May 16, 2020

Week 183

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

This week Trump tried out a new, more positive approach as the death toll passed 80,000 and more than 36 million Americans were unemployed, claiming, “We have met the moment and we have prevailed.” Trump bragged the U.S. leads the world in testing, then later seemed to indicate testing was not important, and if we didn’t test so much, we wouldn’t have so many cases — leading an NYT health and science reporter to say of Trump, “This is not somebody whose grasp of the science is even third-grade-level.”

Contrary to Trump’s upbeat assessment, this week Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield gave somber testimony before the Senate, warning of dire consequences of reopening too soon. Whistleblower Dr. David Bright warned the House in testimony, “Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history.”

This week Trump turned to an old strategy of blaming former President Barack Obama and accusing him of “Obamagate” — although it was unclear what this was, and Trump never clarified. Nonetheless, Fox News and the conservative media compliantly spent the week on this shiny coin, turning coverage away from the growing death toll, and grim economic news. Health experts pressured the FDA to issue a warning after a growing body of data showed hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by Trump and his cohorts, could be deadly.

The week closed with an emboldened Trump firing another inspector general, the fourth in recent weeks, as he continued to retaliate and surround himself by incompetent loyalists — sadly, with little pushback and no consequences.

  1. On Saturday, Pew Research found the majority of Americans (68%) are more concerned that state governments will lift restrictions too soon, while just 31% were concerned they would not be lifted quickly enough.
  2. A partisan divide has been growing on the topic: a month ago, 81% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans worried restrictions would be lifted too soon — now it is 87% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans.
  3. On Saturday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would begin a “modified quarantine” after making a “low risk” (not direct) contact with Katie Miller, the White House staffer who tested positive last Friday.
  4. Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said they would do full quarantines. Both came into direct contact with Miller.
  5. On Saturday, armed protestors in North Carolina out demonstrating against the state’s stay-at-home order walked into a Subway sandwich shop with their weapons, including an AT4 rocket launcher.
  6. On Saturday, Deidre Walsh, a top career intelligence officer who served as COO of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, departed. A staffer of Rep. Devin Nunes had recently been installed as a deputy COO.
  7. ODNI has seen a series of high profile departures over the past year, leaving a talent gap. Richard Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence, announced other organizational changes late last week.
  8. On Saturday, NYT reported polls show Trump’s support with older voters, a key bloc he won by seven points in 2016 and critical to his re-election, has reversed, with Joe Biden now leading by 10 points or more.
  9. The shift is due in part to Trump’s daily briefings, which featured conflicting, misleading, and dangerous information. The White House is looking to stage events and initiatives designed to appeal to seniors.
  10. On Saturday, WAPO reported as the death toll topped 78,000, Trump and his aides are shifting messaging to reviving the economy and convincing Americans it is safe to go back to work, despite a likely fall outbreak.
  11. The regime is counting on Americans accepting a growing daily death toll, and being numbed to thousands dying each day. White House officials say the federal government’s mitigation response is largely accomplished.
  12. Trump is reportedly glum and shell-shocked by his declining popularity. He previously believed he would glide into victory in November, but now every poll shows him down. A fall outbreak could damage his standing.
  13. On Saturday, NYT reported Trump and his allies are planning to make the coronavirus death toll the next battle line, bolstering his standing by saying the death toll is inflated. Experts say there is a death undercount.
  14. A QAnon follower tweeted, “What is the primary benefit to keep public in mass-hysteria re: Covid-19? Think voting. Are you awake yet?” A GOP state senator who is a doctor told Fox News the death toll was inflated.
  15. Trump has privately started to question the models and death statistics, and has increasingly picked up chatter from the far-right fringes about inflated death counts and plots to ensure his defeat in November.
  16. Also at the forefront of pushing this narrative are climate skeptics, who have exploited imperfect science. For example, Steven Milloy played down the coronavirus early, and compared it to the flu.
  17. Fox News host Laura Ingraham has had several death toll doubters on her show. Fox News commentator Brit Hume has accused New York of overcounting by including presumed deaths in its toll.
  18. On Saturday, Channel-3000 reported 72 people who attended the April 24 reopen rally at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin tested positive for the coronavirus. The rally attracted 1,500 people.
  19. On Sunday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told “This Week” that “many people would like to just pause for a moment” before considering another federal relief bill.
  20. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told “Fox New Sunday” the White House will “take the next few weeks,” adding, “We just want to make sure that before we jump back, […] that we do it carefully.”
  21. Mnuchin also said there is “no considerable risk” to public health from ending the lockdown, claiming there was more risk to keeping the lockdown in place and its long-term economic damage.
  22. On Sunday, Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics, told “Face the Nation” the IMHE model had been revised up again to over 137,000 deaths by early August, up from 134,000 last week.
  23. Murray cited states reopening, saying, “What’s driving the change is, simply put, the rise in mobility,” adding, “We’re seeing in some states, you know, a 20-percentage-point increase in just 10 days in mobility.”
  24. On Sunday, Kevin Hassett, a top economic adviser to Trump, told “Face the Nation” that “It is scary to go to work,” adding, “I think that I’d be a lot safer if I was sitting at home than I would be going to the West Wing.”
  25. On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence told Axios he would be “happy” to see Michael Flynn come back to work in the regime, adding, “I think Gen. Michael Flynn is an American patriot.”
  26. On Sunday, in an op-ed, former acting assistant AG Mary McCord accused the DOJ of misrepresenting her in the Flynn motion, saying “it is disingenuous” for the DOJ to say her words support their conclusion.
  27. On Sunday, Mother’s Day, Trump continued his flurry of tweets and retweets. In all, he sent 126 tweets during the day, just 16 short of his single-day record during the impeachment trial in January.
  28. Trump’s retweets included accounts that have promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory about Democrats being involved in a pedophilia cult, and fringe accounts without avatars and with few followers.
