Trump Dropped Testing Plan When COVID Was Hitting Blue State

Four months later, with the American death toll north of 150,000, a report from Vanity Fair details the callous political motivations behind the Trump administration’s early failure to roll out a national pandemic response. As with many recent policy calamities, it begins with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

After Trump replaced the White House pandemic response team with an assortment of unqualified private interests — including the president’s son-in-law’s college roommate — Kushner’s bunch reportedly developed an underwhelming proposal: “The plan would have set up a system of national oversight and coordination to surge supplies, allocate test kits, lift regulatory and contractual roadblocks, and establish a widespread virus surveillance system by the fall, to help pinpoint subsequent outbreaks.”

via Trump Dropped Testing Plan When COVID Was Hitting Blue State

Family separation under the Trump administration – a timeline | Southern Poverty Law Center

Under the El Paso program, begun in mid-2017, adults who crossed the border without permission – a misdemeanor for a first-time offender – were detained and criminally charged. No exceptions were made for parents arriving with young children. The children were taken from them, and parents were unable to track or reunite with their children because the government failed to create a system to facilitate reunification. By late 2017, the government was separating families along the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, including families arriving through official ports of entry.

On May 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it had implemented a “zero tolerance” policy, dictating that all migrants who cross the border without permission, including those seeking asylum, be referred to the DOJ for prosecution. Undocumented asylum seekers were imprisoned, and any accompanying children under the age of 18 were handed over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which shipped them miles away from their parents and scattered them among 100 Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters and other care arrangements across the country. Hundreds of these children, including infants and toddlers, were under the age of 5.

Prior to the Trump administration, families were generally paroled into the country to await their immigration cases or detained together.

via Family separation under the Trump administration – a timeline | Southern Poverty Law Center

Protesters Rally in D.C. for City’s Largest Demonstration | Time

(WASHINGTON) — Thousands of protesters streamed into the nation’s capital Saturday for what was expected to be the city’s largest demonstration yet against police brutality while George Floyd was remembered in his North Carolina hometown, where hundreds of mourners lined up to pay their respects.

Military vehicles and officers in fatigues closed off much of downtown Washington to traffic ahead of the planned march, which authorities estimated would attract up to 200,000 people outraged by Floyd’s death 12 days ago at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Large protests also took place across the U.S. and in major cities overseas, including London, Paris, Berlin and Sydney, Australia.

via Protesters Rally in D.C. for City’s Largest Demonstration | Time

President Obama Creates the Task Force on 21st Century Policing | whitehouse.gov

What will the Task Force on 21st Century Policing do?
The task force will examine how to strengthen public trust and foster strong relationships between local law enforcement and the communities that they protect, while also promoting effective crime reduction.

The task force will engage with federal, state, tribal, and local officials; technical advisors; young leaders; and nongovernmental organizations to provide a transparent process to engage with the public.

LISTENING SESSIONS
The task force will also convene listening sessions where they will hear testimony, including proposed recommendations for consideration, from invited witnesses and also receive comments and questions from the public.

The first session will be held in Washington, D.C. in mid-January. Subsequent listening sessions and additional outreach details, including the online public comment process, is forthcoming.

THE TASK FORCE’S INITIAL REPORT
The President’s Executive Order directs the task force to prepare a report and recommendations to be presented t

via President Obama Creates the Task Force on 21st Century Policing | whitehouse.gov

Ex-Defense Chief Mattis Rips Trump for Dividing Americans – The New York Times

Mattis had a scathing description of Trump’s walk to a historic nearby church Monday to pose with a Bible after law enforcement forcibly cleared Lafayette Square of mostly peaceful protesters.

He said he never dreamed troops “would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

via Ex-Defense Chief Mattis Rips Trump for Dividing Americans – The New York Times

‘How did we get here?’: Trump has normalised mayhem and the US is paying the price | US news | The Guardian

On Monday, an entirely peaceful protest was driven out of a city square in front of the White House with teargas, baton charges and mounted police, so Trump could pose in front of a church with a Bible.A priest and a seminarian, who had been distributing water and hand sanitizer to protesters from the steps of St John’s Episcopal, were driven away by police with helmets and riot shields to create an uncluttered tableau. A Bible was procured for Trump from inside the church for him to hold aloft. Journalists asked if it was his Bible. “It’s a Bible,” he replied.The rate of fresh affronts has often outpaced the capacity to digest – or even describe – them. Peaceful protesters, journalists, a young African American man pleading for mutual understanding, shop owners, residents are being targeted for arbitrary arrest or police beatings or both – especially if they are black.

via ‘How did we get here?’: Trump has normalised mayhem and the US is paying the price | US news | The Guardian

Legal expert: Trump’s ‘liberate’ Tweets ‘incite insurrection’ – and that’s ‘illegal’ – Alternet.org

“President Trump incited insurrection Friday against the duly elected governors of the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia,” McCord begins. “Just a day after issuing guidance for re-opening America that clearly deferred decision-making to state officials — as it must under our Constitutional order — the president undercut his own guidance by calling for criminal acts against the governors for not opening fast enough.”

The op-ed’s subtitle notes: “Federal law bans advocating the overthrow of government.”

via Legal expert: Trump’s ‘liberate’ Tweets ‘incite insurrection’ – and that’s ‘illegal’ – Alternet.org

Canada boosts aid for workers; reckless insanity rules in the U.S. | rabble.ca

Here in Canada, we can breathe a sigh of relief that our federal political system is, for the most part, rising to the occasion of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

That is not so much the case in the great (and constantly self-aggrandizing) republic to our south.

There, the political dialogue is dominated by a person who not only openly aspires to be an absolute dictator, but who appears, more and more each day, to suffer from an actual, clinically diagnosable personality disorder: infantile narcissism.

via Canada boosts aid for workers; reckless insanity rules in the U.S. | rabble.ca

Donald Trump ‘lost $1bn in a month’ from coronavirus lockdown | Business | The Guardian

Donald Trump lost an estimated $1bn of his paper fortune in the past month as the coronavirus lockdown forced the closure of offices, shopping centres, hotels and golf courses he owns.

The US president’s fortune has fallen from an estimated $3.1bn (£2.5bn) on 1 March to $2.1bn on 18 March (at the height of stock market panic caused by the coronavirus pandemic) according to Forbes magazine’s annual billionaires list.

Wonder why he wants to put people at risk by opening up early?

via Donald Trump ‘lost $1bn in a month’ from coronavirus lockdown | Business | The Guardian