Vice President Mike Pence is under fire for continuing to campaign for re-election despite five of his close advisors, including his Chief of Staff, Marc Short, have tested positive for coronavirus over the past few days.
ABC News reports “at least 5 individuals in the Vice President’s orbit have tested positive as of last night.” The New York Times has reported “up to five” have tested positive. Fox News reports “5 close to Pence test positive for coronavirus.”
The latest COVID-19 outbreak in the White House was exposed once again by Bloomberg News’ Jennifer Jacobs, who first reported Hope Hicks was positive. That report led to President Donald Trump having to admit he and the First lady had also tested positive in an outbreak that infected at least 34 people who had attended the White House Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
But unlike Senator Kamala Harris, who was exposed to an individual who tested positive and immediately self-quarantined, Vice President Pence will not. He is back on the campaign trail, with the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, saying doctors have cleared him to campaign.
On Sunday, Meadows claimed the Vice President is an “essential worker” and therefore must continue to campaign, which is false – campaigning is not part of his job as vice president.
After several aides, including his chief of staff, tested positive for Covid-19, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says VP Pence will keep campaigning: “Essential personnel, whether it’s the Vice President of the United States or anyone else, has to continue on” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/2ZWMmwUHG3
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 25, 2020
Meadows admitted on Sunday the Trump administration has no intention of even attempting to control the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” he told CNN. “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”
Meadows also tried to hide that Pence’s Chief of Staff had tested positive. The White House claimed he first tested positive on Saturday, but Meadows on Sunday slipped, admitting “he’s been quarantining these last few days.”
Americans are furious that Pence, the head of the White House coronavirus task force, is ignoring CDC
guidelines – and basic common sense – after coming into contact with five of his close advisors who are positive.
Here’s what many are saying:
This is the most important point this a.m. Pence is now a walking advertisement for the failure of his own task force, the recklessness of the Trump Administration and his spineless in the face of Trump. People will die because Mike Pence has neither character nor competence. https://t.co/o5kwod6vAK
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 25, 2020
Vice Superspreader Mike Pence can recklessly campaign all he wants, but I’m not getting within a mile of that infectious fuck
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) October 25, 2020
5 Pence aides have COVID, but Pence will stay on the campaign trail. Simply reckless. Angering.
— Voice of Reason (@RealJeffreyT) October 25, 2020
This is criminal and shows depraved indifference towards the lives of Pence Trump supporters and all Americans. Makes me wonder if Trump is still positive and willing to put his supporters at even greater risk https://t.co/kPAhIcTzJQ
— Richard Pollack (@richard_pollack) October 25, 2020
By going ahead with campaigning after at least 5 of his staff have tested positive, it’s hard to see how Pence isn’t guilty of reckless endangerment at the very least. https://t.co/Awk852ugym
— JimAndrews518 (@JimAndrews518) October 25, 2020
We are now up to at least 5 people in Pence’s orbit who have tested positive, and yet @VP is not planning to quarantine.
Instead, he plans to continue getting on a plane with staff, Secret Service agents & military personnel in order to keep campaigning in this final stretch https://t.co/kw3L1BkyMV
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) October 25, 2020
MOST RECENT DAILY CASE COUNT:
VICE-PRESIDENT PENCE’S STAFF: 5 https://t.co/TDUxD1UyuT
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) October 25, 2020
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 25, 2020
BREAKING: The coronavirus has turned the corner…..and was last seen driving straight into Mike Pence’s office, as 5 of his aides have now tested positive.
— cαηα∂α нαтεs тя☭мρ (@Trump_Detester) October 25, 2020
Has Pence’s office tested the fly? That might make 6 cases, not 5.
— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) October 25, 2020
@VP @realDonaldTrump This is criminal level disregard for the health and well-being of the people who are around you. This is the most selfish and irresponsible administration in the history of the United States. I can hardly wait to vote you out!!! https://t.co/mqpxJWjAyo
— Tom Corn (@MrTomCorn) October 25, 2020
NYT reports VP Pence CoS, others in close contact, have tested positive for COVID19. All should be in quarantine. Hitting the campaign trail is an act of depraved indifference. https://t.co/6HLiyche70 https://t.co/fRBhO52gWR
— Dan Yurman (@djysrv) October 25, 2020
Mike Pence is coming to Minnesota on Monday after 5 of his staff tested positive for Coronavirus. We don’t want him here . He’s bad and toxic energy and is going to get people sick. Rally after rally is a catastrophic mistake.
— Jesse Lifson (@DoYouEvenLif) October 25, 2020
Makes you wonder–Is Pence the head of the “Coronavirus task force” or is he the head of the “Coronavirus super spreader force”.
— Oreo (@OreoBuffy5) October 25, 2020
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‘Yippee!!!’ Emails Show Trump Officials Celebrating After CDC Caved to Demands to Downplay COVID Risks
Newly released emails show that Trump administration officials openly celebrated after they successfully meddled to get the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to downplay the risks of the novel coronavirus.
The Washington Post reports that former Trump science adviser Paul Alexander wrote an email to then-HHS public affairs chief Michael Caputo in which he boasted about getting the CDC to back off language in two different reports that he believed painted too dire of a picture of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Pointing to one change — where CDC leaders allegedly changed the opening sentence of a report about spread of the virus among younger people after Alexander pressured them — Alexander wrote to Caputo, calling it a ‘small victory but a victory nonetheless and yippee!!!'” the Post reports.