  29. Trump attacked the media, tweeting, “When are the Fake Journalists, who received unwarranted Pulitzer Prizes for Russia, Russia, Russia, and the Impeachment Scam, going to turn in their tarnished awards.”
  30. Trump also attacked NBC host Chuck Todd for editing a clip on Attorney General William Barr, tweeting, “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd should be FIRED by “Concast” (NBC) for this fraud. He knew exactly what he was doing.”
  31. Trump also tweeted to the Federal Communications Commission, saying, “@FCC THIS IS A DISGRACE, EVEN WORSE THAN @NBC USUALLY IS, WHICH IS REALLY BAD. SLEEPY EYES MUST BE FIRED!”
  32. Trump also attacked CNN host Brian Stelter, tweeting, “@brianstelter is just a poor man’s lapdog for AT&T!” and promoted a book by Fox News commentator Gregg Jarrett, tweeting, “This book is a MUST BUY!”
  33. Trump also tweeted, “We are getting great marks for the handling of the CoronaVirus pandemic, especially the very early BAN of people from China.” This is false: the ban was partial and did not address Europe.
  34. Trump added, “Compare that to the Obama/Sleepy Joe disaster known as H1N1 Swine Flu. Poor marks, bad polls — didn’t have a clue!” This is false: the Obama administration sounded the alarm and acted early.
  35. Trump tweeted about Obama, including, “OBAMAGATE!” and, “He got caught, OBAMAGATE!” and the “biggest political crime in American history, by far!” It was unclear what he was referring to.
  36. On Sunday, “60 Minutes” reported Peter Daszak, a U.S. scientist working on a cure for Covid-19 with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, had his grant abruptly pulled by the Trump regime following an unsubstantiated claim.
  37. Trump ally Rep Matt Gaetz told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that China’s Wuhan Institute had, quote, “birthed a monster” — meaning Covid-19— and falsely claimed the NIH had granted the institute $3.7 million.
  38. The falsehood spread to the White House. When asked about it at his daily briefing, Trump said it came from the Obama administration and that they were looking into it. Trump, who had reauthorized funding, then cut it.
  39. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “@CBS and their show, @60Minutes, are doing everything within their power…to defend China and the horrible Virus pandemic,” adding, “I guess they want to do business in China!”
  40. Trump again tweeted at the FCC about Todd, “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd should be FIRED by “Concast” (NBC) for this fraud. He knew exactly what he was doing. Public Airwaves = Fake News! @AjitPaiFCC @FCC.”
  41. On Sunday, WAPO reported that in the 48-hour stretch of Saturday and Sunday, Trump had baselessly accused more than 20 political opponents of committing crimes, a tactic frequently used by Trump to distract.
  42. Trump’s target included two cable TV hosts, a comedian, five former officials from the FBI and DOJ, the state of California, a television station, and at least five national security officials from the Obama administration.
  43. On Sunday, the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. topped 80,000, with nearly all deaths coming in the past two months. Worldwide more than 284,000 had died. The U.S. had more than 1,300,000 confirmed cases.
  44. On Monday, Trump again attacked Obama, tweeting, “OBAMAGATE makes Watergate look small time!” It was still unclear what Trump was referring to.
  45. Trump also again continued his attacks on Chuck Todd, tweeting, “@FCC THIS IS A DISGRACE, EVEN WORSE THAN @NBC USUALLY IS, WHICH IS REALLY BAD,” adding, “SLEEPY EYES MUST BE FIRED!”
  46. On Monday, breaking from Trump, Senate Republicans stopped short of calling for an investigation into Obama. Trump ally Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham said, “I’m not anticipating calling President Obama.”
  47. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails,” adding, “The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes.”
  48. Gov. Tom Wolf responded at a news conference and in a series of tweets. He tweeted, “the politicians who are encouraging us to quit the fight are acting in a most cowardly way.”
  49. Wolf also threatened local officials who do not obey guidelines, “To those politicians who decide to cave,” saying, “The funding we have put aside for fighting this crisis will go to folks who are doing their part.”
  50. On Monday, the World Health Organization warned that several countries that have eased restrictions and reopened businesses have seen jumps in cases. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged caution.
  51. On Monday, a CNBC/Change poll found there is a partisan split on how seriously concerned Americans are about the coronavirus: in six swing states, with 97% of Democrats and 39% of Republicans.
  52. Last month, significantly more Republicans, 55% were seriously concerned, and 98% of Democrats. Also 69% of Republicans said things were getting better, but just 12% of Democrats agreed.
  53. On Saturday, the Des Moines Register reported 1,031 employees at the Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo tested positive for coronavirus, more that double the 444 number Gov. Kim Reynolds cited at her White House visit.
  54. On Monday, as she reopened her state, Gov. Reynolds announced she will follow a modified quarantine plan, after visiting the White House and meeting with Vice President Pence during his visit to Iowa last Friday.
  55. Reynolds met with Katie Miller at the White House. She and Pence did socially distance, but did not wear face masks during their meetings with faith leaders and food industry executives.
  56. Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst were also aboard Air Force Two with Pence on Friday traveling back to Iowa. They were advised by Pence’s medical staff that they didn’t need to self-quarantine.
  57. Late Sunday, the White House put out a statement that Pence “has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow,” after he stayed away from the White House over the weekend.
  58. On Monday, NYT reported the Trump regime is racing to contain a coronavirus outbreak in the White House. Senior officials believe the disease is already spreading rapidly in the cramped West Wing.
  59. Trump continued to reject CDC guidelines to wear a mask. Reportedly, Trump was spooked his valet who served him food was positive, annoyed about Miller, and is growing irritated by people who get close to him.
  60. Stephen Miller is not expected to come to work. Staffers are being tested using an Abbott Laboratories test that gives a result in five to 13 minutes. Some hospitals and doctors found it was turning up false negatives.
  61. Members of the Secret Service started wearing masks over the weekend. People close to Trump including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Hope Hicks will now be tested daily.
