Trump raids the treasury. Coronavirus aid destined to line Trump’s coffers


Trump takes immediate step to try to curb new inspector general’s autonomy, as battle over stimulus oversight begins

The Washington Post

March 28, 2020
Immediately after signing the historic $2 trillion coronavirus aid package, President Trump sought to curb oversight provisions in the bill by asserting presidential authority over a new inspector general’s office.
The move could presage a major battle between the White House and Capitol Hill as the Trump administration moves to implement the new law.
In a White House signing statement released Friday evening, Trump questioned the constitutionality of the law’s requirement that a new Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery notify Congress immediately if the administration “unreasonably” withholds information requested by investigators.
The new inspector general, who will be nominated by the White House and confirmed by the Senate, will be tasked with monitoring how the Treasury Department extends loans and loan guarantees to businesses, among other things.
The White House signing statement said the administration will not allow the inspector general to inform Congress without “presidential supervision,” calling it a violation of executive branch authority.
“I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the [inspector general] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required by the Take Care Clause, Article II, section 3,” the White House statement said.
The signing statement, which carried Trump’s signature, was written by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, according to a Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal deliberations. The statement reflects a long-standing view among conservative lawyers of the reach of executive power and the limits of congressional authority, but is also based in part on an argument made in 1977 by the Carter administration that the president has control over information given to Congress by the executive branch, the official said.
The $2 trillion spending law gives the Treasury Department broad discretion in how it sets up new lending programs. Trump has signaled he wants certain industries, such as hotels and cruise ships, to have access to the taxpayer-backed funding. The Treasury Department has not said so far how it will decide who receives money and what the terms will be. Trump said Friday night that his aides would be consulting with top Wall Street executives to make some of the decisions.
The administration agreed to create the new inspector general’s office in response to Democratic lawmakers who balked at giving the Treasury Department wide latitude to disburse more than $400 billion in emergency loans to corporations, cities and states. Senate Democrats voted down the initial Senate Republican bill because of the lack of oversight measures over this pot of funding, only agreeing to approve the broader package after the inspector general’s office was added to the legislation.
On MSNBC Friday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized Trump’s signing statement as “indicative of the difference between Democrats and Republicans when it came to this bill.” Congress will also soon establish its own panel, as allowed under law, “in real time to make sure we know where those funds are,” Pelosi said.
Earlier in the week, when asked about oversight of the lending programs, Trump told reporters that “I’ll be the oversight.”
Michael R. Bromwich, former inspector general at the Justice Department, wrote on Twitter Saturday that Trump’s “signing statement threatens to undermine the authority and independence of this new IG. The Senate should extract a commitment from the nominee that Congress will be promptly notified of any Presidential/Administration interference or obstruction.”
It’s unclear what other steps Congress could take if Trump seeks to weaken the new inspector general. The nominee only needs to be confirmed with a majority in the Senate, so Republicans could attempt to push someone through without Democratic support. Democrats could attempt to file a lawsuit, but doing so would likely take months and potentially never reach a resolution, according to Steve Rosenthal, a legal expert at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.
Given the scale of the money involved, Congress is likely to push back against Trump’s demands for presidential oversight over the new inspector general’s office.
“Whenever the government is trying to spend this much money, we should have good transparency and good accountability to the extent that we can,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan think tank.

Trump Bashes Governors


Trump Again Bashes Governors Of Washington And Michigan Over Coronavirus

“Don’t call,” the president told Vice President Pence of the governors as the states battle the growing pandemic.

