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Reading: A US passport used to be an asset. Under Trump it has become a liability

From A US passport used to be an asset. Under Trump it has become a liability

Wanna see my evidence?

It’s not just a trip to the US that looks unappealing right now; it seems many countries aren’t exactly salivating at the prospect of hosting American visitors in the near future. The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, for example, called the border with the US a clear “vulnerability” for Canada in terms of infections; the US-Canada border has been closed since March, and will remain closed to nonessential travel until at least 21 June.

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Reading: The truth about why Cummings hasn’t gone: Johnson is too terrified to sack him

From The truth about why Cummings hasn’t gone: Johnson is too terrified to sack him

Bad Family

But if Cummings and his wife didn’t know what they’d done was wrong, why would they choose to write a lengthy article last month about their virus experience – full of personal family information – which omitted all of these dramas, all of these material facts. Or as Cummings addressed these questions of what is unredeemable in the rose garden: “I stress to people that they should not believe everything in the newspapers.” And I stress to people that by far the most inaccurate account of the period in question was in the Spectator, bylined Mary Wakefield and Dominic Cummings. As for his querulous domestic exceptionalism, you’d think they were the first parents ever to get properly ill in possession of children. Or child, in this case. God knows, it’s not much fun. But, dare millions of us say, it is kind of what you sign up for – a reality not lost on the ICU nurse couple I heard on the radio, explaining about both of them being hard hit by Covid-19, and having to isolate with their own three children without help.

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Reading: Dominic Cummings surely knew he was exploiting a rule meant for abuse victims

From Dominic Cummings surely knew he was exploiting a rule meant for abuse victims

Uh oh. Riding on the tails of the vulnerable risks exposing your ideology, Dom.

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Reading: Trump and Kushner on the Coronavirus: … Revisionist History

From Trump and Kushner on the Coronavirus: … Revisionist History

A little background: When the American deaths in Vietnam were going up and up – as counted nightly by Cronkite – I got thrown out of high school for protesting escalation. A lot of us did. We’re still here to tell you that “One dead on your watch is too many, Jarod.” Step down.

At the same time, the reported death toll from the virus in the United States topped 60,000 — more killed in eight weeks than the 58,000 American troops killed in eight years of major combat in Vietnam. The death toll has already reached where it was expected to be in August, more than three months from now, according to projections accepted by the White House. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now estimates that 73,000 will die by August.

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Reading: Trump’s big show of opening the US economy will hide the real story – CNNPolitics

From Trump’s big show of opening the US economy will hide the real story – CNNPolitics

This is not how to handle an on-going crisis. This is marketing, not leadership.

The fact that it is constitutionally superfluous for Trump to authorize states to open up suggests his real intent is an election-year political device that positions him as leading the resurgence and those who oppose him as laggards holding America back.

“We’re going to be announcing guidelines, and we’ll be talking about various states, and it’s very exciting,” Trump said in another rambunctious Rose Garden news conference Wednesday.

“We will be the comeback kids, all of us, all of us. It’s incredible, what’s going on,” Trump said. “Tomorrow is going to be a very big day … We will have some openings that will … exceed our expectations, and they will be safe.”

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Reading: US edits National Stockpile website after Kushner claims it’s not for states

From US edits National Stockpile website after Kushner claims it’s not for states

Ars Technica reports on business as usual:

The Trump administration changed the Strategic National Stockpile website’s description of the program yesterday after White House adviser Jared Kushner falsely claimed that the medical-supply stockpile is not meant to be used to help states. The description was changed to minimize the stockpile’s role in helping states through crises like the current pandemic, but other portions of the official website still make it clear that Kushner was wrong.

I doubt that the website declares the actual policy – that would be in official government docs – so the change in the site is an attempt at covering Kushner’s tracks. But it’s not the action of responsible leaders.

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Reading: Trump coronavirus press conference: Despite dire warnings, the president wants everyone to “relax” – Vox

From Trump coronavirus press conference: Despite dire warnings, the president wants everyone to “relax” – Vox

Let’s get this right, because anyone could be infected or infect others, there is no wide-spread test and no vax yet:

[o]n CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Fauci explained why — even though the coronavirus is believed to be more severe in older people and those with underlying health conditions — young and relatively healthy people should still take steps to limit their exposure.

“The virus is not a mathematical formula,” Fauci said. “There are going to be people who are young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill. So, protect yourself.”

He added that young people can also carry the virus without being seriously affected, infecting those for whom the virus could mean serious health risks. But Trump failed to convey that message, instead making the risk among younger Americans seem slight.

“I think very important — the young people, people of good health, and [these] groups of people are just not strongly affected,” Trump said. “Elderly people that are not well or not well in certain respects are really a very dangerous group. We have to watch them, we have to protect them very much.”

These sorts of statements from the president have become par for the course in this pandemic, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. It is true that there are administration officials out there like Fauci who are providing sound, balanced information — but it is also true that they do not speak with the weight and authority of the office of the president of the United States.

So when Trump tells younger Americans they are “not strongly affected” without providing any context, or when he says “it’s a very contagious virus, it’s incredible, but it’s something we have tremendous control of,” which is not true, he is doing more than giving bad advice or indulging in a little self-aggrandizement: He is putting lives at risk.