  62. On Monday, in an open letter, nearly 2,000 former DOJ officials called on AG Barr to resign over the decision abandon the prosecution of Michael Flynn, calling the move “extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented.”
  63. The officials noted if anyone other than a friend of Trump “were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation” under oath, they would be prosecuted.
  64. The letter urged Judge Emmet Sullivan to “take a long, hard look at the government’s explanation and the evidence,” saying Barr’s using the DOJ to further Trump’s interests “has undermined any claim to the deference.”
  65. On Monday, CNN reported House Democrats are planning to unveil a massive stimulus plan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a “transformational” bill, and hope to convene a vote this week.
  66. The package would include $2 to 4 billion for an expansion of mail-in voting access, and proposes a recurring payment to Americans of $2,000 per month, as well as significant aid for states and cities.
  67. Pelosi wrote to House Democrats: “We must ‘Think Big’ For The People now, because if we don’t, it will cost more later….Not acting is the most expensive course.” Republicans are expected to oppose most of the bill.
  68. On Monday, the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board called on Trump to stop politicizing the U.S. Postal Service, calling him out for installing a donor as postmaster, spreading disinformation, and using it to go after Jeff Bezos.
  69. On Monday, WAPO reported most White House officials will be required to wear face masks when they are not in their offices. Trump will be exempt, and is not expected to wear a mask. Pence was seen Monday without one.
  70. On Monday, CNN reported that Trump has expressed concern that aides contracting coronavirus would undercut his message that the outbreak was waning and the country could reopen.
  71. Trump told aides he does not want to be near anybody who has not been tested. At the same time, Trump believes an economic rebound, key to his re-election, will only come when governors reopen their states.
  72. On Monday, Trump held a coronavirus press conference in the Rose Garden. He did not wear a face mask, but stood in front of a giant banner that read “America leads the world in testing.”
  73. Trump continued to brag about testing, saying the U.S. should pass 10 million completed tests this week, “nearly double the number of any other country.” Notably, on a per capita basis, the U.S. ranked 28th in testing.
  74. Trump said, “In every generation, through every challenge and hardship and danger, America has risen to the task. We have met the moment and we have prevailed,” — in a ‘mission accomplished’ type moment.
  75. Trump claimed with federal help, states would be able to test more people per capita in May than South Korea has tested in four months. Notably the virus is nearly fully contained in South Korea, with less than 11,000 cases.
  76. According to the Covid Tracking Project, just 2.74% of the U.S. population has been tested — compared to Italy at 4.31%, Germany at 3.35%, Canada at 2.95% and Iceland, which had just 10 deaths, at 15.4%.
  77. Asked about “prevailing,” Trump reversed, saying he meant testing: “You never prevail when you have 90,000 people, 100,000 people, when you have 80,000 people as of today, when you have the kind of death.”
  78. Trump was repeatedly asked what he meant by Obamagate, and what he was accusing Obama of, and obfuscated, saying, “You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody.”
  79. When CBS’s Weijia Jiang, who was born in China, asked Trump why he created a “global competition” on testing “if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?” he snapped.
  80. Trump said, “Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world, and maybe that’s a question you should ask China.” When she asked, “Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?” Trump called her “nasty.”
  81. Then CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tried to ask Trump a question, after ceding her time at the microphone to Jiang for a follow up. Trump tried to move to another reporter, and when Collins kept pressing, he turned and left.
  82. Later Monday, NBC News reported data in an unreleased May 7 coronavirus task force report contradicted Trump at the briefing, where he said, “all throughout the country, the numbers are coming down rapidly.”
  83. The report showed infection rates are spiking to new highs in several metropolitan areas and smaller communities. The top ten areas recorded surges of 72% or greater over a seven-day period over the week before.
  84. Among the areas hardest hit were Nashville, Tennessee; Des Moines, Iowa; Amarillo, Texas; and at the top the list, with a 650% increase, was Central City, Kentucky.
  85. Later Monday, after not addressing what Obamagate was, Trump tweeted out a nine-minute clip of Fox New host Tucker Carlson’s rant on the Obama administration, and pinned it to his page.
  86. Trump also slammed Jiang and Collins over their exchange with him, tweeting, “The Lamestream Media is truly out of control. Look how they work (conspire!) together,” adding, “They are the Enemy of the People.”
  87. On Monday, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on hydroxychloroquine found there was no benefit against Covid-19 and patients were twice as likely to suffer cardiac arrest.
  88. On Monday, WAPO reported after the White House tried to set up an event for Trump at Braskem, a Pennsylvania factory that manufactured PPE, factory officials postponed citing concern for the workers’ safety.
  89. Factory officials cited social distancing concerns with Trump, his aides, and Secret Service inside the factory. White House officials proposed holding the event in an adjoining open-air parking lot, but officials said no.
  90. On Monday, Vanity Fair reported with the coronavirus death toll rising and internal polling showing Trump trailing Biden in six swing states, senior Republicans worry that Trump’s re-election is slipping away.
  91. Seeing the changing trajectory, Trump is discussing shaking up his campaign leadership, and is considering putting Corey Lewandowski into a senior role. Trump is reported asking, “why are we losing everywhere?”
  92. Trump’s relationship with campaign manager Brad Parscale is also on the fray. Trump was reportedly upset about a mostly positive profile on Parscale in the New York Times Magazine, saying he has made millions and bought a Ferrari.
  93. On Monday, with the Senate majority at risk, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked Obama at a virtual campaign event for Trump, saying Obama “should have kept his mouth shut” on criticizing Trump’s pandemic response.
  94. Ignoring Trump’s diatribe of tweets on Obama, McConnell added, “I think it is a little bit classless, frankly, to criticize an administration that comes after you,” adding, “You had your shot — you were there for eight years.”
  95. Like Trump, McConnell tried to shift blame to China and Obama, falsely claiming Obama had not left behind “any kind of game plan” for dealing with such an outbreak. Obama did leave behind a 69-page plan.
  96. On Monday, Reuters reported as U.S. meat factor workers fall sick and the supply of meat dwindles for U.S. consumers, the plants have increasingly been exporting to China, as prices there have spiked with herd disease.
