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.
From Esquire, by Jack Holmes:
REPORTER: If 160,000 people had died on Obama’s watch, would you have called for his resignation?
[Trump called for Obama to resign over ebola, which didn’t kill anyone in the US!]
Well, here’s a different history lesson to start: in 2014, Trump called for Obama’s resignation should it turn out that one doctor, “who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa, has Ebola.” He did not. One person died in the United States from Ebola, and they contracted it in Liberia. 160,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19, and we’re supposed to believe that Trump, who used to call for Obama’s resignation like he calls for another Diet Coke, would have backed him to keep his job? Come on, man. He’s backing himself to keep the job now, which is why he makes up wild alternate realities where millions of Americans could have died if not for his travel ban on China. The ban had so many exceptions that tens of thousands of people made the trip anyway, and the virus was already here by that time.
To buttress his meelyuns and meelyuns claim, however, we got that history lesson from Dr. Trump, PhD. We’ve now gone well beyond the president’s constant insistence that the Spanish Flu outbreak happened in 1917. (It was 1918, into 1919.) Now the outbreak ended World War II in 1945. Believe it or not, this is entirely related to the president’s seemingly more purposeful lies. It’s all of a piece with his complete rejection of the concept of objective reality. The truth is whatever you can get enough people to believe, so what actually happened is not relevant. This is what’s undergirding his claim that as many as 2 million people would have died without his travel ban, but also his declaration that the Spanish Flu ended the Second World War. There’s no need to learn history, or even acknowledge reality as it is right now. What’s the difference? Just say anything.
From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
In his previous life, Meadows led the Freedom Caucus in the House, the claque of extremist conservatives in safe seats who made Speaker Paul Ryan’s life a living hell. However, Meadows’s unsuitability for his current role pales next to that of his negotiating partner, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
At one point during one of the negotiations, Mr. Mnuchin had inquired what WIC, a nutritional program specifically for women, infants and children, was, according to a person familiar with the talks.
The Secretary of the Treasury didn’t even know what one of the most important supplemental nutritional programs servicing some nine million of his fellow citizens was. And people say this is an administration without empathy?
“On any given day, you might say, why am I even talking to these people? They don’t care,” Ms. Pelosi said.
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.
President Donald Trump said Monday he’ll resume regular coronavirus briefings as the country experiences a resurgence of cases.
“We have had this big flare up in Florida, Texas, a couple of other places,” Trump said from the Oval Office. “I’ll get involved and we’ll start doing briefings.”
“I think it’s a great way to get information out to the public,” Trump said, adding they would likely resume on Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET — the same time he typically briefed in the spring.
“We had a good slot. A lot of people were watching,” Trump said, using television ratings lingo to describe the sessions: “We had record numbers watching,” he said. “In the history of cable television there’s never been anything like it.”