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CDC ‘demoralized’ after Trump White House forces ‘line-by-line edits to official health guidance’

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Trump at the CDC (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are feeling “demoralized” because Trump officials have been imposing “line-by-line edits” to their official health recommendations during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the CDC has been subjected to extraordinary pressure from the Trump White House that has included edits aimed at “altering language written by CDC scientists on church choirs, social distancing in bars and restaurants as well as internal summaries of public-health reports.”

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This stands in stark contrast to how the CDC has traditionally been relied upon to handle disease outbreaks.

“When Ebola cases surfaced in the U.S. six years ago, the CDC steered the public health response, holding 13 news briefings in one month and deploying thousands of staff globally to stop the virus,” WSJ notes. “This year, the CDC didn’t hold a single news conference on the coronavirus pandemic in four separate months. White House officials routinely denied the agency’s requests to brief reporters, a former HHS official said.”

Despite the unprecedented influence the White House has exerted over the CDC, many Trump officials are still upset that CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has not done enough to clamp down on rebellious career officials.

“The president doesn’t view Dr. Redfield as an effective communicator, administration officials say, and he has at times publicly criticized him,” WSJ reports. “Administration officials say Mr. Trump is considering adding more political appointees to the CDC if he wins re-election.”


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2020 Election

Republican ‘hero’ who helped stop terror attack faces questions over ‘affiliations’ to right-wing extremists

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An Oregon congressional candidate who drew worldwide acclaim for helping to stop a terror attack faces questions about his "affiliations" to extremists ahead of Election Day.

Former Oregon National Guardsman Alex Skarlatos, better known as the "Paris train hero" after he and four others subdued a gunman while traveling in Europe in 2015, is running in Oregon's 4th Congressional District. Democratic groups claim that his association with Timber Unity, a group linked to extremist groups such as the Proud Boys, QAnon and the Three Percenter movement, raises "serious questions about his affiliations."

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2020 Election

Morning Joe destroys your Facebook friends’ excuses for voting for Trump

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said most of the people he grew up hate President Donald Trump, but they're voting for him anyway.

The "Morning Joe" host said they share many of his concerns about the president and his fitness for office, but he said they always offer excuses for holding their nose and voting to give him four more years.

"It's good talking to them and just saying, so why are you voting for this man?" Scarborough said. "'Well, he's a terrible guy, he's a horrible example for my kids, I'd never invite him over to the house, he's despicable -- I hate him, I just hate him,' but and then, fill in the blank, AOC or Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders or regulations or tax cuts or 401(k)s, and I say, so, well, we have right now a president of the United States who is demanding that his attorney general arrest the former vice president of the United States, his chief political competitor. This is something that happens or happened in the former Soviet Union, this is something that happens still in Russia."

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Mitch McConnell admits he’s been working to sabotage COVID relief talks behind the scenes to prioritize rushing Barrett confirmation

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Senate Majority Mitch McConnell told his Republican colleagues Tuesday that he has privately been urging the Trump White House not to strike a coronavirus relief deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the November 3 election, warning that an agreement could interfere with the chamber's plan to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court early next week.

McConnell's remarks, first reported by the Washington Post, came during a closed-door Senate GOP lunch just ahead of a Tuesday evening deadline for a relief deal set by Pelosi and agreed to by the Trump administration. While the deadline came and went without a deal, the House Speaker told Democratic lawmakers late Tuesday that the two sides "have been making some progress" and continued to voice optimism that "we can reach an agreement before the election."

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