Donald Trump has ranted at General Motors over a delay in its production of ventilators to tackle the coronavirus outbreak and raged at Kentucky Republican congressman Thomas Massie after he indicated he would move to delay Friday’s House of Representatives vote on approving a $2.2trn (£1.85trn) economic stimulus package.
Trump himself dismissed demands from governors for more ventilators in hospitals only last night, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity in a phone interview the equipment is unnecessary and that states “shouldn’t be relying on the federal government”.
With the US now the global epicentre of the virus having contracted 85,000 cases and seen over 1,200 deaths, the president has received an offer of help from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as task force co-ordinator Dr Deborah Birx is accused of making “fundamental scientific errors” as part of the administration’s rush to reopen the economy.
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Donald Trump Jr shares racist meme depicting father as ‘Kung Flu Kid’
New York and Los Angeles to remain closed through May
The Independent’s Graig Graziosi has this report:
The mayors of New York City and Los Angeles have issued grim predictions about the coming weeks as their cities face rising numbers of residents infected with the coronavirus.
New York Mayor Mike De Blasio appeared on Good Morning America on Friday morning, suggesting the city would be shut down until the end of May and nearly half of its denizens will become infected with coronavirus.
“I think we need to be ready for that,” Mr De Blasio said. “Unfortunately we think it’s going to go through April and in to May. It’s just a blunt reality.”
He went on to say that more than “half the people in this city will ultimately be infected.”
New York governor slams Trump tweet about stockpiling
Governor Andrew Cuomo called the president’s tweet ‘incorrect and grossly uninformed’ in an interview with CNN, adding: “It’s ignorant.”
Grieving parent Kevin Moran is in dispute with the state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, over the precise cause of his son’s death.
Gino Spocchia has this report.
The war-torn Middle Eastern state faces a crippling coronavirus outbreak of its own, of course.
Nice to see a spirit of bipartisan brotherhood blossoming in DC during this blighted spring.
As New York City struggles to cope with the surging number of Covid-19 cases, a doctor has released footage of the dire conditions inside her Queens hospital – raising the alarm about the scale of the epidemic and the shortage of critical equipment needed to save lives.
Dr Colleen Smith works at Elmhurst Hospital, which this week saw 13 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day. The hospital has begun transferring out non-Covid patients to other hospitals in order to clear space for the sheer number of people arriving needing urgent treatment.
In the film, which she released to The New York Times, Dr Smith walks through a packed ICU unit, saying “all the patients that you see, they all have Covid. It feels like it’s too little too late. We knew it was coming.”
“Today is kind of getting worse and worse. We had to get a refrigerated truck to store the bodies of patients who are dying. We are right now scrambling to try and get a few additional ventilators, or even CPAP machines. If we got CPAP machines, we could free up ventilators for patients who need them.”
Andrew Naughtie has this report.
My my my, he’s clearly feeling the pressure:
I wonder how long it took him to come up with that bright little witticism?
Aaand we’re back to New York withholding ventilators.
New Orleans mayor says Trump made her think it was safe to go ahead with coronavirus-hit Mardi Gras
“Leaders on the ground, we rely on the facts to make decisions for the people that we serve,” she said, adding: “In hindsight, if we were given clear direction, we would not have had Mardi Gras, and I would have been the leader to cancel it.”
Gino Spocchia has more here.
The president is seething at General Motors now for apparently letting him down on the delivery of a batch of ventilators he was telling Sean Hannity only last night the country’s hospitals don’t actually need.
GM apparently no longer owns that facility and he himself cancelled an earlier deal for the devices from the company on cost grounds!
Here’s Clark Mindock to clean up this hot mess.
Alabama Medal of Honour recipient Bennie Adkins, 86, has been hospitalised with coronavirus, his foundation announced on Thursday evening.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has hit home,” the Bennie Adkins Foundation said on Facebook. “Bennie has been hospitalised and is critically ill with Covid-19 respiratory failure. We ask for your thoughts and prayers.”
Adkins, a retired command sergeant major, received his medal from Barack Obama in September 2014 in tribute to his service during the Vietnam War.
He was first drafted into the Army in 1956 and went on to serve with the Special Forces for 13 years, complete three tours in Vietnam.
You can read a more extensive account of his illustrious career over at Army Times.
Get well soon sir.
As the US overtook China and Italy to become the worst hit country in the world by coronavirus, the president’s eldest son was busy posting racist memes on social media because what else is new?
You can see it via the tweet below, if you feel you must:
Don Jr also badly undermined his old man’s attempt to reset relations with China last night in a separate but equally dumb and unwelcome tweet:
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Friday reports that 51 per cent of Americans take a favourable view of the president’s response to the coronavirus disaster.
Evidentally more people need to watch this:
However, 58 per cent of respondents to the survey said he was initially “too slow to take action to address the problem”, which is an understatement, I’d say.
The big man is pleased though and has been crowing abour it on Twitter just now:
Uh oh. I do not like where this conversation is going…
Here’s Andrew Feinberg with the word from Capitol Hill.
“It’s worse than 9/11, it’s worse than Pearl Harbor,” one official told him. “[Trump] had the information and he ignored it because he saw the measures they were recommending at the time [when] Singapore and South Korea got the virus… and he didn’t want to do that because it was going to hurt the economy. But by waiting he hurt the economy more and made more people from this disease.”
As we touched on earlier, GOP congressman Thomas Massie has said he is considering voting against the stimulus package in the House today on idealogical grounds.
Trump does not like that, and uses his first tweets of the day to label him “a third rate Grandstander”, repeating a new favourite insult also served up to AOC yesterday.
Oh look, there’s more.
Here’s Oliver O’Connell with a full report on Massie.
If you’re a fan of blackly comic irony in times of crisis, this one’s for you.
The former Arkansas governor – and father to Trump’s former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – is under fire for this staggeringly idiotic and insensitive tweet.
Media Matters’s Andrew Lawrence said it best with three words:
During a daily news briefing on Wednesday, Cuomo assured people that hospitals now have plenty of personal protective gear (PPE) for staff members.
“The equipment we are bringing today will resolve that immediate need. There will be no hospital in the city of New York who will say today their nurses and doctors can’t get equipment,” he said.
“If you’re saying there’s enough, but that ‘enough’ involves following guidelines where there are a lot of risks involved, it’s misleading,” countered Pat Kane said, a registered nurse and the executive director of the New York State Nurses Association.
The union backlash comes after a photo showing Mount Sinai Health System nurses wearing bin bags as protective clothing surfaced online.
In other news from the Big Apple, Bill and Hillary Clinton sent 400 pizzas to medical staff working overtime to contain the outbreak in the city…
…while a Rochester bakery has started putting Anthony Fauci’s face on doughnuts.
Louise Hall has this on the nurses union.
Chris Riotta has this report on a tragedy I fear we could see repeated again and again.
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