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‘Open-ended outbreak’: Health experts sound the alarm on Trump’s biggest COVID-19 blunder

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Health experts are warning that President Donald Trump’s decision to put the onus on individual states to contain the COVID-19 pandemic will cost thousands of lives and result in “an open-ended outbreak rolling across the country.”

In interviews with NBC News, a dozen different experts said that America needed a national strategy for fighting the virus and that the federal government’s efforts so far were not close to cutting it.

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“This is a national problem — it needs a national response,” William Haseltine, a biologist famed for his work on HIV and AIDS, tells NBC News.

Kenneth Bernard, a retired Navy rear admiral and biosecurity expert, similarly said that leaving things up to the states would create a fragmented approach that would leave the country collectively worse off.

“There needs to be a person who can act as a focal point for tests, personal protective equipment and countermeasures — acquisition and distribution,” he said. “Right now, it’s too fragmented and fractured, and that’s counterproductive, because the states are competing against the federal government for the same sources of materials.”

And public health expert Laurie Garrett tells NBC News that the current strategy will result in governments constantly scrambling to catch up with new developments.

“The virus is beating us,” she said. “It’s emerging and surprising us. We don’t know where it is. We don’t know where it’s going. We don’t know how it’s spreading. We don’t have interventions that follow a strategy.”

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WATCH: Minneapolis police station burns after protesters reportedly seize the building

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On Thursday night, the Minneapolis Police Department's third precinct was destroyed.

Here are some of the images from the scene.

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WATCH: Don Lemon blasts Trump — and explains why nobody wants to hear from him on George Floyd’s murder

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CNN anchor Don Lemon slammed U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald for invoking President Donald Trump on Thursday.

“I know she has a tough job, but guess what, as long as we are being honest right now, nobody wants to hear from the White House or the attorney general right now,” Lemon said. “No one wants to hear from the man who wanted the death penalty to come back for the Central Park Five.”

“No one wants to hear from the man who says that the former president was not born in this country. No one wants to hear from the man who said there are ‘very fine people on both sides.’ Do you understand what I am saying?” he asked.

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Shocking videos as Minneapolis burns — after authorities refuse to arrest George Floyd’s killer

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Minnesota is experiencing another evening of devastating protests on Thursday after Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and US Attorney Erica MacDonald held a press conference where they announced the investigations of George Floyd's killing were continuing, but no arrests had been made.

Here are some of the images from the scene:

https://twitter.com/AndrewMannix/status/1266191109891469313

https://twitter.com/NFerraroPiPress/status/1266191727129477120

https://twitter.com/EChalouxKSTP/status/1266196683957964801

https://twitter.com/WCCO/status/1266192653978304512

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