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Trump White House in ‘slow-motion freakout’ over fears more Republicans will defy him on emergency declaration: report

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Things are heating up behind the scenes in Washington DC regarding an impending vote in the Senate regarding the president’s ‘emergency‘ declaration related to Trump’s wall.

“The slow-motion freak-out in the Trump administration ahead of a likely vote next Thursday is now beginning to play out, as administration aides dial up senators to understand where they are on the bill,” Politico reported Thursday.

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Already many Republican Senators, such as Rand Paul (R-KY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), have gone on the record to say they will vote against Trump next week in what the White House views as a rebuke. Now, Politico says, they are scrambling to ensure that others in the GOP don’t follow Paul’s lead and vote with Democrats in the Senate.

“A Republican senator who has strongly defended Trump on the topic received a phone call this week from White House staff making sure the senator’s position hadn’t changed,” the website reported of the White House’s efforts to ensure there are no more defections in advance of the vote.

Politico further noted that Republicans are not keen on taking the vote at all, even though they are expected to next week.

“Amid the rising intraparty tension, some Republicans are eager to play down conflict with the president — even as Trump himself casts the upcoming vote as a critical one and urges Republicans to ‘stay united,'” they wrote.

Read the full story here.

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Trump ignored advice to tell country the coronavirus pandemic was ‘bad and could get very worse’ in early March: report

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According to a day-by-day examination of the White House efforts to get up to speed on dealing with the growing coronavirus pandemic that has now brought the country to an almost complete standstill, Politico reports that Donald Trump was advised in early March to warn the public things were about to get worse and chose to ignore that advice.

The report notes that the final realization about the dangerous spread of COVID-19 preceded the president's rare prime time address to the nation.

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Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

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The biggest reputational risk Facebook and other social media companies had expected in 2020 was fake news surrounding the US presidential election. Be it foreign or domestic in origin, the misinformation threat seemed familiar, perhaps even manageable.

The novel coronavirus, however, has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak.

So far, AFP has debunked almost 200 rumors and myths about the virus, but experts say stronger action from tech companies is needed to stop misinformation and the scale at which it can be spread online.

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Europe, US virus deaths surge as Trump reverses New York lockdown threat

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The global coronavirus death toll surged past 30,000 over the weekend as Europe and the United States endured their darkest days of the crisis.

A back-flip from US President Donald Trump on quarantining New York highlighted the panic and confusion across many parts of the world in trying to contain the pandemic, which has seen more than a third of humanity placed under unprecedented lockdowns.

More than 30,800 deaths had been reported worldwide by Sunday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, as the virus continued to leave a devastating imprint on nearly every aspect of society: wiping out millions of jobs, overwhelming healthcare services and draining national treasuries.

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