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National Stockpile almost out of protective gear before COVID-19 pandemic peaks

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The U.S. Strategic National Stockpile is nearly out of crucial medical equipment before the coronavirus pandemic hits its apex.

The Department of Health and Human Services told the Associated Press that the stockpile is nearly out of the N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, gowns and other medical supplies needed to protect medical workers treating COVID-19 patients.

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That statement confirms federal documents released earlier Wednesday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee showing about 90 percent of that medical equipment has already been distributed to state and local governments.

The remaining 10 percent will be held back in reserve for federal response efforts.

“The President failed to bring in FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) early on, failed to name a national commander for this crisis, and failed to fully utilize the authorities Congress gave him under the Defense Production Act to procure and manage the distribution of critical supplies,” said House Oversight chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). “He must take action now to address these deficiencies.”

Trump has blamed the states for not preparing better for the pandemic, but the AP reported Sunday that his administration wasted nearly two months after warnings in early January.

Bulk orders for medical supplies did not come until mid-March, after hospitals in some states were already treating thousands of patients.

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Trump’s is appealing to an electorate that is ‘dissolving before his eyes’: columnist

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Writing in The Atlantic this Thursday, Ronald Brownstein says that Donald Trump is running for reelection for an America that "no longer exists."

"Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly reprised two of Richard Nixon’s most memorable rallying cries, promising to deliver 'law and order' for the 'silent majority,'" Brownstein writes. "But in almost every meaningful way, America today is a radically different country than it was when Nixon rode those arguments to win the presidency in 1968 amid widespread anti-war protests, massive civil unrest following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., white flight from major cities, and rising crime rates. Trump’s attempt to emulate that strategy may only prove how much the country has changed since it succeeded."

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Trump is a friendless ‘psychopath’ who now sees Kavanaugh and Gorsuch as enemies: Art of the Deal ghostwriter

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Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, who were nominated by Donald Trump, voted with the majority on Thursday against the president. Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter behind “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” says that the president now views the two Supreme Court justices as his enemies.

“The psychopathy is why he does what he does,” Schwartz told CNN. “He has no conscience and so breaking the law for him is no big deal.”

The Supreme Court rejected claims by Trump's attorneys that the president enjoyed absolute immunity, but the rulings may still allow him to keep his financial records secret until after the November election.

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‘Trump may well face charges’ after Supreme Court gave prosecutors access to financial records: Legal experts

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President Donald Trump could potentially face charges after the Supreme Court dealt him a loss in Trump v. Vance .

The ruling gives Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. the go-ahead to subpoena Trump’s accounting firm as part of his investigation into possible tax crimes involving hush money payments to his mistresses, according to attorneys Norm Eisen and Bassetti in Just Security.

"Trump has significant state law criminal exposure in connection with his hush money payments (for which his fixer Michael Cohen has already gone to jail on federal charges) — and more," the pair wrote. "Trump cannot pardon himself for state law offenses on his way out the door. And the Justice Department’s position that a sitting president cannot be indicted does not bind New York state authorities."

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