different pockets of government," Birx said. "There was no team, full-time team in the White House working on coronavirus," she told "Face the Nation," adding that she did ask for more staff. Birx noted she had "one incredible support person" named Tyler Ann McGuffee who helped make sure that she was at meetings on time and did not miss emails. Birx, a former U.S. Army colonel and adviser at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the Trump administration's structure meant that she was the "only full-time person in the White House working on the coronavirus response." "That's what I was given," she said. "So what I did is, I went to my people that I've known all through the last years in government, all 41, and said, can you come and help me? And so I was able to recruit from other agencies, individuals." more...

Robin Young, Samantha Raphelson

On his first full day in office, President Biden is expected to sign more executive orders and directives, including one calling on agencies to use the Defense Production Act to boost supplies of medical equipment, COVID-19 tests and vaccines. A year ago, on Jan. 20, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in the U.S. On that very day, Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, issued a paper warning of the imminent pandemic and urging the U.S. to respond. Since then, more than 406,000 people in the country have died of the disease. Biden is promising to administer 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days, but the vaccine rollout across the country has been slow. That’s because the Trump administration didn’t have a plan for vaccine distribution, says Osterholm, who also serves as a member of Biden’s coronavirus advisory board. more...

*** Over 400,000 Americans are dead most of them did not have to die. How many Americans died because of Trump, his allies, Republicans, Fox News and right wing media downplayed the threat the coronavirus was to the America people. ***


On the eve of his inauguration, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. assumes the role of mourner-in-chief at a ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial. Germany tightens its lockdown rules as a preventive measure against the highly infectious variant. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. arrived in Washington on Tuesday and led a national mourning for Americans killed by the coronavirus pandemic as the death toll topped 400,000, a gesture to the tragedy the country had endured even as he pledged that light would pierce the darkness. On the eve of his inauguration as the 46th president of the United States, Mr. Biden flew to the capital from his home in Wilmington, Del., and headed to the Lincoln Memorial, where he presided over a brief ceremony paying tribute to those who had died from Covid-19 in the past year. “To heal, we must remember,” Mr. Biden said, standing in front of the Reflecting Pool, which was surrounded by 400 lights to commemorate the 400,000 victims of the virus. “It’s hard sometimes to remember. But that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation. That’s why we’re here today. Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection and remember all whom we lost.” more...

Born as a second Manhattan Project, the Trump administration vaccine program actually achieved most of its goals – until distribution problems marred its success.
By DAN DIAMOND

As the nation’s Covid-19 response was careening off the rails in March and April 2020, about a dozen top health and defense department officials huddled in antiseptic meeting rooms to devise what they believed would be the Trump administration’s greatest triumph — a vaccine program so fast, so special, so successful that grateful Americans would forgive earlier failures and business schools would teach classes about it for decades. They dubbed their project "MP2," for a second Manhattan Project, after the race to create the nuclear weapons that ended World War II. Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services secretary who was often at odds with the White House and his own department, sounded like an Army general rallying his troops: “If we can develop an atomic bomb in 2.5 years and put a man on the moon in seven years, we can do this this year, in 2020," Azar would declare, according to his deputy chief of staff, Paul Mango, who helped lead the strategy sessions. "It was just a spirit of optimism," Mango added. more...

Tucker Higgins

Several Democratic governors are criticizing the Trump administration for apparently misleading public health officials about holding a stockpile of Covid-19 vaccines in reserve. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Tuesday that the government would begin releasing doses of vaccine that were being held in “physical reserve” to ensure enough supply for second doses. Both federally approved vaccines, made by Pfizer and Moderna, are administered in two shots spaced several weeks apart. The Washington Post reported on Friday that despite Azar’s comments, no such federal stockpile of vaccines exists. The newspaper, citing state and federal officials, said the Trump administration had already started shipping its available supply in December. The Democratic state leaders say the lack of a federal reserve will upset plans to increase the speed and scope of their vaccination campaigns. more...

By Kale Williams | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Oregon’s ability to begin administering vaccines to an expanded group of people beginning Jan. 23 is in jeopardy after expectations of more doses from the federal government proved false. Earlier this week, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced an unspecified number of doses held in reserve for second doses would be released to states. Gov. Kate Brown responded Tuesday by welcoming extra doses and announcing all teachers and people over 65 would be eligible for the vaccine beginning next Saturday, in conjunction with more vaccines arriving. more...

States were anticipating a windfall after federal officials said they would stop holding back second doses. But the approach had already changed, and no stockpile exists.
By Isaac Stanley-Becker and Lena H. Sun

When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line.

Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are confronting the reality that their allocations will remain largely flat, dashing hopes of dramatically expanding access for millions of elderly people and those with high-risk medical conditions. Health officials in some cities and states were informed in recent days about the reality of the situation, while others are still in the dark. more...

Noah Higgins-Dunn

A record 4,327 people died from Covid-19 in the U.S. on Tuesday, marking the deadliest day of the pandemic so far as the federal government tries to speed up the rollout of lifesaving vaccines. It comes as researchers in Ohio say they have found two new variants that likely originated in the U.S. The new record is the second time in the last week that Covid-19 deaths have exceeded 4,000 in one day. It also pushes the nation’s weekly average of deaths per day to 3,342 — a 26% increase compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. So far, 34,804 people have died in January, on track to become the deadliest month of the pandemic in the United States. Medical experts say the nation is now in its post-holiday surge, and the situation will likely worsen before it improves. more...

