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Trump cultists are ‘catering to the political needs and demands of the leader’ as coronavirus spreads: op-ed

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Writing in the Washington Post this Monday, Greg Sargent mentioned the fact that President Trump is now walking back his hope to reopen the U.S. economy by Easter, instead extending social distancing guidelines to April 30 —  a testament to the fact that Trump’s “magical reality-bending powers” can only go so far.

According to Sargent, the development suggests we need a “deep reset in the language we’re using to describe the extraordinary dereliction of leadership we’re seeing from Trump, and from those officials around the country who have followed his lead.”

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Media figures describe the discrepancy between the White House statements on coronavirus and the facts on the ground as being rooted in “tribalism” or “polarization,” but Sargent say this kind of language is insufficient when it comes to describing Trump’s daily “depravities and degradations.”

“When one set of officials shapes its response to a public health emergency around facts, data, public health expertise and science, and another set — with many exceptions, to be sure — relentlessly downplays that emergency, largely because Trump has demanded this for nakedly self-interested political reasons, words like “tribalism” or “partisanship” risk obscuring more than they clarify,” he writes.

When it comes to health officials taking the pandemic seriously and Trump supporters downplaying the threat, the gulf in realities on not simply due to “partisanship,” Sargent contends.

“One side is prioritizing science and the imperative of erring on the side of caution to protect as many American lives as possible. The other is actively submerging both of those to a kind of cultish devotion to the perceived political needs and demands of the leader.”

Read his full op-ed over at The Washington Post.

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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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Texas conservatives lose their minds after GOP Gov. Greg Abbott mandates masks in public

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Texas' Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott finally acknowledged that there is a serious problem as COVID-19 takes down the state's population.

It was just a few months ago that municipalities were deciding for themselves when and if they would reopen. But Abbott shut it down, saying that his orders "overrule any local jurisdiction."

In April, "Abbott and the state’s other Republican leaders have blasted local officials in Dallas and Houston for what they called overzealous enforcement of COVID-19 regulations, first zeroing in on Democratically led Harris County’s decision to fine residents for not wearing face masks, a penalty Abbott banned in his April 27 reopening order," ProPublica reported. "The fights came to a head this month with the arrest of a Dallas hair salon owner who refused to shutter her business, an act of defiance that was supported by a right-wing group that launched a GoFundMe campaign a day before she reopened that raised $500,000 before it was disabled."

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Unemployment may not return to pre-COVID levels for a decade: Congressional Budget Office

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On Thursday, Politico reported that it could take a decade for unemployment levels to return to where they were before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

"The economic outlook for the next 10 years has 'deteriorated significantly' since the independent budget agency issued its last complete set of projections in January, CBO noted," reported Caitlan Emma. "That illustrates the devastating effects of the pandemic and underscores the reality of a slower economic recovery than the 'rocket ship' rebound predicted by President Donald Trump."

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