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.
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Senior Trump Campaign Advisor and Top Fundraising Official Kimberly Guilfoyle Tests Positive for Coronavirus: Reports
Trump campaign senior advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host who is also the campaign’s top fundraising official, has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.
Guilfoyle was tested while in South Dakota, where President Donald Trump is right now, about to preside over a Fourth of July fireworks show at Mt. Rushmore.
ABC News Senior Editorial Producer John Santucci posted the news to Twitter:
BREAKING – Kimberly Guilfoyle tested positive for coronavirus while in SD / was expected to attend tonight’s event at Mt Rushmore. Sources familiar add Donald Trump Jr tested negative. Neither have been in direct contact with the president and did not fly on AF1 – @ABC
— John Santucci (@Santucci) July 4, 2020
The New York Times also reported Guilfoyle’s test result, and noted she is “the girlfriend of President Trump’s eldest son,” Donald Trump, Jr.
“Ms. Guilfoyle traveled to South Dakota with Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., in anticipation of attending a huge fireworks display where the president was set to speak.”
Re-Election Campaign Spokesperson Pushes Mt. Rushmore Meme That Adds Trump to Monument of Famous Four Presidents
Would adding President Donald Trump to the famous Mt. Rushmore monument to four of America’s greatest president’s make it better?
A spokesperson and Trump re-election campaign “Rapid Response” official seems to think so.
Just hours before President Trump is set to travel to South Dakota’s famous 60-foot tall 80-year old carving, Abigail Marone posted a widely-circulated meme of the 45th President’s image, not only added to Mt. Rushmore, but in front of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln.
Washington Post national political reporter Michael Scherer says “Democrats think the continued ego gratification of Trump is one of the best things they have going for them.”
This is being pushed out by Trump advisers today. Democrats think the continued ego gratification of Trump is one of the best things they have going for them. My story on how “I alone can fix it” no longer means the same thing amid Covid with @ToluseO https://t.co/7PXDhykK4e https://t.co/0e7SDO3f8M
— michaelscherer (@michaelscherer) July 3, 2020
The President traveling to South Dakota for a fireworks show he forced to have happen despite experts warning about the pollution of local drinking water and possible wildfires it could cause is one more addition to the long list of Trump ego gratification items.
Meanwhile, this Twitter user offered up an appropriate (fact check: true) response.
Since the sculptor who created Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, was a member of the KKK and avowed anti-Semite, you’re more accurate than you dreamed. https://t.co/XkFb586d8V
— George Kaplan (@GeorgeKaplan8) July 3, 2020
Image via Wikimedia
MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch Predicts Trump Will Drop Out in the Face of ‘The Biggest Landslide Defeat in US History’
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” regular contributor Donny Deutsch said he would not be surprised at all if Donald Trump dropped out of the 2020 presidential race because he wouldn’t be able to face losing to former Vice President Joe Biden in a landslide.
Speaking with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Deutsch — who has known Trump for years — said the president is looking at a humiliating defeat and may not stick around and let it happen.
“We’ve got four months to the election but we’re now entering the 57th month out of a 60-month experiment with Donald Trump,” he explained. “He is baked at this point, Joe Biden is baked at this point.”
“When you look at the 2016 election, you had Donald Trump who was an unknown, Hillary [Clinton] a known. Now we’ve got two knowns,” he continued. “And none of this stuff is going to work. It is just — it’s a pathetic attempt — people are not stupid, just like they’re not stupid about their health. They’re just not stupid and, Joe, I want to go back to something you teed up last week that I have been thinking all week.”
“I would not be shocked at some point if he doesn’t drop the mic,” Deutsch admitted. “It’s [the election] is not turning around. This is a guy that I cannot see standing up and owning the biggest landslide defeat in U.S. history. I know you have been throwing it out in, a lot of people are saying no, that’s not possible. But the more I think about it, the more I’m jumping on your bandwagon. I don’t see this guy going the distance.”
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