Trump administration is “failing” in testing during epidemic

“The virus will not have a chance against us. No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States,” Donald Trump said. But to add some confusion, he decided on a 30-day ban to all European nations except the UK. He also said the economy will emerge from the crisis unscathed but the Dow Futures dropped 1000 points after his speech. His speech also failed to mention the shortage in testing kits.

He had to later clarify on Twitter that he was stopping travel and not trans-Atlantic trade in goods. His plan did not apply to Americans or US permanent residents though such travelers would face mandatory quarantines.

The European Union disapproves of the decision as they were not consulted.

Trump also said he had convinced health insurance providers to waive all co payments for coronavirus treatments. But later a White House official later said Trump had meant to say that the co payments would be waived for coronavirus tests — but would still apply to treatments for the disease.

Who exactly is writing his speech that is on the teleprompter?

Trump said he was declaring a national emergency — “two very big words” — to free up $50 billion in federal resources to combat coronavirus even as he refused to take personal responsibility for administration failures early in the outbreak. A week prior, the companies indicated they had few details on how many tests they could offer or when the test kits would be available.

“I don’t take responsibility at all,” he said, insisting problems that led to slow test-kit distribution were the fault of previous administrations. “We were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations and specifications from a different time.” So he was basically blaming the previous administrations [I’m sure President Obama was high on his list].

He had previously blamed Democrats for not bending enough in negotiations over a legislative package to combat coronavirus and he accused past administrations — misleadingly — of hampering his ability to confront the virus. But it was the Democrats that negotiated for an $8+ billion package when Trump was asking just the $2.5 billion range.

The delays in testing, however, have come under Trump’s watch. Trump also claimed to lack any knowledge that a pandemic control group within his own National Security Council was disbanded under his watch in 2018, calling a question on the topic “nasty” and added “I don’t know anything about it.”

Vice President Mike Pence call it “another historic step to suspend all travel from Europe…” Historic?

Director of the National Institute of Health Dr. Anthony Fauci, the man who was at the news conference with Trump, told Congress that the US is “failing” when it comes to coronavirus testing.

Trump claimed that coronavirus patients could have treatment — which could run into thousands of dollars for those seriously ill — at no charge. Many insurers have said they will pick up the cost of coronavirus testing for some policyholders, but not the treatment.

In a speech, former Vice-President Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration for cuts to funding for science and research and detailed his own set of proposals to combat the spread of coronavirus, calling it a roadmap for what could happen now and saying Trump is “welcome to adopt all of it today.” Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director responded with “In times like this, America needs leadership and Biden has shown none.” Then Trump has less than none.

The White House insists Trump doesn’t need a coronavirus test, despite GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz rode in the limousine with Trump before climbing up the steps of Air Force One behind Trump. Gaetz learned about his contact with an infected coronavirus person at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Incoming White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is also staying home for a few days despite his test coming back negative.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie “Parrot” Grisham said in a statement that Trump was not tested because “he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms.” You don’t need prolonged contact – shaking a hand is enough.

But two Brazilian government officials, who attended a meeting at Trump’s resort in Florida and one posted a photo of himself shaking Trump’s hand, has tested positive for coronavirus. So why wouldn’t Trump? Trump claims he doesn’t remember even taking a picture with the Brazilian communications secretary.

At a news conference, Trump said that he may take the coronavirus test. He didn’t say definitely. If Trump took the coronavirus test, will the results be covered up? After all some suspect his annual physicals seem to quite sketchy. The 25th amendment would not kick in unless he is incapacitated.

At the same news conference, Trump talked about the government ordering breathing machines. Interesting. Some behind him and other experts said it was the first time this was mentioned. Not shocking, he managed to brag about all the big deals that have taken place recently. What do they have to do with the coronavirus? Your guess is as good as mine.

Trump has suggested that the coronavirus was far less problematic than seasonal flu, accused Democrats of weaponizing the crisis and media of inflaming it. Trump as already prefer that the passengers remained on the ship to avoid inflating the numbers of coronavirus sufferers in official figures on US soil.

Trump told reporters he was “not concerned at all” about being exposed to coronavirus after an attendee at CPAC, an event attendee tested positive for the virus. Maybe he doesn’t know how serious it is. Nah. He thinks he’s immune to anything.