  97. On Tuesday, a CNN poll found 42% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the coronavirus, 55% disapprove, down from 45% approve and 52% disapprove last month.
  98. The poll found 44% believe the worst is behind us, up from 17% a month ago, while 52% said the worst is still to come. Just 36% consider Trump a trusted source of information.
  99. On Tuesday, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump’s approval fell to 41%, down 4 points from mid-April. In a match up against Democrat Joe Biden, Trump is trailing 46-38%, compared to a 2 point lead last week.
  100. On Tuesday, a WAPO-Ipsos poll found overall, 71% of Americans approve of their governor’s handling of the coronavirus, while just 43% approved of Trump’s handling.
  101. Among governors, those who kept their states closed longer enjoyed the highest bipartisan approval, including Ohio’s GOP Gov. Mike Dewine (86%), New York’s Andrew Cuomo (81%), and California’s Gavin Newsom (79%).
  102. Governors who reopened first had the lowest approval, including three Republican governors: Florida’s Ron DeSantis (60%), Texas’s Greg Abbott (57%) and Georgia’s Brian Kemp (39%).
  103. On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the core Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped 0.4% in April, the biggest decrease since records have been kept, starting in 1957.
  104. On Tuesday, in an interview with Time Magazine, Jared Kushner was asked if the 2020 election could be delayed with a second coronavirus outbreak. Jared said, “I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other.”
  105. Jared later tried to clarify his remarks, which came across as a trial balloon, telling NYT: “I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of any discussions about trying to change the date of the Presidential election.”
  106. The National Constitution Center posted on its website “neither the Constitution nor Congress provides…power to the President or other federal officials to change” the date of a presidential election.
  107. The website added, “only the states and Congress have the power to delay that part of the election process.” Also notably, “the presidential election date has never been changed in response to an emergency.”
  108. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov and his wife were hospitalized with the coronavirus. Russia had confirmed more new cases than any country other than the U.S.
  109. On Tuesday, Trump continued a flurry of unhinged morning tweets. He again falsely accused MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murder in the 2001 death of an intern in Florida, tweeting, “Did he get away with murder?”
  110. He also again attacked reporters Jiang and Collins, sharing a tweet by a Team Trump staffer saying, “GOOD for @realDonaldTrump for just walking away from the childish journalists’ sandbox,” and adding, “Fake Journalists!”
  111. Trump also tweeted, “Asian Americans are VERY angry at what China has done to our Country, and the World,” adding, without evidence, “Chinese Americans are the most angry of all.
  112. Trump also falsely claimed, “Our Testing is the BEST in the World, by FAR! Numbers are coming down in most parts of our Country,” and falsely claiming that reopening “is happening, safely!”
  113. Trump falsely claimed “every Governor who has sky high approval on their handling of the Coronavirus…could in no way have gotten those numbers, or had that success, without me and the Federal Governments help.”
  114. On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension held public hearings, calling Fauci, Redfield, Hahn, and Adm. Brett Giroir of HHS, after Trump refused to allow them to testify to the House.
  115. Testimony was done virtually, including most of the Senators on the committee participating remotely. Most of the Senate Republicans in the Senate chambers did not wear masks during the hearing.
  116. Sen. Lamar Alexander, chair of the committee and under self-quarantine after his chief of staff tested positive on May 10, conducted the hearing remotely.
  117. Contradicting Trump’s comment the day before on prevailing, both Fauci and Redfield predicted dire consequences if the nation reopened its economy too soon, citing lack of available testing and contact tracing.
  118. Fauci called it unlikely medication or a vaccine would be ready before the new school year, and said outbreaks in other parts of the world would reach the U.S. Redfield pleaded to build up the nation’s public health infrastructure.
  119. Sen. Rand Paul said to Fauci, “As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end-all. I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision.” Fauci said he “never made myself out to be the end-all.”
  120. Paul falsely claimed the virus was on a “relatively benign course” outside of high infection rates in New England, and minimized the impact on children. Fauci warned him not be “cavalier” about children.
  121. Giroir said the U.S. has performed 9 million tests and it would take a few months to ramp up production further. Sen. Mitt Romney said, “I find our testing record nothing to celebrate whatsoever.”
  122. The downbeat assessment came as the death toll passed 81,000. The stock market dropped on the testimony, with Fauci saying that “needless suffering and death” would result if the country opened up too quickly.
  123. On Tuesday, an AP analysis found even as Trump urges the country to reopen, thousands are getting sick on the job, including at meatpacking and poultry plants, and construction workers in Austin, Texas.
  124. The 15 counties with the highest per-capita infection rates between April 28 and May 5 have meat and poultry plants or prisons. The highest is a Trousdale County, Tennessee prison with 1,300 inmates and 50 staffers infected.
  125. On Tuesday, NPR reported internal federal documents warned Georgia, one of the first states to reopen, may not have enough ICU beds to meet a future surge in critically ill patients from the coronavirus.
  126. The slides from the Department of HHS for an interagency briefing last week said Georgia’s ICU beds were 79% full as of May 6, according to CDC data. The slides were marked “NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION.”
  127. On Tuesday, CNN reported that while Fox News hosts and personalities are pushing “reopen” rhetoric, per a staff memo Fox News offices will remain closed until June 15 at the earliest, and then consider a gradual reopening.
  128. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court held virtual arguments on whether Trump can block House Democrats and the Manhattan District Attorney from getting his tax and financial records. The court will rule in July.
  129. DOJ lawyers argued the office of the presidency should be afforded deference. The Solicitor General said investigators needed to show why information was necessary and not “creating a serious risk of harassment.”
  130. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow went further, saying, “We’re asking for temporary presidential immunity” while Trump is in office. Justice Elena Kagan told Sekulow, “The President isn’t above the law.”
  131. Chief Justice John Roberts signaled throughout that he was looking for some middle ground, signaling he was not ready to accept that a president’s papers were off limits, or give Congress “limitless” subpoenas.
