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‘It’s about lives’: Trump advisor lectured by CNN anchor for trying to spin COVID-19 pandemic as a ‘win’

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The director of strategic communications for President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign received harsh questions during a Friday evening appearance on CNN.

“The cases in this country, they’re going up,” CNN’s Jim Sciutto said. “The deaths in this country are going up. The states that have a rising number of cases are going up, it’s now most of them. And to be clear, the positivity rate that is the percentage of people tested that test positive for COVID are going up, as well.”

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“How can the vice president and president claim that the U.S. is beating this virus?” Sciutto asked Marc Lotter of the Trump campaign.

“Well, as you heard from Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, you heard from the vice president and Dr. [Deborah] Birx today, in 34 states, we are seeing a decrease in terms of the positivity rate even as the amount of testing and numbers are going up, it’s the positivity rate that’s going down. We have a problem in 16 states,” Lotter replied.

“It’s not going down,” Sciutto interjected, putting up a graphic showing the positivity rate nationwide.

“If you’re talking about a response to a pandemic nationally and the federal government’s national response, nationally the positivity rate is going up. so how can you claim and as you know, the death toll is going up every day. How can you claim to folks listening tonight that that’s a win?” Sciutto asked.

“Very easily, Jim,” Lotter replied, as the two went back and forth on whether to look at nationwide numbers.

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“It’s about lives, Marc. It’s about lives,” Sciutto said.

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2020 Election

Trump ripped as a ‘traitor’ by veterans for his mask photo-op at Walter Reed Hospital

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The veteran advocacy organization Vote Vets on Sunday blasted President Donald Trump for holding a photo-op at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

After a round of golf on Saturday, Trump traveled to the hospital to be photographed by the press pool wearing a mask, which was a first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vote Vets, which says it has raised over $120 million since being founded in 2006 and made over 50 million voter contacts, released a new video on Trump's visit.

The ad says it shows "what wounded warriors see when Trump comes for a photo-op."

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2020 Election

Trump’s push to reopen schools prematurely is an assault on states’ rights that may prove deadly

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It’s hard to avoid a sense of déjà vu as the Trump regime threatens to withhold federal education funding from states that refuse to re-open their schools this fall. The contours of the “debate,” such as it is, perfectly align with the one we had a couple of months ago about re-opening businesses in the midst of a pandemic.

Then, as now, conservatives tried to frame the issue as a choice between re-opening and staying stuck in quarantine indefinitely. Those less moored to reality, including the President, insisted that proponents of quarantines were only motivated by a desire to undermine Trump’s prospects for re-election. The real divide at the time was between those of us who wanted to follow the science, build up adequate testing and contact-tracing capacity and re-open safely once the rate of infection had declined, and those, mostly on the right, who wanted to re-open prematurely either because they believed we’d achieve herd immunity if we let the outbreak run its course or because they thought Covid-19 was a “hoax” that was no more serious than the seasonal flu.

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2020 Election

How 68,000 COVID-19 survivors created a world-class patient resource group in just four months

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Diana Berrent was one of the first people in her hometown of Port Washington, New York, to get COVID-19. Back then, in early March 2020, only immunocompromised and seniors were believed to be high-risk; hence, as a 46-year-old yoga practitioner and runner, Berrent was "shocked" when she woke up with a 103-degree fever and respiratory infection — symptoms that strongly suggested she had coronavirus, which was later confirmed by a test.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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