Counselor to the President Hope Hicks has tested positive for coronavirus, and the White House tried to hide that from the American people.
It’s also possible the White House tried to hide that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive, at least for as long as possible.
The only reason the American people found out that Hicks, who has been in contact with scores of administration officials over the past week, is a report by Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs.
This was the moment America learned of Hicks’ coronavirus status: 8:09 PM · Oct 1, 2020.
NEWS: Hope Hicks, who traveled with Trump aboard Air Force One to and from the presidential debate on Tuesday, and to his Minnesota rally yesterday, has coronavirus, sources tell me.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) October 2, 2020
“White House officials had hoped to keep the news about Ms. Hicks from becoming public, to no avail,” The New York Times reported early Friday morning.
“Only a very small circle of people knew that Hicks had tested positive, and senior staff had hoped to keep that information private, two of the people said,” Bloomberg reported.
Talking Points Memo editor and CNN White House Correspondent:
This is critical. The White House didn’t disclose this. Jennifer Jacobs got the story that Hicks had covid, something the White House had apparently known since the previous day. That put all eyes on the President. https://t.co/r5bnOB96Ob
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 2, 2020
“Some of Trump’s closest aides said they sensed on Wednesday that Trump was feeling poorly but they chalked it up to fatigue from an intense campaign schedule,” Bloomberg added. “The president seemed exhausted, one person familiar with the situation said.”
Hicks tested positive Wednesday. Jacobs reported the news Thursday evening. There’s at least 24 hours where the White House was silent about Hicks.
Worse, President Trump maintained his schedule after the White House – and possibly the president – learned of Hick’s status. He even traveled to Bedminster, New Jersey for a fundraiser.
Even after news broke of Hicks’ positive test the White House tried to pretend all was well. The White House press office sent out Trump’s official daily schedule for Friday at 10:05 PM. It showed a normal day, and even travel to Florida for a rally.
It was not until 12:54 AM Friday that Trump announced he and the First Lady had tested positive. It’s hard to believe Trump did not have a coronavirus test immediately after the White House learned about Hicks.
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Topics for Final Presidential Debate Announced and Boy Will Donald Trump Be in Trouble
NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker has just announced the topics for the final presidential debate next week on October 22 in Tennessee.
There are six topics, most of which are policy-driven topics, where Trump routinely is challenged. They were chosen by Welker, and released through the Commission on Presidential Debates, as the Associated Press reports.
They are: Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, and Leadership.
Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been panned by Republicans and Democrats alike, and his approval rating on the issue, which most Americans place as the most important, is 57.4% disapprove, and just 39.8% approve, according to FiveThirtyEight‘s analysis.
The President may be a Republican but he’s never been a “family values” Republican as his sexual misconduct can attest.
Trump fails miserably on race. His handling of the Black Lives Matter protests elicited angry charges of fascism.
The President is a science and climate change denier who claims windmills cause cancer, pulled out of the Paris agreement, and expanded oil and gas drilling into areas never before seen, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. His decision to open the Eastern Seaboard to offshore drilling was criticized even by Republicans.
During the first debate when climate change was a topic Trump criticized that California has not “cleaned” its forests. (Most of California’s forests are federal lands, not state property.)
President Trump addresses climate change, forest management and California wildfires.
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) September 30, 2020
The President has no national security plans, and is widely known for having no interest in receiving what were once known as Daily Intelligence Briefings. In the Trump White House those are now just “intelligence briefings,” and Trump receives on average just four per month. His last intel briefing was more than three weeks ago, on September 22.
As for leadership, well, here’s what Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska told 17,000 of his constituents recently:
“The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor.”
He also said he did not think Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic has been “reasonable or responsible, or right.”
Trump Plants More Seeds for Refusing to Concede – Falsely Claims ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Ballots Are ‘Fraudulent’
President Donald Trump is building on his stunning remarks from last month, when he repeatedly refused to promise a peaceful transition of power should he lose re-election. Trump is the first United States president to ever refuse to honor centuries of accepted conduct.
Trump on Thursday falsely claimed there have already been “tens of thousands” of “fraudulent” ballots in this election.
“Look at these ballots that are being — tens of thousands of ballots are already fraudulent,” he told Fox News Business’ Stuart Varney. “I want to see a fair election. That’s all I’m asking for is a fair election.”
That’s actually not what he’s asking for, as evidenced by the massive voter intimidation and election interference campaigns he and his supporters have been waging.
“Under what circumstances would you concede?” Fox News Business’s Stuart Varney asked Trump during a telephone interview, as Raw Story reported.
“All I want is a fair election,” Trump claimed.
“So, it’s your judgement as to whether it’s fair or not as to whether you would concede?” Varney, a top Trump supporter, asked.
“Stuart, they always talk about the friendly transition,” Trump replied.
The term has always been “peaceful transition,” not “friendly transition.”
It’s an important distinction with a difference.
Trump is again making up “facts” so he can then use that to later defend his indefensible actions.
“They spied on my campaign and they got caught,” the President continued, lying. There was no spying on his campaign. Even the Dept. of Justice agrees, after it quietly closed down the false “unmasking” probe after finding no evidence of wrongdoing or criminal activity by anyone in the Obama administration.
“They tried to overthrow the president of the United States and they got caught,” Trump continued, again, a ludicrous lie. “And then they stand up so innocent and they say, ‘Will you, you know, do a fair transition?’ Well, they didn’t do a fair transition.”
Again, the term is “peaceful,” not “fair.”
Fair is subjective. Friendly is subjective. Peaceful is not.