President Donald Trump again bashed the Democratic governors of Washington and Michigan on Friday, saying they “should be appreciative” of the federal government and that he’s told Vice President Mike Pence – who heads the White House’s response to the coronavirus pandemic – not to call them.
“I think we’ve done a great job for the state of Washington,” Trump said at the daily White House briefing on COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Adding that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) was a “failed presidential candidate,” Trump said, “He’s constantly tripping and I guess complaining.”
“She has no idea what’s going on,” Trump then said of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). “And all she does is say, ‘Oh, it’s the federal government’s fault.’ And we’ve taken great care of Michigan.”
Asked what more the president wants from governors, Trump answered: “I want them to be appreciative,” he said multiple times, adding that the Army Corps of Engineers’ recent work to revamp hotels to receive coronavirus patients “should be for governors to do, that should be for states to do.”
“I say, ‘Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington; you’re wasting your time with him. Don’t call the woman in Michigan. It doesn’t make any difference what happens.'”
“If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump added, noting Pence is a “different type of person” who will “call quietly anyway.”
States across the country have been struggling to test, treat and support the ballooning number of people with coronavirus. The U.S. now has more than 101,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases – more than any other nation in the world.
Washington and Michigan are among the states with the highest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases – more than 3,200 in Washington and 3,600 reported cases in Michigan. Michigan has one of the fastest-growing rates of coronavirus of any state. Washington has the second-highest number of deaths, after New York, with more than 150 residents confirmed dead so far from COVID-19.
Trump slammed Whitmer this week, calling her “the young, a woman governor,” in a Fox News interview, saying: “We don’t like to see the complaints.”
Whitmer tweeted in response Thursday: “I’ve asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits.”
Earlier this month, Trump called Inslee a “snake” during a press conference on coronavirus. At the time, Washington led the nation in coronavirus-linked deaths.
On Friday, Inslee responded to Trump’s remarks in a tweet:
Trump spent weeks repeatedly downplaying the virus before recently pivoting toward touting his administration’s response, saying Friday, “We have done a job the likes of which nobody’s seen.”
After weeks of states demanding more capacity to test people for the virus – including actual complete test kits from the federal government – testing has only recently begun to ramp up nationwide, with the numbers of confirmed positive cases expected to mount accordingly.
Trump invoked the Defense Production Act earlier Friday to order General Motors to manufacture ventilators. The president claimed at the briefing that, along with other private-sector companies contributing, within the next 100 days, the U.S. will make or procure over 100,000 additional ventilators.
This came just a day after the president said in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) calling for tens of thousands of more ventilators: “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.” New York is now the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., and hospitals there are already overwhelmed.

The time is here for the cabinet to dismiss el loco Presidente as he is clearly unfit to remain in office

Trump kills

1. New York Coronavirus Death Toll Jumps By 134 Overnight

In the span of a single day, the coronavirus death toll in New York soared by 134 people, making it the deadliest state for the disease.
Speaking to members of the National Guard at the Javits Center on Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) didn’t mince words about the severity of the global pandemic.
“This is a different beast that we’re dealing with. This is an invisible beast, it is an insidious beast,” Cuomo said. “This is not going to be a short deployment. This is not going to be that you go out there for a few days, we work hard and we go home. This is going to be weeks and weeks and weeks. This is going to be a long day, and it’s going to be a hard day, and it’s going to be an ugly day, and it’s going to be a sad day.”
The Javits Center has been converted into a disaster hospital, with 250 beds lined up next to each other and 320 FEMA workers assigned to the center.
“This is a rescue mission that you’re on,” Cuomo added. “The mission is to save lives.”
In New York alone, more than 500 people have died of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, and at least 1,000 people have died nationwide. More than 80,000 cases of infection have been reported throughout the U.S., with more than 30,000 of those cases in New York.
The numbers are likely much higher, but a lack of testing kits and an administration downplaying the threat of the virus has helped to obscure the official tally.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has rejected New York’s plea for ventilators, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night that he doesn’t believe the state needs that many.
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Trump said. “You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying can we order 30,000 ventilators?”
Trump’s administration fell in line behind him on Thursday when Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator for the White House‘s coronavirus task force, said that there was no “evidence” that hospitals were facing a severe shortage of ventilators, even as people continue to die.
In a single day, 13 people died of COVID-19 in Queens’ Elmhurst Hospital Center, where there are just a few dozen ventilators for those who need them, The New York Times reported.

2. 10 Of Trump’s Most Damaging Coronavirus Lies



President Donald Trump has a well-established reputation for lying, having told upwards of 16,240 falsehoods in his first three years in office. So it’s predictable that, when confronted with a coronavirus pandemic Trump spent weeks downplaying instead of preparing the country to face, the lies would flow.

