Trump signals growing skepticism about coronavirus lockdown

President Donald Trump on Sunday night appeared to suggest he would soon consider relaxing federal guidelines meant to combat the coronavirus pandemic — even as senior administration officials promoted those measures as critical to preventing further loss of life and predicted a grim week ahead.

“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Trump wrote on Twitter shortly before midnight. “AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”

The president’s message referred to the administration’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread” initiative, announced last Monday, which urged Americans to practice social distancing; avoid gatherings of more than 10 people; work or attend school from home whenever possible; and abstain from eating or drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts.

At the White House coronavirus task force’s daily press briefing Sunday,Vice President Mike Pence noted that the country was seven days into the effortand praised Americans’ participation thus far.

“With the cooperation, compassion, generosity, and prayers of the American people, we can slow the spread, we can protect the most vulnerable, and we can heal our land,” Pence said. “So let’s do it, America.”

But while the guidance is helping “flatten the curve” of infected individuals within the United States, it has also contributed to a precipitous drop in economic activity.

Even more stringent directives issued by state and local authorities, such as large-scale “shelter-in-place” orders, have similarly spooked financial markets and provoked fears of an imminent recession.

On Monday morning, Trump signaled growing skepticism regarding those health-related lockdowns, retweeting a handful of accounts that proposed Americans return to work in the near future and advocated for a resumption of daily life in the U.S.

“The fear of the virus cannot collapse our economy that President Trump has built up,” read a tweet shared by the president. “We The People are smart enough to keep away from others if we know that we are sick or they are sick! After 15 days are over the world can begin to heal!”

In another post Trump retweeted, a Twitter user wrote that after 15 days, “we keep the high risk groups protected as necessary and the rest of us go back to work.”

The president’s social media activity came as Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a string of appearances on morning news shows, repeatedly cautioning that the coming days would prove among the most difficult in Americans’ fight against the public health crisis.

[Politico]

Reality

Trump’s tweets came minutes after Fox News Steve Hilton said the same thing.

Donald Trump Shares “Chinese Virus Facts” That Are Pure Propaganda and Bunk

Donald Trump shared a video of Fox News’ Jesse Watters making a poor attempt at gaslighting you, saying:

1) “Trump did not cut funding for the CDC. It has increased since he took office.”

FACT: True CDC funding has risen, because Congress denied Trump’s multiple requests to cut CDC funding. Requests still happening today: https://thehill.com/policy/finance/486817-trump-budget-chief-holds-firm-on-cdc-cuts-amid-virus-outbreak?amp

2) “Trump did not get rid of the NSC Pandemic unit.”

FACT: Trump absolutely dismissed his Pandemic Response Team in 2017, here is video of Trump bragging about firing the team in 2018: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/coronavirus-video-trump-pandemic-team-cut-2018-a9405191.html

3) “Trump did not call the “China Virus” a hoax.”

FACT: Here is video of Trump calling COVID-19 a hoax: https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1233570800223084544?s=21

4) “Trump did not silence scientists.”

FACT: All government scientists are banned from talking to the public and all communications of government scientists must go through Mike Pence: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/us/politics/us-coronavirus-pence.html

5) “Trump never told governors they are on their own.”

FACT: Trump told governors they are on their own and his administration is not a shipping clerk: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-19/trump-told-governors-to-buy-own-virus-supplies-then-outbid-them

6) “Google is working on a website to test coronavirus”

FACT: Trump said earlier that they are working with Google to create a virus testing website for all Americans. Watters however claimed the press said that Google has no plans to do it, which was fake news. That’s not what the press pointed out at all and in fact Google itself was forced to fact-check Trump their website was not ready for all Americans but just testing in the Bay Area and had no plans to roll out to the rest of the country:
https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/trump-misrepresents-google-coronavirus-website/

Reality

This is what Fox News does, it creates an alternative reality for their viewers by ignoring key facts, withholding context, and making stuff up.

Make no mistake this is propaganda. If you saw the media arm of a political party in any other country you would say this is exactly what propaganda looks like. If you watch Fox News you are willfully accepting lies.

Trump Goes Off on ‘Mini Mike Bloomberg’ After Fox & Friends Airs Attack Ad

President Donald Trump fired back at Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg in response to his new campaign ad — airing on Fox & Friends — slamming the president’s behavior as “erratic and out of control.”

Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade interviewed Bloomberg’s 2020 campaign manager Kevin Sheekey who took aim at Trump’s military accomplishments and why Bloomberg would be a more stable commander-in-chief: “It’s not all about spending money… so throwing money at a problem is not leadership.”

Trump, who refers to the billionaire as “Mini Mike Bloomberg,” tweeted following the ad that the presidential hopeful and former New York City mayor “is playing poker with his foolhardy and unsuspecting Democrat rivals.”

“The fact is, when Mini loses, he will be spending very little of his money on these “clowns” because he will consider himself to be the biggest clown of them all – and he will be right!,” President Trump blasted.

Galia Slayen, national spokeswoman for the 2020 Bloomberg campaign, responded to Trump’s tweet by asking if the attacks on “mini” Mike Bloomberg is set to become “a morning routine.”

[Mediaite]

TRUMP THREATENS “CIVIL WAR” IF HE’S IMPEACHED

Over the past two and a half years, Donald Trump has carved out a niche for himself as a manic, deranged tweeter the likes of which the Oval Office—nay, the world—has never seen. In times of great stress—the Special Counsel’s investigation, the blue-wave midterms, a Fox News host not sufficiently fellating him—the president has amped up his output, tweeting dozens of times a day. But Sunday may have set a new record when the leader of the free world fired off a whopping 46 messages to the universe, including retweets from random supporters and one from an account called “Trump But About Sharks,” which replaces random words from his tweets “to make them about sharks.”

Most notable, though, was the president’s quoting of pastor/Fox News contributor Robert Jeffress, who made a rather bold impeachment prediction on air:

For those of you keeping up at home, threatening a Civil War is an escalation from Trump’s go-to prediction regarding what will happen to the country if he loses power, which is typically a stockmarketcollapse. Democrats, characteristically, condemned the retweet, but it inspired noteworthy pushback from one Republican corner as well: “I have visited nations ravaged by civil war,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a veteran, tweeted back. “I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant.”

[Vanity Fair]

Trump Blasts CNN for Chyron Typo; Reveals He Doesn’t Know Difference Between a Hyphen and an Apostrophe

Watch out CNN graphics team, you are on notice!

In a curiously focused complaint aimed at what he derided as “Low ratings” CNN, President Donald Trump took serious issue with the network’s handling of a tweet of his that ripped Rep. Adam Schiff, and cited what appeared to be a chyron typo as an example of “how dishonest the LameStream Media is.”

Trump tweeted:

At issue is a Trump tweet published Thursday after the House Intel Committee Chair led a hearing featuring Acting DNI Joseph Maguire regarding a whistleblower complaint that raised “urgent concerns” over Trump and his phone call with the Ukrainian president.

Trump’s source material tweet?

It seems that CNN, however, claimed that Trump misspelled “little” as “liddle.” The word “liddle” however, is not a word found in any reputable dictionary, though the Commander in Chief is clearly using a unique spelling on purpose, as he has used that term before.

The other problem for Trump is that CNN did not include his use of an apostrophe at the end of his made up word, though perhaps, unfortunately, he misidentified the punctuation mark. It is not a “hyphen” as he alleges, it is an apostrophe. He also spelt “describing” wrong.

[Mediaite]

Trump lashes out at MSNBC’s Joy Reid, claims she has ‘NO talent’

President Trump on Saturday lashed out at MSNBC’s Joy Reid, saying that the TV host has “NO talent.”

“Who the hell is Joy-Ann Reid? Never met her, she knows ZERO about me, has NO talent, and truly doesn’t have the ‘it’ factor needed for success in showbiz,” Trump tweeted.

“Had a bad reputation, and now works for the Comcast/NBC losers making up phony stories about me. Low Ratings. Fake News!” he continued.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the president to go after Reid ahead of her Saturday morning show, though the MSNBC host had criticized recent remarks by Trump while guest hosting “All in with Chris Hayes” on Friday night.

The Hill has reached out to MSNBC for comment.

The MSNBC host and a hashtag for her show, #AMJoy, trended on Twitter Saturday after the president’s post, with members of the program appearing to take the president’s tweet in stride.

“Great job getting us trending, #reiders! Can we get our #AMJoy hashtag even higher? Let’s do it!” the

Trump’s tweet Saturday morning came hours after Reid appeared on the network and highlighted a number of recent remarks by the president.

