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Tag: coronavirus reopening

WATCH: Trump Contradicts Himself Within Seconds After Warning Of 'Draconian Unscientific Lockdowns'

Donald Trump warned Pennsylvania voters on Tuesday that if Democrats win in November, they will implement "draconian" lockdowns to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seconds later, he claimed that Democrats will lift all lockdowns the day after the election, as they are merely a ploy to make him look bad.

At a rally in Johnstown, Trump claimed that if Joe Biden wins the White House, he will "terminate our recovery, delay the vaccine, prolong the pandemic, and annihilate the economy with draconian unscientific lockdowns like you're having right now in Pennsylvania, with this governor who is killing you."

Biden has said that he would do "whatever it takes to save lives," but that he would only consider a shutdown if it was recommended by scientists.

Trump then accused Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and other Democratic governors who have not lifted COVID-19 safety restrictions of conspiring to end lockdowns as soon as the election is over.

"Come on, Tom. Open up Pennsylvania, Tom. Open it up! You know what's going to happen, Nov. 4 — they'll open it up," he said. "You know that, they're doing it. They want to keep the numbers as bad as possible. Here's the problem: The numbers are going to come out just before the election. So we have Nov. 3, the numbers are going to come out. And Pennsylvania is a late-voting state. You actually believe in going to a poll, 'cause you see all the shenanigans."



The two conspiracy theories would not seem to be compatible: Democrats cannot lift all of the restrictions the day after Trump loses and simultaneously "annihilate the economy" with new "draconian unscientific lockdowns."

Trump has been pushing for states to ignore spiking coronavirus cases and simply reopen everything.

Last week, in announcing that he would leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after his hospitalization with the coronavirus, Trump told Americans, "Don't be afraid of COVID. Don't let it dominate your life."

On Monday, he tweeted, "Lockdowns are killing countries all over the world. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself. Open up your states, Democrat governors. Open up New York."

But the pandemic continues to get worse. This past week the nation has seen the highest new case rates since August. With Trump's botched response to the spread of the virus, more than 7.7 million Americans have contracted it.

Pennsylvania's average daily number of new cases per 100,000 residents (9.19 over the past two weeks) is lower than that of the United States as a whole (14.55).

Ironically, Trump claimed credit for shutdowns in response to the pandemic back in April — even though he actually refused to shut down anything and left it up to the governors to handle the response to the virus themselves.

"Despite reports to the contrary, Sweden is paying heavily for its decision not to lockdown," he tweeted on April 30. "As of today, 2462 people have died there, a much higher number than the neighboring countries of Norway (207), Finland (206) or Denmark (443). The United States made the correct decision!"

Trump's refusal to take the virus seriously has been a factor in 215,000 American deaths so far. It has also led to his own infection and hospitalization, as well as a cluster of cases among his own staff and allies thought to stem from the ceremony held in the Rose Garden in September to introduce his nominee to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.

Trump is trailing Biden in Pennsylvania, a swing state with 20 electoral votes, by an average of 7 points. Since the start of June, not a single major poll has shown Trump with a lead in the state.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Young People May Be New Super Spreaders of COVID-19

Illness is an unfortunate part of life. But in many cases, the effects may be short-lived. Sinusitis, for example, typically lasts less than four weeks and improves with the appropriate treatment. But as we're now learning, the novel coronavirus can come with serious symptoms -- both at the onset of transmission and even months after contraction. And as confirmed COVID-19 cases surge past the six million mark in the U.S., it's now become clear which group might be the biggest spreaders: young people.

Given how much we don't yet know about the latest coronavirus, it's understandable as to why directives have evolved so much over the last six months. Although children and young adults were generally seen as having a much lower risk of complications as a result of COVID-19 contraction, the problem is that these younger people aren't taking as many precautions. As a result, those who are asymptomatic or who have yet to show signs of illness often spread the virus to others, many of whom may be vulnerable to complications. And while it took more than three months for our nation to reach one million confirmed cases, it's taken less than one-third of that time -- only 22 days, to be exact -- to go from five million to six million.

According to the World Health Organization, young people are the drivers behind COVID-19 spread in many countries, including Japan, Australia, and the Philippines. There may also be an increased risk of complications related to coronavirus transmission in youths. And as coeds return to campuses all across the nation, many are worried that the situation in the U.S. is about to go from bad to worse.

Approximately 64 percent of 2011 private high school graduates went on to attend four-year colleges, but collegiate life looks a lot different less than a decade later. Some classes are being conducted solely online, while others have brought students back with mandates to wear masks, practice social distancing, and eschew traditional rites of passage like parties. Although those in the 18-to-29 age bracket are most vulnerable to problem drinking -- and parties are often being outlawed due to the risk of COVID-19 transmission -- some students have shown that they're not willing to play by the rules.

