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Trump knew coronavirus could be a crisis but ‘made clear’ lower numbers ‘were better’ for his re-election: report

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Politico reporter Dan Diamond is out with a bombshell story about how President Donald Trump and his administration not only botched the management of what is now the coronavirus pandemic, but clearly took steps that were not in the best interest of the public in order to help the President’s re-election efforts.

In short, according to Diamond, Trump was warned “the new coronavirus could be a major problem,” but “made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus… the better for his potential reelection.”

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In this interview Diamond tells NPR’s Terry Gross that President Trump “did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks, and that’s partly because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall.”

Just to be clear, let’s look at that again: Trump “did not push to do aggressive additional testing” and “had made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall.”

NPR took to Twitter to ensure the quote was clear, emphasizing that it was indeed President Trump’s decision to not push for testing – in order to keep the documented cases of coronavirus as low as possible – despite the clear public health risks.

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(It does not seem to be a stretch to say that the lack of testing – for whatever reason – will likely lead to coronavirus related deaths.)

Diamond says that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar “did go to the president in January. He did push past resistance from the president’s political aides to warn the president the new coronavirus could be a major problem. There were aides around Trump – Kellyanne Conway had some skepticism at times that this was something that needed to be a presidential priority.”

So Conway, who just days ago on national television lied, insisting the Trump administration had “contained” the coronavirus outbreak, reportedly didn’t think a global pandemic – it has been clear that’s where this was headed – was important enough to involve the President.

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Diamond tells Gross that “some of the decisions behind the scenes haven’t always reflected the best judgment of career professionals.”

Clearly that’s correct.

There’s a great deal more of how the Trump administration has not just mismanaged the coronavirus pandemic, but horrifically mismanaged the coronavirus pandemic, and in some cases to benefit Trump’s re-election efforts. The NPR interview is 44 minutes long. You can read it or listen to it at NPR, or listen to it below.

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Image by The White House via Flickr


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2020 Election

George Floyd’s death returns spotlight to Sen. Amy Klobuchar prosecutor past

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MINNEAPOLIS — The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody this week has renewed concerns about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s time as a Hennepin County prosecutor as she is being vetted as a potential running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.The selection of Biden’s No. 2 is unfolding as many blacks — a key voting bloc for the party — are looking for Biden to show he is not taking black voters for granted and that his ticket can excite those who sat out the 2016 election.Klobuchar’s presidential bid was marked by an inability to gain inroads with black primary voters whil... (more…)

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2020 Election

Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham locked in dead heat with Democratic challenger in red South Carolina

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is locked in a dead heat in his bid to win re-election, a new online poll finds.

Graham, who has represented South Carolina in Congress since 1995 and held his Senate seat since 2003, has in recent months faced mounting pressure from Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. A new Civiqs poll released this week finds the two rivals tied at 42%.

A deeper dive into the poll reveals more possibly unnerving developments for Graham. Fifty-six percent of South Carolina voters have an unfavorable view of the senator, while only 35% have a positive view of him.

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2020 Election

‘Dead in the water’: Republicans fear Trump will lose in November and take vulnerable GOP senators with him

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In recent weeks, Democratic strategists have been encouraged not only by polls showing President Donald Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden (the presumptive Democratic nominee) but by signs Democrats have a shot at retaking the U.S. Senate. That doesn’t mean that Democrats should be overconfident; wise politicians campaign like they’re 15 or 20 points behind no matter how good they’re looking in polls.

But reporters Michael Warren and Ryan Nobles, in an article for CNN, emphasize that GOP operatives “are increasingly worried that Trump is headed for defeat in November and that he may drag other Republicans down with him.”

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