By Kristen Holmes, CNN

Washington (CNN) The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to announce sweeping changes Tuesday in vaccine rollout guidelines in an effort to boost the lagging number of vaccinations in the first month -- effectively adopting the approach proposed by President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration. The Trump administration plans to release reserved second doses immediately, a senior administration official tells CNN. The official expects reserved doses to be distributed over the next two weeks. The move comes after Trump administration officials recently disparaged Biden's plan to do the same. "If President-elect Biden is calling for the distribution of vaccines knowing that there would not be a second dose available, that decision is without science or data and is contrary to the FDA's approved label," Operation Warp Speed spokesman Michael Pratt said Friday in light of Biden's announcement. "If President-elect Biden is suggesting that the maximum number of doses should be made available, consistent with ensuring that a second dose of vaccine will be there when the patient shows up, then that is already happening." more...

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) On the heels of the country's deadliest week since the Covid-19 pandemic's start, state officials are warning of more alarming patterns following the holiday season. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state was seeing a "real and significant increase in cases and our positivity rate from people's gatherings around the holiday." "This surge that we're in right now is at least twice the rate, the seriousness, of the previous surges that we have seen," the governor added. "This is our most dangerous time." Colorado's state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy on Friday warned of "early signs" of a rise in Covid-19 cases. "We are starting to see the impact of the holidays show up in our data," she said. Health experts believe about one in 105 residents are currently contagious, Herlihy added.

"We continue to see a large percentage of Colorado's population actively infected with Covid-19 and having the potential to transmit infection to each other, so contact between individuals continues to be high risk in this state," Herlihy said. It's been a warning repeated across other states since the start of the New Year. Arkansas' governor said earlier this month the state was "certainly in the surge after Christmas." And Mississippi officials said on Monday the state had experienced more Covid-19 patients in the ICU than ever before and was bracing for another rise in virus numbers following the holidays. "We do strongly anticipate another surge following the holidays," State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs had said. "It's kind of been a recurring theme, it's not something that should be too surprising. And this is also occurring when we have full ICU rooms, our hospitals are really overburdened." Wednesday's unprecedented storming of the US Capitol is also a worrying event in terms of the pandemic. more...

"Go into the hospitals, go into the intensive care units and see what is happening," he said. "Those are real numbers, real people and real deaths."
By Ben Kamisar

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday pushed back on President Donald Trump's false claims that the U.S. coronavirus death toll is "exaggerated." "The numbers are real," Fauci, one of the nation’s foremost infectious disease experts, said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We have well over 300,000 deaths. We are averaging two- to three thousand deaths per day." He told host Chuck Todd, "All you need to do, Chuck, is to go into the trenches, go into the hospitals, go into the intensive care units and see what is happening. Those are real numbers, real people and real deaths."

Fauci’s interview came in response to Trump tweeting, "The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of [The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s] ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low." Trump responded to Fauci by tweeting, "Something how Dr. Fauci is revered by the LameStream Media as such a great professional, having done, they say, such an incredible job, yet he works for me and the Trump Administration, and I am in no way given any credit for my work. Gee, could this just be more Fake News?" more...

By Devan Cole, CN

Washington (CNN) US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on Sunday said he has "no reason to doubt" the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Covid-19 death toll, contradicting President Donald Trump's claim that the agency has "exaggerated" its numbers. "From a public health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers," Adams told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" when asked about Trump's claim. "And I think people need to be very aware that it's not just about the deaths, as we talked about earlier," he added. "It's about the hospitalizations, the capacity. These cases are having an impact in an array of ways and people need to understand there's a finish line in sight, but we've got to keep running toward it." Earlier Sunday, Trump claimed on Twitter that the number of cases and deaths of the "China Virus is far exaggerated" because of the CDC's "ridiculous method of determination" compared to other countries, which "report, purposely, very inaccurately and low."

"'When in doubt, call it Covid,' " Trump wrote in a tweet. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, also pushed back against the President's claim on Sunday when asked about it, telling ABC News that "the deaths are real deaths." "In many areas of the country, the hospital beds are stretched. People are running out of beds, running out of trained personnel who are exhausted right now," Fauci said. "That's real. that's not fake. That's real." Trump complained later Sunday about the public's approval of Fauci's job performance, writing in a tweet that Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, "works for me ... and I am in no way given any credit for my work." Trump and Fauci have had an at-times rocky relationship during the pandemic, with the top infectious disease expert occasionally criticizing the President's actions related to the crisis and Trump openly trashing Fauci and suggesting in early November that he might fire him after the election. The President has before retweeted social media conspiracy theories, saying that only a small percentage of the people reported to have died from coronavirus really did die from the virus. more...

Susie Neilson

Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump's chief of staff, was ultimately the one who convinced the president to forgo a nationwide mask mandate to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reported on Thursday. According to the report, President Trump's main pollster, Tony Fabrizio, came to the Oval Office in the middle of the summer for a meeting with Trump and his advisors. Fabrizio reported some surprising news: A majority of voters – including likely Trump supporters – supported mandatory mask-wearing in public. Fabrizio's poll had found that, in July, nearly 70% of voters in states being targeted by Trump's campaign were in favor of a mask mandate, including more than half of Republicans. The polling data supported an argument made by senior advisors Jared Kushner and Hope Hicks: Trump could portray mask-wearing as Americans' key to regaining their freedom to attend group gatherings and indoor events. more...

Azmi Haroun

Throughout the course of the pandemic, President Donald Trump lashed out at his son-in-law Jared Kushner over testing and mask-wearing, according to a report by The New York Times. According to The Times, during a meeting of top aides in the Oval Office on August 19, Trump grew angry with increased COVID-19 testing in the US, which he blamed for higher case numbers. "You're killing me! This whole thing is! We've got all the damn cases," Trump reportedly yelled at Kushner. Trump continued, The Times reported, by telling Kushner, "I want to do what Mexico does. They don't give you a test till you get to the emergency room and you're vomiting." The report alleged that Trump viewed testing "as a mechanism for making him look bad by driving up the number of known cases." more...

