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‘Worse than I could have imagined’: Epidemiologists rain hell on Trump’s ‘appalling’ pandemic performance

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President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Several professional epidemiologists have told The Atlantic that they’ve been shocked at the Trump administration’s failed response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which so far has killed 155,000 Americans in just five months.

In the story, journalist Ed Yong writes that he has spoken with more than 100 different infectious disease experts over the last several months and has “learned that almost everything that went wrong with America’s response to the pandemic was predictable and preventable.”

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“The U.S. fundamentally failed in ways that were worse than I ever could have imagined,” Harvard Medical School epidemiologist Julia Marcus told Yong.

Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, similarly told Yong that it has been shocking watching a federal response that has not even tried to control the spread of the disease.

“There are instances in history where humanity has really moved mountains to defeat infectious diseases,” she said. “It’s appalling that we in the U.S. have not summoned that energy around COVID‑19.”

Sarah Dalglish of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health similarly told Yong that no one should have ever expected Trump to rise to the occasion.

“When you have people elected based on undermining trust in the government, what happens when trust is what you need the most?” she asked rhetorically. “Trump is president — how well could it go?”

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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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