  132. Later Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson raged at Fauci, calling him the “chief buffoon,” saying he has shifted positions, and of people who believe him, “this religion is fake!…It’s supposed to be science.”
  133. On Tuesday, CNN reported the CDC is preparing an alert to thousands of physicians about a dangerous inflammatory syndrome in children that could be linked to coronavirus infection.
  134. Gov. Cuomo said New York is investigating more than 100 cases and three deaths. NY became the first state to issue a critical alert, while Cuomo said the state had heard from 15 other states and six countries with cases.
  135. On Tuesday, DNI Grenell declassified and gave the DOJ a list of Obama administration officials who sought to learn the identities, or “unmask” identities, of Trump associates swept up in surveillance of foreign officials.
  136. The move was highly unusual, and came after Trump claiming, without evidence that Obama, the FBI, and media acted improperly to change the public perception of the Russia inquiry, and to distract from the pandemic.
  137. The information could help John Durham’s investigation of the investigators. Ironically allowing the Trump regime to leak the names on the list is the very issue Durham is investigating.
  138. On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced an 82-game season — rather than the usual 162 — which would start in early July. Games would be played in stadiums without fans.
  139. On Sunday, Keith Caldwell, a pastor and NAACP chapter leader in Tennessee, found a target in his front yard. Caldwell said someone climbed over his locked fence to put it there.
  140. On Tuesday, WAPO reported dozens of armed militia helped a Michigan barber open, standing outside his shop in defiance of state orders, wearing Trump sweatshirts and cowboy hats, and waving Trump flags.
  141. Despite the state having the fourth highest number of cases and deaths, they were there to rail against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and, channeling Trump, also at the Michigan Republican lawmakers.
  142. On Wednesday, NBC News reported a black woman EMT worker was shot and killed in Kentucky, after police entered the wrong home executing a search warrant, waking her and her boyfriend up and shooting her dead.
  143. On Thursday, a viral video showed a black truck driver being blocked and questioned by white residents, when he tried to make a delivery in a gated community in Oklahoma.
  144. On Wednesday, ABC News reported Paul Manafort was released from prison to home confinement after a request by his lawyers. Manafort entered prison March 2019 and was slated to be released November 2024.
  145. The prison where he was held, FCI Loretto, had no known coronavirus cases. The Bureau of Prisons’ guidelines for releasing inmates said to prioritize inmates who either had served 50% or more of their sentences, or had less than 18 months remaining.
  146. Notably, Michael Cohen, who testified against Trump and was supposed to be released on May 1, is in limbo after a decision to send him home was abruptly put on hold as the Bureau of Prisons continues to review his case.
  147. On Wednesday, Trump vented at prominent investors predicting the market would trade lower, tweeting that ‘the so-called “rich guys’” were “betting big against it, and make a lot of money if it goes down.”
  148. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in an online speech that Congress and the White House will need to spend more to boost the economy, saying the downturn will last longer than first thought.
  149. Powell said, “The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II,” and said more fiscal support will help “avoid long-term economic damage.”
  150. A Fed survey showed nearly 40% of households making less than $40,000 had lost a job in March. Powell said, “This reversal of economic fortune has caused a level of pain that is hard to capture in words.”
  151. The stock market tumbled after Powell’s comments, with the Dow Jones falling more than 500 points, or 2.2%. The Dow has fallen more than 1,000 points in the past three days.
  152. On Wednesday, Trump again sought to shift blame to China, tweeting, “We just made a great Trade Deal, the ink was barely dry, and the World was hit by the Plague from China,” adding, “and all those innocent lives lost!”
  153. On Wednesday, the WHO emergency director warned the coronavirus may never go away, saying, “This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away.”
  154. On Wednesday, Daily Beast reported Trump and some on the coronavirus task force are pushing the CDC to change the way it counts deaths and revise down the Covid-19 death count.
  155. Dr. Deborah Birx urged the CDC not to include deaths that do not have confirmed lab results and are presumed positive. CDC officials told the Daily Beast they pushed back on her request.
  156. Other scientists and doctors working on the task force, including Fauci, have said deaths are likely undercounted. Local officials who work on mortality also believed the count is underestimating the number of deaths.
  157. On Wednesday, during a meeting with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Trump criticized Fauci, telling reporters Fauci’s comments on opening too soon are “not an acceptable answer.”
  158. Trump said, “I was surprised by his answer…especially when it comes to schools,” adding Fauci “wants to play all sides of the equation,” and saying, “I think we’re going to have a tremendous fourth quarter.”
  159. Trump added, “I think they should open the schools, absolutely,” adding, “Our country has to get back, and it has to get back as soon as possible, and I don’t consider our country coming back if the schools are closed.”
  160. On Wednesday, whistleblower Dr. David Bright said in prepared House testimony for Thursday that America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus.
  161. Bright wrote, “Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, […] I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.”
  162. Bright added, “The undeniable fact is there will be a resurgence this fall, greatly compounding the challenges of seasonal influenza and putting an unprecedented strain on our health care system.” He will testify Thursday.
  163. On Wednesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services said the state has reported 1,000 or more new cases for the fifth day in a row, after Gov. Abbott allowed some businesses to resume last week.
  164. On Wednesday, a New York University study found the Abbott Labs test being used by the White House missed one-third of positives caught by another test using nasopharyngeal swabs, and 48% using dry nasal swabs.
  165. On Thursday, the FDA issued an alert, saying Abbott Labs’ rapid Covid-19 diagnostic test for may be delivering false negatives. The warning comes the day after the NYU study.
  166. On Wednesday, NYT reported the DOJ had interviewed Bill Priestap, the former head of FBI counterintelligence, two days before their request to drop charges against Flynn, but did not inform Judge Sullivan about it.
  167. The DOJ’s motion mentioned what Priestap wrote around the FBI’s 2017 questioning of Flynn, saying investigators were trying to “lay a perjury trap.” Priestap told the DOJ that FBI officials were trying to do the right thing.
