By Robert A. Vella
Whenever a national emergency occurs, it’s vital for governments to work cooperatively and to prioritize the crisis-at-hand over petty partisan disagreements or geopolitical disputes between countries. Like sports competitions, the more organized and focused team usually prevails even though it may not necessarily have the most talented athletes. In the U.S., the NFL’s New England Patriots, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, and MLB’s San Francisco Giants are good examples. Each won three league championships over the last decade.
In stark contrast, the U.S. federal government under the Trump Administration has been the polar opposite of teamwork and especially so during the current coronavirus pandemic which has infected millions of people around the world, caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, and devastated the global economy. Despite the enormity of the public health crisis, President Trump has prioritized his own self-serving interests over the lives and livelihoods of 330 million Americans. His malignant narcissism (a.k.a. megalomania), demagoguery, roguish behavior, and delusional denial of both professional expertise and evidential reality have greatly endangered the nation and caused unknown numbers of unnecessary deaths (see: Fintan O’Toole: Donald Trump has destroyed the country he promised to make great again). Trump’s exacerbatory response to the COVID-19 contagion is analogous to the Catholic Church’s during the Black Death (i.e. bubonic plague) of the 14th century.
Today, we’ll juxtapose Trump’s latest maniacal outburst with one of the few officials still remaining in his administration who is acting intelligently and prudently to solve this crisis.
“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Anthony S. Fauci said alongside Trump at the White House on Wednesday. “That is really quite important.”
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci leads, is overseeing a study of more than 1,000 patients in the United States and around the world.
The study showed that patients treated with remdesivir were ready to be discharged from the hospital within 11 days, on average, compared with an average of 15 days for patients who had received a placebo.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Concerns over leaks compelled the top U.S. infectious disease official to reveal data on Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental drug remdesivir, the first in a scientifically rigorous clincial trial to show benefit in treating COVID-19.
The dramatic announcement by Dr Anthony Fauci in the Oval Office on Wednesday prompted concerns among scientists that the Trump administration was raising hopes about a coronavirus treatment before sharing the full data with researchers.
Frustrated by a faltering economy that is out of his control, and facing blowback for his suggestion that disinfectants could potentially combat the coronavirus, President Trump had sunk to one of his lowest points in recent months last week. And he directed his anger toward the one area that is most important to him: his re-election prospects.
Mr. Trump, according to multiple people familiar with the exchange, erupted during a phone call with his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, two days after he was presented with polling data from his campaign and the Republican National Committee that showed him trailing Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, in several crucial states.
He lashed out at Mr. Parscale and said it was other people’s fault that there had been fluctuations in a race they had all seen as his to lose just two months ago. At one point, Mr. Trump said he would not lose to Mr. Biden, insisted the data was wrong and blamed the campaign manager for the fact that he is down in the polls, according to one of the people familiar with the conversation. Mr. Trump even made a threat to sue Mr. Parscale, mentioning the money he has made while working for the president, another person familiar with the call said, although the threat did not appear to be serious.
In a tweet sent just after midnight, Trump blasted the news network as “fake news” and claimed that he never upbraided his campaign manager, Brad Parscale.
Trump reportedly lashed out at Parscale during a meeting last Friday, just two days after he and several other top political advisers briefed the president on internal campaign data. The polls they showed Trump indicated that he would lose several key battleground states in the 2020 election. CNN and The New York Times reported details of the meeting.
Pointing to the data, some of Trump’s advisers urged the president to scale back his daily briefings amid the coronavirus outbreak, arguing that they weren’t helping his cause.
House Republicans are pushing back on the idea of providing a minimum guaranteed income to Americans amid the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed an openness to the concept on Monday during an interview with MSNBC while discussing the financial aid recently approved by Congress to help bolster the economy.
While Congress previously passed coronavirus relief measures that included provisions to provide up to $1,200 to individuals and forgivable loans to small businesses, proponents of a universal basic income have argued that Congress needs to do more to help Americans stay afloat.
Last summer, on his final day of work at the nation’s consumer finance watchdog agency, a career economist sent colleagues a blunt memo.
He claimed that President Trump’s appointees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had manipulated the agency’s research process to justify altering a 2017 rule that would have sharply curtailed high-interest payday loans.
The departing staff member, Jonathan Lanning, detailed several maneuvers by his agency’s political overseers that he considered legally risky and scientifically indefensible, including pressuring staff economists to water down their findings on payday loans and use statistical gimmicks to downplay the harm consumers would suffer if the payday restrictions were repealed. A copy of the memo was obtained by The New York Times from a current bureau employee.
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