By Robert A. Vella

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have risen back up to May levels as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen.  The University of Washington now forecasts that total fatalities will surpass 224,000 by Election Day (80,000 more than the current number of 144,000), and that the death figure could reach 650,000 by the end of the year under its worse-case scenario.

This frightening reality compelled President Trump to restart his daily press conferences yesterday in the vain hope of resurrecting his reelection chances.  He spoke for about 30 minutes alone at the podium taking softball questions from reporters (who didn’t ask about Russian bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan or about Trump’s use of paramilitary forces against racial justice protesters in Portland).  None of his task force members were present.  Dr. Anthony Fauci wasn’t invited.  Trump reluctantly admitted that the pandemic would get worse and that wearing face masks was important;  however, he offered no national plan to combat coronavirus and he also tried to defend his administration’s failed response by uttering more false statements.  Had the presser ended right there, congressional Republicans weighed-down by his continual bad behavior might have been relieved.  But, it didn’t end there.  Trump curiously answered a question about Ghislaine Maxwell (who allegedly recruited underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein) which raised a lot of suspicion about whether he intends to intervene in her criminal prosecution as a way to maintain her silence (like he recently did for Roger Stone, and like his Attorney General William Barr did for Michael Flynn).

Meanwhile, Republicans on Capitol Hill are fighting amongst themselves over a new financial aid bill to extend pandemic relief funds (e.g. unemployment benefits) due to expire at the end of the month, and also over increasing criticism of Trump within their ranks.  A new scandal erupted when journalists discovered that Trump’s ambassador pressured a U.K. official to move the prestigious British Open tournament to his struggling golf course in Scotland.  After being rebuked by the courts, Trump is pushing another partisan anti-immigration effort to undercount American residents in the 2020 U.S. Census.

From:  US coronavirus: Country returns to 1,000 deaths in a day and officials warn pandemic will only get worse

At least 1,000 American deaths linked to the coronavirus were reported Tuesday, and the spread shows no sign of slowing down.

The harrowing death toll comes as states across the country report record-breaking numbers of new cases. More governors are making masks a requirement as overwhelmed testing labs and hospitals are raising alarm. And officials are debating whether to send children back to school in person.

The only other time this month the country crossed the threshold of 1,000 reported deaths was July 7, with 1,195 reported fatalities. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, a quarter of all days this year have seen a US death toll exceeding 1,000.

Experts say the virus is now running rampant within American communities, and new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also show infections could be more than 10 times higher than the number of reported cases in some parts of the US. At least 27 states have hit the pause button on their reopening plans or set new restrictions to help curb the spread of the virus.

See also:

After falling for months, Covid-19 hospitalizations in the US are nearing April’s peak

“Our hospitals look like war zones”: Texas hit hard by the coronavirus

Texas judge orders county shutdown, but governor says it’s unenforceable

Coronavirus a ‘Category 5 emergency’ for Florida’s older population

Frustration over long coronavirus test result wait times grows in Florida

Testing delays once again hamper COVID-19 response

Lawmakers perplexed by billions in unspent Covid-19 testing money [which the Trump administration is withholding]

Former CDC chief Tom Frieden says states should make more COVID-19 data easily accessible

Over 224,000 COVID-19 deaths forecast in U.S. by November 1, says University of Washington’s IHME

Global coronavirus cases exceed 15 million: Reuters tally

From:  GOP congressman: Trump’s Ghislaine Maxwell comments were ‘unacceptably obtuse’

Rep. Chip Roy on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump’s well-wishes for alleged Jeffrey Epstein co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell as ‘unacceptably obtuse.’

Trump was asked about Maxwell’s case at his Tuesday evening news conference and said “I wish her well, whatever it is.”

The comment quickly sparked outrage on social media and inside the Department of Justice. Roy (R-Texas), among the most conservative members of the GOP, slammed the president’s kid-gloves treatment of a woman charged with grooming young girls into a circle of sexual abuse.

“This is unacceptably obtuse for a woman accused of the most morally depraved of crimes, @realDonaldTrump,” Roy wrote on Twitter. “She needs to be severely punished… and justice must be served for the girls she abused. For ALL involved.”

See also:

Fact check: Trump revisits familiar falsehoods in first coronavirus briefing in months

Trump is finally admitting that the coronavirus is defeating him — but only because his poll numbers are tanking and GOP lawmakers are breaking ranks

Stimulus negotiations: Republican venting session shows just how deep GOP rifts go

Liz Cheney defends pro-Trump bona fides after GOP attacks

From:  Trump’s Request of an Ambassador: Get the British Open for Me

LONDON — The American ambassador to Britain, Robert Wood Johnson IV, told multiple colleagues in February 2018 that President Trump had asked him to see if the British government could help steer the world-famous and lucrative British Open golf tournament to the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, according to three people with knowledge of the episode.

The ambassador’s deputy, Lewis A. Lukens, advised him not to do it, warning that it would be an unethical use of the presidency for private gain, these people said. But Mr. Johnson apparently felt pressured to try. A few weeks later, he raised the idea of Turnberry playing host to the Open with the secretary of state for Scotland, David Mundell.

