Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley stepped into the hallway after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday to supporters asking for selfies and autographs — and, from others, a less friendly greeting.
“We love Trump, we love Trump!” a crowd around her started chanting. Some Haley supporters shouted her name back as the former U.N. ambassador escaped with staff to an elevator.
The dust-up showed the risks of taking the primary fight to what has clearly become Trump’s home turf. Though CPAC has long been seen as a big-tent forum for the conservative movement and a mandatory cattle call for presidential hopefuls, the annual conference has increasingly grown into a stomping ground for the 45th president and his “Make America Great Again” wing of the GOP. Trump will speak at the event Saturday.
“Remember, you’re not at CPAC, you’re at TPAC,” John Fredericks, a pro-Trump talk radio host broadcasting from the sidelines here, said in an interview Wednesday. He said potential 2024 rivals opted to skip the conference rather than risk getting booed or losing the straw poll. “We own this thing, it’s ours,” he said. “No Trump, no CPAC.”
This year’s lineup was heavy with Trump family members and acolytes — such as Lara Trump, Donald Trump Jr., former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, losing 2022 Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Sens. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — to the near-total exclusion of the party’s other voices.
Lazy Caturday ReadsPosted: March 4, 2023 Filed under: cat art, caturday, just because | Tags: CPAC, Dominion lawsuit, Fox News, George Conway, gossip, Joe Biden, Kellyanne Conway, Merrick Garland, Michael Beschloss, odds and ends, Ron De Santis, Rupert Murdoch, Sergei Lavrov, Ukraine 23 Comments
I’m not finding a lot of exciting stories today, which is actually fine with me, because I’m going through one of my periods of being burned out on political news. So once again, I’m offering a mixed bag of odds and ends that I found interesting. Here goes…
CPAC is still in the news and, as Dakinikat indicated yesterday, it’s even more bizarre than ever before.
Steve Reilly and Maggie Severns with a long read at Grid: Why does CPAC seem extra weird this year? How CPAC went from launching the Reagan era to “Schlapp Inc. and the Trump grifters.”
Its sponsors include multiple organizations founded by convicted criminals. Key speaking slots are filled with prominent election deniers. Many top Republicans are keeping their distance.
At this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, the most troubled parts of the conservative movement were on full display.
“It has transformed itself into a Donald Trump-supporting group fully engaged with election deniers, culture wars and indicted guests,” said Al Cardenas, who led the American Conservative Union (ACU), which produces the event, from 2011 to 2014.
“It’s Schlapp, Inc. and Trump grifters,” said GOP strategist Dennis Lennox, who has attended CPAC since 2007, referring to CPAC and Matt Schlapp, the current head of the ACU, who faces his own legal problems.
Sponsors in years past have included blue chip companies like Google and pillars of the conservative movement like the Heritage Foundation, the National Review and the Washington Times.
Among this year’s CPAC sponsors: America’s Frontline Doctors, whose founder Simone Gold was sentenced to 60 days in prison after pleading guilty to entering the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and the #WalkAway Foundation, whose leader Brandon Straka was sentenced to three years’ probation after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and admitting he recorded himself telling Capitol rioters to “go go go.”
Other sponsors include New Federal State of China, a lobbying group cofounded by former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was convicted in July 2022 of contempt of Congress. Real America’s Voice, a network that broadcasts Bannon’s “War Room” program on which 2020 election falsehoods continue to prevail, is also a sponsor, with a large booth for broadcasting outfitted in red, white and blue signage.
Reilly and Severns trace the history of CPAC beginning in the 1970s and describe how it has devolved over the years.
Isaac Arsdorf and Meryl Kornfield at The Washington Post: Haley heckled as Trump movement asserts its dominance at shrunken CPAC.
It’s a mystery to me what these people see in Trump. He has only sunk deeper into dementia over the past two years, but he symbolizes something for these strange people–maybe it’s just that he gives them permission to hate.
Daniel Dale at CNN: Fact check: Republicans at CPAC make false claims about Biden, Zelensky, the FBI and children.
The Conservative Political Action Conference is underway in Maryland. And the members of Congress, former government officials and conservative personalities who spoke at the conference on Thursday and Friday made false claims about a variety of topics.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio uttered two false claims about President Joe Biden. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia repeated a debunked claim about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama used two inaccurate statistics as he lamented the state of the country. Former Trump White House official Steve Bannon repeated his regular lie about the 2020 election having been stolen from Trump, this time baselesly blaming Fox for Trump’s defeat.
Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida incorrectly said a former Obama administration official had encouraged people to harass Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina inaccurately claimed Biden had laughed at a grieving mother and inaccurately insinuated that the FBI tipped off the media to its search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence. Two other speakers, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka, inflated the number of deaths from fentanyl.
And that’s not all. Here is a fact check of 13 false claims from the conference, which continues on Saturday.
Head over to CNN to read the detailed list of lies with corrections.
Fallout continues from the Dominion lawsuit against Fox News.
The Hollywood Reporter: Rupert Murdoch, Fox Corp. Sued For Sharing Biden’s Presidential Ads Before They Aired.
A complaint has been filed against Fox Corp. and chairman Rupert Murdoch over allegations that the network chief gave confidential information in 2020 to former president Donald Trump’s campaign.
In a suit filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, progressive watchdog group Media Matters claims that Fox made an illegal contribution to Trump’s political action committee when Murdoch shared then-candidate Joe Biden’s campaign advertisements with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. The liberal nonprofit seeks the maximum fine allowable for violations of campaign contribution laws and “appropriate remedial action” against Fox, Murdoch and the Make America Great Again PAC for a “nefarious attempt by people in power to operate a press entity as a political organization.”
A filing in Dominion Voting System’s defamation suit against Fox included claims that Murdoch gave Kushner a preview of Biden’s ads before they were public. It cited a deposition from Murdoch and internal company communications.
The Federal Election Campaign Act prohibits campaign contributions from corporations, including direct or indirect gits of money or services. The FEC considers information about advertising, messaging and other campaign strategy a contribution, according to the complaint.
While there are press exemptions for violations of the FEC Act, the suit alleges that Fox wasn’t acting as a press entity. It stresses that the ads hadn’t aired at the time Murdoch provided the information to Kushner and that the ads were covertly shared to hide the alleged misconduct.\
“This ‘distribution’ is diametrically opposed to Fox Corporation’s regular press activity broadcasting news programming through television and radio outlets and online publications,” writes Angelo Carusone, a lawyer for Media Matters in the suit. “Murdoch’s secret conveyance of the Biden advertisement is even less like press activity than a cablecasting company sending campaign flyers in its bills – and neither can be protected by the press Exemption.”
Politico: Dems want to cut Fox off after lawsuit revelations.
The thunderclap of stories showing Fox News’ role in pushing 2020 election fraud conspiracies and aiding Donald Trump’s campaign has intensified calls among Democrats to black out the network.
The revelations, made public as part of a $1.6 billion lawsuit brought against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems, showed that some network hosts and executives endorsed lies about Trump’s loss, hosted conspiracy theorists whom they thought were unhinged, and overtly prioritized the company’s profit over truth. A related deposition of the media empire’s chair, Rupert Murdoch, revealed that he shared private intel about Joe Biden’s campaign TV ads and provided debate strategy with top Trump advisers.
For years, Democrats have been engaged in a debate over whether the party should shun the cable news giant or grudgingly use its airwaves to run counterprogramming. But in the midst of the latest saga, a newer type of reaction has emerged: that they should sever all ties, including any money spent advertising on the network.
“There is nothing in those documents to show they operate like a real news organization,” said Doug Gordon, a Democratic strategist. “If you are running a campaign in 2024, how do you in good faith hand your ads to Fox when you know they handed them over to Republicans? If there are any general election debates, how do you let Fox be a moderator?”
There is no indication, at this juncture, that major Democratic entities are ready to halt their ad buys on Fox News, let alone its many affiliates. But that is partially because few Democratic campaigns or causes are currently spending ad money. In the interim, the Dominion lawsuit revelations have led to louder calls for the party to make a firm break from any involvement with the cable channel, whom they view as functionally a campaign arm for Republicans. Democrats spanning the ideological spectrum have even started calling on the White House Correspondents’ Association — the group of news reporters advocating for press access — to boot Fox News reporters from the briefing room.
I’m skeptical that the wimpy Democrats will actually follow through on any of this, but I’d love to be surprised.
Politico: The Trump world-Fox News war gets nasty.
In his first minute onstage at CPAC on Friday, Steve Bannon identified one of his top targets of the moment, an entity he claimed is opposing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign at its own peril: Fox News.
The host of the popular War Room podcast and longtime Trump hand started by ripping the conservative channel for announcing that Joe Biden had won Arizona on election night in 2020.