Words have consequences, and the president’s torrent of prior falsehoods has doubtless caused damage. Much of it, however, is hard to quantify. Did his lies about Hurricane Maria aid to Puerto Rico affect how much his government actually sent to the island? Did his groundless claim that windmills cause cancer affect the renewable energy industry? Did his Sharpie-altered hurricane forecast cause Alabama residents to flee into danger?

But the damage Trump is causing with his coronavirus mistruths is more immediate. In some cases, Trump’s falsehoods are contributing to people’s deaths.

Below, 10 of Trump’s most damaging coronavirus false claims:

  1. “Anybody that needs a test gets a test.”


Trump has regularly and grossly overstated U.S. coronavirus testing capacity. “Anybody that needs a test gets a test,” Trump said on March 6. “We — they’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test gets a test.”

By March 8, two days later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had conducted around 1,700 tests. The test shortage persists to this day.

Why is this a problem?

It’s impossible to know where the coronavirus has spread if we’re incapable of testing people who think they have symptoms. And if we don’t know where it’s spreading and how fast, we can’t mobilize scarce resources like ventilators and personal protective equipment in advance of major outbreaks. That’s how you end up with nurses using trash bags as PPE, and dying because of it.

A lack of test kits ― and pretending it’s not a problem ― puts everyone at risk.


2. “Within a couple of days [the number of positive cases is] going to be down to close to zero.”

As he pivoted from outright dismissal of a problem he said would “miraculously” go away and began acknowledging the coronavirus was something to deal with, Trump still downplayed the threat.

“When you have 15 [positive] people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero,” he said on Feb. 26. “That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

Why is this a problem?

Conveying the truth about the pandemic’s threat may have emphasized the importance of early social distancing and stay-at-home orders that experts say are critical in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

 3. “This is their new hoax.”

At a Feb. 28 rally in South Carolina, Trump accused Democrats of politicizing his lackluster coronavirus response, which he proclaimed was “one of the great jobs.”

“This is their new hoax,” he said. “We have 15 [coronavirus-positive] people in this massive country and because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could have had a lot more than that.”

Why is this a problem?

The same day the CDC urged the country take “aggressive measures” to “prevent widespread transmission of the virus,” the president undercut the message with a much larger megaphone.

Trump’s politicizing of the problem likely led to many of his supporters failing to see the virus as a serious public health issue, and choosing not to take steps to prevent the spread.



The Trump Economic Miracle


Dear Friends,
The Trump market started at 24,000. The national debt was under 20 trillion, actually 18 trillion as I recall. Including the current planned outflow, the national debt will be 37 trillion. The gross domestic product will be considerably under the level when Trump joined the management team of the United States of America. China has grown exponentially and will continue to this year.



1. U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic


The Washington Post
U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.
The intelligence reports didn’t predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. But they did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak.
Taken together, the reports and warnings painted an early picture of a virus that showed the characteristics of a globe-encircling pandemic that could require governments to take swift actions to contain it. But despite that constant flow of reporting, Trump continued publicly and privately to play down the threat the virus posed to Americans. Lawmakers, too, did not grapple with the virus in earnest until this month, as officials scrambled to keep citizens in their homes and hospitals braced for a surge in patients suffering from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Intelligence agencies “have been warning on this since January,” said a U.S. official who had access to intelligence reporting that was disseminated to members of Congress and their staffs as well as to officials in the Trump administration, and who, along with others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive information.

“Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were – they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,” this official said. “The system was blinking red.”

