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Maine, where Republican Sen. Susan Collins is struggling to win reelection, is one of the states President Donald Trump will face a tough political battle in 2020 -- and the president promoted himself in Maine on June 5 when he visited a facility that manufactures medical swabs used for coronavirus testing. Trump has claimed that he is increasing the amount of testing for COVID-19 in the U.S., but according to USA Today reporters John Fritze and Michael Collins, that company is now throwing out an abundance of testing swabs.

Fritze and Collins report, "The swabs manufactured in the background during his visit will ultimately be thrown in the trash…. Puritan Medical Products said it will have to discard the swabs…. It is not clear why the swabs will be scrapped, or how many.

When Trump visited Puritan's facility on June 5, Virginia Templet (Puritan's marketing manager), told USA Today, "The running of the factory machines is very limited today and will only occur when the president is touring the facility floor. Swabs produced during that time will be discarded."

In March and April, Trump was widely criticized for insufficient coronavirus testing in the United States — and a shortage of swabs was a big part of the problem. The Trump Administration used the Defense Production Act to increase the production of testing swabs, and Puritan has received millions of dollars to increase production. But medical experts have stressed that even so, the U.S. is still way behind where it needs to be in terms of testing.

Puritan, Fritze and Collins note, is only one of two companies in the U.S. that manufactures the type of swabs need for coronavirus testing.

The coronavirus pandemic, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has killed more than 116,900 people in the U.S. (as of early Monday morning, June 8) and over 409,800 people worldwide. Medical experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned that a new wave or coronavirus infections could strike in the fall.

The coronavirus pandemic, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has killed more than 116,900 people in the U.S. (as of early Monday morning, June 8) and over 409,800 people worldwide. Medical experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned that a new wave or coronavirus infections could strike in the fall.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Political Spending At Trump Properties Plunges Sharply

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

The number of federal political committees that have spent money in the first half of 2021 at Trump Organization properties has dropped dramatically from the same period two years ago, Federal Election Commission filings show. Those continuing to spend: a smaller circle of loyal supporters of former President Donald Trump and candidates jockeying for his favor in contested Republican primaries.

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