Monday, March 30, 2020


Trump beats a retreat on opening the country as coronavirus data, images show dark reality

President Trump arrives at the Rose Garden on Sunday to speak at a coronavirus news conference.
President Trump arrives at the Rose Garden on Sunday to speak at a coronavirus news conference. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
March 29, 2020 at 7:01 p.m. PDT

For six days straight, President Trump talked about reopening the country quickly. He wanted people filing into offices again, diners returning to restaurants and shoppers gathering at malls without fear of contagion.
Trump mused about a reopening date of April 12, picking it arbitrarily because he thought it would be beautiful to see church pews packed with parishioners on Easter. Then he dug in, seeming to tune out the nearly unanimous assessment of public health experts and governors and mayors fighting to help save lives, which was that Easter would be far too soon because the worst still was yet to come. As the self-described wartime president saw things, the novel coronavirus was a “silent enemy” and America was defeating it.

What a difference a week makes.
Trump beat a hasty retreat on Sunday, announcing from the Rose Garden just before dusk that the federal government’s stringent social distancing guidelines, set to expire on Monday, would be extended through April 30.
More still — as the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States surpassed 2,400, nearly 1,000 of them in New York alone — the president acknowledged that the silent enemy was gaining ground.
Trump said his decision was driven by the science, but he may have been moved more by the personal — seeing body bags carried out of the hospital near his Queens boyhood home and learning that a friend was now in a coma — judging by the emotion with which he spoke about both.
Trump said he was convinced by data modeling presented to him by two physicians advising him on the pandemic — Anthony S. Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator — that the death rate in this country probably will not peak for another two weeks.
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” Trump said at his evening news conference. “That would be the greatest loss of all.”

Trump says social distancing should continue to April 30
President Trump announced March 29 that social distancing guidelines will continue until April 30, adding that covid-19 deaths will probably peak in two weeks. (The Washington Post)
Trump said that his 15-day guidelines to stop the spread would be extended until the end of April, and that he would unveil on Tuesday a new strategy and a summary of data that have been collected thus far.
“We can expect that by June 1 we will be well on our way to recovery,” Trump said.
Trump strained to avoid casting his decision as a concession, claiming that his Easter timetable had been “just an aspiration” and explaining that he knows more about the coronavirus’s trajectory than he did just a week ago.
Regardless of how serious he had been when he first proposed a reopening by mid-April, Trump won praise for the delay — including from Fauci, who called it “a wise and prudent decision.”
“Dr. Birx and I spent a considerable amount of time going over all the data, why we felt this was a best choice of us, and the president accepted it,” Fauci said.
Birx said the task force reviewed 12 models of the coronavirus’s spread in the United States, and it predicted between 1.6 million and 2.2 million fatalities, a worst-case scenario, if Americans did not practice social distancing and take other mitigation measures.
David Axelrod, a former senior adviser in the Obama White House, wrote on Twitter that Trump is discovering, “You can’t spin a pandemic. People are sick. People are dying. The media is covering the grim reality of the pandemic and the government’s response, which was laggard. This enrages him.”

Trump’s combative back and forth with reporters during his coronavirus briefing
From accusing hospitals of wasting masks to calling a reporter "threatening," here are five contentious moments from President Trump's March 29 update. (Drea Cornejo/The Washington Post)
The prospect of 2 million deaths seemed to stick with Trump because he repeated the statistic 16 times at Sunday’s news conference.
But something else haunted Trump, who in the past has been moved to act by imagery, such as when he ordered strikes in Syria in 2017 after seeing pictures of children gassed by their own government.
This time, it was images of New York’s Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, where the president grew up — a facility he said he knows so well that he can picture the color of its exterior walls and the size of its windows.
“I’ve been watching that for the last week on television body bags all over in hallways,” Trump said. “I have been watching them bring in trailer trucks, freezer trucks — they are freezer trucks because they can’t handle the bodies, there are so many of them. This is essentially in my community in Queens — Queens, New York. I have seen things I’ve never seen before. I mean, I’ve seen them, but I’ve seen them on television in faraway lands.”
He added, “These are trucks that are as long as the Rose Garden and they are pulling up to take out bodies, and you look inside and you see the black body bags. You say, ‘What’s in there? It’s Elmhurst Hospital, must be supplies.’ It’s not supplies; it’s people.”

