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‘Screaming matches’ erupted in the Trump administration as HHS sought to override FDA on COVID tests: report

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Things were so tense in the White House that COVID-19 briefings and government coordination efforts would devolve into screaming matches, according to a report from Politico.

The global pandemic led to disastrous consequences for the country as Americans continue to flounder to save themselves. Meanwhile, anti-mask conspiracy theorists are flocking to President Donald Trump’s events, spreading the virus more.

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In late August, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar decided to go at it alone as the Food and Drug Administration continued to follow long-standing guidelines on coronavirus testing.

“Overriding objections from FDA chief Stephen Hahn, Azar revoked the [FDA’s] ability to check the quality of tests developed by individual labs for their own use, according to seven current and former administration officials with knowledge of the decision,” the report said.

Some “lab-developed” tests are available for a range of diseases with no real guarantee if they are safe and accurate. But Azar wanted more testing availability, even it if means junk-tests being put on the market.

“Hahn viewed the move as inappropriate and ill-timed because it removed safeguards designed to prevent inaccurate tests from flooding the market during a public health crisis,” said the report.

False positives can lead to wasting critical time for health specialists who should be doing contact tracing on others with the virus. But false-negatives give people a sense of security that they can go out in the world without taking precautions.

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Nearly a dozen Trump administration staffers, past and current, recalled the fight between Azar and the FDA being “so intense that it boiled over into screaming matches.”

The “FDA’s device chief, Jeff Shuren, was cut out of crucial HHS meetings leading up the policy shift,” the report also said.

Read the full report from Politico.

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2020 Election

CNN presents damning list of all the times Trump has refused to accept election results

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President Donald Trump triggered outrage at his Wednesday press briefing for refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power.

But his attitude is nothing new, wrote Kevin Liptak for CNN, who listed all the times in the last few months Trump has expressed similar sentiments.

On July 19, for instance, Trump told Fox News Sunday, "I'm not going to just say 'yes'" when asked if he'll accept the election results. On July 30, he tweeted that mail ballots are "INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT" and suggested "Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote." On August 17 at a rally, he suggested staying in office beyond two terms, saying "we'll go for another four years because they spied on my campaign. We should get a redo of four years." Three days later, at another rally, he said of Democrats, "they're trying to steal the election, and everybody knows that. Because the only way they're going to win is by a rigged election."

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2020 Election

McConnell’s re-election campaign slapped with FEC flag over suspected accounting errors

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) re-election campaign is facing scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and he is now being required to answer questions regarding suspected accounting errors.

The letter and a 60-page report, written by FEC campaign analyst Susan Worthington to McConnell’s Senate Committee, were sent to McConnell’s campaign treasurer, Larry J. Steinberg on Monday. The committee pointed out “Apparent Excessive, Prohibited, and Impermissible Contributions” regarding donations recorded in McConnell’s July quarterly report that suggests multiple contributions may have exceeded the legal limits.

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2020 Election

Fox News analyst slams Trump for visit to Ginsburg’s casket: ‘Maybe it’s to get the boos’

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Fox News analyst Chris Stirewalt was bewildered on Thursday after President Donald Trump showed up at the Supreme Court to pay his respects to former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As Trump appeared next to Ginsburg's casket, the crowd could be heard jeering the president.

"I don't know why he went," a confused Stirewalt said. "He didn't go to John Lewis' memoriam. He wasn't there for that stuff. And for good reason. Right? These people don't want him there. Ruth Bader Ginsburg's folks don't want him there. It's going to be an ugly scene."

"I guess, he's the president. He can go where ever he wants," the Fox News contributor added. "And he has security so that he can go do it. But you just wonder what the political calculation was here in going to a place where you know you will be received poorly, going to a place where you know the folks there don't want you to be."

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