“Fox News illegitimately called it for the opposition, and not Donald J. Trump,” the Trump adviser-turned-talk show host told the crowd in National Harbor, Maryland, an audience full of diehard MAGA supporters.
Ten minutes in, Bannon went after the network again, rousing the audience to their feet as he called out Fox for not having Trump on since he announced his campaign in November. He called out Rupert Murdoch, the News Corp. founder who sits atop the media empire.
“Murdoch, you’ve deemed Trump’s not going to be president,” Bannon continued as the crowd roared with applause. “But we deem that you’re not going to have a network, because we’re going to fight you every step of the way.”
Far from random broadsides, Bannon’s screed against Fox News was the latest in what has become a hot war between MAGA world and the longtime conservative channel. Trump himself has gone off on Fox News before, often for coverage he has deemed unfair. But the current state of affairs — coming at the start of what promises to be a deeply contested GOP primary — is as strained as it has ever been.
Some news out of Ukraine
The New York Times: The U.S. attorney general meets with Zelensky during a surprise visit to Ukraine.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Friday to reaffirm America’s commitment to help hold Russia responsible for war crimes, a Justice Department spokeswoman said.
Mr. Garland held several meetings with President Volodymyr Zelensky and foreign law enforcement officials in Lviv, while attending the United for Justice Conference, the department said in an email.
During the conference, Mr. Garland “reaffirmed our determination to hold Russia accountable for crimes committed in its unjust and unprovoked invasion against its sovereign neighbor,” the email said.
Mr. Zelensky, in his nightly address, said the thrust of the conference was to hold Russia’s leadership to account for atrocities committed by its army, a position he has hammered home repeatedly over the last year of war. “The main issue of all these meetings and the Lviv conference is accountability,” he said.
Mr. Garland’s visit, which was not public in advance for security concerns, comes on the heels of President Biden’s trip to Kyiv last month — and two days after Mr. Garland told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was determined to hold Russians accountable for war crimes they are committing in Ukraine.
Mr. Garland, a former federal judge whose family escaped the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, singled out Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Moscow-allied Wagner paramilitary group.
“Mr. Prigozhin, who runs this thing, is in my view a war criminal — and maybe that’s inappropriate for me to say as a judge before getting all the evidence,” Mr. Garland told the committee.
Mr. Garland added that he believes the group “is responsible for the attacks on Ukrainians in the Donbas” and accused them of using prisoners from Russia “as cannon fodder” in Ukraine.
A few gossipy odds and ends
NPR: Russia’s foreign minister gets laughed at over Ukraine remarks at a global conference.
Ever since Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, it has become rare for major international conferences to invite Russian officials. So, when an Indian think tank welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to speak, it made for some awkward exchanges.
This week, India’s Observer Research Foundation gathered academics, business executives and diplomats from the G-20, or Group of 20 economies, for a conference in Delhi known as the Raisina Dialogue.
On Friday, Lavrov took center stage of a Q&A session, where he voiced Moscow’s views on the war in Ukraine.
In one exchange, Lavrov received loud applause for accusing the West of having a double standard, noting its heavy criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despite Western powers having invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. In another, the reaction was less positive.
“The war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us using Ukrainian people,” he said.
Before Lavrov could finish his sentence, the audience laughed and groaned — loud enough for the foreign minister to pause and stumble on his words.
“Of course it influenced the policy of Russia, including the energy policy. And the blunt way to describe what is the change, what changed, we would not anymore rely on any partners in the West,” Lavrov added.
Page Six: Kellyanne Conway and George Conway to divorce after 22 years of marriage.
Page Six hears that Kellyanne Conway, the longtime advisor to President Donald Trump, and George Conway, the longtime tormentor of President Trump, have decided to divorce after 22 years of marriage.
Beltway insiders tell us that they’ve both lawyered up and that the two sides are hashing out the details of the split.
During the 2016 elections, Kellyanne served first as a campaign advisor to candidate Trump and then as his campaign manager, while her husband co-founded the Lincoln Project with the express purpose of keeping Trump out of the White House.
After the inauguration, she became senior counselor to the president, while George continued to lambast Trump at every opportunity on social media.
In 2022, Vanity Fair wrote that, “One of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century is the marriage of Kellyanne Conway and her husband, George — specifically, if they hate each other as much as their public commentary would suggest, or if the whole thing is some kind of three-dimensional chess designed to further their own interests.” [….]
