“Yippee!!!”: Emails Show Trump Appointees Celebrating Lying to the Public About COVID-19
In February 2020, Donald Trump took some time away from his busy schedule of watching multiple hours of TV a day and insisting the coronavirus was fake news to have a little chat with journalist Bob Woodward. Naturally, one of the things they discussed was the very scary virus that had gained a foothold in the United States. “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said during a February 7 call. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu,” he said, repeating for emphasis, “This is deadly stuff.” Of course, at the time, Trump had been actively telling the country that COVID-19 was not at all a big deal, that it wasn’t as bad as the flu, that it would “miraculously” go away on its own by April, and that anyone suggesting otherwise was a liar and a fraud. Then in March, a week after the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Trump had another conversation with Woodward, in which he admitted something else: that he had been purposely lying to the public about the highly contagious virus the whole time. “I wanted to always play it down,” he said.
Given that the literal leader of the free world is on the record copping to lying about COVID-19—which killed 400,000 on his watch—it’s not entirely surprising to learn that his foot soldiers in the federal government did everything they could to mislead the public as well. But it’s still colossally messed up and something that should follow them around for the rest of their careers, hence this important report from The Washington Post:
In the same email, Alexander excitedly referenced another example of a change to a weekly report from the CDC that he bragged the agency had made thanks to his demands. Two days later, he asked then White House adviser Scott Atlas—the guy who wanted the U.S. to adopt a “herd immunity” strategy by letting millions get the virus on purpose—to help him discredit a forthcoming CDC report on COVID-19-related deaths among young people. “Can you help me craft an op-ed,” Alexander wrote to Atlas on September 11, claiming the report was “timed for the election” to hurt Trump, as though that was the priority of the scientists at the agency. “Let us advise the President and get permission to preempt this please for it will run for the weekend so we need to blunt the edge as it is misleading.”
Incidentally, neither Alexander nor Caputo were doctors; for his part, Caputo seemingly got his job in the administration by writing wildly racist tweets that likely impressed the president. Of course, that didn’t stop them from demanding that the actual health experts change their guidance to the public.
Elsewhere, Alexander emailed Atlas on September 3 proposing an “op-ed on possible damage to children immune systems with lock downs and masks,” writing, “I do think locking down our kids (and healthy adults) and masking them can dampen their functional immune systems.” Scientists, of course, have said there is no evidence whatsoever that wearing masks is harmful to children’s immune systems.
In a letter to Atlas sent on Friday, Representative James Clyburn, chairman of the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, wrote, “Our investigation has shown that Trump Administration officials engaged in a persistent pattern of political interference in the nation’s public health response to the coronavirus pandemic, overruling and bullying scientists and making harmful decisions that allowed the virus to spread more rapidly.” The subcommittee has requested additional documents from Alexander, Atlas, and others, and asked Alexander and Atlas to sit for interviews with the subcommittee by May 3.
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A Texas Republican has been going around claiming Texas could secede from the United States
Never mind the fact that that’s…not actually true at all. Per CNN:
Which obviously is completely terrifying given the willingness of people like the ones who stormed the Capitol on January 6 to engage in actual violence when things—like the 2020 presidential election—don’t go their way. (As for the claim that Texas can actually secede, CNN’s KFile notes that no, it can’t; there is a resolution asserting that Texas can choose to divide itself into five separate states, but it can’t leave the U.S. and declare independence.)
Leon Black forgot to mention one thing when he abruptly quit the firm he cofounded last month
Strange how this didn’t make the press release:
In a statement to the Post, Black denied the accusations while acknowledging that he was well acquainted with Ganieva. “I foolishly had a consensual affair with Ms. Ganieva that ended more than seven years ago,” he said. “Any allegation of harassment or any other inappropriate behavior towards her is completely fabricated.” Black added that he had “made substantial monetary payments” to Ganieva “based on her threats to go public concerning our relationship, in an attempt to spare my family from public embarrassment.” That, he now believes, amounted to him being “extorted,” and he said he has referred the matter to “the criminal authorities.” (Ganieva did not immediately respond to the Post regarding Black’s extortion allegations.) Black separately paid Epstein $158 million, allegedly for tax advice and estate planning, despite being worth roughly $8 billion and having access to the best lawyers and accountants in the world, while Epstein was a college dropout with no formal training in taxes and estate planning.
House Ethics Committee opens investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (The Washington Post)
Amazon Wins Union Election in Setback to Labor Movement (Bloomberg)
COVID cases overwhelm Michigan health system, Gov. Whitmer urges residents to stay home (CNBC)
Republicans flock to Florida for donor retreat headlined by Trump (CBS News)
ADL calls on Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson over racist comments about “replacement” theory (CNN)
“Matt Gaetz needs to resign,” says GOP rep. Adam Kinzinger (NBC News)
Pfizer, BioNTech request expanded emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12-15 (Reuters)
Christie’s is planning to auction a set of nine CryptoPunk NFTs for up to $9 million next month (Insider)
Biden unveils commission to study possible expansion of Supreme Court (The Washington Post)
University of Kentucky mistakenly sends 500,000 acceptances (AP)
Couple accidentally paints over $500,000 artwork (NYP)
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Published at Fri, 09 Apr 2021 22:35:38 +0000