  168. Shortly after, Judge Sullivan said in an order he had appointed John Gleeson, a retired judge and former prosecutor, “to present arguments in opposition to” the department’s request to withdraw the charge against.
  169. Sullivan asked Gleeson to look into whether the court should explore if Flynn opened himself up to perjury charges by pleading guilty under oath, entering guilty pleas twice in front of two judges.
  170. Gleeson, who served as a federal judge and ran the criminal division in Brooklyn, co-wrote an op-ed in WAPO encouraging Sullivan to scrutinize the motion, saying, “Prosecutors deserve a ‘presumption of regularity.’”
  171. On Wednesday, Politico reported Grenell sent Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley a list of Obama administration officials who asked to unmask the U.S. citizens who were subject to government surveillance.
  172. The list, obtained by Politico, listed 39 people, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, and former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.
  173. Accompanying the list was a memo signed by National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone, saying each person was “an authorized recipient” and the unmasking was approved through the agency’s normal protocol.
  174. Also noted: “While the principals are identified below, we cannot confirm they saw the unmasked information.” Biden, who was listed, called it a “diversion,” and said, “I know nothing about those moves to investigate” Flynn.
  175. Such unmasking requests are common, despite Trump looking to make it appear untoward: last year U.S. spy agencies were asked 7,724 times to unmask American names in intelligence intercepts.
  176. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order in a 4-3 decision, the first to do so, ordering the state to lift all restrictions, despite Evers having started to do so gradually.
  177. Justice Rebecca Bradley caused a furor by calling the state’s stay-at-home order “the very definition of tyranny,” and comparing it to the country’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
  178. On Wednesday, the LA Times reported Sen. Richard Burr turned over his cell phone to FBI agents after they served him a search warrant at his Washington area home over the DOJ’s investigation of his stock sales.
  179. Federal agents and prosecutors needed to convince a judge they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed to get a search warrant. The DOJ is looking at his communications with his broker.
  180. In recent days, FBI agents served Apple to gain information on Burr’s iCloud account. Part of that information was used to get the warrant for his phone. Burr sold 33 stocks at the time of a coronavirus Senate briefing.
  181. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported weekly jobless claims rose by 3 million, higher than the 2.7 million expected, and bringing the total number of Americans who have filed since the outbreak to 36.5 million.
  182. On Thursday, a Federal Reserve report found 1 in 5 Americans who had jobs in February were hit by layoffs by early April, with those at the lower end of the income curve twice as likely to be thrown out of work.
  183. On Thursday, a CBS News poll found Trump’s approval for handling the coronavirus dropped 5 points from three weeks ago, to 43% good job, 57% bad job — and down 10 points from March when 53% said good job.
  184. Trump’s marks were lower than the governors, who 66% said were doing a good job, 34% bad job. Just 38% of Americans trust what Trump says on the coronavirus, 62% do not trust him — split along party lines.
  185. After weeks of attacks on his credibility by Fox News and other far-right outlets, trust in Fauci fell among Republicans: overall, 62% trust Fauci, including 83% of Democrats but just 51% of Republicans.
  186. On Thursday, the LA Times reported as parts of the U.S. rush to reopen, Canada is looking to keep the U.S.-Canada border closed for six more weeks, citing the high contamination rate in the U.S.
  187. On Thursday, ahead of Bright’s testimony, Trump tweeted he does not know him and never met him, “but to me he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected,” and “should no longer be working for our government!”
  188. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader McConnell said in a statement that Sen. Burr “contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside” as Senate Intelligence Committee chair.
  189. On Thursday, WAPO reported the U.S. Postal Services has quietly launched a review of the package delivery fees it charges companies such as Amazon, UPS, and FedEx to deliver products, at Trump’s behest.
  190. Trump has called the USPS a “joke,” and has threatened to withhold a $10 billion line of credit approved by Congress. Raising package rates could spur companies to invest in their own distribution networks.
  191. On Thursday, in an hour-long pre-taped interview with Fox Business Host Maria Bartiromo that broadcast in the morning, Trump mentioned Obama as many times (22) as he did the coronavirus.
  192. Trump again revised upwards his death projection, saying, “We’re gonna lose over 100,000 perhaps,” but bragged it would be far fewer than the over 2 million if he had done nothing.
  193. Asked about the 33 million Americans filing for unemployment, and the 20% unemployment rate, Trump said, “Nobody blames me for that.”
  194. Trump spent much time on Obama, without specifying the crime, saying, “This was all Obama, this was all Biden….These people were corrupt, the whole thing was corrupt, and we caught them. We caught them.”
  195. Asked if Obama had intelligence spy on him, Trump said, “Yes, he probably directed them,” and “he knew everything — and you’ll see that,” adding that documents would be released soon to bolster his charges.
  196. Trump added, “If I were a Democrat instead of a Republican,” he would be in jail and “I’m talking with 50-year sentences,” adding, “People should be going to jail for this stuff … this was all Obama. This was all Biden.”
  197. Trump also tried to continue to rewrite history, saying on Russia, “Nobody’s been tougher — you can speak to Putin or anybody else — nobody has been tougher on Russian than I have. They wanted Hillary Clinton to win.”
  198. On Thursday, Trump tweeted, “If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama.”
  199. While still not specifying what the crime was, Trump added, “He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it,” adding, “No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!”
  200. On Thursday, NYT reported Trump is returning to his old ploys of diverting attention, becoming the first sitting president in modern times to take aim at his predecessor, accusing Obama of an unspecified crime.
  201. The baseless accusations come as Trump looks to rewrite the narrative of the Russia investigation, and distract from the death toll, now over 85,000, and the more than 36 million who have filed for unemployment.
  202. Less than two hours after Trump’s tweet, Sen. Graham dutifully said he would open an investigation into the Flynn case and whether Robert Mueller should have been appointed, but that he would not call Obama.
