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

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor called out President Donald Trump for falsely claiming he hasn't left the White House "in months" at a press briefing on Monday evening.

Trump was attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has criticized the administration's slow and negligent response to the coronavirus crisis. In response, critics have pointed out that, as late as Feb. 24, Pelosi told people to go to Chinatown in an effort to mollify the growing fears of the coronavirus. While in retrospect, any advice to go out at this time was likely a mistake, the Trump administration itself was weeks away from issuing any guidance discouraging public gatherings. And, as Alcindor pointed out, Trump was holding campaign rallies throughout February and into March, which potentially could have served to spread the virus.


"You held rallies in February and March," Alcindor said.

"Oh, I don't know about rallies," Trump said. "I really don't know about rallies. I know one thing: I haven't left the White House in months, except for a brief moment to give a wonderful ship, the Comfort—"

"You held a rally in March, in North Carolina," she said.

"Did I hold a rally? I held a rally! I'm sorry!" Trump said sarcastically. "I hold a rally. Did I hold a rally?"

He did, in fact, hold a rally on March 2, which undermines any claim that he was taking the spread of the virus more seriously than Pelosi was based on her Chinatown remarks. Trump was also in Florida on March 8, less than two months ago.

Trump continues to try to take credit for issuing restrictions on travel from China on Jan. 31 — a move that was similar to steps taken by many other nations, despite his claim to have acted alone. But if anything, it seems that small measure provided him and many of his supporters with a false sense of security about the dangers posed by the virus, which was likely spreading largely undetected through the United States in February.

Watch the clip below:



Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been claiming that COVID-19 has been mostly defeated in the U.S. — which is laughable in light of how much infection rates have been surging, especially in Sun Belt states. But according to Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey, Team Trump has found a new coronavirus talking point: claiming that Americans can learn to live with the pandemic and the ever-climbing death count.

According to Abutaleb and Dawsey, the "goal" of Trump's White House and campaign allies "is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year, and the economy will continue to improve. White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House's thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations."

A Trump Administration senior official, quoted anonymously, told the Post that Americans will "live with the virus being a threat." And a former Trump official, according to the Post, said of Trump's allies, "They're of the belief that people will get over it, or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on — and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day."



Figures from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore show that the coronavirus pandemic continues to be quite deadly — especially in the United States. As of Monday morning, July 6, Hopkins was reporting a worldwide COVID-19 death count of more than 534,800 — and almost 130,000 of those deaths were in the U.S.

Biden's campaign has been asserting that the former vice president has a much better track record than Trump when it comes to pandemics. Democratic strategist and Biden campaign adviser Ariana Berengaut told the Post, "From really January on, Vice President Biden has been laser focused on the rising risk to the American people presented by this pandemic. You can almost imagine them side by side — Trump's leadership and Biden's leadership…. Trump has no plan for tomorrow, no plan for a week from now; so, there is absolutely no plan for the fall, and that's what encapsulates the whole arc of that contrast."

Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, told the Post that Trump's coronavirus response has been and continues to be an abysmal failure.

Garin asserted, "Trump is increasingly defined in voters' minds by his failing response to the coronavirus crisis, and virtually every action and position he's taken have been wildly out of sync with where the public is at on what should be done. Biden now has a remarkable opportunity to contrast himself with this failure of leadership that a large majority of voters see so clearly."