“You’re implying if you don’t think it’s fair, you won’t leave the White House,” Varney pointed out, “which means you won’t concede.”
“I’m not saying anything!” Trump replied. “I’m saying this. I think everybody says it. You have to have a fair election. Look at these ballots that are being — tens of thousands of ballots are already fraudulent. I want to see a fair election. That’s all I’m asking for is a fair election.”
“But you know when they talk about a friendly transition, they spied on my campaign,” he added.
“If it wasn’t a friendly transition when you walked into the White House, does that mean that you’re not going to allow a friendly transition if Joe Biden walks into the White House?” Varney pressed.
Trump went on to claim, “people broke the law, people spied on my campaign and they act so innocent.”
“And we have all the evidence. We have so much evidence,” he insisted, which if it were true Attorney General Bill Barr, who has been acting as Trump’s personal attorney, would have brought charges.
VARNEY: Under what circumstances would you concede the election?
TRUMP: "All I want is a fair election"
V: So it's your judgment as to whether it's fair?
TRUMP: "Stuart — they always talk about the friendly transition. They spied on my campaign." [this is a lie] pic.twitter.com/f2CUV6N262
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 15, 2020
Trump to Get On-Camera ‘Medical Evaluation’ by Hydroxychloroquine-Pushing Fox News Doc
There are many questions swirling around President Donald Trump and his current health status: When did he first test positive for coronavirus? When was his last negative test? Why is the White House using a rapid test to claim people are coronavirus-free when it’s designed only for those with coronavirus symptoms? What is Trump’s current viral load? Why won’t Trump or his doctors say if he has currently tested negative?
The list is long.
None of those questions are expected to be answered tonight, when a pro-Trump hydroxychloroquine-pushing Fox News doctor who has made questionable and just plain false coronavirus claims will examine President Trump on the conservative cable network’s show hosted by Tucker Carlson.
Fox News recently won a court case by arguing reasonable viewers should not believe what is said on Carlson’s show.
This morning, just 25 days before Election Day, the network announced “President Trump is scheduled to make his first on-camera interview appearance on Friday since he announced last week that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.”
Notice even Fox doesn’t say “since he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.” It says “since he announced.”
Because the Trump administration refuses to level with the American people about the health of their president.
“The interview will take place on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ at 8 p.m. ET. Dr. Marc Siegel will conduct a medical evaluation and interview during the program.”
That is Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel.
Media Matters reports that Siegel has appeared nearly 300 times on Fox News, as of Sept. 29, to discuss coronavirus, and says he “regularly pushes coronavirus misinformation, downplays the severity of the crisis, and discards science in favor of right-wing talking points.”
“In the past,” Bloomberg adds, Dr. Siegel “has speculated without evidence that [Joe] Biden is using speed and Adderall before debates, said it’s ‘almost impossible’ for people under 70 to die from Covid-19, and argued that Speaker Nancy Pelosi should ‘stop pontificating’ about Trump’s health.”
Siegel once even attributed a decline in coronavirus deaths to a coronavirus“vaccine on the horizon” that has not been released.
“Rather than reveal his medical records to reporters the traditional way in 2016, Trump dictated a letter to his doctor and shared it during a TV appearance with Dr. Oz,” Bloomberg reminds Americans.
As for the medical evaluation – not “medical examination,” well, why should Americans trust the word of a physician who “repeatedly compared COVID-19 to the flu and said concern about the pandemic was being exaggerated to attack President Donald Trump politically, then he became among the first Fox personalities to push hydroxychloroquine as a supposed miracle treatment,” as Media Matters reported last month.
What else has Dr. Siegel said about the deadly virus that to date has killed nearly 215,000 people in the United States? Some excerpts from Media Matters’ extensive report:
- On February 17, Siegel said he “can’t believe how well” the Trump administration is handling the coronavirus response, adding: “The proof is in the pudding. We have 15 people in the United States with it. That’s it. No one has died.”
- Three days later, Siegel described Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus as “tremendous” and said the administration is “spreading confidence.”
- On March 6, Siegel said the “worst-case scenario” for coronavirus is “it could be the flu.”
- On March 8, Siegel agreed with Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth after he said, “I feel like the more I learn about this, the less there is to worry about.” Siegel responded, “I was about to say the same thing.”
- On April 20, Siegel cited unreliable antibody testing data to claim: “The death rate is much, much lower than we’ve been talking about if you think about all these asymptomatic cases versus the tragic 600 that passed away. … We’re talking about a virus that for most cases is dramatically mild, we’re talking about a lower fatality rate than we thought.”
- On July 7, he said schools need to reopen because “the risk to teachers is so much lower than it is to doctors.”
- On the same day, Siegel said, “The spread among the young is not what is leading to the deaths or hospitalizations.” Recent research has shown this is false: During the time period Siegel made this remark, young people were catching and spreading the disease and may have later passed it on to older, more vulnerable populations.
- Siegel pushed Trump campaign talking points falsely labeling Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris as “anti-vaxx,” ignoring that the Trump administration has been undermining scientists in the federal government while promising a viable vaccine by Election Day, which is fueling skepticism toward the president’s claims.
- On August 6, Siegel spun Trump’s falsehoods on the risk of coronavirus to children on one of Fox’s “straight news” shows: “I can’t interpret” what Trump meant when he said children are “almost immune” from coronavirus.
What will Americans learn tonight about the health of their President? Probably whatever Trump says is the “truth.”
Here’s what MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said last night:
I don’t think at this point there is any reason to give face value credence to the White House or president’s doctors’ pronouncements about either the timeline of his illness or his current status.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 9, 2020
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