Fauci Repeatedly Contradicts Trump’s Coronavirus Claims

31 Jul

At today’s House Select Coronavirus Committee hearing, Dr. Fauci repeatedly contradicted Trump’s false claims on coronavirus.

Fauci contradicted Trump’s claim that children are immune to coronavirus.

QUESTION: “Are children ‘almost immune’ to the disease?”

[…] FAUCI: “Do children get infected, yes they do.”

Fauci contradicted Trump’s claim that coronavirus will disappear.

QUESTION: “Is Covid-19 going to magically disappear, Dr. Fauci?”

FAUCI: “I do not believe it will disappear.”

Fauci contradicted Trump’s claim that coronavirus was a hoax.

QUESTION: “Is Covid-19 a hoax?”

FAUCI: “No.”

Fauci contradicted Trump’s recommendation to inject bleach as a cure.

QUESTION: “Can people cure themselves of Covid-19 by injecting themselves with disinfectant or bleach?”

FAUCI: “No.”

Fauci contradicted Trump’s repeated pushing of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.

FAUCI: “Any and all of the randomized placebo-control trials, which is the gold standard of determining if something is effective, none of them had shown any efficacy of hydroxychloroquine.”

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DNC on Unemployment Benefits Expiring Tonight

31 Jul

As unemployment benefits are set to expire tonight for millions of Americans, DNC War Room senior spokesperson and advisor Lily Adams released the following statement: 

“Trump and Republicans have pulled the rug out from under millions of working families — costing unemployed Americans $600 in income every week and demanding unemployment benefits be cut by as much as half. We have known about this deadline for months, and more than a million additional Americans are filing initial claims for unemployment each week, but Trump and Republicans are forcing families to make impossible decisions about whether to pay for food, rent, or medical treatment. It’s always the same with Trump — when it’s big corporations and the top 1%, he’s eager to help. But when it’s working families, he’s nowhere to be found.”

Enhanced unemployment benefits officially expire tonight, but most unemployed Americans already received their final check last weekend because of Republicans’ delays.

NBC News: “The Republican-led Senate adjourned Thursday for a long weekend with no action on COVID-19 relief, all but ensuring that a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit would expire Friday.”

Associated Press: “The $600 weekly bonus is technically set to expire July 31, but the cutoff is effectively [July 25] owing to how states process payments.”

Tens of millions of out-of-work Americans will lose an average of half their income.

CBS News: “Over 30 million Americans set to lose enhanced unemployment benefits”

New York Times: “More than 20 million Americans could soon see their weekly income fall by half or more at a time when the unemployment rate remains higher than in any period since World War II.”

CNBC: “Millions of Americans will fall off an ‘income cliff’ when extra $600 in unemployment benefits ends”

This is Trump and the GOP’s fault. They delayed acting for months after House Democrats passed the Heroes Act.

Nexstar: “House Democrats are pushing the Senate to take up the Heroes Act after it was passed two months ago.”

Washington Post: “After delaying discussions for weeks, the White House is now trying to rush talks in part because more than 20 million Americans are slated to receive their final expanded unemployment check at the end of this week before the program expires.”

Now, Trump and Republicans are pushing a bill that slashes workers’ income by more than 40%.

CNBC: “GOP relief plan slashes unemployment benefits by 43% for average worker”

Business Insider: “Trump suggested Republicans could reduce extra unemployment benefits to an estimated $175 a week. That would cause millions of jobless Americans to lose up to half their income.”

Republicans are pushing to cut workers’ income while the country faces a historic recession, GDP collapsed by an unprecedented 32.9%, and unemployment claims rise.

NPR: “3 Months Of Hell: U.S. Economy Drops 32.9% In Worst GDP Report Ever”

New York Times: “It was the 19th straight week that the tally exceeded one million, an unheard-of figure before the coronavirus pandemic. And it was the second weekly increase in a row after nearly four months of declines, a sign of how the rebound in cases has undercut the economy’s nascent recovery.”

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A Week Of Trump’s Failed China Strategy

31 Jul

News from this week makes clear that Trump has no clear strategy on China. He not only got played by China on trade, but jobs are not coming back as he promised and his inconsistency puts our national security at risk and could cause irreversible damage.

Trump said he’d stand up to China, but during his presidency China has felt they could get away with whatever they wanted.

Los Angeles Times: “During Trump’s presidency, China has furthered its incursion into the disputed South China Sea, given little in trade deals despite U.S. tariffs that have boomeranged on American farmers, cracked down on democracy activists in Hong Kong and put religious minorities in concentration camps in Xinjiang, all with little resistance.”

Trump got played — China isn’t living up to its meager phase one purchase commitments or its promises on intellectual property theft. 

Bloomberg: “By the end of the first half of this year, China had bought about 23% of the total purchase target of more than $170 billion for goods in 2020, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Chinese Customs Administration data.”