In a segment on Trump’s visit to Baltimore for the House GOP retreat, she mocked his “Mike Pounce” gaffe and said he “went on to treat the gathered Republicans to some smoking hot beauty tips” while discussing his remarks on lightbulbs. 

She also said that he sounded “like a desperate man” when he said “whether you like me or not it makes no difference because our country will go to Hell if any of these people get in.”

Reid has been critical of the president in the past, releasing a book about Trump earlier this summer titled “The Man Who Sold America.”

She said in a tweet earlier this month that Trump “has turned the presidency into a travel agency servicing the Trump Organization and its properties and golf clubs around the world.” 

Trump’s tweet attacking the MSNBC host Saturday morning came after he sent another tweet saying “A Very Stable Genius!” and offering thanks for the comment, though he did not provide any more information on the remark or attribute it.

[The Hill]

Trump Encourages New ‘Activist’ AT&T Investor to Stop ‘Fake News Emanating’ From CNN

President Donald Trump lauded the news that an activist hedge fund has a multi-billion dollar stake in AT&T — and called for them to “put a stop to all of the Fake News” presented by CNN and its anchors.

In a pair of — at best, ethically questionable — tweets Monday morning, the president raged against CNN, following news of Elliott Management disclosing a $3.2 billion stake in communications giant AT&T, which owns CNN.

“Great news that an activist investor is now involved with AT&T,” Trump wrote. “As the owner of VERY LOW RATINGS @CNN, perhaps they will now put a stop to all of the Fake News emanating from its non-credible “anchors.” Also, I hear that, because of its bad ratings, it is losing a fortune … But most importantly, @CNN is bad for the USA. Their International Division spews bad information & Fake News all over the globe. This is why foreign leaders are always asking me, “Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?” It is a fraudulent shame, & all comes from the top!”

As flagged by Matthew Gertz of Media Matters, Mornings With Maria on Fox Business covered the AT&T news approximately 30 minutes before Trump’s tweet.

Further, as noted by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, Trump’s tweet coincided with a CNN report on how a spy was pulled out of Russia in 2017 over fears of the president handling classified intelligence.

CNN VP of communications Matt Dornic has responded, via Twitter — touting the network’s most recent monthly Nielsen numbers, which were bolstered by two mammoth ratings nights for the Democratic presidential debates:

[Mediaite]

After hate-watching MSNBC prison reform special, Donald Trump attacks Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

As a televised town hall hosted by Lester Holt wound down Sunday night on MSNBC, President Donald Trump posted a rambling series of tweets claiming that he had not received enough credit for his work on criminal justice reform as he took aim at the “boring musician” John Legend and “his filthy mouthed wife” Chrissy Teigen. 

“When all of the people pushing so hard for Criminal Justice Reform were unable to come even close to getting it done, they came to me as a group and asked for my help,” the president tweeted. “I got it done with a group of Senators & others who would never have gone for it.” 

Trump was referring to the First Step Act, legislation designed to shorten the mandatory sentences for some federal drug offenses, which was signed into law with bipartisan support in December. However, criminal justice advocates question the current commitment to the implementation of the law. It seeks $75 million a year for five years for prison education and job-training, but Trump’s 2020 budget priorities only showed $14 million to finance its programs. 

“I SIGNED IT INTO LAW, no one else did,” Trump continued Sunday. “Guys like boring musician @johnlegend, and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is—but I didn’t see them around when we needed help getting it passed.” 

It should be noted that in the “Dateline” episode that preceded Sunday’s town hall, Holt did credit Trump for the First Step Act. Though, as Holt pointed out, “That doesn’t affect more than 90 percent of the U.S. prison population, which is locked up in state and local facilities.” 

While Legend, who uses his platform to advocate for prison reform, was part of the town hall, Teigen was not mentioned during the broadcast. However, if you have been remotely active on Twitter since the beginning of Trump’s presidency, you’re already aware that the commander-in-chief has a proclivity to start — and maintain — crude Twitter feuds with celebrities and members of the media, especially women. 

The habit is frequent enough that it has populated numerous listicles such as “Trump’s Most Ridiculous Twitter Feuds In 2017” and “Donald Trump vs. Everyone: His 20 Best Media Feuds.” 

