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Trump accused of ’embarrassing the United States’ with his coronavirus antics by ex-diplomats: MSNBC guest

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Appearing on MSNBC early Sunday morning, Business Insider political editor John Haltiwanger said former U.S. diplomats are furious with Donald Trump over his coronavirus failures, saying he has become a source of embarrassment when viewed from overseas.

Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, the journalist was asked about the president’s latest press conference — where Trump went on rants about his perceived enemies — and how it was received, in particular his claim that the U.S. is handling the health crisis better than any other countries have.

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“The U.S. is the number one in both [COVID-19] cases and deaths, so what do you make of this picture he’s trying to paint that our nation’s response compared to the rest of the world is actually better?” host Gibson asked.

“I spoke with a number of former U.S. diplomats and officials over the past two weeks about the U.S. response and how it’s been viewed on the global stage,” the journalist replied. “They essentially said that Trump has embarrassed the United States on the world stage and opened a void that’s been filled with China in terms of global leadership.”

“One told me the U.S. has not behaved as a global leader during this pandemic and the U.S. is not even helping itself,” he continued. “What she was referring to was the lack of a robust testing system and the fact that governors had to turn to each other for help and in some cases even China in order to receive much needed medical equipment because Trump has denied them that help.”

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Major hospital chains reap billions in federal bailout money while sitting on piles of cash: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, a substantial amount of federal funds that were designated to support hospitals overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic ended up being shipped off to major hospital chains already flush with cash in the bank.

The report begins by noting that Providence Health System, one of the country’s largest and richest hospital chains, was the recipient of $509 million in government aide even though the company is loaded with so much money it invests its excess cash and reaps big rewards.

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Tolerance and violence: The fate of religious minorities during the plague under Christianity and Islam

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Pandemics are nothing new—they scythed through the ancient world as they did the pre-modern and, as we know to our grief and confusion, they are still mowing us down today.

We might think that human nature is fairly invariant across time and space, and expect the response to these catastrophes to be perennially the same. Certainly, in the 21st century there are disturbing echoes of the way Jews were blamed by European Christians of the 14th century for the Black Death. From the US to the UK, from Iran to Indonesia (the largest Muslim country in the world), there has recently been an escalation of abuse and violence against Chinese and Asian-looking people. And not just Asians. Political groups and politicians have latched on to coronavirus as a weapon in their anti-immigration policies, urging their partisans to hunker down and suspect the alien minority. In a bid for votes President Trump seems to be using coronavirus to whip up anti-Chinese feeling. In India, egged on by the BJP, the ruling Hindu nationalist party, Muslims have been viciously attacked and accused of conspiring to kill Hindus by deliberately spreading the disease.

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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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