Other pandemic assistance programs are set to end and a government shutdown looms as Trump spends his holiday at Mar-a-Lago.
By Liz Johnstone

Pandemic unemployment assistance, a lifeline for 7.3 million American workers out of work because of the coronavirus, expired at midnight Sunday morning after President Donald Trump continued to resist signing the $2.3 trillion package that combines government funding with Covid-19 relief. The bill, the result of protracted negotiations between both parties and the Trump administration that the president himself largely sat out, includes a $900 billion Covid-19 stimulus package that would extend those unemployment benefits — $114 to $357 weekly payments to unemployed gig workers and self-employed people whose business has stalled.

That package would also extend the federal eviction moratorium, which is set to expire on Dec. 31. Without an extension, millions could face an immediate housing crisis. The legislation would also fund the federal government through September 2021. Without Trump’s signature, the government will shut down at midnight Tuesday morning. After Congress passed the bill with large bipartisan support late last Monday, Trump threw Washington into chaos by suddenly raising an objection to the size of a new round of direct payments, which came as news to his own aides who had negotiated them with Congress. He demanded lawmakers raise to the amount to $2,000, as also criticized other elements he called “pork” included within the mammoth spending package, including routine annual foreign aid payments. Trump reiterated his criticism of the bill Saturday, tweeting, “I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill.” more...

by: Associated Press

President Donald Trump spent his Christmas golfing in Florida as a government shutdown looms and COVID relief hangs in the balance. Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach for the holidays, had no events on his public schedule after throwing the future of a massive COVID relief and government funding bill into question. Failure to sign the bill, which arrived in Florida on Thursday night, could deny relief checks to millions of Americans on the brink and force a government shutdown in the midst of the pandemic. The White House declined to share details of the president’s schedule. It said only: “During the Holiday season, President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American People. His schedule includes many meetings and calls.”

Trump’s expected golf partner Friday was South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally. Trump’s vacation came as Washington was still reeling over his surprise, eleventh-hour demand that an end-of-year spending bill that congressional leaders spent months negotiating give most Americans $2,000 COVID relief checks — far more than the $600 members of his own party had agreed to. The idea was swiftly rejected by House Republicans during a rare Christmas Eve session, leaving the proposal in limbo. more...

JILL COLVIN

PALM BEACH (AP) — After tossing a grenade that threatens to blow up a massive COVID relief and government funding bill and force a government shutdown in the midst of a pandemic, President Donald Trump spent his Christmas Eve golfing in Florida. Failure to agree on the bill could deny checks to millions of Americans on the brink.

Trump had no events on his public schedule on the first day of his winter vacation Thursday, but traveled to his Palm Beach golf club, where he was spotted by CNN cameras on the links. Reporters were given no details of his schedule for the day, but told that, “As the Holiday season approaches, President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American People. His schedule includes many meetings and calls.” more...

By Steve Marowski | smarowski@mlive.com

Army General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed, apologized to some state governors Saturday, acknowledging a “miscommunication” with states about how many doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine would initially be available. The Associated Press reported that more than a dozen states were told to expect far fewer doses of the vaccine next week than originally anticipated. Perna took “personal responsibility” for the miscommunication and wants to make sure they are committed to fair and equitable distribution for everyone in the United States.

“At the end of the day, the number of doses available to us to allocate ended up being lower,” Perna said at a press briefing Saturday. “As we gave forecasts to the jurisdictions and governors and states worked their priorities against those forecasts, when we had to decide what was eventually going to be shipped out, I had to lower the allocations to meet the releasable doses that were presented to me.” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday that doses of the vaccine were waiting to be shipped in Portage and she could not get a straight answer from the Trump administration about why Michigan – as well as many other states – were only receiving a fraction of what they were supposed to get. more...

Jemima McEvoy Forbes Staff

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has sought to distance itself from one of the agency’s former advisors—personally installed by President Trump—who the results of a watchdog investigation published Wednesday show repeatedly advocated for allowing millions of young and middle-aged Americans to become infected with Covid-19 over the summer in a push for the HHS to pursue a controversial “herd immunity” strategy.

Emails made public on Wednesday by the House committee overseeing the government’s pandemic response show that Paul Alexander—who was installed by President Trump in April to lead the HHS’ communications efforts—wrote to his higher-ups multiple times throughout June and July arguing that there is “no other way” to tackle Covid-19 except establishing “herd immunity” by allowing non-risk groups to expose themselves to the virus.

“Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk,” wrote Alexander in a July 4 message to his boss, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo, saying “we want them infected” to help “develop herd.” Similarly, on July 24, Alexander wrote to the Food and Drug Administration’s Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Associated Commissioner for External Affairs John Wagner and numerous top HHS officials arguing that it “may be best to open up the flood zone and let the kids and young folk get infected.”

In the emails, Alexander also acknowledged that the Trump administration was aware its policies would increase the spread of Covid-19, urged HHS staff to release more “positive statements” in support of the administration’s pandemic response and cast blame on scientists like Dr. Anthony Fauci for offering less rosy assessments of the situation, accusing them of trying to “make the president look bad.”
more...

