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

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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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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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