By Robert A. Vella
The madness of Donald Trump was on full display yesterday in a news interview and later “press conference” in which the President spewed out his endless grievances against media coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, anyone who listens to Dr. Anthony Fauci or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone who condemns racial injustice by police or the treasonous Confederate States of America (CSA), presidential opponent Joe Biden, and the European Union which he alleged is a conspiratorial enterprise. China, which the media was informed would be the topic of the Rose Garden speech, was barely mentioned.
Trump is either under vicious attack from virtually every corner of modern society, or he has completely lost whatever sanity he had left. Speaking of the CDC, Trump has ordered all hospitals in the U.S. to stop reporting their COVID-19 data to it and instead send that information to a “central database” at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington, D.C. Apparently, Trump thinks he can make the raging pandemic go away by concealing or manipulating the statistical data. Unfortunately, Trump’s authoritarian ploy is likely to blow-up in his face just like his newly failed maneuver to deport foreign students if universities didn’t hold in-person classes (which was opposed by a huge civil lawsuit).
Meanwhile, Marie Antoinette – err, I mean Trump’s daughter Ivanka – just had her “let them eat cake” moment when she suggested that the millions of American workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic should simply find something else to do. You know, because her silver-spoon-fed upbringing makes her eminently qualified to be an employment counselor!
Trump’s niece Mary also had plenty to say today after a judge lifted a gag order on her. But, unlike Ivanka, she basically said that Trump is losing his mind, is patently unfit to serve as president, and should immediately resign.
Then, there is the Republican Party which enabled this Madman-in-Chief. Now, they are belatedly trying to distance themselves from him as his party convention plans fall apart. Trump rejected the original venue of Charlotte, North Carolina after state officials wouldn’t agree to lift social restrictions on large indoor events imposed in response to the pandemic. He then chose Jacksonville, Florida but that venue now looks problematic because of surging COVID-19 cases and an increasing number of GOP legislators and other officials who said that they wouldn’t attend. The latest attempt to salvage the convention rests on holding it outdoors… right in the middle of summer heat and the hurricane season. What could possibly go wrong?
In other news, I call readers’ attention to a disturbing report on the takeover of local newspapers which imperils The Free Press essential to functional democracy; and, to a new study on depopulation in the latter half of the century which I forecasted several years ago on this blog (see: A statistical projection of Population Decline in the 21st Century due to Climate Change).
As the nation faces a reckoning on anti-Black racism, President Donald Trump pushed an interview Tuesday to focus on white people.
Speaking with CBS News’ Catherine Herridge, the president claimed that more white people die at the hands of police than Black people, that the Confederate battle flag is a beloved symbol equal to the Black Lives Matter movement, and that a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters had a right to do so.
The remarks come as the nation continues to openly grapple with racism after the death of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. Trump said Floyd’s death was “terrible,” but when Herridge asked him why Black people continue to die at the hands of police in the country, the president rejected the premise.
The aimless nature of President Donald Trump‘s campaign seemed on full display Tuesday afternoon in the White House Rose Garden, where an event meant to unveil new actions against China — emerging as a top campaign issue — instead devolved into scattershot attacks on Joe Biden that at their best were misleading and at their worst seemed barely coherent.
To some outside allies of the President’s, the episode typified an ill-defined strategy heading into a tough reelection that does little to refine or crystallize Trump’s argument for a second term. Instead of speaking with Americans about how he plans to bring the pandemic under control or ensure outbreaks don’t continue into the next year, Trump and his aides appear more intent on targeting their perceived enemies, even when they take the form of a widely respected 79-year-old scientist.
Frustrated that his beloved campaign rallies remain on hold amid the pandemic’s resurgence, Trump took the act to the Rose Garden on Tuesday, where aides had initially said he would focus on China.
He made brief remarks announcing new actions against Beijing before spending the better part of an hour weaving between attack lines on Biden, moving from a script meant to draw a contrast with his Democratic rival to lengthy ad-libbed moments that often seemed directionless.
Rarely has a president shown himself to be so unequal to a tragic national emergency.
Hundreds of Americans are dying daily and tens of thousands are getting infected from a once-in-a-century virus. States and cities are closing down again, threatening to trigger a ruinous new economic slump. Doctors and nurses lack sufficient protective gear as they battle the deadly pathogen. And with testing swamped by waves of disease, one top official is warning of the “the most difficult time” ever for US public health this winter.
Yet this is what is on Donald Trump’s mind: Joe Biden didn’t fix the country’s roads and bridges, crowds of bikers and boaters in MAGA hats prove that election polls are wrong, and the border wall is almost finished (except it isn’t). Oh, and by the way, where is Hunter Biden?
All Trump could offer on Tuesday was self-pity, incoherence and indifference. He came across as a leader living in a different dimension from his people and their fear and suffering and uncertainty about what the coming months will bring.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.
The new instructions were posted recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department — not the C.D.C. — will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
The Trump administration on Tuesday backed down from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement rule change requiring foreign students on visas to attend some classes in-person this fall or be forced to leave the country.
The news came during a court hearing over a lawsuit brought by Harvard and MIT, which argued the decision was made recklessly and would pressure schools to open their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Americans of all ages and backgrounds can look to FindSomethingNew.org to explore new pathways to career opportunities + resources to support their journey,” she wrote on Twitter. Her post included an ad for the new site, featuring people claiming they’d been laid off and found new work.
Jamison Foser, a Democratic political strategist responded to the new ad with incredulity.
“For example, let’s say you cannot afford meat and vegetables. You could simply #FindSomethingNew to eat, like cake,” he wrote, referencing the “let them eat cake,” phrase attributed to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution, typically invoked to describe ruling class individuals who do not understand, or do not care, about the plight of common people.
In an ironic twist, Ms Trump debuted the new site on Bastille Day, a French holiday marking the storming of the Bastille prison during the French Revolution, which subsequently led to Antoinette being executed by guillotine.
WASHINGTON — Just six weeks away from the start of President Donald Trump’s nominating convention in Jacksonville, a coronavirus flare-up in Florida is complicating planning and scaring off potential attendees.
“There’s no chance of this convention happening,” said one informal White House adviser on condition of anonymity. “By this time before a convention, people are lining up parties. There’s none of that. Zero. … It’s just losing momentum.”
Typically, by this point in the process, delegates, party activists and elected officials have long been assigned hotels and have a set schedule of events. According to multiple GOP consultants and activists across the country, neither of those things has yet happened.
“I’ve talked to a few of my candidates who say they are not planning to go because they’ve got campaigns to win, and there aren’t any swing voters at the convention,” said one Republican consultant based in the Midwest who also requested anonymity. “I think that will be a pretty common response with candidates and elected officials. I do think activists and delegates will attend.”
The Florida Republican Party has not even released a slate of delegates who will be attending, apparently because they cannot get firm commitments, one Florida-based consultant said.