Then-HHS science adviser Paul Alexander called for millions of Americans to be infected as means of fighting Covid-19.
By DAN DIAMOND

A top Trump appointee repeatedly urged top health officials to adopt a "herd immunity" approach to Covid-19 and allow millions of Americans to be infected by the virus, according to internal emails obtained by a House watchdog and shared with POLITICO. “There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD," then-science adviser Paul Alexander wrote on July 4 to his boss, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo, and six other senior officials.

"Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…" Alexander added. "[I]t may be that it will be best if we open up and flood the zone and let the kids and young folk get infected" in order to get "natural immunity…natural exposure," Alexander wrote on July 24 to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Caputo and eight other senior officials. Caputo subsequently asked Alexander to research the idea, according to emails obtained by the House Oversight Committee's select subcommittee on coronavirus.

Alexander also argued that colleges should stay open to allow Covid-19 infections to spread, lamenting in a July 27 email to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield that “we essentially took off the battlefield the most potent weapon we had...younger healthy people, children, teens, young people who we needed to fastly [sic] infect themselves, spread it around, develop immunity, and help stop the spread.” Alexander was a top deputy of Caputo, who was personally installed by President Donald Trump in April to lead the health department's communications efforts. Officials told POLITICO that they believed that when Alexander made recommendations, he had the backing of the White House. more...

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has revealed in a call to his own radio show that he is being treated for coronavirus with the same drug cocktail his boss received when he was ill with Covid-19.
BBC

He was admitted to hospital on Sunday after becoming the latest official close to Mr Trump to test positive. Mr Giuliani, 76, told the show he expects to leave hospital on Wednesday. He has been treated with Remdesivir and Dexamethasone, he explained. Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday that his ally, who has been leading the Trump campaign's legal challenges to the November election outcome, had been diagnosed with the virus. "I am doing fine. Pretty much all the symptoms are gone. The minute I took the cocktail I felt 100% better. It works very quickly, wow," he told his colleagues on his weekly show with 77 WABC radio from the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC. Mr Trump has strongly praised the experimental combination of drugs he received when he spent three nights in hospital with Covid-19 in October. Dozens of people in Mr Trump's orbit are said to have tested positive for Covid-19 since October. more...

Sam Stein

President Donald Trump on Tuesday held what was billed as a summit to celebrate and mark the progress of the development of a vaccine to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. But after a few minutes of touting the success of Operation Warp Speed, his address morphed into an unspooling of grievances over the election outcome as well as an unfounded assertion that the rising number COVID-19 cases across the country was, in fact, a “terrific” development.

“I hear we’re close to 15 percent. I’m hearing that, and that’s terrific,” Trump said of the percentage of Americans who have contracted COVID-19. Trump Announced a Major Vaccine Summit but Forgot to Tell Key Figures He appeared to be referencing the increased likelihood that a rising infection rate would bring the country closer to so-called herd immunity, which would effectively stop the virus from spreading because there would be no potential carriers to which it could go. In fact, infectious disease experts say an infection rate would have to be above 70 percent for herd immunity to take hold—a number that, if it were to be reached, would result in hundreds of thousands more Americans dying. more...

Tom McCarthy and agencies

Ex-FDA chief confirms administration turned down offer to reserve additional doses of vaccine, set to be first approved for US use. Trump at an Operation Warp Speed briefing in November. The extent to which the decision not to acquire more of the Pfizer vaccine could impede the vaccination effort in the United States was unclear. The Trump administration on Tuesday scrambled to justify a decision not to buy millions of backup doses of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer as the vaccine appeared likely to become the first approved for use in the United States. Government regulators with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced favorable preliminary findings on Tuesday from a review of Pfizer data, following approval for use in the UK and the first post-approval vaccination there.

The Trump administration last spring made a deal for 100m doses of the Pfizer vaccine candidate, but the administration turned down an offer to reserve additional doses, Scott Gottlieb, a current Pfizer board member and former FDA commissioner, confirmed on Tuesday. “Pfizer did offer an additional allotment coming out of that plan, basically the second-quarter allotment, to the US government multiple times – and as recently as after the interim data came out and we knew this vaccine looked to be effective,” Gottlieb told CNBC. “I think they were betting that more than one vaccine is going to get authorized and there will be more vaccines on the market, and that perhaps could be why they didn’t take up that additional 100m option agreement.” more...

By Elliot Hannon

The United Kingdom kicked off its coronavirus vaccination drive Tuesday morning, just days after the country’s regulator approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use. The U.S. is set to follow with an unprecedented vaccine drive of its own as soon as the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency authorization for the vaccine, which could come as quickly as this week. The White House is hosting a vaccine summit Tuesday where President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order making vague, likely unenforceable, assertions about Americans getting all the doses it needs before vaccines are shipped elsewhere. The order amounts to a PR stunt and comes after the New York Times reported that the Trump administration declined the opportunity to lock in tens of millions of additional doses of the vaccine this fall.

Pfizer officials told the Times they warned the Trump administration that supply would be tight and urged the White House to preorder more doses, but they were rebuffed. As a result, Americans could have to wait until midway through 2021 before the country is able to get another batch of doses. The Trump administration agreed to purchase 100 million doses (enough to vaccinate 50 million people) in July for nearly $2 billion. “After it signed its federal contract in late July, Pfizer went on to seal deals with other governments, including the European Union, which last month finalized an agreement to acquire 200 million doses from Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech,” the Times reports. “The federal contract signed in July called for Pfizer to deliver 100 million doses by March at a cost of $19.50 a dose—if its vaccine worked. It gave the government the option to request 100 million to 500 million additional doses. It was one of six contracts that the Trump administration signed with vaccine makers in a strategy intended to hedge its bets and maximize the chances of success.” more...

