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Video Clips Show Trump Knew He Had COVID-19 Before First 2020 Debate

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes went after former President Donald Trump after it recently came to light that the twice-impeached, one-term president appeared at rallies, meetings with Gold Star families, a party for a Supreme Court nominee, and even the first debate with then-candidate Joe Biden—all while knowing full well he had tested positive for COVID-19.

The timeline as laid out by Hayes shows dereliction of duty even more repugnant than usual for Trump.

According to a memoir by Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, titled, The Chief’s Chief, before Trump tested negative for COVID-19 on September 26, 2020, he tested positive—nearly a week before he publicly disclosed his condition.

But instead of quarantining out of an abundance of caution, the White House chose to dismiss Trump’s positive result and allow the president to attend an event honoring his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett—with her children in tow—along with several other GOP members—all without masks, indoors and zero social distancing. This event was later acknowledged as a super-spreader event.

Later that day, Trump again tested positive for COVID-19. Still, instead of letting the folks present at the Barrett event know of his results, the president flew to Middletown, Pennsylvania, for a rally—even walking on to Air Force One maskless and speaking to reporters, one of whom later got COVID-19.

The following day, September 27, Trump held meetings with Gold Star family members in the White House.

The next day, Trump held a press conference outdoors on the subject of COVID-19 testing. He asked Admiral Giroir to talk about COVID testing during the event, where he joked, “Good luck. Hope you don’t test positive.”

Several staffers in the White House would test positive for the virus.

On September 29, knowing that he had COVID-19, Trump flew to Ohio for his first debate against a then 77-year-old Biden.

According to MSNBC, Mark Meadows writes that even though he was fully aware that each candidate was required “to test negative for the virus within seventy-two hours of the start time ... Nothing was going to stop [Trump] from going out there.”

Meadows writes that Trump had been looking “physically unwell,” and was not tested before the debate.

“His face, for the most part at least, had regained its usual light bronze hue, and the gravel in his voice was gone. But the dark circles under his eyes had deepened. As we walked into the venue around five o’clock in the evening, I could tell that he was moving more slowly than usual. He walked like he was carrying a little extra weight on his back,” Meadows writes.

Chris Wallace of Fox News, later said Trump hadn’t tested before the debate because he arrived late.

In the days that followed, Trump attended multiple rallies, without masks or social distancing.

Trump’s aide Hope Hicks was the first person in his inner circle to test positive for COVID-19. Trump then got a second positive test, but told Fox News’ Hannity that he’d recently gotten a test, but implied he didn’t know the results, saying, “we’ll see what happens.“ He then said that, if he’d gotten COVID, it would have been contracted from “soldiers and police” desperate to shake his hand.

“They want to hug me and they want to kiss me. And they do. And frankly, I’m not telling them to back up,” Trump told Hannity.

Trump finally publicly announced his COVID diagnosis on Oct. 2, allegedly just one hour after getting the test results. He was checked into Walter Reed later that day.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Trump tweeted, adding that they would begin to quarantine immediately.

But even in the hours before announcing his diagnosis, Trump was diminishing the virus and the pandemic.

”I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight,” he said in prerecorded remarks.

In a statement on Wednesday, Trump called Meadows’ claims “Fake News.”

The full video is below:

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.

#EndorseThis: Why Is Trump Always Feuding With Gold Star Families?

Donald Trump has been insulting Gold Star families — those whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice in uniform — since 2016 , when he began a feud with the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan.

The president’s lack of compassion for their pain, now demonstrated again in the case of Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, is shocking even to someone — like Trevor Noah — who has learned to expect the worst from Trump.

As Noah puts it, these bereaved Americans may initially appreciate the solace of a phone call from the White House. But with Trump, they end up wishing they’d let the call go to voicemail.

It’s another fine mess: How does he keep doing this?

5 Reasons Trump ‘Getting Back On Message’ Won’t Save Him

Before the Republican convention, I told you that July would likely be the peak of Donald Trump’s historic embarrassment of a presidential campaign. I now say that early August is probably the peak of Hillary Clinton’s historic effort to become the first woman president of the United States.

That’s not to say Clinton won’t win in an electoral college landslide. All she needs to do is hold the states President Obama won in 2012 for that to happen.

Current polling suggests she will, with possible pickups in North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia, which would be huge victories given that three Senate seats are also up for grabs in those states. But she’s not likely to get better news before November 8 than the 15 percent lead she saw in the respected McClatchy/Marist poll last week.

