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Federal employees allegedly brought in Puerto Ricans to provide them a ‘spa day’ while doing disaster relief: report

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A veteran doctor who’s worked on humanitarian missions in ten countries affected by disaster quit abruptly after allegedly witnessing federal disaster relief staffers in Puerto Rico bring in citizens to provide them with a “spa day” on the taxpayers dime.

The doctor spoke with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, and provided images and descriptions of what she saw, as well as her resignation letter.

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According to the doctor, the disaster relief employees “used the triage tents that are supposed to be for medical care and instead brought in local Puerto Rican residents to give the medical workers cut-rate manicures and pedicures,” all while on the clock.

“I find this gross misuse of taxpayer funds and abuse of our privileged positions personally abhorrent,” the doctor wrote in her lengthy resignation to her superiors at the National Disaster Medical System, a cooperative agency between Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Defense and Veterans Affairs departments.

The doctor said she opposed the “optics of NDMS medical personnel responsible for seeing injured and ill Puerto Ricans who have no homes, food or supplies having a spa day on taxpayer money,” which she found “personally abhorrent.”

When Maddow’s producers reached out to NDMS, they said they’d been aware of the situation and were investigating it.

Watch Maddow detail the first responders’ “spa day” on the taxpayers’ dime below, via MSNBC.

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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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