In a brief interview last week, Mr. Mundell said it was “inappropriate” for him to discuss his dealings with Mr. Johnson and referred to a British government statement that said Mr. Johnson “made no request of Mr. Mundell regarding the British Open or any other sporting event.” The statement did not address whether the ambassador had broached the issue of Turnberry, which Mr. Trump bought in 2014, but none of the next four Opens are scheduled to be played there.

Still, the episode left Mr. Lukens and other diplomats deeply unsettled. Mr. Lukens, who served as the acting ambassador before Mr. Johnson arrived in November 2017, emailed officials at the State Department to tell them what had happened, colleagues said. A few months later, Mr. Johnson forced out Mr. Lukens, a career diplomat who had earlier served as ambassador to Senegal, shortly before his term was to end.

From:  The breathtaking unconstitutionality of Trump’s new census policy

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides that “representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.”

This text is unambiguous. With a narrow exception for some Native Americans, all persons within the United States must be counted in the decennial census. And all persons must be counted when representation is allocated to states in the House of Representatives.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, President Trump released an extraordinary memorandum suggesting that he gets to decide who counts as a “person” — and that undocumented immigrants do not qualify.

The memo concerns who should be counted when representatives are allocated to states following the 2020 census. Trump claims that “for the purpose of the reapportionment of Representatives following the 2020 census, it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.” Thus, if Trump’s view were to prevail — a view that is at odds with the explicit text of the Constitution — undocumented immigrants would not be counted.

Related stories:

More than a dozen mayors join Portland in asking Trump administration to withdraw federal forces

Trump always wanted his own police force. Portland’s just his excuse to use it.

U.S. Homeland Security confirms three units sent paramilitary officers to Portland

A new Trump campaign ad depicting a police officer being attacked by protesters is actually a 2014 photo of pro-democracy protests in Ukraine

Past D.C. Bar Association chiefs call for probe of William Barr


Revealed: states’ restrictive voter ID laws have cost taxpayers $36m

Judge lifts gag order in George Floyd case

China vows to retaliate after U.S. orders closure of its consulate in Houston

UK details path to citizenship for Hong Kong applicants

After fatal UK crash, ‘anomaly’ over U.S. diplomatic immunity is removed

15 thoughts on “COVID-19 deaths soar as Trump causes more anguish for Americans and his own political party

  1. It is certainly crystal clear what tRumpfy’s “legacy” in history will be as (hopefully) a 1-term unpopular, corrupt President. Most reputable government and Presidential authors/historians have already voiced their assessments of his Administration—most all of them NOT pretty and certainly nowhere near as iconic as previous Presidents, Republicans included.

    Let’s just HOPE that most Americans turnout to vote—particularly in those key Electoral College states—this November to avoid typical turnout rates of the past. My own home state of Texas has a HORRIFIC voter turnout rate historically: an average of roughly 7% to 12%? 🤦‍♂️

    But the turnout rate for the 2016 November Presidential race? A whopping 59.4%! What does THAT tell you about Texas voters? 🙄

    Liked by 3 people

    • I follow voter turnout and other trends very closely. Texas has one of the worst turnout rates in the nation, if not the worst.

      The national turnout rate of about 60% in 2016 is not very good. Most functional democracies have much higher rates and some reach into the 90s.

      However, 2020 is not 2016. As the 2018 midterms showed, backlash against Trump and the GOP has triggered a massive surge in voter registration and turnout. For example, Democrats received more votes than Republicans in Georgia’s primary last month for the first time in decades.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Very true Robert, about Georgia’s primary, and of ALL PLACES TOO the Deep South, huh? 😁 The very real fact of America’s voters is that the majority of Americans—registered or not—prefer Democratic Party policies and programs. Period!

        I believe the U.S. has been mostly Democrat for many, many decades (since WW2?) for the simple reason of historical socioeconomic percentages for many decades. IOW, those demographics/breakdowns of the Upper 10%, middle 30% and shrinking, or lower 60%—90% if you include the shrinking middle-class. And over 70% of Americans say U.S. economic system unfairly favors the wealthy and powerful (Jan. 2020 Pew Research Center).* This is due to the growing disparity of career opportunities for the less fortunate 60% and 90% that results from LESS affordable higher education opportunities for the 60% and 90% which leads to those great career opportunities!

        And so therefore, the general public, i.e. the 60% – 90% of the populous NEEDS those government college grants, low-interest tuition loans, programs such as the G.I. Bill, and many other Democratic party endorsed programs they’ve pushed for over many decades in this country! A nation is only as intelligent, resourceful, productive, and ingenious (strong? a Leader?) as its entire workforce and superb educational system! Duh, right? 🙄

        So how is it that Republican policies favoring corporate gains/profits and cuts to public government programs and public services—all of which favor the wealthiest more and more over time—disenfranchising America’s common man/woman… get voted into (and appointed by more Republicans!) offices in all three Branches of government time and time again? 🤔

        That’s an extremely rhetorical question btw.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Trump saying that about Maxwell is a new level of disgusting for both him and the GOP members who are sitting silent about it. And as for Evangelicals who heard that and STILL kiss his ass…..fuck them! Immoral, corrupt, evil, sickening theocratic monsters.

    Liked by 4 people

Comments are closed.