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‘Prepare for the worst’: CNN’s Avlon skeptical Mike Pence up to coronavirus job

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During his “Reality Check” segment on CNN’s “New Day,” contributor John Avlon cast a jaundiced eye the appointment of Vice President Mike Pence by Donald Trump to be the administration’s point man combating the coronavirus pandemic — pointing out the veep’s history when it comes to health matters is highly suspect.

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With the president reportedly admitting that he selected Pence to head the task force because he “doesn’t have anything else to do,” Avlon began with the age-old advice: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

“Preparing for a pandemic requires coordination, elevating science over superstition and a lot depends on the credibility of the person communicating,” Avlon began. “Which is why some eyebrows raised when President Trump tapped Mike Pence to lead the response to the coronavirus.”

“Mike Pence’s big problem is he doesn’t have a stellar record when it comes to public health crises — at times he’s barely been on speaking terms with science,” the CNN contributor added. “For example, his reaction to an HIV outbreak in Indiana was described as a textbook case for how not to do it by an epidemiologist from Yale.”

After detailing Pence’s bumbling response on that topic, Avlon got to the heart of the matter.

“The wrestling match between science and partisan talking points doesn’t bode well for Pence’s new responsibility,” he explained. “This is a time to trust science and doctors and that means dropping the muzzle imposed on those like Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIH. Pence is supposed to be Trump’s PR man ensuring they don’t contradict the president’s fact-free assertions. But Pence should venture on beyond the safe spaces of Sean Hannity’s show and fox news.”

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“I know, what a concept,” Avlon added sarcastically before pointedly adding, “This administration has a self-inflicted credibility gap when it comes to basic science, but dealing with coronavirus will depend on doing much more than just playing to the base.”

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Economist who hoped for ‘V-shaped’ recovery now predicting a prolonged downturn even worse than the Great Recession

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Tim Bartik is among the economists who has described the type of “V-shaped” economic recovery he would like to see in the United States following the coronavirus pandemic. Ideally, Bartik has asserted, all the businesses that have been shut down by the pandemic would reopen quickly when it’s safe to do so and put millions of Americans back to work. But journalist Andy Balaskovitz, in an article published in MiBiz on April 8, explains why Bartik (a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Michigan) now believes that predictions of a “V-shaped recovery” are wishful thinking — and why Americans are in for a lot of economic pain in the months ahead.

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‘Recipe for disaster’: Officials in Florida city say they face ‘unimaginable’ potential death from COVID-19

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Officials in the Florida city of Hialeah are warning that they are uniquely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and face the possibility of "unimaginable" death from the disease.

In interviews with The Daily Beast, the officials explained how their large population of senior citizens is at grave risk if Hialeah erupts as a major COVID-19 hotspot.

"I think it is going to get a lot worse," Hialeah Councilman Jesus Tundidor tells The Daily Beast. “The experts have been telling us to expect a peak [in Florida] near the end of the month. As we get more testing sites up and running, the more positive cases we will see. And that will create more fear."

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November 2019 intel report warned of COVID-19 ‘cataclysmic event’ — even as Trump still insists no one saw it coming

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An intelligence report issued in November 2019 warned that COVID-19 could severely disrupt daily life throughout the world and described it as a potential "cataclysmic event."

ABC News reports that the military's National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) late last year issued a report that raised alarms about "an out-of-control disease" that "would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia."

"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one source tells ABC News, who also says that the report was briefed "multiple times" to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House.

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