  203. No evidence has emerged that Obama was involved in the FBI investigation. Nonetheless, the unclear charges of “Obamagate” were repeated by Fox News, conservative media outlets, and Trump’s campaign.
  204. Later Thursday, Graham clarified, saying now is not the time to call Obama to testify and “I don’t know if that’s even possible,” adding he understands Trump’s frustration, “but be careful what you wish for.”
  205. On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health held a virtual hearing on the whistleblower complaint.
  206. WAPO reported Trump adviser Peter Navarro, who repeatedly warned about the pandemic, was mentioned in the complaint, as was HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary for preparedness and response. All received letters to testify, but did not respond or appear.
  207. On Thursday, Bright testified before the panel. He said he repeatedly told Secretary Azar we needed samples of the virus as it started spreading, and was told he was “causing a commotion” and kicked out of meetings.
  208. Bright warned “time is running out” and that the window is closing to address the pandemic “because we still do not have a standard, centralized, coordinated plan to take our nation through this response.”
  209. Bright said as far back as 2007 there were shortages of equipment like N95 masks. He said that supply chain issues continue and that some respirators being used were poorly manufactured.
  210. Bright said political pressure forced “dozens of federal scientists” to rush through a protocol for approving hydroxychloroquine for widespread use in Covid-19 patients, with use of available clinical data.
  211. Bright raised doubt on a vaccine in a short time, saying, “A lot of optimism is swirling around a 12- to 18-month time frame, if everything goes perfectly,” adding, “We’ve never seen everything go perfectly.”
  212. Michael Bowen, the head of Prestige Ameritech that produces surgical masks, also testified that he sent emails to Bright and other federal officials over a 13-year period warning about the lack of U.S.-made masks.
  213. Bowen emailed Bright, saying, “We’re in deep s***.” He warned all it was a national security issue. Bowen said he was a “lifelong Republican, and I’m embarrassed” by how the pandemic has been handled.
  214. HHS said in a statement his whistleblower complaint “is filled with one-sided arguments and misinformation,” adding Bright did not see “the full strategic and operational picture across HHS” and the entire regime.
  215. Shortly after, Trump told reporters on Bright, “So we have had some great response, in terms of doctors writing letters and people calling on the hydroxychloroquine….this guy is fighting it. There’s no reason to fight it.”
  216. On Thursday, Trump visited battleground state Pennsylvania. At an Owens & Minor plant in Allentown, Trump told workers in a speech they were “part of the greatest mobilization of American society since World War II.”
  217. Hours after Bright’s testimony, Trump announced his regime would undertake “a groundbreaking initiative to replenish and modernize our Strategic National Stockpile” — getting applause as if at a campaign rally.
  218. Trump said, “With your help, we will vanquish the virus. We’re going to vanquish the plague. We’ll get our nation back to work, and we will build our glorious future with American hands and American grit.”
  219. Trump said, “The moment this terrible virus reached our shores, each of you has worked relentlessly,” adding doctors and nurses are “running into death just like soldiers running into bullets….it’s a beautiful thing to see.”
  220. Trump downplayed the importance of testing, days after his Monday event on testing, saying, “We have the best testing in the world,” adding, “Could be the testing’s, frankly, overrated. Maybe, it is overrated.”
  221. Trump blamed Obama again, and “sleepy Joe Biden,” saying, “The cupboards were bare,” adding, “Never again will another president inherit empty shelves or expired products.”
  222. Trump attacked Gov. Wolf, saying, “You have to get your governor of Pennsylvania to start opening up a little bit,” and “You have areas of Pennsylvania that are barely affected” that are “closed. Can’t do that.”
  223. An ABC News analysis found no state had fully met the recommendations laid out by the White House for reopening. Nonetheless, Trump has targeted 2020 battleground states like Pennsylvania with his rhetoric.
  224. Trump toured the Owens & Minor Inc. distribution center without wearing a face mask, nor did chief of staff Mark Meadows, while Secretary Azar and company officials did wear masks. They also did not social distance.
  225. On Thursday, the CDC issued a health advisory, warning thousands of doctors around the country to be on the lookout for a troubling new syndrome impacting children that may be associated with Covid-19.
  226. On Thursday, a report by the United Nations warned the pandemic “has the seeds of a major mental health crisis,” saying the “mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted.”
  227. The report noted in particular frontline healthcare workers, the elderly, those with pre-existing health conditions, women, and children were showing “high degrees of Covid-19-related psychological distress.”
  228. On Thursday, the Financial Times reported Trump was wary of making preparations for the coronavirus, fearing that doing so would send the stock market into a panic.
  229. A Trump confidant said Jared argued that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets. Trump took his advice over the scientists, who he reportedly thought always exaggerate.
  230. On Thursday, the CDC released six short “decision trees” on reopening, while the rest of its lengthy proposal remains under review at the White House, as tensions between the CDC and White House increased.
  231. In normal times, the CDC assumes the lead role in a public health crisis, but under Trump, the 73 year-old agency has been just one voice providing often contradictory instructions as the country looks to reopen.
  232. On Thursday, McConnell backpedaled, admitting the Obama administration did leave behind a pandemic plan, tell Fox News, “I was wrong. They did leave behind a plan….I clearly made a mistake.”
  233. On Thursday, CBS News reported CloudCommerce, a company whose largest shareholder is Brad Parscale, received nearly $800,000 in loan money through the Paycheck Protection Program.
  234. On Thursday, WAPO reported the U.S. government has paid Trump’s companies at least $970,000, including 1,600 nightly room rentals at his hotels and clubs, and trips by Trump, his family, and top officials.
  235. On Thursday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Trump’s attempt to dismiss the D.C. and Maryland emoluments cases, rejecting Trump’s attempt to preserve immunity from the lawsuit.
  236. On Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reported Texas recorded a record number of death from coronavirus — 58 in one day. The state reopened without meeting coronavirus response benchmarks.
