The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

  • The federal government will begin seizing exports of personal protective equipment, or PPE, until it decides if the tools should be kept in the country to fight the coronavirus.
  • Anthony Fauci said Wednesday morning that he thinks the number of U.S. deaths from coronavirus will end up being less than the original projection of 100,000 to 200,000. 

Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, attributed the drop to the success of social distancing measures that have directed people to stay home and closed many businesses.

  • The federal government’s emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) is depleted, and states will not be receiving any more shipments, administration staff told a House panel.

Staff from the Department of Health and Human Services told the House Oversight Committee that the Trump administration has made its final shipments of personal protective equipment to states from the Strategic National Stockpile.

  • President Trump has zeroed in on the World Health Organization (WHO) as a new target for blame as the coronavirus pandemic grips the United States. 

The attacks come as Trump comes under criticism for his own response to the crisis, and fit a pattern in which the president has lashed out at other politicians and organizations to redirect blame.

  • Another 10,000 National Guard troops are expected to be activated to help deal with the coronavirus in the next week or two, the National Guard Bureau chief said Wednesday.

About 28,400 Guardsmen are deployed throughout the United States, with Lengyel saying that figure will reach well over 30,000 “in the next couple of days.” The Guard is authorized to go up to 44,000 troops.

  • The Department of Labor is warning employers that it’s illegal to retaliate against workers who speak out about unsafe working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a brief statement Wednesday encouraging workers to submit whistleblower complaints to the agency if they encounter any misconduct.

  • Warmer weather is unlikely to significantly impede the spread of the novel coronavirus, a National Academies of Sciences panel told the White House on Tuesday.
  • The Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday announced a $500 million contract with General Motors under the Defense Production Act to deliver 30,000 ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile by August.
  • U.S. intelligence officials warned in November that the coronavirus spreading in China’s Hubei region could become a “cataclysmic event,” ABC News reported Wednesday.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has warned the faith-based community that the threat of attacks against houses of worship may be higher once religious services resume due to “stressors” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s task force has reached out to a range of health technology companies about creating a national coronavirus surveillance system to give the government a near real-time view of where patients are seeking treatment and for what, and whether hospitals can accommodate them.
  • An order by the Trump administration would have severed the Canadian government’s North American supply chain of N95 respirator masks, as 3M is its sole U.S.-based supplier of the critical equipment.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada and the U.S. achieved a “win-win outcome” this week after 3M announced Monday evening it had reached an agreement with the White House that would allow it to continue to export N95 masks to Canada.

Other Administration News

  • President Trump urged Republicans to “fight very hard” against expanding mail-in voting, portraying ballot access as a partisan issue amid concerns that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will make going to the polls unsafe.

“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans,” Trump wrote in a tweet that appeared to be inspired by a segment “Fox & Friends.”

  • Former Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s trip to Guam where his speech to the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt eventually led to his resignation cost the Defense Department an estimated $243,000, according to multiple reports.

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