In a deep dive into why Donald Trump is hellbent on sending kids back to school as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country, the Daily Beast reports that close friends and outside advisers to the president are calling him and questioning the move over fears about their own children.
According to the report, Trump campaign advisers are saying they have polling numbers that show getting schools up and running again appears to be a winning issue with mothers and could help the president pick up some support in the suburbs where he has been polling poorly.
However, inside the Trump administration, the abrupt decision to forge ahead over the advice of health officials in the CDC has created chaos as officials are unsure how to implement the president’s demands.
According to the report, “Even among senior administration officials working with the coronavirus task force and within the Centers for Disease Control there is fear that they may incur the wrath of the president if they deviate even slightly from his push for states to open schools no matter the risk. Those fears have resulted in crosscurrent messaging over the past few days.
The report also notes that the president’s decision to start tweeting about the topic caught everyone by surprise which set off turmoil on Wednesday after the president and the CDC conflicted publically on policy and a briefing was scrapped.
Behind the scenes, however, Trump is getting pushback from close friends and even one of his biggest public boosters.
“In the past several days, Trump has fielded phone calls from various friends, major donors, and prominent political supporters on his drive to reopen schools, according to three individuals with knowledge of those calls. Some of those who corresponded with the president have young children and expressed reservations about sending them back during a still-raging pandemic,” the Beast reports, adding the Trump-supporting evangelical leader Robert Jeffress is among those with doubts about the president’s plans.
Jeffress, on Wednesday, stated that“no one has reached out to” him from the White House and that, “our church school is carefully looking at [the] situation in Dallas—a hot spot—and currently planning for a hybrid model of in-person and virtual instruction.”
Jeffress also admitted, “Like all of us, the administration is trying to strike the balance between the need for safety and the need to resume life,” but that he feared, “going too far in either direction could have serious consequences.”
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‘Truly grotesque’: On way out the door, Trump prioritizes bringing back executions by firing squad and electrocution
Among the slew of potentially destructive policy changes the Trump administration is rushing to implement on its way out of power is a rule that would authorize the return of electrocutions and firing squads for federal executions, an effort critics slammed as a twisted priority amid deadly public health and economic crises.
ProPublica reported Wednesday that the rule, first published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Justice Department in August, "has raced through the process with little notice but unusual speed—and deadly consequences."
"This rule could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions for federal executions, giving the government more options for administering capital punishment as drugs used in lethal injections become unavailable," ProPublica noted. "The Justice Department surfaced the proposal in August and accepted public comments for only 30 days, instead of the usual 60. The rule cleared White House review on Nov. 6, meaning it could be finalized any day."
Americans ‘won’t stand’ for election results not being honored: Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday that Americans "won't stand" for the results of the November 3 election not being honored.
"Our democracy was tested this year," Biden said in a Thanksgiving Day address in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. "And what we learned is this: The people of this nation are up to the task.
"In America, we have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results," he said. "The people of this nation and the laws of the land won't stand for anything else."
Biden did not mention Donald Trump by name but he was clearly referring to the president's refusal to accept the results of the election.
The strange truth about our Trump addiction
Are we addicted to Donald Trump? It's a question that's haunting journalists and political commentators, most of whom hate Trump but cannot deny that his name drives traffic and ratings. Even though Trump lost the election and Joe Biden will be the next president, Trump continues to be the big attention draw for political websites and cable news networks.
Part of that is completely understandable. Trump is still big news. He literally spent the past few weeks attempting a coup. While he failed, that doesn't change the history-making fact that he even tried, or that he got so much support. Certainly Biden, whose main activity is finding boring-but-competent people to staff his administration, can't compete with that, and there's no real indication that he wants to. (Unlike Trump, Biden views governing as a job and not just an opportunity to get attention.)