CNBC Television

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, board member at Pfizer and biotech company Illumina as well as former FDA commissioner, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday that Pfizer offered its second quarter allotment of Covid-19 vaccine to the Trump administration multiple times, but the government declined to strike an additional agreement on the option to purchase, relying instead on multiple other vaccine agreements. video...

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) As Thanksgiving week draws to an end, more experts are warning the Covid-19 pandemic will likely get much worse in the coming weeks before a possible vaccine begins to offer some relief. More than 205,000 new cases were reported Friday -- which likely consists of both Thursday and Friday reports in some cases, as at least 20 states did not report Covid-19 numbers on Thanksgiving.
The US has now reported more than 100,000 infections every day for 25 consecutive days, with a daily average of more than 166,000 across the last week -- almost 2.5 times higher than the summer's peak counts in July.

The number of Covid-19 patients in US hospitals is just off record levels: more than 89,800 on Friday, only a few hundred lower than the peak set a day earlier, according to the COVID Tracking Project. And daily Covid-19 deaths in the US have been heading up. The daily average across seven days was 1,477 on Friday. But more than 2,100 deaths were reported on each of the two days prior to Thanksgiving, the first time that level was crossed on consecutive days since late April. And while there is more good news on the vaccine front, for now Americans need to "hunker down" and prepare for a difficult winter ahead, according to Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and a visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

"We cannot let our guard down," she told CNN Friday night. "The vaccines will make a big difference in the spring and the summer; they're not going to make a difference right now." Based on the current Covid-19 numbers in the US, the country is far from rounding the corner, she said. "If anything, we are rounding the corner into a calamity," Wen said. "We're soon going to exceed well more than 2,000 deaths, maybe 3,000, 4,000 deaths every single day here in the US." more...

By Frances Mulraney For Dailymail.com

Health experts are warning that daily deaths from COVID-19 in the United States could double to 4,000 within the next ten days due to the impact of the colder weather and Thanksgiving travel. They caution that despite the prospect of a vaccine, the country's outbreak is far from over and could be 'rounding the corner into a calamity' after hitting a record 90,000 hospitalizations on Thursday. It comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, says that Christmas and the New Year won't be any different to Thanksgiving, as he projected rising coronavirus cases throughout December.

The US hit over 13 million infections on Black Friday as 205,000 new cases were recorded, likely consisting of some Thanksgiving figures when 20 states did not report any data. It marked the country's 25th consecutive day with more than 100,000 new cases. There have been more than 264,000 deaths in total, with five states setting death records this week and 23 states reporting higher case counts than last week. The US reported less than 1,000 daily deaths only twice in the last week, while the two days prior to Thanksgiving each saw more than 2,000 American deaths. more...

James Crump

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has been accused of overseeing a “killing spree”, after he extended a ban on cities in the state imposing their own mask mandates. On Wednesday, Mr DeSantis extended an executive order issued in September, which prevented local governments from fining residents who refused to wear face masks, or from closing restaurants not complying with coronavirus measures.

The decision on 25 September prompted the start of the state’s third phase of pandemic measures, which allowed restaurants and bars to open at 100 per cent capacity. Florida Democratic officials criticised the governor for the extension of the executive order on Wednesday, amid a spike in cases in the state. Chris King, the 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, quote tweeted a local news story about the decision, adding: “Alternate headline: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Continues Killing Spree.” more...

Dan Mangan

A top advisor to President Donald Trump’s campaign said Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, six days after attending a controversial press conference led by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The disclosure of the Covid-19 diagnosis by Boris Epshteyn came as Giuliani, the Trump lawyer who led that press conference, headed to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for what was being called a hearing by the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee on the state’s election.

Giuliani’s son Andrew, who also attended his father’s press conference Thursday at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, revealed last Friday that he tested positive for the coronavirus. Andrew Giuliani is a White House special assistant to Trump. The Gettysburg hearing comes a day after Pennsylvania certified its election results showing a win there for President-elect Joe Biden, the former Democratic vice president. Epshteyn in a tweet said, “I am experiencing mild symptoms, and am following all appropriate protocols, including quarantining and contact tracing.” more...

The gatherings contradict government advice as COVID-19 surges in the U.S.
ByBen Gittleson

Americans have been strongly urged to stay home for the holidays and cancel in-person gatherings amid a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, but the White House said it's still planning to host holiday parties despite dire warnings from health experts -- and in the wake of a September Rose Garden event that became, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, "a super-spreader event." U.S. public health officials have cautioned that large, indoor holiday gatherings during the winter months could lead to a dramatic uptick in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The novel coronavirus already has killed more than a quarter million Americans.

While first lady Melania Trump's spokeswoman and chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement Sunday that the White House parties will take place in "the safest environment possible" and noted a series of planned precautions, the gatherings contradict government warnings on events staged even partially indoors. We want everyone to understand that these holiday celebrations can be super-spreader events. For Thanksgiving get-togethers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the "safest choice" is to celebrate "virtually or with the people you live with." If Americans do host a gathering, they should eat outside and limit the numbers of guests, according to the CDC. more...

Donald Trump at a recent press conference. He has tweeted that “Covid is running wild all over the World, not just in the U.S.” Guardian staff and agencies

Donald Trump appears to have admitted that coronavirus is “running wild” across the US, in contrast with his statements throughout the election campaign that the country was “rounding the turn” on the pandemic. As new Covid infections in the US approached 200,000 a day, Trump took to Twitter on Saturday night to insist things were bad outside the United States as well: “The Fake News is not talking about the fact that ‘Covid’ is running wild all over the World, not just in the U.S.”