Health-care workers wearing protective masks and gloves stand outside the Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens on Thursday.
Health-care workers wearing protective masks and gloves stand outside the Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens on Thursday. (Angus Mordant/Bloomberg News)
Trump also may have shifted his approach to the pandemic because it is starting to touch close to home. Last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump’s closest ally on the world stage, announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus. And Trump on Sunday said for the first time that a friend, whom he did not name, is struggling to fight the disease.
“He’s a little older and he’s heavy, but he’s a tough person, and he went to the hospital and a day later he’s in a coma,” Trump said. “I go, ‘How’s he doing?’ ‘Sir, he’s in a coma. He’s unconscious. He’s not doing well.’ The speed and the viciousness, especially if it gets the right person, it’s horrible. It’s really horrible.”
This was a departure from the flippant way that Trump talked about the impact of the coronavirus just last week. The president drew parallels to the seasonal flu or car crashes, arguing that both are responsible for far more tragedy than the coronavirus.
“You look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about,” Trump said March 23. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody no more driving of cars.”
But by Sunday, Trump had begun singing a different tune.
“A lot of people were saying, ‘Maybe we shouldn’t do anything, just ride it.’ They say, ‘Ride it like a cowboy. Just ride it. Ride that sucker right through,’ ” Trump said. “That’s where the 2.2 million people come in — would have died, maybe … and that’s not acceptable.”


Goldman Sachs Bankster “King of the Foreclosures” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin vows that the Goldman Sachs infested Trump Admin will hand no-strings massive socialist bailouts to Trump Hotels. Mnuchin says the welfare will exceed the Bankster-owned Democrat Party’s massive bailout of Obama crony Jamie Dimon of J P Morgan’s bailout in 2008

Mnuchin Courts Goldman Advisers to Oversee $200 Billion Bailout

Saleha Mohsin
Sridhar Natarajan
 to tap executives from Goldman Sachs 

Group Inc. and other Wall Street firms to help oversee more 

than $200 billion in bailout packages that the Trump administration is 

proposing to ease the economic damage of the coronavirus outbreak, 

people familiar with the matter said.
Mnuchin’s team is considering executives with broad experience to help administer loans to airlines, hotels and other industries suffering as the virus shuts down parts of the economy, the people said. The government is also considering taking equity stakes in some companies in exchange for aid, a program that financiers and bankers could administer.
Spokesmen for the Treasury didn’t reply to a request for comment. Goldman declined to comment.
The White House and Democrats are negotiating with Senate Republicans over a GOP draft stimulus bill that would create the bailout program. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he’d like to hold a vote on Monday.
During the last global financial crisis more than a decade ago, Treasury secretaries Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner brought in additional staff, including prominent Wall Street figures, to help manage the bailouts of U.S. banks and auto companies.

Fed Expertise

Mnuchin is also looking for expert guidance as the Treasury Department works closely with the Federal Reserve. Mnuchin this week authorized the Fed to launch four separate emergency lending programs to keep cash flowing into the U.S. economy.
The Fed is expected to launch more crisis-level programs that will require authorization and help from the Treasury Department, which would have to group individual companies in travel-related industries together to make them eligible for Fed assistance. President Donald Trump has already singled out Boeing Co. as needing government assistance in some form.
Mnuchin’s Treasury Department is short-staffed. It has more than half a dozen vacancies in its senior political ranks. The domestic finance department, which oversees the $16 trillion Treasuries market amd the Financial Stability Oversight Board, has no undersecretary.
Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich has been overseeing the unit since June when Craig Phillips departed as a counselor. Muzinich is also serving as acting undersecretary of the Treasury’s sanctions unit.