The pair wed in 2001 and share four children, but their political differences during the Trump administration took a toll on their relationship.
In her 2022 memoir “Here’s the Deal,” Kellyanne said that she considered George’s steady barrage of criticism of the then-president a betrayal of their marriage, calling it “cheating by tweeting.” She also said that Ivanka Trump had suggested couples therapy.
Read the rest at the link.
The Washington Post: White House physician says small lesion removed from Biden’s chest was cancerous.
President Biden had one cancerous skin lesion removed from his chest on Feb. 16, his longtime doctor Kevin C. O’Connor said in a letter Friday. O’Connor said that all cancerous tissue was successfully removed, and no further treatment is needed.
The headline is a bit misleading, as Beschloss didn’t actually call Trump a cockroach; he just compared Trump’s ability to survive with cockroaches.
CNN Politics: DeSantis appointee to new Disney oversight board suggested tap water could turn people gay.
An appointee to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new oversight board in control of Disney’s special tax district called homosexuality “evil” last year and shared a baseless conspiracy theory that tap water could be making more people gay.
On Monday, the Republican governor appointed Ron Peri, an Orlando-based former pastor and the CEO of The Gathering – a Christian ministry focused on outreach to men – as one of five people who will now oversee the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the government body that has given Disney unique powers in Central Florida for more than half a century.
DeSantis signed a bill in February that allowed him to replace the district’s existing board – mostly people with ties to Disney – with a five-member body that he hand-picked. The move to remove power from Disney comes nearly a year after the company spoke out against a Florida bill – which DeSantis later signed into law – to restrict certain classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity.
A CNN KFile review of Peri’s past comments found that he frequently made derogatory remarks about the LGBTQ community.
“So why are there homosexuals today? There are any number of reasons, you know, that are given. Some would say the increase in estrogen in our societies. You know, there’s estrogen in the water from birth control pills. They can’t get it out,” Peri baselessly said in a January 2022 Zoom discussion, later put on YouTube. “The level of testosterone in men broadly in America has declined by 50 points in the past 10 years. You know, and so, maybe that’s a part of it.”
“But the big part I would suggest to you, based upon what it’s saying here, is the removal of constraint,” he continued. “So our society provided the constraint. And so, which is the responsibility of a society to constrain people from doing evil? Well, you remove the constraints, and then evil occurs.”
Read more at CNN.
That’s it for me today. What stories are you following?
Tuesday ReadsPosted: October 6, 2020 Filed under: just because | Tags: Benito Mussolini, coronavirus, Covid-19, Donald Trump, Michael Beschloss 43 Comments
Can 2020 get any crazier? Unfortunately, the answer is probably “yes.” Trump was released from Walter Reed hospital last night and helicoptered back to the White House, where he staged a ludicrous Mussolini-like balcony scene. The first thing he did was take off his mask, even though he is still infected and a danger to anyone who gets near him.
Here’s how historian Michael Beschloss responded on Twitter:
Tim Miller at The Bulwark: The Weirdest 90 Seconds in Presidential History.
Donald Trump’s photo op on the Truman Balcony following his return to the White House with COVID-19 is one of the most disturbing, absorbing, foreign images I can recall. It does not appear to be of our time or place, and yet it is. With respect to the great painter George W. Bush’s view of the Trump inauguration, I think this has to be the weirdest shit I have ever seen in my life. If you haven’t seen it, just watch it now:
First, Trump takes off his mask, very strongly, very heavily. This is a man who is still on several experimental medications for a deadly virus that is highly contagious and spreads through the air. I guess he thought he would look “weak” with the mask? I would think that he would want to demonstrate that he has in fact “learned a lot” since contracting the COVID. But apparently when all of the infected geniuses from the West Wing put their heads together (over Zoom) to hash out what the optics of the president’s return should be, “lessons learned” came in a distant second to “übermensch.”
So we get a madman, his face pancaked under a 2mm coat of orange powder, jacked up on steroids, straining to breathe—and not caring a whit about those around him.
And I’ve got to hand it to him: Trump nails that image.
As the mask comes off the first thing you notice is the president’s complexion. After two consecutive video appearances that revealed his Immortan Joe old man pallor, the orangina is back. Trump has an extremely prominent make-up line that goes from his right temple down to his neckline, separating the orange from his peaked, natural tone….
After Trump successfully disposes of the mask, he takes two deep breaths to center himself before the still shots. Very deep breaths.