ABC News: “More than 50% of the nation’s counterfeit COVID-19 goods found since ‘Operation Stolen Promise’ was launched 100 days ago came from China, according to Homeland Security Investigations, an arm U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Trump’s reckless tariffs did not have the intended effect and cost American jobs, and fewer Americans now see the U.S. ahead of China economically.

Associated Press: “Chinese purchases of American farm goods, semiconductors and other goods declined 11.4% last year but still exceeded $100 billion. Exports to China support just under 1 million American jobs, according to the U.S.-China Business Council, though that was down 10% from 2017’s peak.”

Pew Research: “While more Americans say the U.S. is the world’s leading economy (52%) than say the same of China (32%), views of U.S. economic superiority declined 7 percentage points over the past four months.”

Trump’s inconsistent China strategy puts our national security at risk, and he’s only acting tough on China now ahead of the election.

Foreign Policy: “Trump’s Flip-Flops On China Are A Danger To National Security”

New York Times: “With President Trump trailing badly in the polls as the election nears, his national security officials have intensified their attack on China in recent weeks, targeting its officials, diplomats and executives. While the strategy has reinforced a key campaign message, some American officials, worried Mr. Trump will lose, are also trying to engineer irreversible changes, according to people familiar with the thinking.”

It is no wonder Beijing wants Trump to win reelection.

CNBC: “Beijing Would Prefer Trump Be Reelected As It Gives China An Advantage Internationally, Analyst Says”

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Americans See Through Trump’s ‘New Tone,’ Overwhelmingly Disapprove of His Coronavirus Response

31 Jul

As his poll numbers reached record lows due to his handling of the coronavirus, Trump and his allies touted a “new tone,” but new polling makes it clear that Trump’s failures speak louder than his empty words. Americans know that Trump’s failed leadership caused the coronavirus to get out of hand, and he’s only making things worse.

Trump returned to holding coronavirus briefings as a way to improve his poll numbers, but a new poll shows the American people disapprove of how he’s handled the coronavirus crisis in the country. 

ABC News: “Nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s handling of three major challenges facing the country — the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide unrest over racial inequality and relations with Russia — in a new ABC News/Ipsos poll, a sign of the obstacles that his reelection bid faces just three months before Election Day.”

Trump’s failure to successfully put together a strategy let the coronavirus get out of control. Now, as work on a vaccine progresses, officials fear a lack of strategy from the administration may hinder its rollout.

Reuters: “As scientists and pharmaceutical companies work at breakneck speed to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, public health officials and senior U.S. lawmakers are sounding alarms about the Trump administration’s lack of planning for its nationwide distribution.”

Reuters: “‘We have not heard anything from the federal government since April 23,’ Danielle Koenig, health promotion supervisor for the Washington State Department of Health, said in an email. … ‘We urgently await federal, state and local collaborative discussions to identify challenges and plan solutions. A vaccination campaign of this magnitude is unprecedented and it’s going to take more than an army,’ Hannan said on Tuesday, referring to Trump’s repeated statements that the U.S. military stands ready to deliver vaccines.”

The White House sought to implement a new hospital data system, but after the administration bungled the rollout, hospitals are now scrambling to treat the influx of new patients while also dealing with delayed and inconsistent data. 

NPR: “Earlier this month, when the Trump administration told hospitals to send crucial data about coronavirus cases and intensive care capacity to a new online system, it promised the change would be worth it. The data would be more complete, transparent, and an improvement over the old platform run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administration officials said. Instead, the public data hub created under the new system is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors, data analysts say.”

NPR: “‘If the information is not accurate, it could cost time — and lives,’ says Lisa M. Lee, formerly the chief science officer for public health surveillance at CDC, now at Virginia Tech. For instance, knowing which hospitals have the capacity to take on new patients is critical, she explains. ‘If all the ICU beds are taken up, emergency medical personnel need to take [new patients] to the next town over or to the next county.’”

Trump often touts his administration’s ability to acquire a large supply of ventilators in order to deal with the rise of coronavirus, but new evidence suggests he overspent by as much as $500 million for tens of thousands of them. 

NBC News: “But internal emails and documents obtained by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee suggest that the Trump administration failed to enforce an existing contract with a major medical manufacturer, delayed negotiations for more than a month and subsequently overpaid as much as $500 million for tens of thousands of the devices — a costly error at a time when officials from some of the biggest states were warning of shortages.”

NBC News: “White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who recently criticized the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as having ‘been wrong about everything,’ negotiated the new contract at almost five times the price the Obama administration paid. The devices Navarro purchased were ‘functionally identical’ to the previous ones, according to Food and Drug Administration approvals in the report.”

As Americans struggle to get tested for the coronavirus, a new report found that the Trump administration decided not to implement a national testing strategy for political reasons.  

Vanity Fair: “Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. ‘The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,’ said the expert.”

Contact tracing is a key way to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, but because the Trump administration failed to make testing easily available with quick results, tracers have been unable to reach many of those infected.

