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‘He is going to override the governors’: Outrage over Trump letter on ‘increasing or relaxing social distancing’

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President Donald Trump sent the nation’s governors an uncharacteristically kind and deferential letter on the coronavirus crisis, announcing he is preparing a program to classify every county in the nation as low, medium, or high risk.

The letter also says his administration will “publish new guidelines for State and local policymakers to use in making decisions about maintaining, increasing, or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures they have put in place.”

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“Our expanded testing capabilities will quickly enable us to publish criteria, developed in close coordination with the Nation’s public health officials and scientists, to help classify counties with respect to continued risks posed by the virus,” the letter continues. Trump has been claiming – falsely – that the US has tested more people than any other country. The ability to test is still woefully inadequate. “This will incorporate robust surveillance testing, which allows us to monitor the spread of the virus throughout the country. Under these data-driven criteria, we will suggest guidelines categorizing counties as high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk.”

It does not state that the CDC or other medical authority will make the determination – or that the CDC even supports this new program.

CNN’s Jim Acosta notes it was sent without the full support – or even notification – of Trump’s coronavirus task force.

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Some see the letter as paving the way for Trump to achieve his main goal: opening up the country by Easter Sunday – an act the president has no right or authority to do, especially as the governors and mayors are the ones who shut their areas down.

Here’s how some are responding:

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MSNBC’s Maya Wiley reveals she is exploring a bid to run for mayor of New York City

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Civil rights activist and prominent MSNBC analyst Maya Wiley revealed on MSNBC on Thursday that she is considering a campaign for mayor of New York City.

Wiley also serves as the senior vice president for social justice at The New School and the Henry Cohen Professor of Urban Policy and Management at the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment.

"There have been reports in multiple outlets about some people discussing whether or not you might run for mayor of new york," MSNBC chief legal analyst Ari Melber noted. "Not as friend of Maya, but as a journalist, do you have any comment on that? Are you considering running for mayor?"

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GOP Senate candidate suspended football player for one game — for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl: report

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On Thursday, in an op-ed, the conservative Washington Examiner reported on an incident from Alabama Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville's career as a football coach for Auburn University in 1999.

"When Clifton Robinson, the short but quick receiver from Naples, Florida, returned to the Auburn University football team in August 1999 after pleading guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor to avoid going to trial after being charged with the second-degree rape of a 15-year-old girl, first-year head coach Tommy Tuberville pledged to figure out the right punishment for him," wrote Siraj Hashmi. "'Clifton is back on the team,' Tuberville said. 'He and I will sit down today, and I'll tell him that we do things right around here, so he can expect there will be some punishment. What it is, I don't know yet.' That punishment ended up being a mere one-game suspension from the team's Sept. 4 season opener against Appalachian State. Auburn won 22-15."

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Arizona Republican attacks Fauci and Birx for ‘undermining’ Trump with COVID-19 facts

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COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona set a record on Thursday, but one of the state's Republican representatives in Congress went to Fox News to urge the end of President Donald Trump's Coronavirus Task Force.

"I think that Birx and Fauci have gone well past their, their -- they've expired, their time of usefulness has expired," Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said.

"What they do, is when the president comes out and makes a policy -- because he is the president, he is the policymaker. When they come and make these statements that they make, they engender panic and hysteria and undermine what the president's doing. That's what I think's critical," they argued.

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