According to a report in the Daily Beast, major donors who contributed to Donald Trump’s inauguration not only want no part of the president now, but are also contributing to possible Democratic presidential contenders.
The report starts off by noting, “15 such donors who collectively gave more than $700,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee but who have since contributed to the presidential campaigns of Democratic candidates including Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Eric Swalwell, and John Delaney.”
While many wealthy political campaign contributors are known to give money to both Democrats and Republicans as a way of hedging their bets and keeping the door open for access, many of the Trump donors are rock-ribbed Republicans who have tired of the president.
“It had only been a couple years since [Jennifer] Pritzker, the world’s only known trans billionaire and a Republican mega-donor, had chipped in a whopping $250,000 to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee,” the report states. “But three months after publicly objecting to the GOP’s stance on trans issues, she gave $1,000 to Democrat Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.”
According to Pritzker, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, her change of heart stemmed from the administration’s stance on trans rights.
“I’ve grown frustrated as I watch this Republican administration push to ban transgender military service. Anti-transgender platforms are causing me to evaluate my party support,” Pritzker wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “I have hoped the Republican Party would reform from within and end its assault on the LGBTQ community. Yet, the party continues to champion policies that marginalize me out of existence, define me as an eccentric character and persecute me for using the public restrooms that correspond to my gender identity.”
The report notes that Pritzker has previously not only contributed to Trump , but also to Republicans Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich.
“Chrysa Tsakopoulos Demos, the chief executive of California land development company AKT Investments, is a longtime Republican donor who backed Sen. Ted Cruz’s bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. She donated $5,000 to the Trump inaugural, and continued donating to Republicans through 2018, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Great America Committee, Vice President Mike Pence’s political group,” the G Beast report, before adding, “But Demos’ only federal political contribution so far in the 2020 cycle is the $2,800 she donated last year to Biden’s presidential campaign.”
The report states that Greg Maffei, the chief executive of the Colorado-based media company Liberty Media, was a “$250,000 donor to the Trump inaugural who is backing Democrats in 2020.”
“This time around, though, Maffei has supported the two Democratic presidential candidates from his home state. In March 2019, he gave the per-election maximum of $2,800 to Hickenlooper, the former Colorado governor,” the Beast reports. “Two months later, after a max-out donation to Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, Maffei donated $100,000 to a super PAC supporting Hickenlooper. After Hickenlooper withdrew from the race, Maffei donated the legal maximum to Bennet’s presidential campaign.”
You can read about more high dollar contributors bailing on Trump here.
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Confirmed US Coronavirus-Related Deaths Surge – Double in Just Two Days
The number of confirmed coronavirus-related deaths in the United States has doubled in just two days, The Washington Post reported Saturday evening. The number of people who have died from COVID-19 now stands at 2000.
It was just over one month ago when President Donald Trump told the American people there were just 15 cases and “within days” the number would drop to “close to zero.”
Trump on that day said: “that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”
“It took about a month from the first confirmed death for the United States to record 1,000,” the Post adds. “That toll has risen rapidly as officials have been warning the worst is yet to come.”
The National Security Council Gave Trump a 69-Page Pandemic Plan Three Years Ago — He Ignored It
On Wednesday, Politico reported the details of a 69-page pandemic response playbook given to President Donald Trump’s team by the National Security Council, outlining key steps the federal government should take to coordinate a response and contain the crisis — and revealed how the White House was catastrophically late to implement the plan’s major suggestions at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Trump administration, state officials and even individual hospital workers are now racing against each other to get the necessary masks, gloves and other safety equipment to fight coronavirus — a scramble that hospitals and doctors say has come too late and left them at risk,” wrote Dan Diamond and Nahal Toolsi. “But according to a previously unrevealed White House playbook, the government should’ve begun a federal-wide effort to procure that personal protective equipment at least two months ago.”
The report continued: “‘Is there sufficient personal protective equipment for healthcare workers who are providing medical care?’ the playbook instructs its readers, as one early decision that officials should address when facing a potential pandemic. ‘If YES: What are the triggers to signal exhaustion of supplies? Are additional supplies available? If NO: Should the Strategic National Stockpile release PPE to states?’”
This playbook, which was devised in 2016 in the wake of the government’s attempts to contain Ebola just years before, reportedly “also stresses the significant responsibility facing the White House to contain risks of potential pandemics, a stark contrast with the Trump administration’s delays in deploying an all-of-government response and President Donald Trump’s recent signals that he might roll back public health recommendations.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services maintained this plan was never formally adopted and said, “The HHS COVID-19 response was informed by more recent plans such as the foundation of the National Biodefense Strategy (2018), Biological Incident Annex (2017), and panCAP (2018) among other key plans provided by the CDC, White House Task Force, FEMA, and other key federal departments and agencies.”
Nonetheless, according to Politico, the existence of the plan undercuts Trump’s narrative that the coronavirus disaster was unforeseeable: “Trump’s aides were told to expect a potential pandemic, ranging from a tabletop exercise that the outgoing Obama administration prepared for the president’s incoming aides to a ‘Crimson Contagion’ scenario that health officials undertook just last year and modeled out potential risks of a global infectious disease threat. Trump’s deputies also have said that their coronavirus response relies on a federal playbook, specifically referring to a strategy laid out by the Centers for Disease Control.”
“It is not clear if the administration’s failure to follow the NSC playbook was the result of an oversight or a deliberate decision to follow a different course,” continued the report.
You can read more here.
Trump Will Be a ‘One-Man Death Panel’ if He Sends People Back to Work Amid Pandemic: Medical Experts
President Donald Trump’s stated desire to get America back up and running by Easter despite the continued threat from the coronavirus pandemic is running into a wall of criticism from medical experts.
In interviews with the New York Times, several medical experts said that pushing Americans to return to work in the middle of a pandemic would make the spread of the disease vastly worse than it is right now.
“The virus will surge, many will fall ill and there will be more deaths,” Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells the Times of Trump’s push to ease social distancing restrictions.
“Nobody voted in Donald Trump thinking he would become a ‘one-man death panel’ empowered to dispense with American lives like cannon fodder,” Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa, tells the paper. “It would be political suicide for him and murder for many others.”
Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, the acting director of the University of Washington MetaCenter for Pandemic Disease Preparedness, similarly tells the Times that there are no shortcuts in dealing with the virus.
“The lesson from China is that aggressive measures to reduce the spread of the virus, continued for two months, have led to a reduction in new cases,” he says.
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