New York Times: “Contact tracing, a cornerstone of the public health arsenal to tamp down the coronavirus across the world, has largely failed in the United States; the virus’s pervasiveness and major lags in testing have rendered the system almost pointless.”

New York Times: “‘I think it’s easy to say contact tracing is broken,’ said Carolyn Cannuscio, an expert on the method and an associate professor of family medicine and community health at the University of Pennsylvania. ‘It is broken because so many parts of our prevention system are broken.’”

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On Sanctioning Human Rights Abusers in Xinjiang, China

31 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities rank as the stain of the century. The Trump Administration has led the world’s effort to impose tangible costs on the PRC’s continuous campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, intrusive surveillance, forced labor, forced population control, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses targeted at these groups. Today, we are continuing that record of principled action.

On July 9, 2020, the United States designated Chen Quanguo, the current First Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a paramilitary organization subordinate to the CCP, for his connection to serious human rights abuse in Xinjiang. Following his arrival in the region, Chen Quanguo began implementing a comprehensive surveillance, detention, and indoctrination program in Xinjiang, targeting Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minorities. The XPCC has been directly involved in implementing these measures. Today, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on the XPCC.

The U.S. also sanctioned today Sun Jinlong, former Party Secretary of the XPCC, and Peng Jiarui, Deputy Party Secretary and Commander of the XPCC. They were designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. These actions will also restrict the ability of Sun Jinlong and Peng Jiarui to travel to the United States.

Today’s designations are the latest U.S. government action in an ongoing effort to deter human rights abuse in the Xinjiang region. We call on all countries to join us in condemning the CCP’s heinous abuse of the human rights of its own citizens, affecting countless families across the world.

For more information regarding this action, please see the press release issued today by the Department of the Treasury.



On the Occasion of Switzerland’s National Day

31 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States and the American people, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the people of the Swiss Confederation on the occasion of your National Day.

As you celebrate the founding of the strong, democratic, and prosperous country the Swiss people have built over the course of more than seven hundred years, we recall the countless economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties that bind our two industrious and innovative countries.  We share your deep commitment to upholding the rule of law and economic freedom around the world, and we appreciate the Swiss Confederation’s support to Americans in distress.  From arranging flights for U.S. citizens whose travel plans were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitating the release of Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran, we are grateful that we can always rely on our Swiss partners.

I wish the people of Switzerland a happy National Day and look forward to seeing our friendship and partnership grow even stronger in the years to come.


World Breastfeeding Week 2020 Message

31 Jul

The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. In line with this theme, WHO and UNICEF are calling on governments to protect and promote women’s access to skilled breastfeeding counselling, a critical component of breastfeeding support.

Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.

Skilled counselling services can ensure that mothers and families receive this support, along with the information, the advice, and the reassurance they need to nourish their babies optimally. Breastfeeding counselling can help mothers to build confidence while respecting their individual circumstances and choices. Counselling can empower women to overcome challenges and prevent feeding and care practices that may interfere with optimal breastfeeding, such as the provision of unnecessary liquids, foods, and breastmilk substitutes to infants and young children.

Improving access to skilled counselling for breastfeeding can extend the duration of breastfeeding and promote exclusive breastfeeding, with benefits for babies, families and economies. Indeed, analysis indicates that increasing rates of exclusive breastfeeding could save the lives of 820 000 children every year, generating US $302 billion in additional income.

Skilled breastfeeding counselling can be provided by different actors including health care professionals, lactation counsellors and peer support providers, and in a variety of settings– in health facilities or clinics, through home visits or community programmes, in person or remotely. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important to find innovative solutions to ensure that access to these essential services is not disrupted and that families continue to receive the breastfeeding counselling they need.

This is why UNICEF and WHO, in line with the policy actions advocated by the UNICEF-WHO-led Global Breastfeeding Collective, are calling on governments to:

  • INVEST to make skilled breastfeeding counselling available to every woman. Ensuring availability of skilled breastfeeding counselling to every woman will require increased financing for breastfeeding programmes and improved monitoring and implementation of policies, programmes and services.
  • TRAIN health care workers, including midwives and nurses, to deliver skilled breastfeeding counselling to mothers and families.
  • ENSURE that counselling is made available as part of routine health and nutrition services that are easily accessible.
  • PARTNER and collaborate with civil society and health professional associations, building strong collaborative systems for provision of appropriate counselling.
  • PROTECT health care workers from the influence of the baby food industry.

Together, through commitment, concerted action and collaboration, we can ensure that every mother has access to skilled breastfeeding counselling, empowering her to give her baby the best possible start in life.


EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force

31 Jul
EU exports to Vietnam will be taxed less as of tomorrow, 1 August. This is the immediate effect of the entry into force of the EU-Vietnam trade agreement that will ultimately scrap duties on 99% of all goods traded between the two sides. Doing business in Vietnam will also become easier for European companies: they will now be able to invest and pitch for government contracts with equal chances to their local competitors.