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This editorial from January predicted Trump’s disastrous coronavirus response to a T

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Donald Trump and Dr. Tony Fauci (screengrab)

President Donald Trump has tried to claim that COVID-19 “snuck up” on the United States — even though there were plenty of people warning about it in real time.

One such person was Ronald Klain, who served as the Ebola response coordinator under former President Barack Obama, and who wrote an editorial in The Atlantic this past January that warned Trump was not at all prepared to handle a threat like the coronavirus pandemic.

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Although Klain acknowledged at the time that there was no guarantee that the crisis facing China would spill over into the United States, he argued that all of the elements were in place for it to happen — and that such a crisis could be made much worse by Trump’s distrust for career government bureaucrats.

Klain singled out former national security adviser John Bolton’s decision to disband the National Security Council’s pandemic response unit as a worrisome sign of things to come, as it left the NSC rudderless.

“With no one in charge at the White House, there is no authority to resolve disputes between federal agencies; no one to hold agencies accountable for the pace and intensity with which they implement the response; no one to resolve competing requests for congressional funding; and no one to draw on the resources of the security agencies of the government to help support the response,” Klain argued.

Klain’s fears proved prescient, as Trump spent most of February downplaying the threat of the virus, while also spouting off misleading comparison of the disease to the seasonal flu.

And by the time Trump got around to forming a coronavirus task force at the end of the month, he put a political loyalist, Vice President Mike Pence, in charge of running it instead of an expert epidemiologist.

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“[Trump] will have to govern, as Democratic and Republican presidents have before him, but unlike how he has conducted himself at any point in his presidency to date,” Klain concluded. “Many lives — mostly abroad, but perhaps here as well — could depend on it.”

Read the whole article here.


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2020 Election

Trump officials could face criminal charges for USPS sabotage — and the president may not be able to pardon them

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Members of the Trump administration could face legal jeopardy over efforts to sabotage U.S. Postal Service operations to interfere with the 2020 presidential elections.

"Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General on Friday night, asking him to impanel a grand jury to look at possible breach of state election laws by President Trump, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and others for 'their accelerating arson of the post office,' he said. Alarming headlines have emerged in recent days as many states prepare to facilitate widespread mail balloting due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump openly admitted he was withholding federal aid from the postal service to prevent mail-in voting, and USPS has notified 46 states and D.C. that it will struggle to deliver some mail ballots on time," The Daily Beast reported Friday.

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Maddow reveals how one state stood up to Trump’s USPS cuts — and won

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow's opening segment on Friday focused on a positive story of political pressure stopping one of the Trump administration's attacks on the U.S. Postal Service.

Maddow reported how NBC Montana reporter Maritsa Georgiou had doggedly reported on the removal of postal boxes in Missoula, where she is based. Missoula has been a long-time Democratic Party stronghold.

Montana has a competitive U.S. Senate election in 2020, with Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock challenging first-term Republican Sen. Steve Daines.

As Georgiou chased the story, she learned there were also plans to remove boxes in the battleground of Billings. And more planned for the blue town of Bozeman. And other towns.

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2020 Election

Pepsi joins the chorus of people dunking on Tucker Carlson over Kamala Harris

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The Pepsi soda company mocked Fox News personality Tucker Carlson on Friday evening.

On Tuesday, Carlson flipped out after a guest attempted to teach him how to pronounce the name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is running for vice president on Joe Biden's ticket.

Video of the exchange was posted on Twitter by Nikki McCann Ramirez, a researcher at the watchdog group Media Matters for America.

Tucker Carlson loses it when a guest corrects his pronunciation of Kamala Harris's name pic.twitter.com/1fHIrPGuwN

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