Coronavirus Taskforce Commissioner Breaks With Trump Over Lie

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It appears that Donald Trump has been trying to kill off a wide swath of his supporters by holding events with members of the audience snuggled up as close as they can get them together. He does not seem to mind. After 132,000 dead and at least 150,000 predicted by month’s end, what are a few thousand more bodies?

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The commander-in-chief has only one goal: win in 2020. To accomplish that, he will do anything for a good photo-op. One of the members of Trump’s coronavirus task force, Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Dr. Stephen Hahn told CNN:‘s Dana Bash on State of the Union he would not back Trump on his inaccurate coronavirus misinformation:

‘I’m not going to get into who is right and who is wrong.’

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According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 35 percent of the pandemic cases are asymptomatic or presymptomatic. Even so, these individuals with few if any symptoms can easily spread coronavirus. There are two reasons why this disease is so deadly. First, it has proven to be very contagious. Second, people are most contagious when they are presymptomatic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated:

‘The global fatality rate is likely less than 1%, the WHO also said about 20% of all people who are diagnosed with coronavirus are sick enough to need oxygen or hospital care. I totally support the CDC and the information that they’re putting out with respect to this pandemic. [The coronavirus pandemic is] a rapidly evolving situation, [one we] absolutely must take this seriously.’

Bash continued to drill down on whether Trump’s comment was true or false. Regardless, Hahn refused to give the president a pass:

‘What I’ll say is that we have data in the White House task force. Those data show us that this is a serious problem. People need to take it seriously. If you don’t follow local and state guidelines about what to do, if you’re not following the CDC and White House task force guidelines, you are putting yourselves and you’re putting your loved ones at risk.’

The United States had over 2.9 confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 132,000 deaths as a result of the president’s shoddy handling of the pandemic. According to Google’s COVID-19 updates, the numbers continue to spike.

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The US president went to Mount Rushmore Friday, a sacred Native American site, without even bothering to call the chief whose responsibilities included this important location. Then, too, Trump held a fireworks show in spite of park rangers explaining the beetle-infested timbers’ could easily ignite.

POTUS called the event the White House’s Salute to America. A large number of the attendees went without masks as did Donald Trump. The audience seats were packed in together as close as possible. The people attending cheered and yelled throughout the event, which is the best way to infect others. Under those circumstances, the range of infection goes from six feet to 13 feet.

Just before he took the stage Friday night, Don Trump Jr.’s girlfriend tested positive for coronavirus. She had been at the event for several days working as one of the president’s top fundraising people.

When Bash wondered whether the commander-in-chief had any qualms about putting the attendees at risk, Hahn indicated that these circumstances were not the same:

‘I think in terms of that specific instance at the White House, it’s important for everyone to remember that it’s a different set of circumstances. People are tested regularly. The President is tested regularly.’

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She also asked him about Trump’s claim in a Fox Business interview that the virus would  just “sort of just disappear:”

‘No, we’re seeing the surge in cases, particularly across the Sun Belt. And so this virus is still with us.’

As far as the GOP convention in Florida, Hahn claimed that it was just “too early to tell” whether the site would be safe. Trump moved the location of the Republican National Convention (RNC) from North Carolina after Governor Roy Cooper insisted that the attendees could not be packed into the convention center, according to CNBC.

It quickly has become apparent which members of the government fear Trump more than they are patriotic. Far too many have taken the save-the-job route. Hahn stood his ground, though, as diplomatically as possible. He said it was “too early to tell” whether Florida will be a safe place for the Republican National Convention next month amid a surge of Covid-19 cases there:

‘We’ll have to see how this unfolds in Florida and around the country.’

Florida has just topped the US record for most cases in a single day, CNN reported. Saturday that record was 11,458 cases.

RNC spokesperson Mike Reed said that the Republicans were committed to holding its convention in Florida. However, they will be doing temperature checks. In addition, any attendee who wanted a test could have one.

In a statement, Reed added:

‘The RNC is committed to holding a safe convention that fully complies with local health regulations in place at the time. The event is still almost two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available (personal protective equipment), aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing.’

In addition, Reed said the Republican National Committee would work with local and state leadership in Jacksonville, FL, which will be held August 24 through 27. It will be dually held in Jacksonville and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The way that will work is the president will accept the nomination in Jacksonville. The city implemented a mandatory face mask requirement after the spike in coronavirus cases. However, the RNC was “contractually obligated to hold at least a portion of its convention in Charlotte.”

The Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh also released a statement to CNN:

‘We will continue to work with state and local officials to ensure the safety of all attendees. The President is looking forward to a great celebration.’

Trump’s reelection team chose Florida as the new convention site after North Carolina’s governor refused to budge on the social distancing requirements.

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