Chrissy Teigen ended up on Trump’s online enemies list during the 2016 election after she voiced her disdain for his politics on Twitter. In July 2017, the president blocked Teigen after she tweeted that “no one likes you.” 

As of last night, Trump still has Teigen blocked. Nonetheless, he still appeared to be nursing a grudge. 

“lol what a p**sy ass b*tch. tagged everyone but me. an honor, mister president,” Teigen responded. “[T]he absolute best part of his tweet is I literally didn’t speak in the special, nor was I mentioned. I’m cackling at the pointless addition of me because he cannot not be a bitch.” 

As of Monday, the Twitter landscape overwhelming reflected the content of Teigen’s response, with the following topics trending: #foulmouthedwife, #PresidentPAB, #PABOTUS and #TeamChrissy.

Meanwhile, Legend issued a more subtle retort to Trump. 

“Imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody–ANYBODY–will praise you,” the musician tweeted. “Melania, please praise this man.  He needs you.” 

[Salon]

Trump Quotes Lou Dobbs Going Off on FBI Over Comey: The Nation Is ‘Disgusted With the FBI’

President Donald Trump tonight watched and tweeted quotes from Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs going off on the FBI and the president’s critics.

Dobbs was speaking with Alan Dershowitz and asking about when people like James Comey will be held accountable.

At one point Dobbs said, “The ideal here is that we have a nation right now that is disgusted with the FBI. The corrupt leadership…”

Dershowitz said he agrees.

“We have a crisis of confidence in the number one law enforcement agency in this country,” Dobbs continued. “And they’re behaving as if it’s a game.”

Trump watched Dobbs tonight and tweeted that quote from the segment, as well as another quote from Dobbs railing against Democrats opposing the president who he said “choose to hate America”:

[Mediaite]

After criticism by Paul Krugman, Trump just lashed out at American labor on Labor Day

For a newspaper that he constantly describes as “failing” and “Fake News,” Donald Trump pays an awful lot of attention to The New York Times.

A series of tweets by the paper’s Nobel Prize-winning economics columnist Paul Krugman referenced an article in the newspaper on how Trump’s establishment of “Opportunity Zones” — part of the Republican tax bill that gave billions in tax cuts to the already wealthy while offering pittances to everyone else — primarily benefited Trump’s associates and benefactors in a swampy mass of corruption as usual.

Krugman’s strong indictment of the Trump administration’s tax policies — coupled with The New York Times’ exposure of the dark underbelly of billionaire tax evasion schemes — was enough to set the president off on an epic Twitter rant, one not likely to earn him the Nobel Prize in economics that his critic already possesses.

With growing predictions of an impending economic recession looming, Trump defended his economic policies with the usual parcel of lies he offers in defense of his economic stewardship to his gullible followers.

Nothing says “truthiness” like a quote praising Trump from Fox News, at least in the president’s own eyes.

Trump went directly after Krugman in his next tweet.

Trump’s criticism of Krugman’s economic advice would certainly carry more weight if the figures he used in his tweet were anything close to the reality of the stock market performance.

No, the stock market hasn’t grown “over 50%” since Trump took office. The S&P 500 was up around 29% since the beginning of the president’s term until mid-August of this year — a figure that compares negatively to the index’s performance of a 46% gain at the same point in the Obama presidency.

Yet, any rise in the market during the Trump administration also ignores the fact that only slightly more than 50% of Americans actually own any stocks whatsoever and that the richest 10% of households controlled 84% of the total value of the stock market.

Trump says that anyone following Krugman’s advice would be doing “VERY poorly,” but their opinions about that advice will change dramatically when the poor market fundamentals caused by Trump’s trade wars and tariff impositions lead to an inevitable market collapse and wipe out the paper wealth that was generated during his term.

Unfortunately for America and the global economy, Trump is the one who doesn’t “get it.” With the U.S. Treasury bond yield curve still inverted — a historical sign that a market crash is imminent as investors flee the stock market to the safety of government bonds — chances are good that the US will enter a recession before the 2020 elections are held.

At that point, no amount of tweeted lies by Donald Trump will help reverse the economic damage his policies have caused. The smart money is following Krugman’s advice while the rich continue to exploit Trump’s tax policies to siphon money from government services that the rest of us depend on while driving up government debt to make their case to cut back or even eliminate those services.

[Occupy Democrats]

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