Landslide wins of a dozen percentage points or more just aren’t probable in our modern polarized politics, even if you nominate the least qualified candidate in American history. And this just isn’t because the American public is gripped by a negative partisanship rarely seen in our Republic. We get to blame the press, too!

You know the press wants this to be close. No, they need it to be close.

They’ll fixate on parsing everyone of Hillary Clinton’s words, seeking to equate them with the tsunami of lies that burst from Trump’s mouth any time he sees a microphone or his aides let him have access to his Twitter account.

They’ll hype any poll that says the race is close. And they’ll even offer Trump advice on how to get back in the game. Most of that advice will sound a lot like this: Get on message!

“You need to decide the two or three things you really want to emphasize on a given day, week or month and then talk about them every day, all day,” the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza cannily advised.

Yeah, no.

There are several reasons why the press is going to have to keep Trump’s campaign alive  — and why this billionaire impersonator won’t be able to do it himself.

  1. His “message” is incredibly unpopular.
    Donald Trump won a plurality of the GOP primary by driving his party to extremes on the exact issues where it most needed moderation. Now he’s pushing the same issues in a general election. Basically he’s using the act that made him valedictorian of the clown college — at an actual college. Few analysts point out that the harsh immigration stands that define his candidacy all garner at most 33 percent support, which just happens to be the percentage of voters who backed Trump in that disastrous McClatchy/Marist poll.
    Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.13.31 AM
  2. Most of his likely gains in the polls will come from winning Republicans back.
    Trump’s Republican National Convention will go down in history — way down in history. It marked the first time a four-day, prime-time commercial for a candidate actually made voters less likely to support the candidate. Part of this was its content, which we’ll get to momentarily — but Trump also managed to exacerbate the internal divisions that obscured his tired, boring choice of running mate, who was supposed to “unite the party.” Thus he lost support from Republicans and right-leaning independents following the convention, accounting for much of his poll dip. These voters are likely to line up again with Trump, but his campaign’s task — as former Obama strategist Dan Pfeiffer often notes — is picking up Obama voters, not securing Romney voters.
  3. Hillary Clinton and her campaign are quite good at this.
    In contrast, the McClatchy/Marist showed Clinton coming out of her convention with 96 percent of Democrats supporting her, 7 percent more than Trump’s support in his party. Clinton drove up this number and united her party by running a convention that started with a burst of historic turmoil: Supporters of Bernie Sanders were threatening a revolt egged on by leaks, possibly sponsored by a foreign government, that seemed to confirm their worst conspiracy theories. Clinton’s team responded by managing the dissent and aligning the party with such deftness and grace that by the time Bernie Sanders rose to call for Hillary Clinton’s nomination, the divisions of the first day had been eased by a flurry of historic speeches and artful coalition building. Before the convention, Clinton’s approval ratings had plummeted to a historic low. Two weeks later she is back near breakeven with a double-digit approval margin over Trump. Rarely has a convention been so successful in bringing out the best in its nominee and the worst in her opponent.
  4. Trump spent his entire convention making this election a referendum on himself — and then spent the subsequent week disqualifying himself.
    Trump had long promised a star-studded, unconventional convention that displayed his unique appeal to the nation. What he delivered was a telethon of terror where the only star was Trump’s ego. His message: “I alone can fix this.” And by “this” he means America, which he described as a disaster combining the social unrest of 1968, the rampant crime of 1988, and the financial meltdown of 2008. The theory of his campaign is based on about 7 of 10 Americans say America in on the wrong track. He ignores that many of those “wrong track” people are responding to a GOP Congress that won’t fund money to fight Zika without cutting Obamacare, or that Republicans have actually nominated a birther to be president. Actually, the president’s approval is above 50 percent, and we’re in the middle of the longest stretch of private-sector job growth ever. ISIS is definitely a threat and the never-ending fallout of the Iraq War in terms of the disaster of Syria and the refugee crisis are real. Yet Trump’s simplistic approach to solving this problems with “secret plans” baffles most minds that aren’t aching for an authoritarian daddy to fix everything. He made this election a “referendum” on his qualifications to do so — and then spent the next week displaying his utter irresponsibility, with his despicable verbal assault on the family of a U.S. solider who he claimed “viciously attacked” him, with a Constitution. He’d been baited by a speaker at the Democratic convention to destroy the argument he made at his own. And even if he gets back on “message,” that horrific attack — which almost 8 of 10 Americans disapproved — will linger in ads until Election Day.
  5. You’re going to see a flurry of “attacks” on Trump like nothing in recent history. And he’ll have to respond.
    Republicans have been dreaming of some way to make Trump disappear for 14 months and now they’re stuck with the option of just letting him lose alone.  According to The New York Times, GOP Super Pacs are now “discussing advertisements that would treat Mr. Trump’s defeat as a given and urge voters to send Republicans to Congress as a check on a Hillary Clinton White House.” Every day new business, military, and intelligence leaders who would normally remain silent will speak up to point out that Trump fails to meet the minimum requirements to serve as president of the United States. He has no record of public service and the flood of lawsuits against him and his chickenhawk draft-dodging all indicate his unfitness. He won’t even meet the most basic obligation of a nominee: proving that he’s not a crook by releasing his tax returns. America is rejecting Trump like he’s a diseased organ. This failed transplant of bigoted fascism into our imperfect but striving democracy needs to be rejected fully. And faced with the greatest embarrassment of his life and threatening unrest in his wake, Trump will become even more erratic and destructive. And that’s why his message will keep him out of the White House.

