The United States' COVID-19 cases are on the rise and it does not appear that the resurgence of soaring cases will wane anytime soon.
But how did the United Statez get to this point after months of low cases? Scientists and infectious disease experts point to the rapidlt speading Delta variant of coronavirus. But The Daily Beast is highlighting how former President Donald Trump and his administration opened the door for the latest chaos.
Dr. Irwin Redlener — pediatrics professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine — weighed in with his perspective on the current COVID-19 chaos. He explained how Trump has topped the list of people who have undermined the work of scientists during the pandemic. Trump's perspective and dangerous rhetoric subsequently COVID misinformation and vaccine hesistancy.
"Donald Trump did a terrific job of undermining science, and undermining the credibility of statements from scientists," Redlener said during his interview with The Daily Beast. "So that now, there's inherent skepticism. Every misstep in terms of communications tends to exacerbate this terrible anti-science legacy left by the former president. So we have what Trump has done intentionally to undermine the credibility of science, coupled with the fact that we keep learning new data."
Redlener, also the founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Earth Institute, and author of the books, "Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters" and "What We Can Do and The Future of Us: What the Dreams of Children Mean for Twenty-First-Century America," went on to explain why it's dangerous for anyone to relay assumptions to the American public at this point.
"At this point, it is actually dangerous for anyone to be too definitive. Scientists, disease modelers—you're on thin ice," Redlener said. "We all need to learn a little humility in making projections or making definitive statements. That goes for the scientists. It's even more important that people in political leadership positions worry about being overly definitive when it comes to this COVID-19 pandemic and the policies that are coming out."
According to a report from Politico, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stunned his fellow Republicans in the Senate this week with his surprising decision to help push forward President Joe Biden's infrastructure deal that already has some bipartisan support.
The report notes that McConnell's closest associate, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) was also caught by surprise as saying he heard rumblings about McConnells decision to support proceeding with the bill until the senior Republican tweeted out his decision.
"The leader just kind of let everybody do their own thing, and they did. And he did his own thing." Thune explained.
Not all Republicans are happy with McConnell's decision, with some complaining that he will be handing the Democratic president a win, and questions are being raised why McConnell -- who is notorious for his obstructionism -- has chosen to throw his support behind a multi-billion dollar bill that is anathema to budget-conscious Republicans.
According to Politico's Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine, McConnell's decision falls in line with the one thing he cares about in the Senate: maintaining his personal power.
In particular, he's worried about losing the ability to filibuster.
According to the report, "McConnell also surmises that if he and his party became the face of obstruction, it could lead Democratic moderates like Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to waver on the filibuster, advisers said. So in order to keep his veto power intact, McConnell is taking a more conciliatory approach on infrastructure, which he views as less ideological compared to the other issues."
The report goes on to note that McConnell also willing to face Donald Trump's wrath after the former president attacked him for his announcement of support for an infrastructure bill.
You can read more here.
According to a report from the Charlotte Observer, the Republican leadership in North Carolina is growing increasingly nervous about a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate in the 2022 election who was handpicked by former president Donald Trump.
At issue is Trump's endorsement of relatively obscure Rep. Ted Budd (R) and whether he will stand a chance against a well-funded Democratic opponent.
Trump's choice of Budd in June during a rally in the state baffled the state's GOP leadership at the time and, after watching another Trump endorsee lose in a Republican primary last week, they are afraid that Budd will win the primary and then lose in the general election -- handing a Republican-held seat in the Senate to the Democrats.
The Observer reports, "On Tuesday, a Navy veteran supported by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry beat the Trump-endorsed Susan Wright in a Republican special election primary for Texas's 6th Congressional District. The loss garnered national attention as political strategists try to determine the value of a post-presidency Trump endorsement," before adding, "In North Carolina, some were paying particular attention, as Trump had already weighed in on the Republican primary for Senate and given his full endorsement to Rep. Ted Budd on June 5."
According to a campaign adviser to former governor Pat McCrory (R) -- who is also seeking the GOP nomination -- Trump's pick was influenced by the conservative Club for Growth, and they are both betting on the wrong horse.
"With the short campaign period in Texas, the Trump endorsement and Club for Growth money should have made it easier to win," explained Jordan Shaw. "But the Club gave Trump bad advice and pushed him into endorsing an unvetted candidate who couldn't win, just like they've done in North Carolina."
The report goes on to note that a poll taken in the state by Paul Shumaker shows a Trump endorsement could cripple a candidate in the state.
"When comparing a Trump endorsed candidate to a Biden endorsed candidate, (Republicans') advantage with the Unaffiliated voters evaporates," Shumaker wrote in a report distributed to Republicans.
He added ominously, "Candidates for state and federal office at any level who are on the wrong side of these issues will alienate suburban voters and jeopardize Republicans' chances of winning in 2022."
You can read more here.
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