In the White House rose garden Friday afternoon, a congested-sounding President Trump declared a national emergency, freeing up $50 billion of funds to help combat the coronavirus pandemic that has is steadily growing in the United States and around the world. Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and a bunch executives from businesses like Walmart CVS, Trump delivered a jingoistic speech exalting the United States’ response to the coronavirus crisis, emphasizing an early, aggressive action that the United States never actually took.
“When you compare what we’ve done to other areas of the world, it’s pretty incredible,” Trump said. “A lot of that had to do with the early designation and the closing of the borders.”
The United States has tested citizens for coronavirus at a rate that is far lower than other countries. Trump, naturally, did not mention this during his speech.
He did, however, namedrop the wealthy executives sharing the podium with him ad nauseum, letting them approach the microphone to share the ways in which Walmart, CVS, and other retailers plan to aid in the very corporate fight against coronavirus.
He said that through national determination, the United States will overcome coronavirus, which has killed 5,381 people worldwide and 40 people in the United States. Okay, whatever. Just don’t be surprised if you have to pull up to a Walmart to get your drive-thru coronavirus exam, or recover on a CVS-branded ventilator.
But perhaps the most galling moment of the entire sordid affair—aside from Trump’s hesitation to get tested for coronavirus despite having interacted with people who have tested positive for the illness in recent weeks—was a moment between Trump and PBS Newshour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor. Alcindor asked Trump whether he feels responsible for the United States’ slow response time regarding coronavirus testing, given the fact that his administration disbanded several Obama-era disease security programs, including an office in the White House dedicated to pandemics. Trump called Alcindor’s question “nasty.”
“When you say me—I didn’t do it,” Trump said. “We have a group of people... I could ask, perhaps, my administration... You say we did that, I don’t know anything about it.”
“You don’t know about the reorganization that happened at the National Security Council?” Alcindor asked.
“It’s the administration, perhaps they do that, you know?” Trump said. “People let people go. You used to be with a different newspaper than you are now. You know, things like that happen.”
It’s worth pointing out that when asked about the disbanding of the White Hosue pandemic response team just one week prior, Trump seemed to know exactly what it was.
“We’re doing a great job!” Trump said.
Pete Buttigieg loves Hollywood, baybeeeee. Fresh off a guest hosting gig for Jimmy Kimmel Live (before an empty audience!), the former South Bend, Indiana mayor and failed presidential candidate hit up TMZ Live to... beg Bernie Sanders supporters to muster up some love for Joe Biden.
“Remember, there’s not a competition between the Republican plan on climate change and the Democratic plan on climate change because Republicans don’t have a plan,” Buttigieg said. “All it is is us Democrats talking about whether we do it this way or whether we do it that way.”
Buttigieg emphasized that the differences between Biden and Sanders are miniscule compared to Trump, and that focusing on the nitty-gritty could pose a distraction for the Democrats and a win for the Republicans.
Of course the Democrats running are in many ways more similar than Trump! Sure. But climate was one hell of an example to offer, because while Republicans obviously don’t believe in science, Democrats have turned their backs on important climate change measures time after time. And besides, Greenpeace gave Biden a D-minus in climate-conscious rating and gave Sanders a B-plus. Trump has an F. Hmm.
- Bernie Sanders gave another coronavirus-centric speech today, emphasizing that we are “only as safe as the least-insured person in America.”
- Louisiana is postponing the Democratic primary election. [CNBC]
- Coronavirus is shifting everyone’s fap schedule. [Pornhub Insights]
- Warren still coming out with plans… this time for The Rona.
- Utah passed some new draconian anti-abortion measures. [NBC]
- Marianne Williamson got dick on the brain: