On Saturday, The New York Times published a bombshell expose titled, “He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus.
The report was written by Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger, Maggie Haberman, Michael D. Shear, Mark Mazzetti and Julian E. Barnes — five of whom have been part of teams winning Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of the Trump administration.
Some of what was detailed in the report was based on “Red Dawn” email messages. Reporter Eric Lipton published a second story on the topic titled, “The ‘Red Dawn’ Emails: 8 Key Exchanges on the Faltering Response to the Coronavirus.”
“As the coronavirus emerged and headed toward the United States, an extraordinary conversation was hatched among an elite group of infectious disease doctors and medical experts in the federal government and academic institutions around the nation,” The Times reported.
“Red Dawn — a nod to the 1984 film with Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen — was the nickname for the email chain they built. Different threads in the chain were named Red Dawn Breaking, Red Dawn Rising, Red Dawn Breaking Bad and, as the situation grew more dire, Red Dawn Raging. It was hosted by the chief medical officer at the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Duane C. Caneva, starting in January with a small core of medical experts and friends that gradually grew to dozens,” the newspaper explained.
JUST POSTED: A Readers Guide to the “Red Dawn” Emails. These are now vital historical documents. Primary source documents that researchers will turn to for decades to come. Read them yourself now. https://t.co/5NWdk5TQCo
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) April 11, 2020
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Hours After Announcing He Invoked the Defense Production Act for Ventilators Trump Backtracks – for the Second Time Today
President Donald Trump once again is bowing to corporate America and vacillating on using the full force of the law to save American lives.
Two hours after the White House issued a statement announcing President Trump had invoked the Defense Production Act, directing General Motors to produce ventilators (quantity, timeline, and cost not announced), Trump is again backtracking – for the second time in as many hours.
After the White House press statement, Trump sat at the Resolute Desk, telling reporters in the Oval Office, “I’ve enacted the Act, we’ve used it three of four times.” That’s false. He had never officially used the law.
“We did activate it with respect to General Motors,” he continued, announcing he has ordered the car company to produce ventilators. He added, “maybe we won’t need the full activation we’ll find out.”
That’s not how the law works.
And now, at his daily coronavirus press conference, Trump again backtracked.
“This invocation of the DPA should demonstrate clearly to all that we will not hesitate to use the full authority of the federal government to combat this crisis. We thought we had a deal for example with General Motors and I guess they thought otherwise. They didn’t agree, and now they do, they do agree, and I think we might be able to pull it,” he said, referring to his direction under the DPA to GM to make ventilators.
Proving he has no intention of actually using the law, Trump scolded the $137 billion multinational corporation: “We let them know how we felt, and they can’t be doin’ that.”
It is unclear if Trump will actually use the law, as intended, to mandate GM produce the life-saving equipment. There appears to be no contract, no order, no number of ventilators to be produced, nor at what cost. There also appears to be no specifications, and no timeline as to how many are to be delivered when.
Minutes later, talking about ventilators being made, Trump says, “Hopefully General Motors will join the fray.”
He did not explain why he said “hopefully.”
Later, Trump explains that he doesn’t want to “get ripped off on price,” then says: “So General Motors, we’ll see what happens.”
Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ Campaign to Blame for Iraq Embassy Assault: Ex-Pentagon Officials
The ongoing assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, that is threatening the lives of diplomats there, is a direct result of a “maximum pressure” campaign waged by Donald Trump that is now blowing up in his face, reports Politico.
The report states, “As protesters tried to breach the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday, and Iraqi and American officials feuded over the necessity of recent U.S. airstrikes, critics blamed the chaos on the Trump team’s laserlike focus on cracking the Islamist regime in Iran.”
According to foreign policy experts and ex-Pentagon officials, members of the Trump administration have no idea what they are doing and their policies are “far too heavy on economic sanctions and military deterrence, far too light on serious diplomatic outreach, and not focused enough on the other countries caught in the middle.”
“It’s not working because the administration has no idea why it’s applying pressure or what it wants,” explained Ilan Goldenberg, a former Pentagon and State Department official. “It’s not even a maximum pressure strategy. It’s a maximum pressure policy.”
“Even some supporters of ‘maximum pressure’ quibble with the administration’s execution. Lebanon and Iraq, for instance, have seen major anti-corruption protests in recent months, with many demonstrators chanting against Iranian interference in their countries,” the report continues. “But the U.S. has done little beyond offer verbal support, squandering a chance to lure those countries out of Iran’s orbit,” leading Ilan Berman, senior vice president of the conservative American Foreign Policy Council to admit, “There’s a huge opening that we’re not exploiting.”
Oddly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — whose job it is to implement the president’s wishes — has worried specifically about such a new attack.
“Pompeo has long dreaded having a Benghazi-type event on his watch,” a former senior Trump administration official admitted.
“As tensions mounted this week, Pompeo spoke with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, all of whom view Tehran as an adversary, in a bid to show that the U.S. has plenty of support in its anti-Iran tactics. But it was not clear whether Pompeo would travel to Iraq — he’s scheduled to visit Ukraine and several of its neighbors starting later this week,” the report states. “The developments this week were a remarkable turn of events for the United States in Iraq, where it maintains some 5,000 troops nearly 17 years after U.S. troops invaded the country and toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.”
You can read more here.
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