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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT)

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) scolded the Trump administration on Tuesday for its celebration of the nation's coronavirus testing numbers a day earlier.

The comments came at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions titled "COVID-19: Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School."


Romney complained that Adm. Brett Giroir, Trump's coronavirus testing czar and an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, participated in a White House celebration on Monday of what Trump called the "unprecedented testing capacity developed by the United States — the most advanced and robust testing system anywhere in the world, by far."

In recent days, Republican lawmakers and Trump have been claiming that the United States has now tested more people for the coronavirus than other countries have. But until Romney said it, they had not put those numbers in context, nor acknowledged that experts say the lack of testing is the reason for the COVID-19 crisis in the country.

From the hearing:

Sen. Mitt Romney: I understand that politicians are gonna frame data in a way that's most positive politically. Of course I don't expect that from admirals.
But yesterday, you celebrated that we had done more tests — and more tests per capita even — than South Korea. But you ignored the fact that they accomplished theirs at the beginning of the outbreak, while we treaded water during February and March and, as a result, by March 6, the U.S. had completed just 2,000 tests, whereas South Korea had conducted more than 140,000 tests.
So partially as a result of that, they have 256 deaths and we have almost 80,000 deaths. I find our testing record nothing to celebrate whatsoever.
The fact is, their test numbers are going down, down, down, down now because they don't have the kind of outbreak we have. Ours are going up, up, up as they have to. I think that's an important lesson for us, as we think about the future.


Sen. Mitt Romney at Senate HELP hearing 5-12-20 from Shareblue Media on Vimeo

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)