Unfortunately for Trumpilini, “gasping for air” soon began trending on Twitter. It’s pretty obvious he is still very sick and probably has pneumonia. The only thing that is propping him up is the heavy-duty steroid they gave him.
Then he points at someone off camera, giving them the get out of here sign. (Ask Chris Christie. He knows all about it.) Then he takes two more deep breaths—with another wince as if he had broken ribs. After that he spends quite a while trying to button his jacket.
The drama builds to one mammoth, labored breath. The type of breath you would take if you were a child who was about to enter into a competition in a swimming pool over who could last the longest underwater without drowning.
That heave gave him the stamina to move into a dramatic extended salute lasting 23 interminable seconds. He salutes with D-list caudillo energy, channeling an aging Pinochet or Trujillo in their last gasps of power. Throughout the salute he holds an aggressive glare. Then he steps back and looks deep into the distance. Fully embracing his posture as the leader of a death cult, Trump turns and enters the White House. Without a mask.
The coup de grâce (for whom, we won’t know for a couple weeks), is Trump moving into an extremely congested, spittle-filled soliloquy—straight to camera—about how our Dear Leader may well now be “immune” from the deadly virus that has killed 210,000 and which is currently inhabiting his lungs, and his White House.
Trump tells Americans to embrace the virus, because he thinks he’s beaten it. Never mind that 210,000 of us have died from it and none of us has access to the free health care he gets.
This morning, Trump was back to comparing Covid-19 to the flu.
Really? No, we don’t lose more than 100,000 lives from the flu and it isn’t more lethal than the coronavirus. WTF?!
Mainstream reactions to Trump’s insanity are getting more common. Here’s Michael Beschloss again on Rachel Maddow’s show:
David Gergen on CNN:
Stories to check out today:
The Daily Beast: Trump Actually Believes He Can Sell Himself to America as a COVID-Conquering Hero.
The president’s stint in the Military Medical Center may have raised serious questions about his political future and his physical status, with doctors giving him a trio of therapeutics and his physician acknowledging that he is not yet out of the woods. But during his time away from the White House, Trump spent his weekend frantically working the phones, compulsively watching TV, and flagrantly disregarding the advice of his own public health officials….
He also was scheming. And at the top of his mind, according to three people with knowledge of his private comments, was how to reverse the damage that his campaign may be enduring by him being off the trail. Trump assured confidants that he would be back soon, though he wasn’t sure if he could commit to doing so in the coming week. And he previewed what is set to become the latest of many 2020 messaging reboots in the past few months.
The president repeatedly claimed that once he recovers from the coronavirus—for which first lady Melania Trump, his campaign manager, debate sparing partner, press secretary, and other aides also tested positive—he’ll be able to present himself as a conqueror of it, both personally and politically.
The notion might seem far-fetched, considering the poor marks Trump’s received for his handling of the pandemic. But according to the knowledgeable sources, the president insisted that this would be a campaign asset, as he’d be able to say “I know what people are going through,” one of the sources recounted him saying. Allies argued that this could help frame Trump as both resilient and empathetic, which could come in handy in a race where polling shows a wide empathy gap between him and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Of course he has no idea what normal people are going through, and if he did, he wouldn’t be capable of empathizing with them.
By Monday morning, Trump’s campaign had begun test driving this newest 2020 sales pitch, brushing aside the reality that the president’s stubborn flouting of public-health and safety measures had directly contributed to his own infection, not to mention the deaths of 208,000 Americans. Indeed when he arrived back at the White House on Monday night, Trump walked onto the balcony for a photo op, during which he defiantly tore off the mask he was wearing, the heaviness of his breaths making clear that the disease was very much still in his system….
It was a surreal scene that fit neatly into the surreal moment: a president with unclear health status, risking the safety of his own aides and security detail for the purposes of putting on a good face for the election less than 30 days away. And, for the most part, everyone in Trumpland seems happy to play along. In addition to the attempt to turn the president’s serious COVID infection into an electoral asset, Trump’s campaign has also tried to turn it into a cash cow.
“As the leader of the free world, President Trump had no choice,” declared a fundraising email sent on Monday morning by a joint fundraising committee for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. “He didn’t want to stay in the White House and lock himself in, away from the American People.”
AP: White House staff, Secret Service eye virus with fear, anger.
