Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News
- President Trump said Monday that he had a “friendly” and “warm” conversation with former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic front-runner, regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“We had a really wonderful, warm conversation,” Trump told reporters at a regular White House briefing Monday evening on COVID-19. “This is what we talked about.”
“He gave me his point of view, and I fully understood that. We just had a very friendly conversation,” Trump said, adding that the call lasted roughly 15 minutes.
“It was really good, really nice,” Trump continued. “I appreciate his calling.”
- The Trump administration is struggling to work out the kinks of a coronavirus small-business loan program after a chaotic start Friday.
Some banks say they are unable to access Small Business Administration (SBA) platforms, while industry leaders say there are unanswered questions about applying for loans and how to take advantage of them. On Monday, the SBA loan processing platform crashed and was down for hours, preventing lenders from processing any loans
- Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized to crew members of the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its former commander over remarks he made earlier in the day calling Capt. Brett Crozier “naive” or “stupid.”
Modly removed Crozier of his command last week after the Captain sent a letter raising the alarm about a spike in coronavirus cases onboard his aircraft carrier.
Later in the day, President Trump said he may look into the dismissal of Capt. Brett Crozier.
- A Navy hospital ship originally dispatched to New York to treat patients who haven’t been infected by the coronavirus will now take in individuals who have contracted the deadly virus, following outcry over hundreds of empty beds on the vessel.
The Comfort, docked in New York harbor, has some 1,000 available beds but has only treated 41 patients since it reached the city last week.
- President Trump announced that he has reached an “amicable” agreement with 3M to produce masks for health care workers, after Trump bashed the company last week. The company will make 55.5 million face masks per month, for a total of 166.6 million masks.
- Attorney General William Barr reportedly told prosecutors in a memo to consider coronavirus risks with incarceration when determining bail for defendants.
Barr told top federal prosecutors across the country to consider the dangers the defendant could face while being detained, as well as the risks of putting another defendant in prison for the rest of the population.
- When asked by Jonathan Karl, ABC News chief Washington correspondent about a report from the inspector general addressing a backlog of coronavirus tests at hospitals Trump became upset.
Trump asked another journalist to tell him the name of the inspector general — Christi Grimm, the Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services — Trump began asking reporters when she was appointed. He was informed Grimm has served under Bush, Clinton, Obama and Trump.
“Oh, you didn’t tell me that. Ohhhh, I see,” Trump began. “You didn’t tell me that, Jon. She did serve in the previous administration. You mean the Obama administration? Thank you for telling me that. See, there’s a typical fake news deal.”
Karl tried to get in a word but Trump wouldn’t let him, finally saying, “You’re a third-rate reporter and what you just said is a disgrace, OK?” Trump continued on before finally saying, “You will never make it.”
NOTE: There’s no evidence to suggest anything about the report is wrong, or that it was somehow politically motivated. The report was independently launched by the HHS OIG and based on interviews conducted between March 23 and 27 with administrators at more than 300 hospitals.
- Trump restated the claim that his administration had initially been burdened by an “obsolete” test for the coronavirus. “The tests were old, obsolete, and not really prepared,” he said Monday.
NOTE: The faulty initial test for the coronavirus was created during Trump’s administration, in early 2020, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since this is a new virus that was first identified this year, the tests couldn’t possibly be “old” or “obsolete” and certainly not developed under the previous administration.
- When asked about the possibility of restrictions on travel between coronavirus hotspots, Trump said: “There’s also testing done when people get onto those planes and also when people get off the planes.”
NOTE: This is the second time Trump has asserted this claim. There is no evidence that plane and train passengers are being tested for the coronavirus.
- The government of India has lifted restrictions on the export of 24 active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulations made from them. The restrictions had been imposed last month. This comes after PM Narendra Modi had a conversation with US President Trump “on the issue of global supply chains for critical pharmaceuticals and medical supplies”.