The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

  • The IRS has launched a pair of websites to speed $1,200 relief payments to those who haven’t already supplied the government with their bank information.
  • Suggesting that ‘COVID-19’ is the 19th version of the virus, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said: “This is COVID-19, not COVID-1 folks, and so you would think the people in charge of the World Health Organization, facts and figures, would be on top of that.”

NOTE: CO stands for corona, VI for virus, D for disease, and 19 for the year.

  • White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told CBS News correspondent Paula Reid on Wednesday that she believes the journalist has “changed” in terms of her reporting approach. Conway followed her remark by saying that she doesn’t know “what’s happened” to Reid.
  • Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley is expected to call Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger over a Twitter video that shows Marines lined up outside a barber shop.

The video, posted by Task & Purpose deputy editor Jared Keller, shows lines of Marines waiting for haircuts last week at a barbershop at Camp Pendleton in California. No one is wearing masks and the Marines in line appear to be standing closer than 6 feet apart from one another, the recommended distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“The commandant, if he’s watching, is probably already on it,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday. “But if he’s not, the chairman is going to give him a call and say, ‘What is going on? What don’t you guys understand? If you need to, suspend haircuts for whatever period of time.”

  • The Trump National Doral Miami golf resort in South Florida where President Donald Trump initially wanted to host this year’s Group of Seven summit has temporarily laid off 560 workers because of coronavirus.
  • The antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, touted by the president as a potential treatment for coronavirus might have no benefit to patients at all, according to a new study by French scientists. Researchers compared more than 180 patients – some receiving hydroxychloroquine treatment and others who were not treated with the drug – and found their outcomes were almost identical.
  • The Strategic National Stockpile has sent out 19.1 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug that some doctors have prescribed to Covid-19 patients, a spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed. The tablets, sent out in two shipments, are heading to cities around the country.
  • President Trump threatened to adjourn both chambers of Congress so he can make appointments to fill vacant positions and judicial slots. “If they don’t act on getting these people approved,” Trump says, he will have to do something “that I prefer not doing.”

NOTE: Article II of the Constitution gives the President the power to adjourn Congress if and only if the House and Senate cannot agree on a date for ending the current session. But they have agreed on a date, January 3, 2021.

  • President Trump’s attempt to enlist corporate executives in a push to reopen parts of society amid the coronavirus pandemic got off to a rocky start Wednesday, with some business leaders complaining the effort was haphazard and warning that more testing needs to be in place before restrictions are lifted.

“We got a note about a conference call, like you’d get an invite to a Zoom thing, a few lines in an email, and that was it. Then our CEO heard his name in the Rose Garden? What the [expletive]?” said one prominent Washington lobbyist for a leading global corporation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter. “My company is furious. How do you go from ‘Join us on a call’ to, ‘Well, you’re on our team?’”

  • Vice President Mike Pence said guidelines on plans to reopen economies will be presented to state governors on Thursday and then released to the public.
  • When asked. :Why did you have your name added to coronavirus relief checks? The president replied,  “Well I don’t know too much about it, but I understand my name is there … I’m sure people will be very happy to get a big fat beautiful check and my name is on it.”
  • Department of Justice employees have been instructed to wear masks in common areas of the agency’s buildings, according to a Tuesday memo.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen directed agency employees to follow Centers of Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus guidelines to wear face coverings in public settings.

  • The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield said that the World Health Organization remained a “great partner” for the agency after President Trump vowed to cut off funding for the international body.

“I’m just going to say the WHO has been a longstanding partner for CDC. We’ve worked together to fight health crises around the world,” he said. “We’re working, obviously, together on this coronavirus,” he added. “I think it’s important at this point that we leave the analysis of what could have been done better … once we get through this outbreak.”

Other Administration News

  • The US military accused a Russian fighter jet of putting the crew of a US Navy surveillance plane at risk while performing a high-speed inverted maneuver in front of the US aircraft during an “unsafe” intercept over the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Russia conducted a test of an anti-satellite missile Wednesday according to the US military’s Space Command.
  • The Navy is looking into whether it can reinstate Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed from command of the carrier Theodore Roosevelt after he pleaded for more help fighting a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship, Defense Department officials said.

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