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NY Times White House reporter and wife infected with COVID-19: ‘The collateral damage is going to be significant’

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The outbreak of coronavirus infections in and around the White House is not only affecting President Donald Trump and his Republican allies — it is also affecting Michael D. Shear, a White House reporter for the New York Times who has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. And Shear and others in the media are noting that Shear’s wife has tested positive as well.

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The Times reporter told Axios, “My wife has now tested positive for COVID. The collateral damage is going to be pretty significant, I think.”

Kate Brannen, editorial director at Just Security, tweeted that quote. And Susan Glasser, a staff writer for The New Yorker who often appears on CNN, tweeted that Michael D. Shear is an “indefatigable White House reporter and great friend and colleague. Now, he and his wife are sick because of the president’s gross disregard for basic health precautions in his own White House. What an awful, preventable mess.”

The Axios article quoting Shear was written by journalists Alayna Treene, Alexi McCammond and Mike Allen and focuses on Trump’s political response to his illness. Before leaving Walter Reed Military Medical Center on Monday, October 5, Trump tweeted, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

The “don’t be afraid of COVID-19” attitude, Trump’s critics have been arguing, is a big part of why he was infected with the novel coronavirus — and why so many of Trump’s Republican allies have tested positive, from adviser Kellyanne Conway to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” this week, Shear discussed his COVID-19 diagnosis and told hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, “I’ve not been contacted by the White House. No one from the White House has asked anything about where I was, who I talked to, or who else I might have infected. And so, I think that just shows you that they are not taking it seriously — at least as it pertains to themselves.”

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Interviewed on condition of anonymity, a White House source told Axios, “It’s insane that (Trump) would return to the White House and jeopardize his staff’s health when we are still learning of new cases among senior staff. This place is a cesspool.”


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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

"In Arizona, the head of the Prescott-area chapter of the Oath Keepers group, which recruits military and law enforcement officers, has warned residents to be prepared to protect their neighborhoods from feared extreme left-wing protesters who would be upset should President Donald Trump be re-elected," reported Richard Ruelas. "Part of that the pro-Trump group'splan involved closing streets and assigning monitors to control access, according to a planning document shared with The Republic."

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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2020 Election

Conservatives are hopping mad that their clumsy Hunter Biden smear is a flop

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

In 2016, Steve Bannon did an amazing job rolling out the Clinton Foundation nontroversy. He gave The New York Times and CNN early access to Peter Schweizer's book, Clinton Cash, and the outlets gave it mainstream credibility. Later, when the Uranium One story was thoroughly debunked, it didn't matter. The foundation remained under a pall of fuzzy suspicions.

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