On Friday the US recorded 195,500 new cases, a global and US record, according to Johns Hopkins University data. On Saturday the country passed 12m cases, by far the largest total in the world. During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly asserted that the US was “rounding the turn” on coronavirus and that the country would hear less about the pandemic after 4 November. In his tweets late on Saturday, he insisted the “fake news” forgets to mention that “far fewer people are dying when they get Covid”.

The US Food and Drug Administration said on Saturday that it had issued an emergency use authorisation for the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ antibody therapy that was given to the president when he had Covid-19 in October. It comes as daily deaths in the US were approaching the figures seen during the first months of the pandemic. On Thursday more than 2,000 Americans died from Covid, the highest figure since May. more...

By Audrey McNamara

Texas National Guard troops have been deployed to El Paso, Texas, to help with morgue operations as the city and county grapple with a COVID-19 surge. The Texas Division of Emergency Management said in a statement that "after completing an assessment of the situation on the ground in El Paso County this week, the state has mobilized a team of 36 Texas National Guard personnel to provide mortuary affairs support beginning at 0900 tomorrow," CBS' El Paso affiliate reported Friday.

The city's mayor, Dee Margo, said on Twitter Friday that a "rapid increase in cases and hospitalizations" has brought on a "spike in deaths." The Texas Military will now provide "the critical personnel" to carry out the city's "fatality management plan." El Paso city and county have secured a "central morgue location to further support the Medical Examiner's Office, funeral homes and mortuaries with additional capacity," he said. There are now more than 300 people in an intensive care unit across El Paso County due to COVID-19. Earlier this month, officials said they were bringing in 10 temporary morgue trailers. So many have died that the county has posted job openings for morgue attendants. more...

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) The number of US coronavirus cases surpassed 12 million Saturday -- an increase of more than 1 million cases in less than a week. At least 12,044,934 cases have been confirmed, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and 255,541 Americans have died. It's another horrific milestone in a month full of devastating Covid-19 records in the country. Almost every state has reported a rapid surge in cases, and nationwide numbers have been climbing much faster than ever before -- with the country reporting a staggering 2.9 million infections since the beginning of the month.

On Friday, more than 195,500 new infections were reported -- the country's highest for a single day, and far beyond what the nation was seeing just weeks ago. The highest number of single-day cases during the country's summer surge was a little more than 77,100 in July, Johns Hopkins University data shows. The US on Friday also recorded its highest number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals on a given day: just over 82,100 -- according to the COVID Tracking Project. Rising death rates typically follow rising hospitalizations. In just the past week, more than 10,000 US deaths have been reported -- nearly double the weekly death toll of just a month ago.

The numbers offer just a glimpse at the devastation the pandemic has unleashed across American communities, with some cities ordering mobile morgues to handle the excess deaths, while hospitals in other parts have reported overwhelmed ICUs and exhausted staff. In Texas, a team of 36 National Guard personnel were sent to El Paso to help the city cope with the surge of Covid-19 deaths, the Texas Division of Emergency Management said Saturday, and El Paso has found a central location for an additional morgue, according to Mayor Dee Margo. more...

198,500 new US cases reported in 24-hour period as president skips event focused on ‘coordinated response’ to Covid
Lauren Aratani

Donald Trump skipped the G20 summit’s “Pandemic Preparedness” event to visit one of his golf clubs on the same day that a record 198,500 new Covid-19 infections were reported in a 24-hour period in the United States. The summit, attended by world leaders from across the globe, is being held virtually this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 250,000 Americans – by far the largest total in the world.

Trump’s apparent disinterest in the summit started earlier on Saturday when he started tweeting about the election results after the scheduled start time of the summit at 8am ET. By 10am, Trump was leaving the White House to go to his golf course outside of Washington DC, according to CNN.

The event featured remarks from leaders, including the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, and was focused on the “coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic and improved global pandemic preparedness”, according to its description. Before he left the White House to go to the golf course, Trump implied to leaders that he will be working with them in the future, a reference to the losing fight he has put up against the results of the presidential election. more...

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Friday he became "desperately ill" from Covid-19, but now believes he is "out of the woods" after receiving an antibody treatment. Carson, 69, was among the latest Trump administration officials or campaign advisers who have tested positive for Covid-19. Carson tested positive last Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In a Facebook post Friday giving an update on his condition, Carson shared that he was "extremely sick" with the virus and that he initially saw "dramatic improvement" from a product he took, which is not FDA-approved or a proven treatment for Covid-19.
"However, I have several co-morbidities and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill," Carson wrote.

Carson claimed that President Donald Trump was monitoring his condition and cleared the secretary to receive a monoclonal antibody therapy given to Trump in October when he was diagnosed with Covid. Carson wrote that he believes the treatment saved his life. "President Trump, the fabulous White House medical team, and the phenomenal doctors at Walter Reed have been paying very close attention to my health and I do believe I am out of the woods at this point," he added. When Trump had Covid-19 last month, he received Regeneron's experimental antibody treatment, which is still in large-scale clinical trials but has been available for compassionate use -- something the FDA has to approve on an individual basis, as it did for the President. The company in October applied to the FDA asking for emergency use authorization of its antibody treatment.

It's not clear how the President could have cleared Carson to take the antibody treatment or if Carson got Regeneron's treatment. Eli Lilly, which also makes a monoclonal antibody treatment, declined to comment when CNN asked if Carson had been given their treatment. CNN has also asked Regeneron if Carson received their treatment. CNN has reached out to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for more information on Carson's treatment. more...

