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HUD instructed landlords to use reserve funds during shutdown – not knowing federal program had expired

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Secretary Ben Carson’s Dept. of Housing and Urban Development on Friday tried to contain the damage caused by President Trump’s shutdown of the federal government. HUD sent letters to 1500 landlords that were part of a federal program, instructing them to use reserve funds from a federal program to avoid evicting tenants.
HUD officials, according to The Washington Post, were unaware the program they directed landlords to use had already expired.

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Calling it “a last-minute effort to prevent the eviction of thousands of tenants,” the Post notes a “lot of those tenants live in units covered by a HUD program that many agency officials didn’t realize had expired on Jan. 1,” and adds that “they are now unable to renew.”

This ignorance of its own programs is just another example of the Trump administration’s apparent lack of understanding of what the government does and how it works.

On Friday the Post reported that White House officials had not previously understood “the breadth of the potential impact,” of the government shutdown.

“The officials said they were focused now on understanding the scope of the consequences and determining whether there is anything they can do to intervene.”

One conservative commentator put it more succinctly. “Team Trump was so ready to shut down” the government, David Frum tweeted, because “they had no idea” what the government does.

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COVID-19

President roasted for ‘a lie of colossal Trumpian proportions’ by St. Louis newspaper

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President Donald Trump's attempts to blame former President Barack Obama for America's COVID-19 response were fact-checked in a new editorial by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Woe is Donald Trump. The long-suffering, misunderstood president just can’t make the world understand what a raw deal he got," the newspaper wrote.

The article noted the president has attempted to blame China, the World Health Organization and Obama for America's response.

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COVID-19

WHO halts study of ‘coronavirus’ drug touted by Trump

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The World Health Organization said Monday it had temporarily suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloriquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 being carried out across a range of countries as a precautionary measure.

The decision came after publication last week of a study in The Lancet which indicated that using the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their chances of dying, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference.

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2020 Election

Florida seniors are ‘highly susceptible’ to coronavirus — which could hurt Trump’s reelection chances

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On Monday, The Washington Post examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older voters' politics, and in particular how it is hurting President Donald Trump with the critical demographic in Florida — a state that is almost mandatory for the president to win for a second term.

"While Democrats have worried about Biden’s struggles to excite younger voters, older voters who are upset with the president are poised to be potentially more influential in November, especially in swing states whose populations skew their way, like Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin," reported Jenna Johnson and Lori Rozsa. "In Florida, more than 20 percent of those who voted in the 2016 election were over age 65, according to exit polls. In 2016, Trump won the Florida senior vote by a 17-point margin over Clinton, according to exit polls. The state ranks as one Trump must almost certainly win to insure his victory, while Biden has other paths to the White House."

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