Alexander also told Caputo about how he teamed up with Trump adviser Dr. Scott Atlas to alter a CDC weekly report on coronavirus-related deaths among young Americans.
The emails also show Alexander and Caputo wanted to cook up numbers on the alleged spike in suicides that were occurring during the pandemic, despite the fact that the number of suicides in the United States in 2020 actually fell by 6 percent.
“We need solid estimates to be able to say something like: 50,000 more cancer deaths! 40,000 more heart attacks! 25,000 more suicides!” Caputo wrote.
‘Crimes Against Humanity’: Medical Experts Explode Over Trump Official Pushing Herd Immunity Saying ‘We Want Them Infected’
A Trump appointee inside the Dept. of Health and Human Services was actively pushing the fallacious policy known as “herd immunity,” and specifically said “we want them infected” with the coronavirus.
That appointee, science adviser Paul Alexander, was a top aide to Michael Caputo. Caputo, who is not a medical expert but a political strategist and lobbyist, served as President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears inside HHS until his sudden medical leave of absence after a major scandal.
“There is no other way, we need to establish herd [immunity], and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD,” the July 4 email from Alexander to Caputo and six other HHS officials reads, as Politico reports.
“Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…”
Just a few weeks later Alexander again pushed the dangerous herd immunity policy, which coincidentally is the same one disgraced now-former Trump coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas would begin to promote when he joined the White House August 1.
“[I]t may be that it will be best if we open up and flood the zone and let the kids and young folk get infected” in order to get “natural immunity…natural exposure,” Alexander wrote on July 24 to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Caputo and eight other senior officials.
The fact that a federal government official was promoting a deadly policy of infecting Americans with a deadly virus that has already killed more than 310,000 people in the U.S. has drawn massive outrage, especially among medical experts.
Here’s a sampling.
Epidemiologist and Health Economist Eric Feigl-Ding did not mince words:
⚠️Holy crap—“WE WANT THEM INFECTED”. WH & HHS advisor demanded “herd immunity” strategy. Disgusting!
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) December 16, 2020
Dr. Cleavon Gilman, and emergency medicine physician “on the Covid Frontlines” calls it a crime against humanity:
Crimes Against Humanity!! A top Trump appointee repeatedly urged top health officials to adopt a “herd immunity” approach to Covid-19 and allow millions of Americans to be infected by the virus, according to internal emails obtained by a House watchdog and shared with POLITICO. https://t.co/WuW3KL29z9
— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) December 16, 2020
Researcher, ebola and coronavirus expert, Dena Grayson, MD, PhD:
NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE: “There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD,” then-science adviser Paul Alexander wrote on July 4 to his boss, @HHSGov assistant secretary Michael Caputo.🤬 https://t.co/WIWgDTXgKJ
— Dena Grayson, MD, PhD (@DrDenaGrayson) December 16, 2020
Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist, also did not hold back.
“Paul Alexander is an inept disgrace and he should never work in public health EVER again,” she tweeted. “His ignorance of fundamental principles of virology and pathogenesis would be laughable if it wasn’t used to make such appalling policy recommendations.”
These folk keep popping up like mushrooms. So damn unethical. We probably need additional laws against these kind of actions. #HerdImmunityScourge
— Dr. Faris Durmo MD., BSc. (@Dr_FarrisD) December 16, 2020
Appalling criminal dereliction of duty as a physician and public health official. Let’s remember who Paul Alexander is: Interfered with and doctored CDC reports. Appointed by Michael Caputo, who has NO science background, worked for Russian Gazprom media to improve Putin image https://t.co/KXGuRGiVlc
— Douglas Chin MD FACS (@DougChinMD) December 16, 2020
Um…. No. Dr. Alexander, herd immunity is achieved by vaccination, not by intentionally exposing millions of unsuspecting Americans to untold risks of severe disease, disability, and death…. PERIOD.
— Douglas Chin MD FACS (@DougChinMD) December 16, 2020
Guess what? All those “herd immunity by natural infection” proponents arguing that COVID-19 doesn’t harm young people were…..wait for it…..wait for it…..WRONG. I’m looking forward to them saying “We were wrong.” That will happen, maybe, um, never. https://t.co/SFO8FLVvcM
— Prof. Gavin Yamey MD MPH (@GYamey) December 16, 2020
Herd Immunity as a strategy: “that way lies madness”
You killed all my elderly patients you monsters https://t.co/k1IGw5ZTfY
— Alicia Skarimbas MD (@ASkarimbas) December 16, 2020
Another White House Superspreader Event: Trump to ‘Celebrate’ Election Night With Hundreds in Huge East Room Party
President Donald Trump will be celebrating Election Day evening with hundreds of supporters invited to a party at the White House East Room, in yet another display of erasing the line between politics and governing, and ignoring CDC coronavirus guidance on gatherings and masks.
The New York Times‘s Maggie Haberman on Sunday reports Trump “aides are discussing inviting roughly 400 people.”
The President had planned to watch the results from his Trump Hotel at the Old Post Office, but Washington, D.C. laws prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A study this week found 18 of Trump’s recent rallies are directly responsible for 700 coronavirus deaths and 30,000 new COVID-19 cases.
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