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CDC Agreed to Work on Trump Campaign’s MAGA-Themed Face Masks – As Hospitals Were Desperate for COVID-19 Tests: NYT

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this past March reportedly agreed to help consult with Trump administration officials on the design of “Make America Healthy Again” face masks that would be given out to promote both public health and President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

The New York Times reports that Trump administration official in March “asked the agency to provide feedback on possible logos — including ‘Make America Healthy Again’ — for cloth face masks they hoped to distribute to millions of Americans.”

The initiative eventually fell through, but once source tells the Times that “CDC leaders agreed to the request.”

The discussion about Trump-branded face masks came at a time when hospitals across the United States were desperate to have more COVID-19 testing kits and protective gear for their staff members who were struggling to handle a surge in hospitalizations at the start of a pandemic that would go on to kill more than 100,000 Americans in less than three months.

“They let us down,” Dr. Stephane Otmezguine, an anesthesiologist who treated COVID-19 patients in Florida, tells the Times.

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Top Democrats Renew Call to End Anti-Gay Blood Ban as Red Cross Announces First-Ever National Shortage Crisis

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Last week the Red Cross issued its first-ever warning of a blood shortage so dire it is calling it a “national crisis.” In response 22 top Democratic Senators signed a letter urging the FDA to once and for all end the ban on men who have sex with men donating blood.

The nearly four-decade old ban was instituted during the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis. In 2015 the FDA reduced the complete and total ban to one where gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men could donate blood if they had abstained from sexual activity for one year. In 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged, threatening blood shortages, the FDA moved to a three-month prohibition.

“If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed,” warns the Red Cross, citing a 34 percent drop in supply, CBS News reports.

“Any policy that continues to categorically single out the LGBTQ+ community is discriminatory and wrong,” the group of 22 top Democrats, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), say in their letter. “Given advances in blood screening and safety technology, a time-based policy for gay and bisexual men is not scientifically sound, continues to effectively exclude an entire group of people, and does not meet the urgent demands of the moment.”

Blood Shortage MSM Donor Deferral Letter FDA HHS Jan 2022 Final by David Badash on Scribd

 

Image by ec-jpr via Flickr and a CC license

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Watch: Fox News’ Peter Doocy Admits There Are Republicans ‘That Don’t Agree With Voting Rights’

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki ended the week with yet another smack down of Peter Doocy, as the Fox News reporter admitted there are Republicans who “don’t agree with voting rights.”

“As you talked about a year ago and working with Republicans, now [President Biden] is talking about Republicans that don’t agree with voting rights,” Doocy complained, “he’s describing them as George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis. What happened to the guy who, when he was elected said: ‘To make progress me must stop treating our opponents as our enemy’?”

Doocy was referring to President Joe Biden’s widely praised speech in support of voting rights earlier this week, referencing civil rights icons and their infamous white supremacist and segregationist opponents.

“Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?” Biden asked, to the anger of many conservatives. “Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor?  Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? This is the moment to decide to defend our elections, to defend our democracy.”

Psaki as usual was prepared to respond – suggesting Doocy was not “speaking on the level.”

“I think everybody listening to that speech, who’s speaking on the level, as my mother would say, would note that he was not comparing them as humans. He was comparing the choice to those figures in history and where they’re going to position themselves, if they as it – as they determine whether they’re going to support the fundamental right to vote or not.”

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‘This Is Insane’: Republican Blasts RNC for Saying GOP Candidates Must Agree to Ban on Presidential Debates

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For nearly four decades the Commission on Presidential Debates has managed and organized every presidential debate, but the Republican National Committee has just announced it will ban any GOP candidate from participating in any debate the Commission holds.

The New York Times reports the RNC is preparing to require any GOP candidate seeking that party’s nomination for President to “sign a pledge to not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois weighed in Thursday afternoon.

“This is insane,” he said on Twitter. “Why,” he asked.

The Commission on Presidential Debates is a bipartisan nonprofit created jointly by the chairs of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in 1987, and has run every debate held since.

But first candidate and then President Donald Trump has railed against the Commission, refusing to participate during the second presidential debate because it was going to be held virtually, because of the coronavirus pandemic. He and his officials have also accused the Commission of being unfair and biased against him.

The RNC appears to be preparing for another Trump run. It is still engaged in a multi-million dollar fundraising agreement with the former President, including paying some of his legal bills.

 

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