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Trump blocked CDC from requiring COVID masks on public transit

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CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield testifying before Congress (screengrab)

An order by President Donald J. Trump diverted a draft memo by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that would have required all passengers and employees to wear masks on all forms of public and commercial transportation across the nation, according to two federal health officials.

More than 40,000 Americans per day become infected with COVID-19 and the CDC mask mandate would have been a tough federal guideline to help curb or stop the spread of transmission, decreasing the overall viral load in cities and states in a uniform manner. The order was drafted under the CDC’s “quarantine powers,” which had the support of the secretary of health and human services, Alex M. Azar II. However, the head of the Coronavirus Task Force, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, denied to hear it.

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A task force official who wished to speak anonymously said, “The approach the task force has taken with any mask mandate is, the response in New York City is different than Montana, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Local and state authorities need to determine the best approach for their responsive effort depending on how the coronavirus is impacting their area.”

“I think masks are the most powerful weapon we have to confront COVID and we all need to embrace masks and set the example for each other,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield.

Representative Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon and chairman of the House committee on transportation and infrastructure, said, “It’s especially outrageous because the science is so clear: masks save lives. The millions of Americans who work in and use our transportation systems every day — from bus drivers, train conductors and flight attendants, to the frontline workers who rely on public transit — deserve to know their president is relying on experts’ best advice and doing everything possible to keep them safe.”


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2020 Election

Stephen Colbert details ‘petty’ Trump’s 46-minute ‘pants-filling tantrum’ to ‘kamikaze MAGA dead-enders’

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"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert walked through President Donald Trump's recent 46-minute Facebook rant in an epic opening monologue Wednesday night.

Thursday will mark one month since the election, and "the president has spent that entire time throwing a loud, pants-filling tantrum," said Colbert. "If we don't change presidents soon, he's going to get a rash."

He explained that the world had been subjected to Trump's "call to arms" for his supporters, seeking to overthrow the election and nullify the will of the people.

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2020 Election

‘Book her on Jeanine Pirro’: Witness ridiculed after going viral during Giuliani’s Michigan hearing

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Rudy Giuliani's election fraud hearing went off the rails Wednesday evening as one woman monopolized the comments section with a series of rants.

“That poll book is off by 100,000!” claimed the woman. “Why don’t you look at the registered voters on there? … what was the turnout rate, 120 percent?”

Some speculated if the woman was intoxicated while others wondered if she'd been using Gov. Rick Perry's "smart glasses" as a talking stick. One Michigander explained, however, that some people in the state simply talk that way.

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2020 Election

Trump witness at Rudy’s Michigan hearing demands photo ID because ‘all Chinese look alike’

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President Donald Trump's latest election fraud "hearing" in Michigan brought together a motley crew of witnesses including one woman who went off on a rant about photo ID.

Michigan requests a photo ID but doesn't mandate it to vote. But that isn't enough for one woman who said it's necessary to tell Chinese people apart.

"I think all Chinese look alike, so how would you tell?" she asked.

If the woman at the hearing has a hard time telling the difference between Chinese people, she may also have trouble looking at a photo of a person and telling if they're the same person on the ID. Voter rolls also don't have photos of the voter included in them.

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