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Trump ignored advice to tell country the coronavirus pandemic was ‘bad and could get very worse’ in early March: report

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(AFP / SAUL LOEB)

According to a day-by-day examination of the White House efforts to get up to speed on dealing with the growing coronavirus pandemic that has now brought the country to an almost complete standstill, Politico reports that Donald Trump was advised in early March to warn the public things were about to get worse and chose to ignore that advice.

The report notes that the final realization about the dangerous spread of COVID-19 preceded the president’s rare prime time address to the nation.

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“In early March, the president and his team recognized the writing on the wall, besieged by concerns from allies across the country. There were now over 1,000 cases in the U.S. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The stock market plummeted, even halting trading for 15 minutes on March 9 to avoid a market-crashing slide,” Politico reports. “Trump and his team scrambled to address the nation’s concerns in an Oval Office address — only the second one Trump had ever made.”

According to the report, one White House adviser stated at the time, “If tonight isn’t Trump saying, ‘This is bad and could get very worse, you need to take every precaution necessary,’ then he can kiss a second term goodbye.”

However, the president ignored that advice, with Politico noting, “Instead, the president, in hastily arranged remarks, said he was barring all travel from Europe and promised that health insurers had agreed to cover all coronavirus treatments. Investors panicked — would necessary cargo still be allowed to come into the U.S.? Insurers were taken aback — they had only agreed to cover coronavirus tests, not all treatment.”

The report goes on to state that the White House then had to scramble to clarify the president’s remarks as the stock market lurched into another decline.

You can read more about the early days of the White House response here.

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2020 Election

Trump’s Georgia rally will be a ‘grievance-fest’ and he’ll ignore the GOP’s Senate candidates: Republican insiders

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According to a report from the Independent, Georgia Republicans are nervously eyeing Donald Trump's planned rally in their state late Saturday having no idea whether he will lend them a hand holding onto the two seats in the U.S. Senate or whether he will spend the time ranting about the election he believes was stolen from him.

With both Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler's seats at stake -- as well as control of the U.S. Senate -- Republicans have been working overtime to correct the impression that voter fraud led to the state's 16 Electoral College votes going to former Vice President Joe Biden and cost Trump a second term.

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CNBC’s Rick Santelli ripped as ‘psychopath’ for on-air ‘meltdown’ over COVID-19 restrictions

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CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin and Rick Santelli clashed over coronavirus restrictions, setting off another round of discussion on social media.

The conservative Santelli loudly insisted that bars and restaurants, which are shut down in many areas, were no more dangerous than large retailers, which have mostly been allowed to stay open, and Sorkin cut him off.

“Rick, just as a public-health and public-service announcement for the audience, the difference between a big-box retailer and a restaurant or, frankly, even a church, are so different it’s unbelievable,” Sorkin said, as Santelli kept interrupting. “Going into a big-box retailer, you’re wearing a mask.”

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Federal judge says Trump pardon of Michael Flynn may have been ‘too broad’: report

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A trial judge has raised the possibility that the federal judge overseeing the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn could find that President Trump's pardon of Flynn may be "too broad," according to The National Law Journal.

The comments “came unexpectedly” during a Freedom of Information Act hearing about releasing documents from special counsel Robert Mueller's office, according to BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold.

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