  237. On Friday, the U.S. Census Bureau reported retail sales fell 16.4% in April, a historic collapse, as Americans avoided restaurants, bars, shops, and malls. Clothing was the hardest hit, with a 79% drop.
  238. On Friday, Brazil’s health minister resigned after a month on the job, as cases and deaths from coronavirus soared, over disagreement with President Jair Bolsonaro on the use of hydroxychloroquine and reopening.
  239. Bolsonaro, like Trump and Putin, has railed against the economic damage of keeping businesses closed and called for reopening. On confirmed cases, the U.S. ranked first, Russia second, and Brazil sixth and rising fast.
  240. On Friday, CNN reported the White House is ramping up a PR campaign to improve Americans’ perception of how Trump handled the coronavirus, pivoting from defensive rants to promises things are getting better.
  241. At the Rose Garden Friday, Trump said his regime is “reigniting our economic engines” as states start to reopen, falsely claiming the U.S. has the “largest and most ambitious testing system in the world.”
  242. Trump announced “Operation Warp Speed” to develop a vaccine, saying it will be “a massive scientific, industrial, and logistical endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.”
  243. Trump added, “Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back,” claiming, contrary to public health experts, “We think we are going to have a vaccine in the pretty near future, and if we do, we are going to really be a big step ahead.”
  244. Trump added, “if we don’t, we are going to be like so many other cases where you had a problem come in” and again claimed without any scientific evidence that the virus will “go away at some point, it’ll go away.”
  245. Trump said of the more than 86,000 Americans who have died from the virus, “It’s a very small percentage, a very, very small percentage” and they are a “tiny percentage.”
  246. As he spoke, truck horns blared. Trump claimed, “you hear that outside, that beautiful sound — those are truckers that are with us all the way. They are protesting in favor of President Trump, as opposed to against.”
  247. At another Rose Garden speech Friday, Trump again claimed, “Those are friendly truckers. They’re on our side. It’s almost a celebration, in a way,” as he did in his interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo.
  248. CNN reported Trump lied about the truckers: they have lined the streets near the White House since May 1 protesting a variety of issues impacting their jobs. One trucker told CNN Trump had “lied on national television.”
  249. On Friday, White House press secretary McEnany spent much of her press briefing criticizing the Obama administration, claiming they left “the stockpile empty” after other crises.
  250. McEnany praised Trump’s response, claiming he has overseen a level of collaboration with the private sector that “will become the playbook for dealing with future pandemics.”
  251. When reporters noted Trump has been in office for three years, she said HHS Secretary Azar was instead focused on the threat of a biological attack, but when pressed, could not give any examples of what she was referring to.
  252. On Friday, the Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and best-known medical journals, blasted Trump “inconsistent and incoherent national response” to the coronavirus, and for relegating the CDC to a “nominal” role.
  253. The Lancet editorial board also added, “Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics.”
  254. On Friday, CDC Director Redfield tweeted that 12 forecasting models tracked by the CDC are all predicting an increase in deaths in the coming weeks “and a cumulative total exceeding 100,000 by June 1.”
  255. On Friday, the House changed its rules on voting during the pandemic, allowing remote voting for the first time in its 231-year history. The vote went along party lines 217-189.
  256. The House also approved a $3 trillion Covid aid bill by a vote of 208-199, along party lines with some moderate Democrats voting against it. The bill was not expected to make it through the Senate.
  257. On Friday, WAPO reported with a growing cache of data linking hydroxychloroquine to serious cardiac problems, some drug safety experts are now calling for the FDA to revoke its emergency use authorization.
  258. In the Veterans Affairs study, more than 27% of patients treated with hydroxychloroquine died, 22% of those treated with the combination therapy died, and just 11% of those not treated with the drugs died.
  259. On Friday, the FDA halted a coronavirus testing program promoted by Bill Gates and Seattle health officials, which sought to send test kits to homes, pending reviews. It was unclear why the program was paused.
  260. On Friday, NYT reported Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is diverting the coronavirus relief money allocated under the CARES Act, intended primarily for public school, to help private and religious schools she favors.
  261. Late Friday, Politico reported Trump removed State Department inspector general Steve Linick, who had served in that post since 2013, replacing him with an ambassador with close ties to Pence.
  262. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump said, “it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General,” adding, “That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”
  263. Pelosi said Trump’s “late-night, weekend firing of the State Department inspector general has accelerated his dangerous pattern of retaliation against the patriotic public servants charged with conducting oversight.”
  264. Linick is the fourth inspector general to be removed in recent weeks and replaced with a Trump loyalists, including Christi Grimm (May 4), Michael Atkinson (April 3), and Glenn Fine (April 7).
  265. On Saturday, top Democrats Rep. Eliot Engel and Sen. Robert Menendez launched an investigation into the ouster of Linick, telling the Trump regime to preserve all records relating to the firing.
  266. Rep. Engel, chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Linick was fired after opening an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying the timing suggested “an unlawful act of retaliation.”
  267. WAPO reported a Democratic aide said Linick was looking into Pompeo’s “misuse of a political appointee at the Department to perform personal tasks for himself and Mrs. Pompeo.”
  268. On Saturday, Trump told reporters he is considering restoring some funding to the WHO, suggesting 10% of the former level of $400 million — Trump said to match the level of China’s assessed contribution.
  269. On Saturday, while at Camp David, Trump sent more than 50 tweets and retweets before noon. Trump claimed, “We’ve done a GREAT job on Covid response, making all Governors look good, some fantastic.”
  270. Trump also sent several tweets falsely claiming his approval was 51%, many tweets attacking Obama and Biden, and sharing videos of anti-lockdown protestors thanking them, and other topics like Michael Flynn.
  271. As the week came to a close, there were 4,586,9153 worldwide cases and 309,184 dead from the coronavirus. The U.S. had 1,450,269 cases (31.6%), 87,841 deaths (28.4%), and a mortality rate of 6.1%.

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Copyright Amy Siskind, May 16, 2020

Trump speaks about the coronavirus, focused on testing, during a press briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 11, 2020.