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HBO’s Bill Maher returns to rip Trump over the pandemic — and blast his fans who are rallying around ‘the guy who made it worse’

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HBO’s Bill Maher returned on Friday night via YouTube to blast Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and took on fans of the president who are rallying around him, calling their response “irrational.”

Speaking from what appeared to be his backyard, the “Real Time” host noted that Americans tend to rally around their leaders in times of crisis but that this president is not deserving of support.

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“Was the current crisis preventable? ” he asked. “Not all of it, of course. But we could have done what South Korea did, their nightmare started the day our’s did. But while Trump shut up experts, happy-talked and lied his ass off, South Korea put a strong testing program into place, tracing people, and today they have twenty-0ne times the cases and thirty times fewer deaths.”

“If this is a war, Trump lost it in January,” he continued. “He’s not FDR or JFK, he’s LOL. So it’s more than a little disturbing that he is getting a bump in the polls on this. A bump, that tells us we are once again entering into rally around the leader time. Around the guy who made it worse. I mean, come on, toilet paper is now more valuable than the dollar.”

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‘It’s always Republicans’: Conservative bashes his own party’s hostility to democracy

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Conservative David Frum blamed the Republican Party for undermining U.S. democratic institutions.

The former speechwriter for George W. Bush told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that President Donald Trump's hardcore base was hostile to democracy, and both they and the president pose a real threat to constitutional law even if he loses in November.

"I think he'll issue a spate of pardons to his intimates, relatives and to himself," Frum warned, if Trump loses the election. "We've never had to test the question, whether a president can pardon himself. I imagine, I expect that we will be testing that question."

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These psychological motives have shaped right-wing conservatism in America ever since the Civil War

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Many people who see little rational basis for supporting Donald Trump ask themselves: Why is he so popular?  Relatedly, why did so many people support Richard Nixon, Adolf Hitler, and other avatars of popular right-wing conservatism?  There are, of course, many different reasons for each situation.  But there also key commonalities that have been identified in meta-analyses of the topic written by the psychologist John T. Jost and colleagues.  In relation to Jost’s work, I have examined aspects of the antebellum South in order to better understand its political culture, especially aspects of that culture that prompted many Southerners to become more emotionally receptive to the appeals of “fire-eater” secessionist conservatives.  More broadly, this historical lens can help illuminate the mass appeal of conservatism in general, focusing particularly on the psychological factors that tend to underlie this appeal.

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Big Pharma ignored EU’s plea in 2017 to fast-track virus vaccines prior to pandemics: report

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According to a report from The Guardian, major pharmaceutical companies threw up roadblocks to a plan by the European Union to push forward with a major vaccine research effort well before pandemics hit.

The report notes that back in 2017, the EU's executive branch pushed a proposal to put the development of vaccines on the fast-track only to have major drugmakers reject the suggestion.

"The commission’s argument had been that the research could 'facilitate the development and regulatory approval of vaccines against priority pathogens, to the extent possible before an actual outbreak occurs'. The pharmaceutical companies on the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), however, did not take up the idea," the report states.

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