The Trump administration has ordered an “innovative” and “first of its kind” at home coronavirus testing program that has the support of Bill Gates and other public health experts to cease, and it’s unclear why.
The program, as The New York Times and NPR affiliate KUOW report, is based in Seattle, Washington, and allowed residents to easily test for coronavirus. One of the program’s benefits is 43 percent of its more than 12,000 participants so far were asymptomatic. To date the program has identified dozens of previously-undetected COVID-19 cases.
The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN), operated by researchers from the Seattle Flu Study and Public Health – Seattle & King County, and had an “in-person technical adviser” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was authorized by the State of Washington.
“Please discontinue patient testing and return of diagnostic results to patients until proper authorization is obtained,” the FDA ordered, saying it had “concerns about safety and accuracy.”
SCAN’s researchers say they had, The Times reports, “submitted data validating both the safety and reliability of the swabs in home-based collection.”
One researcher not affiliated with the program called halting it “bizarre.”
It’s unclear if Bill Gates’ association with the project has any negative impact. Some far right conspiracy theorists among Trump’s base, including those protesting state stay-at-home policies, falsely claim Gates is developing a vaccine that contains a microchip to track those who get injected.
President Donald Trump has been very concerned with the actual numbers attached to coronavirus cases and has made clear he wanted to keep the numbers low to help his re-election campaign.
He has said, “we don’t want everybody taking this test,” referring to coronavirus testing. “It’s totally unnecessary. This will pass through and we’re going to be even stronger for it.”
On Thursday Trump said testing for coronavirus is “overrated,” and complained that the more tests are conducted, the more cases there are.
“When you test, you have a case,” Trump said in Allentown, Pennsylvania. “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing we would have very few cases.”
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‘Riding Bikes While Black’: New Jersey Cops Under Fire for Confiscating Bike and Arresting Teen
Police officers in Perth Amboy, New Jersey are under fire after video clips of them appearing to harass a small group of Black teens who were riding their bikes through town went viral. Perth Amboy has a law requiring a bicycle “license tag” but the teens say they live in Edison, and were just riding home.
At one point six police cars were involved. The officers ordered the teens off the bikes, confiscated at least one, and arrested one teen who was arguing they shouldn’t have to give up their bikes.
We can’t even ride bikes now… I’m not surprised. I’m just angry. pic.twitter.com/xcAR8zmnuP
— ⁶Kid (@deep_dab) April 19, 2021
Later, at the police station, one officer told the teen he was lucky to get his bike back, asking if he had the purchase receipt for the bike, and if it is registered with them. The officer also says the teens were told “to stay on the sidewalk,” but they were also told to stay on the road and ride with traffic. She says they did all this for their safety.
Here’s the explanation from a Perth Amboy police officer: pic.twitter.com/8T48DMEgoA
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 20, 2021
Part of Perth Amboy’s extensive bicycle law reads: “An application for a license to own and operate a bicycle shall be made to the Chief of Police in writing upon a form approved by the City Council. Upon approval of an application, the Chief of Police shall provide, at the expense of the city, a proper license tag which shall be attached to the frame of the bicycle in a substantial manner. The removal of such tag, except by proper authority, shall be a violation of this chapter. A license fee of fifty cents ($0.50) shall be charged per year for each bicycle. Such license shall be issued as of the calendar year and shall be effective for such period.”
It also bans “fancy riding”:
“The rider of a bicycle shall not allow it to proceed in a street by inertia momentum, with his feet removed from the pedals, nor remove both hands from the handlebars while riding the bicycle, nor practice any trick or fancy riding in a street or carry another person upon the bicycle.”
Many are outraged:
Riding bikes while black is a crime in Perth Amboy https://t.co/0v6znJ4SkO
— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) April 20, 2021
This is Perth Amboy, NJ. Are the police really arresting kids over bike registrations? Does it really require this many officers to address whatever situation this is? Police CANNOT continue to be our response to EVERYTHING. https://t.co/fcrPfJNKBI
— Amol Sinha (@AmolSinha) April 20, 2021
I rode my bike through Perth Amboy, NJ last year. No one asked me for my bike license. I wonder why. pic.twitter.com/VRsHggDxbv
— Charlie O’Donnell (@ceonyc) April 20, 2021
Municipal bicycle licenses are just registration stickers. And they can be an effective tool to arrest wheelie kids.