2. Corona Virus Updates, What to know about the novel coronavirus outbreak

The Washington Post
President Trump and members of Congress failed to heed repeated early warnings from U.S. intelligence agencies about the outbreak’s potential severity, according to a blockbuster story in The Washington Post. Despite CIA and national intelligence reports from January and February that the coronavirus had the potential to sweep the globe, Trump continued to trust (and tweet) the Chinese government’s false claims that its spread was being controlled. “The system was blinking red,” a U.S. official told The Post. “They just couldn’t get him to do anything about it.”
The crisis is now upon us, with more than 70 million Americans living under stay-at-home orders in California, New York and Illinois, and signs that other states may be preparing to follow suit. 
The U.S. has seen more than 260 deaths and 22,000 confirmed cases of the virus – climbing fast – but the true number of infections is almost certainly much higher due to a shortage of tests. Health officials in New York, California and other hard-hit parts of the country are restricting coronavirus testing to health-care workers and people who are hospitalized, signaling “the battle to contain the virus is lost.” In frustration, some people have started buying fraudulent “home-test kits,” prompting warnings from the FDA.
The virus has infected Americans from every walk of life – most severely the immunocompromised and elderly, but also athletes, entertainers, lawmakers and, as of Friday, an employee in the office of Vice President Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force and will be tested for the disease. (See the reader question section below for worrying signs that young Americans are falling seriously ill.)
The combination of mass infections and mass quarantines are threatening an economic crisis unprecedented in modern history. Some financial analysts predict the economy will shrink at an annual rate of 14 percent to 30 percent in the next few months. Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects the government to report about 3 million newly unemployed Americans next week – “more than four times the record high set in the depths of the 1982 recession.”
Civic life is being shuttered across the United States. Hospitals are warning of shortages or closures without emergency aid. At least 73 senior care centers in 22 states have reported infections. Many local court systems have effectively shut down, firefighters are calling in sick, and the mayor of Dayton is worried the city will soon lack funds to pick up the trash.
Trump’s hotel and resort business has been hit hard in the chaos. His prized Mar-a-Lago Club has been effectively shuttered by order of Florida’s governor. The president has touted a gargantuan $1 trillion-plus stimulus bill being hammered out in Congress, even as he resists pleas for the federal government to send medical supplies and other aid directly to the states. The U.S. government is “not a shipping clerk,”Trump told reporters this week.
Experts worry that the twin medical and economic crises could last far longer than we are prepared for, even into November’s national election, forcing officials to contemplate the hugely difficult and expensive possibility of an entire nation voting by mail.
As he was during the outbreak’s early spread in January, Trump remains upbeat despite most evidence. At a news conference late this week he promised: “We’re going to be a rocket ship as soon as this thing gets solved.”

3. Coronavirus patient shows encouraging immune system fightback

Immune system

by Clive Cookson
Financial Times, London

The most detailed scientific study yet of a coronavirus patient has produced encouraging findings about the human immune system’s ability to fight the virus and help the body recover.
Researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia analysed blood samples from a previously healthy 47-year-old woman who contracted Covid-19 and found that her recovery was due to an unexpectedly strong immune response.
The woman, whose blood was tested at four different points during the course of the disease, had travelled to Melbourne from Wuhan in China where Covid-19 originated.
She was admitted to hospital with typical symptoms of moderate Covid-19, which had begun four days earlier: lethargy, sore throat, dry cough, chest pain, shortness of breath and fever.
“We showed that even though Covid-19 is caused by a new virus, in an otherwise healthy person a robust immune response across different cell types was associated with clinical recovery, similar to what we see in influenza,” said Professor Katherine Kedzierska of the Doherty Institute.
Her chest was clear 10 days after she was admitted to hospital, she was discharged on day 11, and all symptoms had disappeared by day 13. Antibodies against the virus that causes Covid-19 continued to increase until the study ended on day 20.
A scientific paper on the case was published in Nature Medicine. Oanh Nguyen, another member of the team, said it was the first report of broad immune responses to Covid-19.
The virus’s death toll nonetheless continues to rise. The number of people confirmed to have died as a result of it has now surpassed 11,200 globally, with most of the victims elderly or sufferers of underlying health conditions.
The most important scientific uncertainty about Covid-19 is the strength and longevity of the human immune response – and in particular whether it is sufficient to build up lasting immunity in people who have been infected, or those who receive as-yet-undeveloped vaccines against the virus.
This study shows a powerful initial response, but no Covid-19 patients have recovered for long enough to judge its longevity.
“We looked at the whole breadth of the immune response in this patient using the knowledge we have built over many years of looking at immune responses in patients hospitalised with influenza,” Dr Nguyen said. “Three days after the patient was admitted, we saw large populations of several immune cells, which are often a tell-tale sign of recovery during seasonal influenza infection, so we predicted that the patient would recover in three days, which is what happened.”
The unnamed woman received intravenous fluids to keep her hydrated but received no antibiotics, steroids or antiviral drugs, and she did not need oxygenation on a ventilator.
“This is an incredible step forward in understanding what drives recovery from Covid-19. People can use our methods to understand the immune responses in larger Covid-19 cohorts, and also understand what’s lacking in those who have fatal outcomes,” said Prof Kedzierska.
There was also encouraging news about the immune response to Covid-19 in a different study by scientists at Peking Union Medical College in China, who infected macaques with the virus. They found that the monkeys produced enough antibodies to resist further infection.
Although caution is needed in extending the results of animal experiments to people, the Chinese researchers suggested that human patients would also respond strongly enough to prevent reinfection and make it possible to develop effective vaccines.


