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Mike Pence Led Indiana Into a Totally Avoidable HIV Crisis. Trump Just Put Him in Charge of Coronavirus.



President Donald Trump has just announced Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the federal government’s response to coronavirus.

“I’m going to be announcing exactly right now,” Trump said from the White House press briefing room, that I’m putting “Vice President Mike Pence in charge” of coronavirus.

“And Mike will report back to me, but he’s got a certain talent for this.”

“They look at the Indiana model,” Trump said. “It’s been a great success. It’s been a tremendous model, in terms of health care.”

When Vice President Pence was Indiana Governor Mike Pence, he led his state into an HIV crisis.

“In late 2014, health officials belatedly became aware of an HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana,” The Nation reported in 2018. “With fewer than 24,000 people, this rural county rarely saw a single new case in a year, according to The New York Times. But by the time government agencies tried to stop the transmission of the virus a few months later, some 215 people had tested positive.”

“One man seemed responsible for needlessly letting the situation get out of control: Indiana’s then-Governor Mike Pence. In 2015, when the virus was seeming to rapidly move through networks of people who use intravenous drugs, even the reluctant local sheriff encouraged the governor to authorize a clean-needle exchange, a proven tool to reduce such an outbreak.”

That New York Times article was titled: “Mike Pence’s Response to H.I.V. Outbreak: Prayer, Then a Change of Heart.” It mentioned prayer five times.

Wednesday evening, President Trump told the American public Pence would now be in charge of keeping Americans safe.

Here’s how some are responding to news Pence is in charge of the federal government’s response to coronavirus.


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‘God Help Us’: Americans Brace as WH Announces Trump Rose Garden News Conference Expected to Be ‘Gasoline for the Fire’



“Arsonist announcing he is arriving at the scene of the fire”

Americans had a visceral reaction immediately upon learning the White House has just announced President Donald Trump will hold a Rose Garden press conference at 2 PM Friday, 13 hours after he posted tweets so caustic Twitter hid one of them for “glorifying violence.”

Trump is expected to continue his attack on Americans he threatened to have the “Military” shoot on the streets of Minneapolis, protestors in his early AM tweetstorm he referred to as “thugs.” The intense protest Thursday night, after two nights of relative calm protests over the police killing of a handcuffed, unarmed Black man at the hands of white police officers, has now sparked protests in cities across the country.

Trump could focus on his issues with China, but many expect him to continue his attacks on social media giant Twitter and on the Minneapolis protestors.

Here’s how some responded immediately to the news:


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Major Medical Journal Demands Trump Be Replaced Over Abject Failures of COVID-19 Response



In a very rare commentary on political matters, the editors of the esteemed medical journal Lancet called for a new president in 2021 who can competently deal with a major health crisis by letting health care professionals do their jobs.

In what can only be described as a scorching appraisal, the editors called out President Donald Trump and some of his top aides for undercutting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at a time when the U.S — and the world at large — are being ravaged by the COVID-19 virus.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen in the USA with 1·3 million cases and an estimated death toll of 80 684 as of May 12. States that were initially the hardest hit, such as New York and New Jersey, have decelerated the rate of infections and deaths after the implementation of 2 months of lockdown. However, the emergence of new outbreaks in Minnesota, where the stay-at-home order is set to lift in mid-May, and Iowa, which did not enact any restrictions on movement or commerce, has prompted pointed new questions about the inconsistent and incoherent national response to the COVID-19 crisis,” the editorial began, before adding, “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flagship agency for the nation’s public health, has seen its role minimized and become an ineffective and nominal adviser in the response to contain the spread of the virus.”

The piece was highly critical of Dr. Deborah Birx for her stunning comment, “There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust.”

“This is an unhelpful statement, but also a shocking indictment of an agency that was once regarded as the gold standard for global disease detection and control,” the editorial stated. “How did an agency that was the first point of contact for many national health authorities facing a public health threat become so ill-prepared to protect the public’s health?”

“The Trump administration further chipped away at the CDC’s capacity to combat infectious diseases. CDC staff in China were cut back with the last remaining CDC officer recalled home from the China CDC in July, 2019, leaving an intelligence vacuum when COVID-19 began to emerge,” the piece continued. “In a press conference on Feb 25, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned US citizens to prepare for major disruptions to movement and everyday life. Messonnier subsequently no longer appeared at White House briefings on COVID-19. More recently, the Trump administration has questioned guidelines that the CDC has provided. These actions have undermined the CDC’s leadership and its work during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Noting the long and distinguished history of the CDC — while also admitting mistakes have been made by the CDC in its handing the coronavirus pandemic — the editorial continued, “But punishing the agency by marginalising and hobbling it is not the solution. The Administration is obsessed with magic bullets—vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear.”

The editorial concluded, “The Trump administration’s further erosion of the CDC will harm global cooperation in science and public health, as it is trying to do by defunding WHO. A strong CDC is needed to respond to public health threats, both domestic and international, and to help prevent the next inevitable pandemic. Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics.”

You can read the whole editorial here.

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Trump Avoiding Meetings With Hospital Leaders as They Beg for Help With Coronavirus Crisis: Report



According to a report from Politico, beleaguered U.S. hospitals are pleading for help from Donald Trump’s administration as they are swamped with patients seeking care from the exploding coronavirus pandemic.

However, the president has been keeping his distance.

Despite assurances from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma that help is on the way in the form of rolling back some regulations that may help ease the burden, hospital administrators claim her plans do too little.

“Hospital leaders say that the new announcements only touch the surface of their needs, as they worry about shortages of crucial supplies, risks to their workers and the possibility of an industry bailout as coronavirus patients swarm their facilities,” the report states. “An expert on an American Hospital Association webinar last month predicted as many as 1.9 million ICU admissions from the coronavirus outbreak over the next few months, swamping existing facilities. There are only about 100,000 ICU beds across the U.S. health system.”

According to Chip Kahn, head of the for-profit Federation of American Hospitals, “I think there will be hospitals that could be pushed to the edge financially.”

The Politico report notes, “Some hospital leaders have quietly floated that they’ll need federal funding to pay for rented hotels or other arrangements as their hospital wards are quickly overrun by the coronavirus outbreak,” adding, “The risk of failure is severe: Public health experts have warned that the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, which is in its early days, could be on track to resemble the increasingly dire situation in Italy, where patients have overwhelmed that nation’s health system. That’s left hospitals calling for extreme measures from the White House and scrambling to prepare emergency steps of their own while they wait for a response.”

Adding to their problems is the fact that leaders in the hospital industry have been unable to meet face to face with President Donald Trump who made a show of meeting with CEO’s representing the retail and financial sectors.

“But in the face of the looming crisis, hospital executives said that leaders were underwhelmed by their Wednesday meeting with Verma, who spent much of the hour-long session taking notes but failed to calm industry fears about swamped emergency rooms and medical supply shortages, according to three individuals with direct knowledge of the meeting. Vice President Mike Pence briefly joined the meeting but departed to join other officials as they worked to prepare the president for his Oval Office address,” the report states. “But hospital leaders haven’t had time alone with President Donald Trump — even as leaders of other health sectors, like the insurance industry, the pharma industry and the lab industry, have been granted extended face-to-face meetings with the president and Pence.”

You can read more here.

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