‘Government Sachs’ Reunites When Mnuchin Dines With Goldman Pals

Max Abelson
Sridhar Natarajan
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and governments 

worldwide have a long history of swapping senior 

leaders, earning the bank the nickname 

“Government Sachs.” But the firm often takes 

pains not to look too chummy with its friends in 

high places.
That’s why some Goldman veterans said they were surprised last month when Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, who has led the administration’s efforts to reshape financial regulation, attended the firm’s annual dinner for retired partners in New York’s Hudson Yards. While sitting in public office, especially in positions that allow them to oversee Wall Street, former executives have tended to avoid the soiree.
Mnuchin requested clearance to attend the dinner and received it, according to a spokesman for the Treasury Department, who said he was there in a personal capacity. A Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to comment.
The Goldman alumni dinner is less a college reunion and more a way to maintain ties between executives who’ve moved on to some of the most powerful spots in banking, private equity, hedge funds and government.

Mnuchin, who left the firm in 2002, was one of the dinner guests who’ve helped shape American policy in the 21st Century. Paulson was Treasury Secretary at the depths of the financial crisis, Corzine was a U.S. Senator and governor of New Jersey, and Cohn was the first director of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council. They were joined by Solomon, the bank’s chief executive officer, and Lloyd Blankfein, his predecessor.

Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both senators, are among the Democratic presidential candidates who have criticized the bank. Trump recruited the firm’s veterans for his administration even after one of his 2016 campaign ads showed Blankfein’s face as the candidate’s voice warned about a corrupt global power machine.

A massive tax cut for his plundering Goldman Sachs infested administration.

Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses


 Editorial Reviews: Obama Is Making You Poorer—But Who’s Getting Rich?

Goldman Sachs, GE, Pfizer, the United Auto Workers—the same “special interests” Barack Obama was supposed to chase from the temple—are profiting handsomely from Obama’s Big Government policies that crush taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers. In Obamanomics, investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney digs up the dirt the mainstream media ignores and the White House wishes you wouldn’t see. Rather than Hope and Change, Obama is delivering corporate socialism to America, all while claiming he’s battling corporate America. It’s corporate welfare and regulatory robbery—it’s Obamanomics.

Gary Cohn: ‘I Am a Globalist 


— I Believe We Live in a 


Globalized World’

 18 Dec 2018211
Former President Donald Trump economic adviser and 
former Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn, when asked 
Tuesday on CBS’s “This Morning” about Trump calling him a “globalist” and if it was an anti-Semitic remark, proudly proclaimed himself as a globalist.

“I’m absolutely not offended by the term ‘globalist’ as I am a 
globalist,” Cohn stated. “I believe we live in a globalized 
world. I think the United States is an integral part of a 
globalized world. And we have to figure out how to live as a 
good citizen in a globalized earth — so do the Chinese, so do 
the Russians, so do the Middle Eastern countries.”

“We are globalized. We cannot change that fact,” he 
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent


The Clinton White House famously abolished the Glass–Steagall legislation, which separated commercial and investment banking. The move was a boon for Wall Street firms and led to major bank mergers that some analysts say helped contribute to the 2008 financial crisis.

Bill and Hillary Clinton raked in massive speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, with CNN documenting a total of at least $7.7 million in paid speeches to big financial firms, including Goldman Sachs and UBS. Hillary Clinton made $675,000 from speeches to Goldman Sachs specifically, and her husband secured more than $1,550,000 from Goldman speeches. In 2005 alone, Bill Clinton collected over $500,000 from three Goldman Sachs events.


Can’t be done!

NEW YORK — In the midst of a public relations nightmare, former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell took charge of Goldman Sachs’s global charitable foundation, helping to resurrect the big bank’s shattered image after it was implicated in practices that contributed to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.


Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses

NEW YORK — In the midst of a public relations nightmare, former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell took charge of Goldman Sachs’s global charitable foundation, helping to resurrect the big bank’s shattered image after it was implicated in practices that contributed to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.


Hillary Clinton is simply the epitome of the rabid self – a whirlpool of selfishness, greed, and malignance.

It may well be true that Donald Trump has made his greatest contribution to the nation before even taking office:  the political destruction of Hillary Clinton and her infinitely corrupt machine. J.R. Dunn

"Hillary will do anything to distract you from her reckless record and the damage to the Democratic Party and the America she and The Obama's have created."


Records show that four out of Obama's top five contributors are employees of financial industry giants - Goldman Sachs ($571,330), UBS AG ($364,806), JPMorgan Chase ($362,207) and Citigroup ($358,054).




