From the Washington Post:
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced that he, too, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The senator was at the White House on Saturday for Trump’s Rose Garden event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee where there was virtually no one wearing masks and no social distancing.
In a statement, Lee said he tested negative at the White House ahead of that event but began experiencing allergy-like symptoms Thursday. He got tested again, and it came back positive.
Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Barrett on Tuesday on Capitol Hill, and the two were photographed together not wearing masks. Lee has also had close contact with the committee’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.).
From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
Around midnight, as Thursday became Friday, and we learned that the pandemic had reached into the administration*’s innermost inner circle, and then into The Residence Itself, these were the things about which I began to wonder.
1) If we’re serious about contact tracing, where does that leave Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was having a tough day anyway?
2) What in the hell are they going to do about the air-conditioning/ventilation systems on Air Force One and on Marine One? Those must be alive with frolicsome viruses by now.
3) How does Joe Biden feel about this president*’s having spent 90 minutes bellowing at top volume just across the stage from him on Tuesday night? In fact, how does Joe Biden feel, period?
4) Is Section 3 of the 25th Amendment being discussed anywhere by anyone? I mean, the president* is 74 and is a walking co-morbidity.
5) How many handrails do the president* and his traveling party touch over the course of the average campaign road trip?
6) Do they have to disinfect the nuclear “football”?
7) Are all the people who have to be quarantined going to be confined to the president*’s hotel in D.C, and, if so, can they get a rate?
8) Are we all spared the other two debates?
9) Does the White House have enough roosts for all these returning chickens?
The announcement that the president* and his wife are now two of the over 7 million Americans with the virus, and that top White House aide Hope Hicks not only tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but also was symptomatic when all hands flew to Duluth on Wednesday for one of the president*’s airport wankfests, creates a possibly vast Yggdrasil tree of contagion that now includes the president* and his wife and his children and his Secret Service detail, the entire White House staff, and their spouses and their children, the White House press corps and their spouses, partners, and children, several members of the Minnesota congressional delegation and their extended families, and an entire Air Force air wing based in Duluth, and on and on and on. And if you expand the universe of contagion to include all of the Republican celebrities who flew with him to Cleveland on Tuesday, and everybody who sat next to the unmasked members of that entourage, the whole thing gets ridiculous and it makes you hide under the bed.
More, obviously, to follow.
Cain was at high risk due to his age (74) and his past history of cancer. And yet, Trump hasn’t even acknowledged his passing today. He’s no longer of any use to his campaign, so why bother? What a guy.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has aggressively pushed to reopen his state and flouted experts’ health recommendations, announced Wednesday that he is the first governor to test positive for coronavirus.
Stitt, a Republican, said at a press conference that he was tested on Tuesday and that he feels “fine,” other than being a “little bit achy.” He said he’ll be quarantining and working from home, and that he was “pretty shocked” to be the first governor to get the virus. He added that he would isolating away from his family, whom he said tested negative.
Gov. Stitt welcomes you to Oklacovid!
From Esquire, by Jack Homes:
As his staffers smear the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the press, the president is sharing public-health expertise from a fellow game-show host.
Chuck Woolery, the new expert in town.
“Ninety-nine percent of [the Covid cases revealed by testing] are totally harmless.”
“We’ll be happy to debate the efficacy of masks with you when this is all over and you come in to sell your dead grandmother’s clothes. Masks required.”
— sign in vintage clothing shop in Phoenix
“Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”
— Herman Cain, tweeting about the Mt. Rushmore celebration, hours before going into the hospital with COVID-19
Rep. Andy Biggs, chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Thursday called on the White House to shutter its coronavirus task force, claiming the nation’s top public health experts were undermining President Donald Trump.
“As our economy is restored, it is imperative that President Trump is not undermined in his mission to return our economy to greatness,” the Arizona Republican said in a statement released after the Labor Department reported the U.S. economy had added 4.8 million jobs in June and the unemployment rate had fallen to 11.1 percent.
Biggs went on to assert that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “continue to contradict many of President Trump’s stated goals and actions for returning to normalcy as we know more about” the highly infectious outbreak.
The demand from a leading Republican lawmaker and fierce ally of the president comes after the U.S. reported a record number of new Covid-19 infections Wednesday, surpassing 50,000 cases for the first time.
Biggs’ own home state of Arizona is among those across the South and West contributing to the precipitous climbs in caseloads.