The West Wing is a ghost town. Staff members are scared of exposure. And the White House is now a treatment ward for not one — but two — COVID patients, including a president who has long taken the threat of the virus lightly.
President Donald Trump’s decision to return home from a military hospital despite his continued illness is putting new focus on the people around him who could be further exposed if he doesn’t abide by strict isolation protocols.
Throughout the pandemic, White House custodians, ushers, kitchen staff and members of the U.S. Secret Service have continued to show up for work in what is now a coronavirus hot spot, with more than a dozen known cases this week alone.
Trump, still contagious, has made clear that he has little intention of abiding by best containment practices.
As he arrived back at the White House on Monday evening, the president defiantly removed his face mask and stopped to pose on a balcony within feet of a White House photographer. He was seen inside moments later, surrounded by numerous people as he taped a video message urging Americans not to fear a virus that has killed more than 210,000 in the U.S. and 1 million worldwide.
Read more at the link.
Poynter: Reporters are ‘livid’ after White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19.
McEnany met with reporters indoors last week and then spoke with reporters on Sunday. Sunday’s quick briefing was outside, but she removed her mask to speak. And several journalists who cover the White House have tested positive.
In response, the White House Correspondents’ Association put out a statement that said, “We wish Kayleigh, the president and everyone else struggling with the virus a swift recovery. As of this moment we are not aware of additional cases among White House journalists, though we know some are awaiting test results. We strongly encourage our members to continue following CDC guidance on mask-wearing and distancing — especially when at the White House — and urge journalists to seek testing if they were potentially exposed.”
In a tweet, New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi called it a “weak ass” statement, adding, “Kayleigh McEnany directly endangered the lives of those around her, including members of the press. I expect a stronger defense of journalists from the WHCA when their safety is at risk.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter, on air, said, “I’m also hearing from White House reporters who are quite angry, who think the association should have spoken out more forcefully … and call this what it is: It’s outrageous. Look, I don’t want to kick somebody while they are down and sick, but McEnany’s behavior, her conduct was outrageous. It’s more evidence of a coverup, more evidence of denialism at the White House up until the point you start coughing and you can’t deny it anymore.”
Lots of angry people around Trump these days. More reporters’ reactions:
In a stunning interview on CNN on Monday morning, New York Times White House reporter Michael D. Shear, who has tested positive for COVID-19, said he had not been contacted by anyone in the White House.
“Nobody in the White House has said ‘boo’ and asked anything about where I was or who I talked to or who else I might have infected,” Shear said. “I think that that just shows you they’re not taking it seriously, at least as it pertains to themselves.”
Shear was on Air Force One last Saturday and spoke with Trump that night. He also was at the White House earlier that day and said that was the last time he was “out and about.”
“So it’s pretty clear,” Shear said, “that somewhere along the course of that day is when I got infected.”
One White House correspondent told Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo, “People are livid. There are a lot of us, like dozens of reporters, who feel it’s unsafe to be doing it the way it’s being done. Literally half the White House has the virus they have downplayed for seven months. I mean, it’s just unnecessarily risking serious illness or death, for no reason.”
The New York Times: White House Is Not Tracing Contacts for ‘Super-Spreader’ Rose Garden Event.
The White House has decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the Rose Garden celebration 10 days ago for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, where at least eight people, including the president, may have become infected, according to a White House official familiar with the plans.
Instead, it has limited its efforts to notifying people who came in close contact with Mr. Trump in the two days before his Covid diagnosis Thursday evening. It has also cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has the government’s most extensive knowledge and resources for contact tracing, out of the process.
Contact tracing is an essential piece of any outbreak investigation and is a key to stopping the virus from spreading further, especially after a potential “super spreader” event where many people may have been infected.
Any of the closely packed guests and staff members at the Rose Garden ceremony could have gone on to transmit the virus to many others, so the White House’s decision not to investigate the cluster of infections, and pinpoint the source, has potentially devastating consequences for hundreds of people, several experts warned.
“This is a total abdication of responsibility by the Trump administration,” said Dr. Joshua Barocas, a public health expert at Boston University, who has advised the City of Boston on contact tracing. “The idea that we’re not involving the C.D.C. to do contact tracing at this point seems like a massive public health threat.”
Too bad. The Trumpists don’t give a shit how many Americans they kill. Anyway, you have to figure they don’t want to find out that Trump himself is probably source of the outbreak.
Hang in there Sky Dancers, only 29 days until the election. Take care of yourselves today, and check in here if you have the time and inclination.