President Donald Trump is being lampooned for his incessant lies.
“As a champion bullsh*tter, Donald Trump is quite adept at convincing himself of something as he makes it up with the intent of convincing others. The truth is whatever you can get enough people to believe, including yourself,” wrote Esquire’s Jack Holmes on Wednesday.
Case in point: Trump has repeatedly taken credit for the approval of the Veterans Choice Program, even though fact-checkers have repeatedly pointed out that his claims are false.
“I got it approved. Veterans Choice,” Trump said while speaking in Pennsylvania this week. He has previously claimed that politicians “have been trying to pass these things for 45 years.”
The program allows U.S. military veterans to see doctors outside the Veterans Affairs system if they must wait more than 30 days for an appointment or drive more than 40 miles to a VA facility.
During his time in office, Trump signed the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act, which seeks to expand private health care options for veterans.
But the Veterans Choice legislation was first passed and signed into law under President Barack Obama in 2014.
“As a refresher, Trump was not president in 2014. His political career was primarily contained to suggesting the first black president was actually Kenyan, and thus illegitimate. (Not a racist bone in his body, etc. etc.) But the really astounding thing is he’s told this lie 80 (eighty!) times and shows no sign of slowing down,” Holmes wrote.
“He is an unstoppable force of fabrication, and The Lamestream Liberal Fake News Media has not exactly proven itself to be an immovable object. At some point, he says the same false thing so many times that people just give up.”
Trump fears his base will turn on him if he flips and calls for nationwide mask guidelines: CNN
On CNN Saturday, analyst Ron Brownstein outlined the key reason President Donald Trump is struggling to adapt his message to proper public health guidance on the coronavirus pandemic.
"Ron, there is a retail trade group that has asked President Trump to institute federal, nationwide mask guidelines at stores across the country as the country continues to re-open," said anchor Alex Marquardt. "Experts are saying that masks could save thousands of lives in the coming months. Do you see a scenario in which — any chance in which he would issue that?"
"I think the short answer is no, and for a revealing reason," said Brownstein. "He is in a trap of his own construction. On coronavirus, we talk all the time about how President Trump's base is bonded to him, immovably. He's also bonded to the base in the other direction, that he is very reluctant to get out crosswise with a base that includes the kind of people that showed up at the Michigan capital to protest lockdown without wearing masks and waving Confederate flags and carrying automatic weapons."
Trump and the GOP have become the party of the dead
There are few morbid topics subject to greater speculation than the religious loyalty of President Donald Trump's "base." Why an alarmingly large amount of Americans refuse even to entertain any criticism of Trump deserves scrutiny from political scientists, psychologists and perhaps horror novelists working in the school of Edgar Allan Poe.
This article first appeared in Salon.
What is abundantly clear is that no matter who votes for Trump, he and the Republican Party on the national level have no interest in governing on the behalf of living human beings — with the exception of ensuring that a tiny minority of billionaires and multimillionaires enlarge their investment portfolios. Trump evinces no concern for Americans dying of the coronavirus, racist violence or any other malady or injustice. He demonstrates no regard for health care professionals courageously trying to save their patients from dying, and appears cruelly indifferent to the struggles of millions of workers whose livelihoods have been destroyed by COVID-19. Needless to say, Trump also shows contempt for Black Lives Matter, immigrants and anyone who opposes his re-election, which at this moment (and throughout his presidency) is more than half of the American public.
As coronavirus seizes the state, Florida hospitals are in panic mode
This article first appeared in Salon.
There are 47,663 hospital beds in the state right now with 11,782 available (meaning a remaining capacity of 19.82 percent) and a total staffed bed capacity of 59,445, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Hospital Bed Capacity Dashboard. The state Department of Health also reported on Friday that, out of 95,300 individuals who received coronavirus test results over the course of the previous day, 11,433 tested positive for COVID-19 (all but 90 of whom were Florida residents), meaning that more than 12 percent of the new cases had positive test results. The state also reported 93 new deaths due to COVID-19. (Salon reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment on this story.)