When asked about whether Trump will attend rallies at 73 and is more at risk than others, “Parrot” Grisham said “…this man who doesn’t sleep and who I have seen work 15-16 hours a day every day — I have no problem thinking that he’s going to be just fine and just healthy.” If Trump works a lot and doesn’t sleep, these are just the sort of things that make you more vulnerable to illness. Lack of sleep is VERY clearly linked to lowered immune health.

Trump has seen stock markets sink, a development that could undermine a central plank of his re-election campaign: that his presidency has delivered a thriving economy. It’s not like he can claim “Oh the economy has done well except that pesky coronavirus issue.”

After the stock market took a plunge recently, Trump tweeted “Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!”

The Trump administration is considering a delay in the April 15 tax filing deadline as a response to the coronavirus for maybe up to a couple of months. Extending the deadline could be a way to reduce the economic fallout from coronavirus.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was preparing to ask Trump to issue a national emergency declaration for the coronavirus. A declaration would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to use the more than $40 billion available in the Disaster Relief Fund to assist state and local governments in their efforts to mitigate spread of COVID-19 and protect public health.

“Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil,” Trump tweeted. “That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!” He doesn’t explain how the “fake news” caused the market to drop. Unlike him, the “fake news” uses actual data to back up any claim.

Trump said at a Fox News town hall forum that he intended to cut entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare and then added “We’re also going to have growth like you’ve never seen before.” Huh? Right after White House press secretary Stephanie “Parrot” Grisham said Trump was speaking “about cutting deficits, NOT entitlements.”

But within hours he said “I will protect your Social Security and Medicare, just as I have for the past 3 years.” Social Security and Medicare represent a major chunk of government spending, and they constituted almost 40% of the federal budget in 2018.

The Trump administration are fighting with the airline industry have clashed over the administration’s demand that airlines collect new kinds of data from passengers to help officials track potential virus carriers. Airlines say they can’t meet that demand right away — a claim some administration officials say they don’t believe and the airlines say that agency officials have issued threats, spat expletives and accused airline executives of lying.

It took the US aviation industry two years to meet post-9/11 requirements, which also involved data collection. Airlines are concerned that the new requirements gives no clear end date on the data collection and worry that the US government could continue forcing them to collect it “for other purposes.” An administration official pointed to potential fines if the airlines didn’t comply, fines as high as $500,000 as well as jail time of up to a year could result.

Trump announced that he was replacing his acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, with Meadows. Meadows, who had previously announced he was leaving Congress, will become Trump’s fourth chief of staff in a little more than three years in office. In a tweet, Trump did not denote him “acting,” a designation Mulvaney never graduated from in the turbulent 14 months he spent in the job.

Mulvaney would become special envoy for Northern Ireland. Sounds a bit like a demotion. Mulvaney was on a personal trip and not at work Friday. A bit while the administration is dealing with the coronavirus crisis. He also did not attend some recent trips but the same was said for his predecessors before they were dumped. On more than one occasion Mulvaney contradicted Trump.

The Trump campaign took a video of Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s speech and edited out portion to sound as if Biden has given up. In the version of the video shared by White House director of social media Dan Scavino, Biden can be heard saying, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump,” before cutting off. But in fact there was more.

Both Twitter and Facebook have blocked the doctored video. Scavino stood by the decision to share the video tweeting, “The video was NOT manipulated.” You sure Dan? Watch the full video. For a “director social media”, you are amateurish.

Businesses owned or branded by Trump have charged the federal government at least $1.2 million in taxpayer money for various services since 2016, records show. “We provide the rooms at cost and could make far more money renting them to members or guests,” Eric Trump, the Trump Organization’s executive vice president, said in a statement. “To infer that we are profiting is not only inaccurate but an outright lie.”

“They say Trump is getting rich off our nation. I lose billions being President, I don’t care. It’s nice to be rich, I guess. But I lose billions,” Trump said at a campaign rally in October. That’s plural for billions and yet his Forbes with is an estimated [some say inflated] $3.1 billion. He’s going to maybe double it 3 years – especially with his history of bankruptcy?

Trump sent a note to supporters that included a chart showing the Dow Jones Industrial Average dramatically rising roughly at the time he began a news conference declaring a national emergency over coronavirus. Trump signed the chart. Is he equating that the markets rose because he just declared a national emergency or was it just a coincidence? The image was sent out to supporters and some [Republican] members of Congress.