Wall Street firms have chipped in more than $9 million to Barack Obama. Zurga/Bloomberg

Wall Street is investing heavily in Barack Obama.

 Although the Democratic presidential hopeful has vowed to raise capital gains and corporate taxes, financial industry bigs have contributed almost twice as much to Obama as to GOP rival John McCain, a Daily News analysis of campaign records shows.

“The administration has been pushing hard for a 

settlement among state attorneys general, the nation's five 

largest mortgage servicers — Bank of America 

Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. — and certain federal agencies.”



Can’t be done!

NEW YORK — In the midst of a public relations nightmare, former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell took charge of Goldman Sachs’s global charitable foundation, helping to resurrect the big bank’s shattered image after it was implicated in practices that contributed to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

“Clinton also failed to mention how he and Hillary cashed in after his presidential tenure to make themselves multimillionaires, in part by taking tens of millions in speaking fees from Wall Street bankers.”



British American Tobacco
Dow Chemical

HILLARY CLINTON: The woman who fought Barack Obama to be America's first dictator.

In the days of the Cold War, the narrative of the arch-reactionaries and anticommunists revolved around a conspiracy theory according to which the United States had been infiltrated at the highest levels by agents of the Soviet Union.
In the early 1950s, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy led the anti-Soviet campaign, alleging that Russian spies occupied top positions in the government, in universities, in Hollywood and even in the military. According to McCarthy, “a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any previous venture in the history of man” implicated not only the Soviet Union but was also responsible for the “loss of China” in the 1949 Chinese Revolution.
The “Red Menace” was the pretext for attacking and delegitimizing all manifestations of social and political opposition, including the Civil Rights movement, as the work of “outside agitators” who received their orders from Moscow. It was Martin Dies, the Democratic congressman from Texas and initiator of the witch-hunting House Un-American Activities Committee, who declared in his 1940 book The Trojan Horse in America that Moscow had “envisioned an unusual opportunity to create racial hatred between the white and Negro citizens of the United States.”
In the late 1950s, after the heyday of McCarthy, the political thread was taken up by the John Birch Society, founded in 1958 by Massachusetts businessman Robert Welch, who notoriously declared that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a “dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.”
In 1964, Welch backed the ultra-right Republican candidate Barry Goldwater, whose failed presidential campaign was heavily influenced by John Stormer’s book None Dare Call It Treason. “Will America continue to aid the communist enemy,” Stormer asked, “to disarm in the face of danger, to bow before communist dictators in every corner of the earth? The decision is yours.”
Nothing is dead in politics. The legacy of McCarthyism is now being revived by the campaign led by the Democratic Party and summed up in a hysterical screed published Wednesday in the Washington Post by Hillary Clinton, the self-professed former “Goldwater girl,” under the headline, “Mueller documented a serious crime against all Americans. Here’s how to respond.”
According to Clinton, “Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated. This is the definitive conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report.” The perpetrator again is Russia, which Clinton, citing the Mueller report, claims has carried out a “sweeping and systematic” attack on the United States.
The Clinton narrative, which is the official line of the Democratic Party, is a monumental lie. Responsibility for Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 elections is attributed entirely to the operations of Russian bots and “Guccifer 2.0,” the persona of the individual who supposedly hacked Democratic Party emails. Her campaign, Clinton writes, was the “target of a Russian plot,” directed by President Vladimir Putin, who “seeks to weaken our country.”
And what did this new “conspiracy so immense” actually involve? According to the Mueller report itself, organizations associated with Russia allegedly spent $100,000 on Facebook ads. This is 0.12 percent of the $81 million spent by the Democratic and Republican election campaigns themselves on Facebook ads, in a campaign dominated by the $5 billion spent by the billionaire backers of the two parties to buy the election.
As for the release of Democratic Party emails, even if one accepts the unsubstantiated claim that it was Russian operatives who turned them over to WikiLeaks, what the emails revealed were true facts about the operations of Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—facts that the electorate had every right to know. Among the documents released were Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks, for which she was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other leaked emails exposed the corrupt efforts of the DNC to rig the primaries against Bernie Sanders.
