Apparently having the attention of the press and national television outlets every single day as he gives his regular covid-19 briefings just isn’t enough for President Trump: He’s thirsty for another rally, a real one.
Politico reports that Trump is getting serious cabin fever in the White House and is desperate to go on official trips. While a source told Politico that these trips would not include political events, it’s impossible for Trump not to turn a meeting into an opportunity to spew White House propaganda.
As his own health officials continue to warn against nonessential travel, Trump has privately urged aides over the past week to start adding official events back to his schedule, including photo ops and site visits that would allow him to ditch Washington for a few hours. The day trips would be similar to those Vice President Mike Pence has made visiting businesses during the viral pandemic, according to three people familiar with the planning.
A White House spokesperson declined to say if the president has additional events on his schedule besides his appearance at West Point in June. But Trump’s recent focus on field hospitals built by the Army Corps of Engineers — combined with his penchant for patriotic settings — could mean he could lean into military options as he did with the Norfolk visit.
So it looks like Trump wants to take his lying out on the road, give it a fresh audience. Joy. But even giving a speech before dutiful military personnel cannot compare to the jingoistic bloodlust of a real Trump rally. The closest thing we have to that now are the groups of protestors across the country rallying against stay-at-home orders. They’ll be happy to know that they have the president’s blessing:
In what was perhaps a tell-tale sign of [Trump’s] own feelings as he entered another weekend holed up in the White House residence, Trump broke from top U.S. health officials at a White House briefing on Friday to lend support to demonstrators who gathered in state capitals to protest stay-at-home orders.
“They seem to be very responsible people to me,” he said with a shrug.
We’re going to be stuck inside until 2022 at this rate, aren’t we?
The judicial flip-flops over covid-19 inspired anti-abortion legislation continue. After a series of back and forth rulings, Texas clinics resumed abortion procedures Wednesday after a rigid ban on nonessential abortions was loosened.
From the Texas Tribune:
The ban on nearly all abortions in Texas has been the subject of weeks of litigation — starting in late March when the governor postponed all surgeries not “immediately medically necessary” to preserve medical resources for coronavirus patients. Attorney General Ken Paxton said the ban extends to abortions, and the politically conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has largely sided with state officials.
A new order from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that took effect Wednesday allows more procedures to resume in health care facilities that agree to reserve a certain number of beds for coronavirus patients and to refrain from seeking scarce protective equipment from public sources.
We’ll see how long that lasts.
And not to be outdone by Texas’s fuckery, the Federal Court of Appeals has given Arkansas the OK to ban surgical abortions during the covid-19 pandemic.
...in a reversal of a lower-court decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit says Arkansas can suspend abortions during the pandemic. In the opinion, a federal judge writes that while medication abortions using pills may continue under the state’s policy, surgical abortions that are not immediately medically necessary are prohibited.
But hey, what could go wrong?
- Surprise surprise: Trump’s Iran sanctions helped facilitate the biggest covid-19 outbreak in the United States military. [The Nation]
- Another day, another cruel move by Betsy DeVos: The education secretary has instituted a new rule barring undocumented students from receiving emergency federal aid amid the covid-19 pandemic. [The Hill]
- The state of Missouri is suing China, which will surely go as planned. [NBC]
- Debt collectors are still being absolute pricks as covid-19 rages on. [Propublica]
- But in happier news... Happy Earth Day! Here’s Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey in a green jacket talking about... earth! Oh, and the Green New Deal.