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Doctors fear Trump will lie about a vaccine to win the election

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HARRISBURG, PA - APRIL 29, 2017: President Trump giving a two thumbs up gesture as he exits the stage of his campaign rally. Held at The Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. (Photo by Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock)

There is a fear among many that the so-called “October Surprise” won’t be another international scandal at the White House, but President Donald Trump announcing a vaccine, whether there is one or not.

Washington Post political columnist Greg Sargent explained in his Monday column that scientists are issuing a warning in a series of New York Times interviews. Either Trump will like and announce a vaccine that isn’t ready or he’ll rush the process to ensure a vaccine is ready, whether it is or not. Some of the scientists even work for the American government and have updated information on the status of a vaccine.

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Sadly, it isn’t mere speculation. Insiders already see the White House lay the groundwork for a miraculous cure to the virus just in time for Election Day.

“Experts inside and outside the government” fear “the White House will push the Food and Drug Administration to overlook insufficient data and give at least limited emergency approval to a vaccine, perhaps for use by specific groups like front-line health care workers, before the vote on Nov. 3,” said the Times.

“It is the perfect Trumpian paradox that his long record of just this sort of corruption underscores why this scenario should be entertained with deadly seriousness — but also why it will likely fail,” wrote Sargent.

The way a vaccine is generally approved is with an independent advisory panel of experts. Typically the FDA follows their advice, but the Trump administration isn’t, and they may not even use the panel of experts or staff the panel with Trump cronies.

Sargent cited one member of that advisory committee saying those working on the inside “are very nervous” about whether the administration will prematurely announce a vaccine before it has been tested and is assured it’s safe. Then, they’ll “roll it out” from the White House podium. The expert told the Times that people are right to be worried: “They should be.”

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Trump announced on Twitter that he thinks the vaccine will be available “ahead of schedule” and “very, very early before the end of the year.” It doesn’t exactly match up with experts who have said that it would take at least a year, and more like a year and a half.

“Trump has explicitly tied the timing of the vaccine to his reelection needs,” wrote Sargent. “When he announced a campaign shake-up, he also said he’ll win in part because vaccines will ‘soon be on the way.'”

According to people familiar with the White House meetings on the coronavirus, Jared Kushner regularly asks about getting the vaccine by October, and behind the scenes, Trump’s campaign staff are calling it “the holy grail.”

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The FDA chief and Dr. Anthony Fauci stress that they are working to ensure the process isn’t impacted by Trump.

“Which illustrates a crucial point here: Even if top officials do have good intentions, what’s worrisome is that Trump will almost certainly try to corrupt this whole process in a way that prioritizes his own perceived political needs over the national interest,” said Sargent.

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It wouldn’t be the first time Trump tried something like this, spending January attacking American health officials for trying to warn the public about the virus that he didn’t even believe was real until thousands had already died.

“In the end, it’s likely that Trump’s long trail of deliberate uses of the government to bolster his deceptions, agitprop, and corrupt designs will itself undo any vaccine Hail Mary,” closed Sargent. “Even if Trump does manage to rush forward such an announcement, why would voters trust him to carry forward the long and complex process to follow in good faith or out of any meaningful conception of what’s in the national interest?”


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2020 Election

Outrage against Dianne Feinstein as potential Judiciary chair comes out against Senate reform

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) received harsh criticism on Monday after coming out against Senate reform of the filibuster.

“I don't believe in doing that. I think the filibuster serves a purpose," Feinstein argued.

"It is not often used, it's often less used now than when I first came, and I think it's part of the Senate that differentiates itself," Feinstein falsely claimed.

https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/1308169580658012160

Feinstein is in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee if Democrats regain the Senate, despite never attending law school or having ever tried a case.

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2020 Election

Lindsey Graham announces embattled Sen. Joni Ernst will vote for whomever Trump nominates to replace RBG

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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday announced that GOP members of the body would be united in voting for whomever President Donald Trump nominates to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The nominee’s going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, as reported by The Washington Post's Aaron Blake.

https://twitter.com/AaronBlake/status/1308223330357518336

If Graham is correct, that would mean that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) would be backing the nomination, despite trailing Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield.

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2020 Election

A Never-Trump Republican changed her mind — then crumbled when she tried to explain why

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In a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, Republican Danielle Pletka declared that despite the fact that she refused to vote for Donald Trump in 2016, she now feels compelled to support him in 2020. The piece quickly caught fire online, inspiring ridicule and sympathy from differing corners and triggering a surprising amount of discussion.

In one sense, it’s hard to see what the big deal was. The Post publishes opinion pieces in support of Trump frequently, and this one was not particularly special. Pletka herself is not a particularly notable figure. Like many op-eds, it was sloppy and unpersuasive, making huge leaps of reasoning and glossing over critical points in the argument. It didn’t take seriously any compelling counterarguments. It was, in other words, a mere display of partisan loyalty from a Republican who would prefer to be inside the tent than outside of it.

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