Martin Pengelly in New York

As the US death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 250,000 on Wednesday, with a caseload above 11.3m and more than 161,000 new cases added the previous day, an internal White House taskforce report warned of “aggressive, unrelenting, broad community spread across the country, without evidence of improvement but, rather, further deterioration”. The report, which leaked widely to the media, added: “Current mitigation efforts are inadequate and must be increased.”

Daily death numbers are rising: 1,707 were reported by Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday. With some forecast models predicting a death toll beyond 400,000 by March, a year after the pandemic began, states across the US are implementing targeted social restrictions in attempts to beat back rising case numbers and reduce pressure on hospital resources. According to the Covid Tracking Project, an all-time high of 76,830 people were hospitalised with the virus as of Wednesday morning.

Speaking anonymously, one White House official told the Associated Press the taskforce had concluded existing efforts to slow the spread “are inadequate and must be increased to flatten the curve” and that Thanksgiving travel and gatherings, around the US holiday next Thursday, could “amplify transmission considerably”. more...

Dan Mangan

Andrew Giuliani, a special assistant to President Donald Trump and the son of Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani, said he tested positive for coronavirus Friday, a day after attending a crowded press conference where his father and other campaign attorneys did not wear masks. “I am experiencing mild symptoms, and am following all appropriate protocols, including being in quarantine and conducting contact tracing,” the younger Giuliani said in a tweet disclosing his Covid-19 positive test. more...

Some GOP governors who for months toed Trump’s line on coronavirus, are performing U-turns on mask-wearing
Tom McCarthy

Some GOP governors who for months toed Trump’s line on coronavirus, are performing U-turns on mask-wearing. After Republicans won big on election night in the state of Iowa, in America’s heartland, Governor Kim Reynolds claimed vindication for her light-handed approach to the coronavirus pandemic. “It was a validation of our balanced response to Covid-19,” Reynolds said of the vote. “One that is mindful of both public health and economic health.” That was two weeks ago. Since then, the trajectory of the pandemic in Iowa, as elsewhere in the American midwest, has taken a sharp and tragic turn.

Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 and hospitalizations are up 100% in Iowa since election night, and daily deaths are up more than 50%, hitting 41 on Tuesday. Nationwide, the United States has passed 250,000 confirmed deaths – about twice as many as any other country. Like other Republicans torn between fighting the pandemic and fighting the culture wars, Reynolds spent months dismissing the need for a mask mandate in her state, calling it a “feelgood” measure. But new warnings from local hospitals of a dangerous overload finally drove Reynolds to reverse course this week. “The pandemic in Iowa is the worst it has ever been,” she said. “No one wants to do this. I don’t want to do this.” The reluctance to “do this” is not exclusive to Reynolds – but it is exclusive to one of America’s two major political parties. more...

The president asked historians to “please remember” that vaccine development “all took place on my count.”
By Hayley Miller

The U.S. surpassed 250,000 coronavirus deaths this week and President Donald Trump has remained silent on the matter, with the exception of sending several tweets to take credit for the rapid development of multiple vaccines. On Wednesday, when Johns Hopkins University recorded the grim milestone, Trump didn’t tweet a single thing about the pandemic. Instead, he focused his energy on pushing baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

Trump continued to spread unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the election Thursday, with a couple tweets sprinkled in praising “COVID DRUGS” and “VACCINES.” “Mortality rate is 85% down!” Trump tweeted, failing to mention surging infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths across the country. Public health experts, including officials in his own administration, have warned for weeks that the winter will likely see a drastic jump in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

But Trump has seemingly tuned out the nightmarish predictions. When they’ve addressed the pandemic, his tweets in recent days have praised his handling of the virus ― which has been widely panned by many medical experts ― and bashed other countries. “Another vaccine just announced,” Trump tweeted Monday, referring to a vaccine developed by biotechnology company Moderna. “For those great ‘historians,’ please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my count!” more...

Jenna Ellis acknowledged her previous antipathy to the president in a statement to CNN that attempts to explain her flip-flop.
By Lee Moran

Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to Donald Trump, has been appearing on TV to staunchly defend the defeated president’s desperate attempts to steal the 2020 election. But in a series of Facebook posts and radio interviews from 2015 and early 2016 that CNN’s “KFile” unearthed this week, the lawyer described Trump as an “idiot” and a “bully” who “cannot handle criticism.” Ellis also slammed Trump’s supporters for not “seeking truth.” more...

Will Feuer

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to clarify and revise its estimates for the risk posed to communities of color by Covid-19. CNBC obtained a copy of a letter the Massachusetts Democrat sent last week to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield that says “by failing to adjust COVID-19 mortality rates by age in its public data releases, the CDC may not be providing an accurate assessment of the increased risk of death and serious illness for communities of color relative to white Americans of the same age.”

“In the United States, age, race, and ethnicity are intertwined; people of color are, on average, significantly younger than non-Hispanic white Americans—an interaction the CDC has largely ignored in its communication about COVID-19 mortality rates,” Warren wrote in the letter dated Nov. 10. A representative for the CDC did not immediately return CNBC’s request for comment. Warren cited one page in particular on the CDC’s site that says Black people are 2.1 times more likely to die of Covid than White Americans. The page also says Hispanic Americans are 1.1 times more likely to die of and Native Americans are 1.4 times more likely to die of Covid compared with White Americans. more...

The Trump campaign is attacking people for saying he called the coronavirus a hoax. He didn’t, but he clearly did call Democrats’ warnings a hoax.
Dean Obeidallah

Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign is desperate to stop people from reminding America that Trump called warnings about the threat of the coronavirus a “hoax.” I found that out firsthand after an appearance Sunday morning on Ali Velshi’s MSNBC show, where I mentioned Trump’s history of belittling the threat of the coronavirus. One of the examples I cited was Trump’s infamous comment at his Feb. 28 rally where he declared that the Democrats’ criticism of his handling of COVID-19 was their “new hoax.”

