As the pandemic rages, Trump indulges his obsessions

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(CNN)-With the pandemic exploding and setting record infection rates, President Donald Trump spent the weekend on his own often divisive obsessions, piling up new evidence for detractors who say he is not fit the office.

The President largely ignored the implications of the disastrous United States government response to the worst public health crisis in 100 years, albeit it emerged late on Friday in CNN reporting that the White home is taking vigorous efforts to guard him against infection at rallies that contravene social distancing and masking guidelines, which put even his own supporters in danger of getting sick.

Trump did, however, find time to defend a statue of former President Jackson, who retired to his slave plantation in 1837, and to retweet a video during which a supporter chanted “white power.” Trump denied reports that he was briefed that Russia offered a bounty for the killings folks and UK soldiers by the Taliban — but didn’t say how he would respond and get up for American troops if the story was true. And Trump, who lambasted his predecessor Barack Obama for his less prolific golf hobby, made two trips to his Virginia course, despite boasting that he canceled a weekend trip to his New Jersey resort to form sure “law and order is enforced” in Washington, DC.

Trump’s weekend represented yet one more sign that he has moved on from an epidemic, which has killed quite 125,000 Americans and threatens to say tens of thousands more, that he initially ignored, then mismanaged and politicized and has now has grown uninterested in talking about as his reelection fight looms. His negligence came despite his Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar delivering an alarming warning on CNN that seemed to contradict vice-chairman Mike Pence’s claim of “truly remarkable progress” within the battle against coronavirus and false statements that the US had “flattened the curve.”

“This may be a very, very serious situation and therefore the window is closing for us to require action and obtain this in check,” Azar told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” But like other members of the administration, Azar insisted that the story of the pandemic is one among great success, in terms of creating hospital beds, protective equipment, and testing more available than they were two months ago.

Since Pence spoke on Friday, we racked up record numbers of latest coronavirus infections, with quite 40,000 on Friday and quite 42,000 on Saturday. States like Florida, Texas, and Arizona, which embraced Trump’s demands for a swift economic opening and did not satisfy the administration’s own benchmarks to try to so safely, are discovering that the virus is rampant. New cases are now rising in 36 states, are steady in 12 and are taking place in only two, suggesting that the pandemic is on the brink of raging out of control — whilst some US counterparts, just like the European Union and Asian countries are much more successful in reducing the virus.

Pence denies early opening caused a resurgence
The vice-chairman traveled to Texas on Sunday and appeared alongside Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, and seemed to make a big shift — calling on Americans to wear masks if they can’t observe social distancing guidelines — a step that Trump, who refuses to wear a mask and says that those that do try to harm him politically, refuses to require.

“Wearing a mask is simply an honest idea and it’ll, we know, from experience, will slow the spread of the coronavirus,” Pence said. The vice president’s comments, however painstakingly he tried to avoid putting Trump during a difficult position, will hike political pressure on the President to publicly turn Americans to hide their faces and to model a mask himself. That political heat had intensified that morning when Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, effectively called on Trump to point out leadership on the difficulty.

“If wearing masks is vital, and every one the health experts tell us that it’s in containing the disease in 2020, it might help if from time to time the President would wear one to assist us to get obviate this political debate that says if you’re for Trump, you do not wear a mask, if you’re against Trump, you do,” the Tennessee Republican said on CNN’s “Inside Politics.”

Apart from his remarks on masks, Pence heaped praise on the “leadership” of Trump and everybody involved during a misfiring government effort and made a replacement plan to argue that the state openings had nothing to try to to with an increase in infections.”About fortnight ago, something changed,” Pence said, seeking to portray the Texas reopening plan before that date as a huge success.

Medical experts, however, say that states experiencing a spike in infections are now paying the worth for a lax opening.”If I were to offer a grade for all folks, except maybe from a couple of states like New York, Washington state, New Jersey, I might say we are becoming mostly an ‘F’, right at the instant, going from the primary a part of May until we reopened so far,” Dr. Michael Saag, professor of drugs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told CNN on Sunday.

A new Russia storm
Reports that Moscow’s GRU military intelligence put a bounty on US and UK troops in Afghanistan whipped up a replacement Russia storm for the White House. The NY Times first cited unnamed officials as saying that Trump and Pence were briefed about the affair but had thus far taken no action.

A US official with knowledge of the matter told CNN’s Barbara Starr on Sunday that the US received intelligence several months ago that the GRU reached bent militias linked to the Taliban and offered money to focus on US and coalition forces in Afghanistan. The official said it had been not clear how verified the intelligence was or who precisely the Russian representatives approached.

The Washington Post reported Sunday night that the bounties are believed to possess resulted in the deaths of several American troops, citing US intelligence gathered from military interrogations. an EU Intelligence official told CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh on Saturday that the incentives offered by the Russians had, in their assessment, led to Coalition casualties.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that “everybody has been denying it & there haven’t been many attacks on us,” but the President, who has consistently undermined efforts by his own administration to urge tough on Russia, didn’t vow to defend American troops come what may or to urge to the rock bottom of the report.

If the plot is genuine and Trump knew about it but didn’t act, he might be considered negligent in his duty to defend Americans and there would be new questions on his strange deference to Russian President Putin. If he wasn’t informed, his entire national security process is going to be exposed.

Former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, publicizing a book deeply critical of the President, said Sunday Trump’s defense of himself exemplified his unfitness for office.”The incontrovertible fact that the President feels compelled to tweet about the news article here shows that what his fundamental focus is, isn’t the safety of our forces, but whether he seems like he wasn’t listening. So he’s saying, ‘well nobody told me, therefore, you cannot blame me,'” Bolton said on “State of the Union.”
Trump retweets ‘white power’ chant. The President had his own definition of leadership on his mind for much of the weekend.

In one shocking moment, he thanked “great people” during a Florida retirement community for his or her support, retweeting a video showing a person during a golf court emblazoned with “Trump” banners chanting “white power.” Trump later deleted the retweet with one among his spokesmen, Judd Deere, insisting that he “did not hear the one statement made on the video.” Earlier, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the sole Black Republican senator, said that the video was offensive and “indefensible.”

Bolton told CNN’s “Jake Tapper” that “not paying attention” would be typical of Trump. But it had been only the newest occasion that the President has retweeted an item that tore at the nation’s racial divides. Normal minimum standards of presidential conduct might suggest a commander-in-chief would check content before tweeting it to many supporters. On Saturday, Trump tweeted about an effort to require down the statue of Jackson in Lafayette Park across from the White House last week, after signing an executive order that appeared merely to need his government to enforce the law protecting federally-owned monuments, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison for desecration.

But Trump claimed credit anyway for stopping attacks on icons of war generals and figures from America’s history who have links to slavery or racial records newly exposed by a national reckoning after the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Source: cnn news

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