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Closeness to Trump has determined which lawmakers can get tested for coronavirus more quickly: report

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Despite weeks of crisis, it remains difficult for many people around the country to receive testing for the novel coronavirus. But some people have found it much easier to get testing than others.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post documented how some lawmakers and officials have gotten quick testing due to their proximity to President Donald Trump.

“Mulvaney is one of three President Trump confidants to get a coronavirus test while exhibiting no symptoms of the disease,” wrote Juliet Eilperin, Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, and Seung Min Kim. “And on Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced he tested positive despite being asymptomatic, refusing to disclose how he was able to get tested in Washington on March 16.”

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“The easy access Paul and other high-ranking politicians have gotten to coronavirus tests highlights the extent to which members of America’s elite continue to have greater access to medical care during the pandemic, even as federal officials emphasize that testing should be reserved for health care providers and people who are seriously ill,” they wrote. “Even in the nation’s capital, hospitals are reporting a shortage of tests and the protective gear needed to administer them.”

“In the cases of Mulvaney, Trump’s incoming chief of staff Mark Meadows and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), White House medical staffers arranged for their tests on the grounds that they risked infecting the president,” continued the report. “Both Meadows and Gaetz came into contact with someone at last month’s CPAC gathering who then learned he had contracted covid-19.”

New York University clinical professor Robyn Gershon described this arrangement as a “horrible flouting of our public health recommendations.”

You can read more here.


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This Europe country is housing quarantined coronavirus patients in a five-star hotel

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An ambulance driver wearing a white protective gown enters a Barcelona hotel and announces the arrival of three new "customers" -- a trio of coronavirus patients discharged from hospital into luxury quarantine.

"Good morning! How are you? My name is Enrique Aranda and I am probably the first non health care worker you see in several days," says the director of the five-star Melia Sarria hotel, peering into the ambulance.

It took just three days to convert the hotel, which features contemporary decor and bathrooms with marble finishing, into a clinic.

"Some patients arrive thinking that they were taken out of hospital to be left to die, many people are frightened. I try to make them forget all that," said Aranda, wearing mask and gloves.

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UK Labour to unveil new leader to replace Jeremy Corbyn

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Britain's main opposition Labour party on Saturday unveils a new leader who will take the helm of a defeated and divided party in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Keir Starmer, a former director of state prosecutions and Labour's Brexit spokesman, is the runaway favourite to win the ballot of around 500,000 party members and succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The announcement will be a low-key affair, with a planned special conference cancelled due to restrictions on social gatherings imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, the result will be put out in a press release mid-morning -- and candidates have been asked to pre-record their victory speeches.

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‘Trump fires people for telling the truth’: President blasted for ‘dead of night decision’ to fire intel watchdog

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President Donald Trump was harshly criticized on Friday for firing intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Senate Intel Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) were among the lawmakers who took to Twitter to criticize Trump on his favorite social media platform.

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's decision:

Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing.

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