Later Sunday, to my surprise, the “Trump War Room,” a Twitter account that is managed by the Trump campaign and boasts over a half million followers, called me a liar for saying that. And not just me, but others in the media who had allegedly said that same, as you can see from the War Room’s Tweet, “@DonLemon Rachel @Maddow @KristenhCNN and @DeanObeidallah continue to spread the lie that President Trump called coronavirus a hoax.”

The Trump War Room’s tweet only included my comment about the “new hoax,” leaving out the context in that I had noted Trump had a history of belittling the threat posed by the virus, from that Feb. 28 rally up through, as I also mentioned, his March 24 appearance on Fox News where he invoked the deaths caused by auto accidents and the flu to again undermine the deadly nature of COVID-19. more...

Joel Shannon USA TODAY

South Dakota's high rates of COVID-19 and low virus regulation have sparked criticism even as some dying of the virus there don't believe it poses a real threat. That's according to Jodi Doering, a South Dakota nurse who has gained national attention for her account of working on the front lines in a state where leaders have long minimized the impact of the virus and refused to implement rules like mask mandates.

"I have a night off from the hospital. As I’m on my couch with my dog I can’t help but think of the Covid patients the last few days. The ones that stick out are those who still don’t believe the virus is real," Doering wrote in a Saturday tweet. "They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that 'stuff' because they don’t have COViD because it’s not real. Yes. This really happens." In an interview with CNN, Doering said her description wasn't about a single patient. She tweeted after her frustration boiled over, as she recalled numerous patients whose dying words echoed the same theme: "This can't be happening. It's not real." more...

Dr. Scott Atlas has won favor in the White House in recent months by advocating against coronavirus restrictions.
By QUINT FORGEY

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday that she was stunned by a call from one of President Donald Trump’s top coronavirus advisers for people in her state to “rise up” against new restrictions aimed at slowing the disease’s deadly surge. “It actually took my breath away, to tell you the truth,” Whitmer told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” referring to a tweet posted over the weekend by Dr. Scott Atlas, a White House coronavirus task force member whose skepticism toward Covid-mitigation strategies has been the subject of widespread criticism.

After Whitmer announced Sunday a three-week pause on indoor dining, in-person learning and several other activities, Atlas wrote: “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp.” In another tweet later Sunday night, Atlas wrote that he “NEVER was talking at all about violence. People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!!”

Atlas, a physician with no expertise in infectious diseases or epidemiology, has won favor in the White House in recent months by advocating against coronavirus restrictions and downplaying the disease’s threat. Atlas has publicly attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, accusing him of stoking concern about the ongoing pandemic for political purposes ahead of the presidential election earlier this month.

Whitmer, a Democrat who recently was the target of a foiled kidnapping plot, has come under repeated attack by the White House for her public health measures throughout the pandemic — with Trump invoking her personally at campaign rallies and his supporters calling for her imprisonment. more...

*** Is Scott Atlas that stupid why would he say something like that after there was an attempt to kidnap the governor? Trump and some of his people are nuts and put people lives in danger. ***

By Paul LeBlanc and Jeremy Diamond, CNN

Washington (CNN) White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Scott Atlas criticized Michigan's new Covid-19 restrictions in a tweet shortly after they were announced Sunday evening, urging people to "rise up" against the new public health measures. "The only way this stops is if people rise up," Atlas said. "You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp" His message -- which runs counter to the consensus of public health officials -- is likely to fuel new tension between the White House and Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whom federal and state officials announced last month was the target of an alleged domestic terrorism kidnapping plot.

Responding to Atlas' tweet Sunday evening, Whitmer told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "We know that the White House likes to single us out here in Michigan, me out in particular. I'm not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals." Instead, Whitmer said, she consults "people that actually have studied and are well respected worldwide on these issues, not the -- not the individual that is doing the President's bidding on this one." Whitmer announced in a news conference earlier Sunday that Michigan will begin a "three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities" to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

"If everyone does their part, we will see a big benefit from it," she told Blitzer of the new measures. "But we'll be assessing it every step of the way." Throughout the pandemic, Whitmer has been the focus of extreme vitriol from far-right groups. The alleged scheme to kidnap her included plans to overthrow several state governments that the suspects "believe are violating the US Constitution," according to a federal criminal complaint. more...

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and WILL WEISSERT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s scientific advisers plan to meet with vaccine makers in coming days even as a stalled presidential transition keeps them out of the loop on government plans to inoculate all Americans against COVID-19. President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept that he lost the election means that the Biden team lacks a clear picture of the groundwork within the government for a mass vaccination campaign that will last the better part of next year, says Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain.

“We now have the possibility ... of a vaccine starting perhaps in December or January,” Klain said. “There are people at HHS making plans to implement that vaccine. Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power we’re going to have on January 20th.” A lack of coordination between outgoing and incoming administrations would be especially problematic in a worsening public health crisis, said the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“Of course it would be better if we could start working with them,” said Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been through multiple presidential transitions during 36 years of government service. He likened the process to runners passing on the baton in a relay race. “You don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody,” he said. “You want to just essentially keep going.”

The president-elect’s outreach to vaccine manufacturers comes as the coronavirus pandemic in the United States has entered perhaps its most dangerous phase. The seven-day rolling average for new daily cases stood at 148,725 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That means the U.S. is adding about 1 million new cases a week. Deaths averaged 1,103 a day as of Sunday, a 33% increase over two weeks. more...


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