Clinton lost in the 2016 elections because the Democratic Party, in line with the class interests it represents, made a calculated decision not to raise any social issues or make any appeal to the working class in its campaign against Trump. Do Clinton and company really expect the public to believe that Facebook ads put out by Russian agents were behind the collapse in voter turnout in working-class areas of Michigan, Wisconsin and other states?
The victory of the billionaire demagogue Trump was the result of widespread disillusionment with the Democratic Party after eight years of the Obama administration, which broke every campaign promise and exposed as lies the empty prattle about “hope” and “change.” Obama focused his energies on bailing out Wall Street and shoring up the wealth of the corporate and financial elite.
In her column, Clinton goes on to call for an alliance between the Democratic Party and the Republicans. The situation calls for “clear-eyed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship,” she writes. She urges Republicans to work with Democrats in an intensified campaign against Russia—with or without the Trump administration. She writes: “It’s up to members of both parties to see where that road map [provided by the Mueller report] leads—to the eventual filing of articles of impeachment, or not. Either way, the nation’s interests will be best served by putting party and political considerations aside and being deliberate, fair and fearless.”
Clinton wants a bipartisan foreign policy that is “fearless” in its aggression against not only Russia, but also China. “Unless checked, the Russians will interfere again in 2020, and possibly other adversaries, such as China or North Korea, will as well,” she warns. Unless Trump is “held accountable, the president will likely redouble his efforts to advance Putin’s agenda, including rolling back sanctions, weakening NATO and undermining the European Union.”
Changing what needs to be changed, such words could have been penned by Robert Welch himself. Confronting a fascistic president, the Democrats have managed to frame their entire opposition around a right-wing narrative. If the Democrats had their way and Trump were removed—to be replaced, don’t forget, by the ultra-right Vice President Mike Pence—it is almost certain that the immediate consequence would be war with nuclear-armed Russia.
Inextricably connected to the conflicts over foreign policy is the escalation of the attack on democratic rights within the United States. Reprising the ravings of Dies, social discontent is attributed to the nefarious efforts of Russia to “sow discord” within the United States.
Significantly, Clinton cites as a model the actions of the ruling class after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when “Congress established an independent, bipartisan commission to recommend steps that would help guard against future attacks.” She concludes, “We need a similar commission to help protect our elections.”
The September 11 attacks—a terrorist atrocity that killed nearly 3,000 people—were followed by the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Department, the Northern Command, domestic spying, Guantanamo Bay, the institution of torture and drone assassinations as government policy, and other crimes. The campaign of the Democrats over the Russian “attack”—a lie fashioned from whole cloth—has been accompanied by far-reaching moves to censor the internet under the guise of combating “fake news.”
The Democrats’ warmongering and attack on democratic rights come together in the persecution of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, whose enduring contribution to the population of the world was the exposure of the crimes of American imperialism. For this, Assange is currently imprisoned in Britain, facing imminent rendition to the United States. The courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning is in jail for refusing to testify against him.
Such is Clinton’s defense of “our democracy.”
All of this further demonstrates that in the conflict between Trump and the Democratic Party there is no progressive or democratic faction. The anti-Russia narrative has not been challenged by any section of the Democratic Party, including Bernie Sanders, who is again seeking to cover up this warmongering party with a thin veneer of social reforms that it has no intention of implementing.
The conflict between the Democrats and the Trump administration is a conflict between two reactionary factions of the ruling class. All those political organizations and groups that are seeking to direct social opposition behind the Democratic Party are playing the most criminal role. They are no less terrified than Trump and the Democrats of the development of a genuine socialist movement of the working class, which will oppose American capitalism and its wars.


Can’t be done!

NEW YORK — In the midst of a public relations nightmare, former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell took charge of Goldman Sachs’s global charitable foundation, helping to resurrect the big bank’s shattered image after it was implicated in practices that contributed to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

“Clinton also failed to mention how he and Hillary cashed in after his presidential tenure to make themselves multimillionaires, in part by taking tens of millions in speaking fees from Wall Street bankers.”