More than a third of the nation's colleges have reopened, but some have already closed again due to an increase in coronavirus cases. At last count, more than 25,000 students and campus staff across at least 37 states had tested positive for COVID-19. Many schools have taken the step to (or have threatened to) suspend, evict, or expel students who fail to follow health crisis policies and put everyone on campus in danger. Others have closed their residence halls and embraced remote learning. But whether it's realistic to ask students to forgo social opportunities or to expect that every person would have followed proper guidelines is a big question mark.

Ultimately, the effect of college and university reopenings on the national response has yet to be fully realized. But it's pretty clear that the nation has not seen the worst of COVID. Although we may be tired of the coronavirus, it certainly hasn't tired of us.

New Trump Adviser Likes Sweden’s Deadly Virus Plan

Many of us lit candles and prayed that Sweden's approach to the coronavirus would succeed. As the rest of Europe locked down, Sweden stayed mostly open. Its plan was to keep vulnerable people separate while letting the virus infect the others, thus creating herd immunity — a large proportion of people no longer able to spread the disease. Meanwhile, everyone would go about their business, and the economy wouldn't suffer.

The Swedish example could have offered deliverance from mask wearing, closed gyms, and fights over when to open schools. But it didn't work.

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Danziger Draws

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.

Danziger Draws

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.

Trump’s New 'Coronavirus Adviser’ Was Almost Always Dead Wrong

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

President Donald Trump announced this week that Dr. Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, will serve as a new "adviser" to the president on COVID-19. Atlas, whose background is in diagnostic radiology, is not an expert in infectious disease but rather a pundit and frequent Fox guest who has been repeatedly wrong about the pandemic.

Atlas, who has appeared 20 times on Fox News since the end of April, predicted in March that there would only be 10,000 deaths from COVID in America, said in April that the pandemic "appears to be entering the containment phase," and claimed in May that "the curves have been flattened." More recently, he has taken to making unproven claims downplaying the risk of COVID-19 in considering whether to reopen schools for in-person learning.

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White House Staff Worried Over Trump’s Push To Reopen Schools

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump has been adamant in calling for schools to reopen in the fall, and many Republicans are afraid to publicly disagree with him. But journalist Erin Banco, in an article published by the Daily Beast on August 10, reports that some Trump aides — behind closed doors — are seriously worried about the risks of reopening schools at a time when so many new COVID-19 infections are being reported.

During a recent appearance on Fox News' morning show, Fox & Friends, Trump claimed that children were "virtually immune" to coronavirus — which is nonsense. Children are, in fact, susceptible to COVID-19 and can easily spread it to others even if they don't have any symptoms. And Trump said of the pandemic, "This thing's going away. It will go away like things go away."

A Trump senior official, presumably interviewed on condition of anonymity, is fearing that if schools reopen in the fall, not enough precautions will be taken. That official told the Beast, "If you have Trump going out there and saying everything is fine, there's a risk that that's what people are going to think going back. There's a real possibility that counties won't implement all the measures outlined in the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines and will just say, 'Look, we're doing the best we can, and that's it.' There's no one to enforce that stuff."

On Sunday, August 9, news broke that nine people had tested positive for COVID-19 at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia; days earlier, photos of crowded hallways in that school had been posted on social media. And a Trump senior official, discussing that school, told the Beast, "This is exactly what I was afraid of. This is inevitably going to happen when we send kids back to school, but the real question is whether school districts are prepared for this and whether they will take it seriously."

Another Trump official told the Beast that Trump isn't about to change his mind about schools reopening.

"So much emphasis has been put on supporting this idea of getting kids back to school that they aren't going to backpedal down," that official told the Beast.

Trump's aggressive push for schools to reopen comes at a time when Florida, California, Texas and other Sun Belt states are facing a brutal surge in coronavirus infections. Dr. Deborah Birx — who is part of Trump's coronavirus task force, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci — recently warned that the pandemic had entered a "new phase" in the United States and that counties with an increased community spread should not reopen their schools in the fall. Trump was furious, claiming that Birx was caving in to pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On August 3, Trump tweeted, "So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!"


But the figures speak for themselves. As of early Monday morning, August 10, the COVID-19 death count — according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore — had reached 162,938 in the U.S. and 731,570 worldwide.

Newly Reopened Schools Already Plagued By Virus Outbreaks

The academic year has barely begun, yet several schools have already faced setbacks because of coronavirus outbreaks.

On Monday, Donald Trump reiterated his demand to "Open the Schools!" But Indiana, the first state in the nation to begin its school year, has already seen a number of coronavirus-related incidents.

Elwood Junior-Senior High School closed its doors on Monday just days after reopening after at least one staffer at the school tested positive for coronavirus and other staffers were forced to quarantine, the Indianapolis Star reported.

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