Trump Palace

Dear Friends,

Yes, I have been in touch with many of you for so long I feel your friendship. I am wishing and hoping you are all well and dealing with the difficulties and the sadness of these moments with strength, fortitude, and compassion. I know it is a burden, perhaps among the most burdensome periods of our lives. Rest assured that this too will end.


Sadly, we would not be in such extremis had the administration informed us two months previous and prepared for this onslaught. This uncaring, devious, and murderous act is unforgivable. In times of war such war crimes are prosecuted and perpetrators punished. The mad Trump has declared this his war and he is viewed as a war criminal among the people.


Now, that the hospitals, the testing, the health of the populace has been usurped by a deranged despot, we are faced with what to do. Our elected officials are empowered to help (but help who). The mad despot is empowered with grabbed authority, greater than Hitler or Stalin in their early (first three years in power) days.


We are a law-abiding people and, though the administration defies all the laws, we must act lawfully – what to do? – Apply the most extreme pressure and influence on your representatives in government, federal government (the congress – the courts – the servants of the administration from the top of the rulers to the smallest cogs in the wheel. You have been abandoned to illness, poverty, and possible death. Wake up and resist lawfully. The state governments have considerable power under the constitution. Reach out to them as well before that power and state rights are usurped as well. If you miss this moment, we risk the loss of all America has ever stood for and should be – a leader among nations working in cooperation fostering Democracy and wellbeing.


Now to the first current issue at hand. The administration’s greed and congress’s approval of financial grants to special interests sponsored by the Trump administration. These issues need addressing on your part – TODAY – Don’t miss the boat – it’s leaking and will sink if you don’t come to its aid.


First: Trump is using the illness and distress to further his plans to stifle voters and to line his and his “friends” pockets. This is NOW – Monday – not next month.


There are proposals on the table ranging from $1 trillion to $2 trillion. In addition, the $3 trillion already injected into the banking, hedge fund, and financial industry as a whole. Of that $5 trillion all of $500 billion is designated to go to the people who are the backbone of this nation, the 70% of the population who’s income per family averages $50,000 per year. That is 10% of the allocated tax payer funds that will go to the back bone of the population. 90% goes to special interests such as hotels – they have fired their employees – they should get subsides only upon successful conversion to hospitals. Golf courses and similar recreational facilities, they are closed and have fired their employees. Reopen them when the world is healthy again – now the money can be used better elsewhere. Boeing – the world’s airlines are grounded no more planes needed. Close all but the sacred war machine facilities. They have fired their workforce already. Banks – close all but the banking businesses during the time of class struggle – the rest is simply a speculative machine not necessary and not a valid part of providing banking services to the nation. Protect depositors – keep real banking functions but DON’T finance further speculative pursuits put in place by the Clinton administration.


All special interest bailouts should be resisted. Only those companies useful to the entirety of the populace should get assistance. The survival and wellbeing of our people is what is at stake. Later, we can worry about what to rebuild and how.


Money should go to medicine (produced without profit by the pharmaceutical companies), to doctors, nurses, hospitals, test equipment – all of the infrastructure needed to cure the present ills – NOT TO THE PERPETRATOR.


Last but not least, apply maximum pressure to the cabinet members to dismiss Trump as president. They have the right and the duty if he is unfit to lead. That won’t take a lot of reason and proof.


Act now – reach out. Share this now if you can. We need to mobilize in a lawful manner now.


Asher Edelman