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The coronavirus outlook is ‘grim’ in the US — and will only ‘get worse’ thanks to Trump and his sycophants: Paul Krugman

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Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has not hesitated to lambast President Donald Trump and his sycophants for their response to the coronavirus pandemic — a response that, according to Krugman, has made the crisis much worse than it has to be in the United States. And in his July 13 column, Krugman points to recent GOP “opposition research” against Dr. Anthony Fauci as a prime example of the type of insanity that is making the U.S. #1 in COVID-19 infections.

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Krugman opens his column by offering a “brief history of the past four months in America.” While health experts like Fauci have warned, “Don’t rush to reopen, this isn’t over,” Trump’s message has been “LIBERATE!” — and the response of COVID-19 is “Wheee!” And the boneheaded mentality of Trump officials, according to Krugman, has been “Here’s our opposition research on Anthony Fauci.”

“None of this had to happen,” Krugman laments. “Other countries stuck with their lockdowns long enough to reduce infections to rates much lower than those prevailing here; COVID-19 death rates per capita in the European Union are only a tenth those in the United States — and falling — while ours are rising fast. As a result, they’re in a position to reopen schools fairly safely.”

Krugman notes that the closest the U.S. has come to a Europe-like result with coronavirus has been in the Northeastern Corridor.

“The experience of the Northeast, the first major epicenter of the U.S. pandemic, shows that we could have achieved something similar here,” Krugman explains. “Death rates are way down, although still higher than in Europe; on Saturday, for the first time since March, New York City reported zero COVID-19 deaths.”

But Krugman adds that because some states reopened prematurely — with Trump’s encouragement — those states are now seeing a surge in new coronavirus infections.

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“Many states not only rushed to reopen, they reopened stupidly,” Krugman writes. “Instead of being treated as a cheap, effective way to fight contagion, face masks became a front in the Culture War. Activities that posed an obvious risk of feeding the pandemic went unchecked: large gatherings were permitted, bars reopened.”

Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are trying to pressure school districts around the U.S. to reopen in the fall — even though health officials are warning that doing so would be dangerous given the recent increase in infections. And Krugman asserts that schools would be in a better position to reopen if Republicans took social distancing seriously.

“We now have overwhelming confirmation of something we already suspected: for many — perhaps most — students, there is no substitute for actually being in a classroom,” Krugman writes. “But rooms full of students are potential Petri dishes, even if the young are less likely to die from COVID-19 than the old.”

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According to Krugman, “At this point, there are probably as many infected Americans as there were in March…. We don’t have the kind of leaders we need. Instead, we have the likes of Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor — politicians who refuse to listen to experts and never admit having been wrong.”

Krugman ends his column on a somber note, warning that COVID-19 will inflict a lot more damage in the United States in the months to come.

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“The main response we’re seeing to colossal policy failure is a hysterical attempt to shift the blame,” Krugman writes. “Some officials are trying to blacken Dr. Fauci’s reputation; others are diving into unhinged conspiracy theories. As a result, the outlook is grim. This pandemic is going to get worse before it gets better, and the nation will suffer permanent damage.”


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Trump says there’s been ‘confusion’ — but urges supporters to mask up: ‘We have nothing to lose’

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After months of casting doubt about wearing masks, President Donald Trump on Monday emailed his supporters about the "confusion" on the subject.

"We are all in this together, and while I know there has been some confusion surrounding the usage of face masks, I think it's something we should all try to do when we are not able to be socially distanced from others," Trump wrote in the email, that was posted online by multiple journalists.

I don't love wearing them either. Masks may be good, they may be just okay, or they may be great," the email read.

In the email, Trump referred to COVID-19 as "the China Virus."

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Here’s why the coronavirus spike is especially devastating to rural communities

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The first coronavirus hot spots in the country were densely-populated cities with international ports of entry, like New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle.

But the virus has now penetrated deep into rural areas around the country. And according to Politico, a new study has shed light on the catastrophic problems this has created for rural communities: more than half of U.S. rural communities have no ICU beds, forcing hospitals to transfer patients far away to other facilities that can accommodate severe COVID-19 cases.

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Joy Reid medical expert blasts the president’s lies on coronavirus: ‘Trump needs to stay in his lane’

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MSNBC anchor Joy Reid interviewed Dr. Bernard B. Ashby about the latest coming from the White House on the coronavirus pandemic.

"If, for instance, you did not test for pregnancy, does it mean you are not pregnant?" Reid asked.

Ashby, a cardiologist from Miami, praised the anchor on her new primetime show, "The ReidOut," but did not directly answer the question.

"And in terms of the whole discourse, the fact that I'm having to respond to Trump about clinical medicine is ridiculous," Dr. Ashby explained.

"Trump needs to stay in his lane. Like, we went to medical school for a long time, we did training for a long time to speak on exactly what ... we have the expertise to speak on and the fact that Trump is asserting himself in academic medicine, into clinical medicine is ridiculous," he explained.

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