President Trump departs the White House on March 29.
President Trump departs the White House on March 29. (Eric Thayer/For the Washington Post)
March 30, 2020 at 6:15 a.m. PDT
No one could make up a character as narcissistic and lacking in human empathy as President Trump. Trump’s own words make the point better than any analysis or commentary:
More than 2,400 Americans had died by Sunday. Governors around the country are screaming for more assistance from the federal government. Trump? He obsesses over ratings. It is hard to comprehend how indifferent he is to human suffering.
His inanities did not stop. Later on Sunday, this is what he was worrying about:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hit the nail on the head. “Well, first of all, let me just say how sad it is that, even since the President’s signing of the bill, the number of deaths reported has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 in our country,” she said in a CNN “State of the Union” interview (before Trump’s tweet). “This is such a very, very sad time for us. So, we should be taking every precaution. What the president — his denial at the beginning was deadly. His delaying of getting equipment to where — it continues — his delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly.” She added that "as the president fiddles, people are dying. And we have to — we just have to take every precaution.” Trump’s sloth prevents proactive planning, and his utterances send everyone into a tizzy (e.g., a “quarantine” for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), distracting the public and state and local officials.
As they have from the beginning, governors are laser-focused on solving equipment shortages and building up hospital capacity. Appearing together on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Michigan and Louisiana governors made their plea:
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER: Our numbers are climbing exponentially. We knew it was a matter of time, not if COVID-19 would come to Michigan. We took aggressive measures. We’ve been on the front end of aggressive measures that states have been taking, but we see this astronomical rise. We’ve got hospitals that are already at capacity. We’re running out of PPE as well. I’m grateful we got a shipment from FEMA yesterday for 112,000 N95 masks, but, you know, we’re going to be in dire straits again in a matter of days. And so we’re keeping up the pressure and working 24/7 at the state level. . . .
GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS: Well, we have the coronavirus now in cases in 56 of our 64 parishes. So while the hot spot is down around New Orleans, it is statewide. We know that if we don’t flatten the curve, we’re on a trajectory currently to exceed our capacity in the New Orleans area for ventilators by about April the 4th, and all beds available in hospitals by about April the 10th. So we’re doing everything we can to surge capacity. It is very difficult. We did get some PPE yesterday, like Governor Whitmer said. We’ve already allocated about 100,000 masks just yesterday to the hospitals. Ventilators are the short-term really big pressing issue that we’re trying to solve for — very difficult because every state is looking for these. There are only so many to be had. And so we’re trying to get the, the public to slow the spread by following the mitigation measures while we ramp up our medical capacity. This is a very challenging public health emergency.
Whitmer in particular sounded on CNN as though she is juggling multiple balls, all the while trying not to crash into Trump:
You know, I don’t have energy to respond to every slight. I — what I’m trying to do is work well with the federal government. And I will tell you this. There are people from the White House on down who are working 24/7, just like we are at the states. We’re all stressed, because we have people that are dying right now. I need assistance and I need partnership. And so that’s what we’re starting to see out of the feds. We’re grateful for it. But there’s so much more work to do.
There is a growing consensus that the country will need a fourth relief package. Pelosi on CNN argued Sunday that money to the states was “just a down payment.” She added that a new bill would need to address the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, pension protection, “more on family medical leave,” coverage of the cost of covid-19 treatment and “address what happened to the District of Columbia, which was really cruel, that they called it a territory, and, hence, they got several hundred million dollars less in funding.” Republicans are already grumbling about the cost. In any other presidency, the chief executive would call Congress back to work, propose a follow-on package and address the concerns governors raise repeatedly. Not this president. He’s obsessed with ratings. Congress likely will not return to Washington for several weeks. The death toll will rise, the economic hardship will deepen, and the governors’ logistical problems will become insoluble.
Increasingly, the country seems to operate on two tracks. On one, groveling courtiers flatter Trump, try to soften his impulsive pronouncements and scramble to catch up after months of delay. As they cater to the president, exploring patently absurd ideas, they have less attention to devote to real issues that only the federal government can address. On the other track, governors have no time for bowing and scraping; they are dealing hands-on with hundreds of logistical challenges, made worse by the absence of coordinated purchasing and by lack of a comprehensive testing program. Thank goodness governors are actually doing their jobs, which increasingly entail navigating around Trump.