— BCGP Biking The Region (@BikingTheRegion) April 20, 2021
Cops in Perth Amboy, NJ arrest a Black teenager for no reason. They let him go later in the day and gave all the bikes back because they knew how this would look. pic.twitter.com/AQ8FXgCjs4
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) April 20, 2021
Now, let’s take a quick second, These guys state they are from Edison, NJ. There is no requirement for a license/registration for a bike. But in Perth Amboy, NJ there is… So this is just profiling by police with classic failure to communicate or listen. #ACAB #BIKE #Cycles https://t.co/x7bGP3UR1P
— Serotonless Graves (@Nopeamine) April 20, 2021
Then she says she could be a real asshole and confiscate the other youths’ bikes that are not registered. Perth Amboy requires they be registered. But, contrary to her first charge, they also prohibit riding on sidewalks in many places around town so… https://t.co/SJohgEibZx pic.twitter.com/FCWphZgR7d
— sahra (@sahrasulaiman) April 20, 2021
Imagine being some miserable police force, like that of Perth Amboy in NJ, who’s latest claim to fame is: trending because you idiotically swarm to confiscate bikes and detain (just the black) boys for lack of a 50 cent registration that proves ownership…#HowItStarts https://t.co/sxxADzeImM
— Gerald Hampton (@VaTechPhiDelt) April 20, 2021
Perth Amboy NJ has an ordinance requiring all bicycles to be licensed. Here is what happens when you live in neighboring Edison NJ and you want to ride through Perth Amboy. This is deja vu of Robert Moses building low bridges on the highways to prevent bus traffic.#FTP #ACAB https://t.co/qbrXsow1Gd
— #DefundThePolice 🌻🌹 (@Tom4CongressNY6) April 20, 2021
Need an annual license to ride a bike in Perth Amboy, NJ AS A FUCKING KID… but, we can’t figure out how to require licensing and common sense legislation for firearms. Amerikkka! https://t.co/Kk1oDXgLKd
— Stephen G. Friend (@StephenGFriend) April 20, 2021
i looked it up, f’in wild. you gotta register your bike with the cops. they can steal your bike for ANY infraction & throw you in jail for up to TEN days. this is such a blatantly bullshit law meant to target black kidshttps://t.co/8KCuzvQmtg
— nick still wears his mask 😷 (@NickKramarev) April 20, 2021
FIFTY CENTS per year to license your bicycle in Perth Amboy, N.J. – this is nothing but a pretext to harass
(this is not an archaic law – dated 2011) pic.twitter.com/XFpMny8Tjf
— Brian (@FinallySock) April 20, 2021
I broke this law last summer when I stopped in Perth Amboy’s waterfront ice cream shop on my ride back from New Brunswick
1. Biking laws shouldn’t change from one town to the next
— Brian Hedden (@BriHedden) April 20, 2021
Trump-Appointed Judge Blocks Biden’s Order to Halt Deportations After Texas AG Sued
A federal judge in Texas has just placed a temporary stay blocking President Joe Biden’s 100 day moratorium on deportations.
U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton, a member of the right wing Federalist Society, sided with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“Defendants are enjoined from executing the 100-day pause on removals for 14 days,” Judge Tipton ruled. That apparently means deportations can continue for the next two weeks.
Breaking: federal judge temporarily blocks Biden's 100-day deportation pause in lawsuit brought by Texas AG @KenPaxtonTX. Applies nationwide.
— Travis Bubenik (@travisbubenik) January 26, 2021
President Biden enacted the 100 day deportations pause on January 20.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern notes Republicans did exactly what they have been accusing Democrats of doing for years.
Republicans who spent the last four years railing against nationwide injunctions and forum shopping just went to a Trump judge in Texas to get a nationwide block on Biden’s 100-day deportation pause. https://t.co/v6HsWCRCzk pic.twitter.com/LTnmLtds19
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) January 26, 2021
Trump Orders Secret Service to Protect 14 Family Members in Rare Post-Presidency Demand – Taxpayers on the Hook
The U.S. Secret Service will protect former President Donald Trump and more than a dozen members of his family, including extended family members, after the 45th President, defying usual agency regulations, ordered the expanded protections.
“Trump issued a directive to extend post-presidency Secret Service protection to 14 members of his family who were not automatically entitled to receive it,” The Washington Post reports.
Taxpayers will be on the hook for the millions of dollars the additional protections will cost, even after the Trump family decimated the protective agency’s budget over the past four to five years.
Once a president leaves office he or she, their spouse, and children up until they reach the age of 16 are entitled to Secret Service protection. Protection for the president and spouse is for the rest of their lives.
But Trump has demanded every family member who has ever been covered to continue receiving protection, for the next six months.
“That means the expensive, taxpayer-funded security will continue for his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, their three children, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his five children, his son Eric Trump and his wife Lara and his daughter Tiffany Trump,” the Post explains.
In just the first two years of his presidency Trump and his family members who are protected by the Secret Service took more than 4500 trips.
Citizens for Ethics (CREW) on Wednesday noted that “the Trump family took more trips that required Secret Service protection in one year than the Obama family took in seven.”
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