Muslim Families Of Fallen U.S. Soldiers Driven To Oppose Trump

By Lucas Jackson and Barbara Goldberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nazar Naqvi has faithfully voted Republican for more than three decades.

After Donald Trump’s feud with Muslim parents who lost a son in battle for the United States, he has vowed not a single Republican will get his vote.

Naqvi, 69, a retired U.S. government engineer from Newburgh, New York, is a member of a small community of Muslims who are among America’s Gold Star families, those whose loved ones were killed while serving in the U.S. military.

His son Mohsin Naqvi, who was born in Pakistan, enlisted in the U.S. Army four days after Sept. 11, 2001, and was killed in 2008 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Trump lashed out at Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Pakistani American parents of slain U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, after they appeared at last week’s Democratic convention in Philadelphia to criticize the Republican presidential hopeful for proposing a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

“I’m going to vote for anyone but Republicans because of this one person, this man who has gone out of his mind,” Naqvi said this week. “Not any office should get our vote. He has been nominated not by one person – the Republican Party nominated him.”

Naqvi said he was pressing his registered Republican friends to do the same.

The Pentagon says that 3,939 active duty service members have identified themselves as Muslim, less than 1 percent of the 1.3 million active duty U.S. military troops, but a Pentagon spokesman said there is no record of how many Muslims have been killed in action.

Reuters reached out to a dozen Muslim Gold Star families who lost a loved one in action after Sept. 11, 2001.

The families are not organized as a group and some did not want to talk. But those who did agreed that Trump’s comments upended their political loyalties, and moved them to take action to register and motivate other voters to keep Trump out of the White House in November.

Nooshin Razani, 43, an Iranian-American pediatrician in Oakland, California, whose 19-year-old brother Omead Razani died while serving as a U.S. Army medic in Iraq in 2004, said Trump’s comments sparked her to speak to the press for the first time.

“When I saw there was this person who was willing to use religion in this negative way, I decided I’m coming forward,” said Razani.

Trump rebuked Khizr Khan for suggesting that he should read the U.S. Constitution and said his wife Ghazala may have stood silently by her husband because she might not have been “allowed” to speak.

Although Trump did call their son a hero and said his aim was to end radical Islamic terror, the ensuing uproar has caused many Republicans to distance themselves from him and to support the Khan family.

Razani joined more than 20 Gold Star families in signing an open letter calling for Trump to apologize to the Khans and said she is going to volunteer to register voters, mainly because of Trump’s comments about Ghazala Khan, which she said insulted all Muslim women.

“I want to be an active part of making sure people’s voices are heard. Even people Trump thinks don’t speak up,” Razani said.

Trump’s ongoing dispute with the Khans has become a call to political action for Kevin Ahearn of Phoenix. His brother, Army Major James Ahearn, converted to Islam to marry a woman with whom he fell in love in Iraq, brought to the United States and with whom he had a daughter before he was killed by a bomb in Iraq in 2007.

Kevin Ahearn, 48, said on Tuesday that he and his husband planned to go to Democratic Headquarters in Phoenix to volunteer for the first time.

“It makes me all the more determined that he does not make it to the White House,” said Ahearn, whose Muslim niece now is 10.

The soldier’s mother said she was shocked by Trump’s rhetoric and wishes she could talk to her late son about it.

“He was always a staunch Republican because they backed the military. I can’t imagine how he would feel now,” said Constance Ahearn, 75, who lives in the San Francisco area.


(Reporting by Lucas Jackson and Barbara Goldberg; Additional reporting by Emily Hubbard and Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

Photo: A U.S. flag flies next to the grave marker of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan inside of Section 60 in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson