Navarro’s Shady Defense Production Act Deals

4 Aug

Trump tapped Peter Navarro — a discredited economist with no experience managing supply chains — to play a major role in coordinating his inadequate use of the Defense Production Act. Under Trump’s directive, Navarro has organized a number of shady and downright incompetent deals in the middle of a crisis made worse by the lack of supplies.

Peter Navarro has been involved in several questionable deals so far in his role coordinating Trump’s limited use of the Defense Production Act.

NBC News: “A number of the actions the Trump administration has pointed to as its coronavirus successes are deals Navarro played a role in, such as acquiring ventilators, masks or swabs. Some of those contracts have come under scrutiny, however, whether it be for potentially overpaying for supplies or doing deals with companies that have connections to the administration.”

Navarro’s office led efforts to award a $765 million loan for pharmaceutical manufacturing to Kodak, which does not make pharmaceuticals. 

Bloomberg: “Some financial analysts and economic development experts greeted the proposal with skepticism. Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after getting lapped by rivals in digital photography and failing to make good on an earlier multibillion-dollar acquisition of a pharmaceutical company.”

SVB Leerink: “We are puzzled by the Trump Administration’s decision. In particular, we find it puzzling why generic pharmaceutical companies who have the capabilities and know-how for this have not yet been awarded such contracts.”

The Kodak deal resulted in a $50 million payday for its CEO, and it’s currently under investigation by the SEC.

New York Times: “At the beginning of this week, the Eastman Kodak Company handed its chief executive 1.75 million stock options. … The day after the stock options were granted, the White House announced that the company would receive a $765 million federal loan to produce ingredients to make pharmaceuticals in the United States. … Within 48 hours of the options grants, their value had ballooned, at least on paper, to about $50 million.”

Wall Street Journal: “The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the circumstances around Eastman Kodak Co.’s announcement of a $765 million government loan to make drugs at its U.S. factories, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Navarro and Jared Kushner’s former roommate made a deal to pay five times more for ventilators than the Obama administration had paid.

NBC News: “White House trade adviser Peter Navarro … 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.”

NBC News: “The deal was formalized by Adam Boehler, CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, who is a former college roommate of Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law. Christopher Abbott, an aide to Navarro who graduated from college just last year, oversaw a majority of the communications between Philips and the White House.”

USA Today: “According to the report’s review of documents, ‘the Administration accepted Philips’ first offer without even trying to negotiate a lower price.’ White House trade adviser Peter Navarro … offered to prepay half of the total cost, or more than $323 million, to Philips before a single ventilator was even delivered. Department of Health and Human Services staff later reduced the amount prepaid to 10% of the total cost of the contract.”

Navarro stockpiled more than 60 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, which the FDA has warned against using to treat coronavirus, and is trying to manufacture even more while Trump continues to push the unproven treatment.

Bloomberg: “U.S. Sits on Millions of Pills That Treat Lupus, Not Covid”

Bloomberg: “Federal trade adviser Peter Navarro criticized the results of large clinical trials debunking hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness for Covid-19 … He said he would continue to stockpile millions of doses of the drug that’s been aggressively promoted by President Donald Trump.”

Bloomberg: “One of the drugs Kodak would manufacture materials for is hydroxychloroquine, the controversial antimalarial drug touted by President Donald Trump in the treatment of the coronavirus.”

In May, Navarro granted a $350 million contract to a new company with no track record in drug manufacturing.

Politico: “The Trump administration’s effort to rapidly launch a U.S. manufacturer for drugs to treat coronavirus patients hinges on a new company whose chief executive is best known for a failed anti-allergy injector and for raising the prices of a powerful opioid antidote. … The new company has no track record in drug manufacturing, and it’s not clear when its assembly lines will begin churning out products.”

Wall Street Journal: “In late March, the company hired two lobbying firms with experience representing pharmaceutical and biomedical firms, according to lobbying records, paying them $30,000 in the first quarter.  The company’s pitch to the administration, a person familiar with the matter said, focused on an America-centric message that appealed to officials like Mr. Navarro.”

The post Navarro’s Shady Defense Production Act Deals appeared first on Democrats.

As Reports of Infected Schoolchildren Rise, Trump Again Pushes for Schools to Reopen Without Ensuring It’s Safe

4 Aug

In a late-night, all-caps tweet yesterday, Trump again pushed for schools to reopen.

Everyone wants kids to be able to go back to classrooms, but Trump has failed to control the virus and still can’t ensure fully reopening schools will be safe. As students and staff in reopened schools across the country are testing positive for coronavirus, Trump is putting the lives of other children, school staff, and their families at risk. 

Georgia — Washington Post: “On Wednesday, teachers in Georgia’s largest school district returned to elementary, middle and high school campuses to start in-person planning for the fall semester. By the next day, 260 district employees had been barred from entering their schools, either because they tested positive for the coronavirus or had been directly exposed to someone who had.”

Indiana — Washington Post: “On Thursday, the first day back for students at a middle school in Greenfield, Ind., a student who came to classes tested positive.”

Mississippi — Washington Post: “Within the first week of reopening, a school district in Mississippi reported its first positive case and identified 14 other students who came in contact with the sick pupil. By Monday, two more students had tested positive, the district said on Facebook.”

Kansas — Washington Post: “After attending a three-day retreat to plan the upcoming school year, 11 school leaders who serve campuses in Chanute, Kan., tested positive for the virus by Monday.”

And Betsy DeVos keeps spreading dangerous misinformation about kids’ potential to contract and spread the virus, contradicting a growing body of research.

DEVOS: “All of the data suggests that kids don’t contract the virus at the same rates as adults, and that they don’t pass it on in the same way.”

New York Times: “A large new study from South Korea offers an answer: Children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often than adults do, but the risk is not zero. And those between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do. The findings suggest that as schools reopen, communities will see clusters of infection take root that include children of all ages, several experts cautioned.”

New York Times: “Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found.”

The post As Reports of Infected Schoolchildren Rise, Trump Again Pushes for Schools to Reopen Without Ensuring It’s Safe appeared first on Democrats.

FACT SHEET: Trump Has Failed Latinos

4 Aug

Trump promised Latinos he would give them more opportunities and chances to succeed, but time and time again, Trump has broken his promises to the community. Trump has made it more difficult for Latinos to get ahead. And now, his failed coronavirus response is disproportionately harming Latinos.

Trump failed to address racial disparities present in the coronavirus pandemic and botched the rollout of aid to Latino small business owners.

  • As Trump failed to mount a serious response to the coronavirus, unemployment has been particularly high for Black and Latino workers and business owners. As of June, Latino unemployment was 14.5%.

  • Black- and Latinx-owned businesses suffered as the Trump administration botched the delivery of assistance to small businesses hurt by the coronavirus.

Trump has repeatedly stoked racial and cultural divisions to demonize Latinos.

  • As president, Trump said undocumented immigrants were “invading” and “infesting” our country. He said our immigration policy should be “you can’t come in.”

  • Trump declared a national emergency and illegally diverted money from military construction projects to pay for his border wall. He repeatedly threatened to shut down the government and veto funding for essential programs if taxpayers didn’t fund his border wall.

Trump’s immigration policies have cruelly torn Latino families apart.

  • Trump illegally rescinded the DACA program and sabotaged every bipartisan immigration deal that would have protected American Dreamers.

  • After the Supreme Court blocked Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era DACA program, the Trump administration announced it will not accept new applications.

  • The Trump administration separated more than 1,100 migrant families at the border, with no system to bring them back together.

Instead of bringing wage growth and job creation to Latino communities, Trump has made it harder for Latinos to succeed.

  • Job creation for Hispanic Americans has slowed under Trump.

  • Latinos were disproportionately left out on the benefits from Trump’s tax law, and many will actually face higher taxes by 2027.

  • Trump’s budgets sought to slash funding for SNAP benefits, which help about 10 million Latinos and lifted nearly 2.5 million Latinos out of poverty in 2015 alone.

  • Trump’s decision to rescind DACA and eliminate protections for TPS recipients could devastate Latino communities and the entire U.S. economy.

  • Trump has repeatedly denied climate science, even as climate change is expected to have a disproportionate negative impact on Latino communities.

Trump’s attacks on health care have disproportionately affected Latino communities. 

  • Trump’s health care sabotage jeopardizes significant gains among Hispanic communities.

  • Trump proposed massive cuts to Medicaid, which provides health coverage for about 32% of non-elderly Hispanics.

The post FACT SHEET: Trump Has Failed Latinos appeared first on Democrats.

Trump on Coronavirus Deaths: ‘It Is What It Is’

4 Aug

Trump continues to downplay the coronavirus and still has no plan to control its spread, even as cases surge and our nation’s top public health experts warn that the pandemic has entered a “new phase.”

Trump said that more than 1,000 Americans dying a day “is what it is” and falsely claimed that the pandemic is “under control.”

TRUMP: “They are dying. That’s true. It is what it is.”

TRUMP: “It’s under control as much as you can control it.”

Trump incoherently said “read the manuals, read the books” after claiming that people say you can test too much.

TRUMP: “There are those that say you can test too much, you do know that.”

SWAN: “Who says that?”

TRUMP: “Oh, just read the manuals. Read the books.”

Earlier in the day, Trump and Pence both tried to spin their failures and downplay the virus by claiming we were making progress.

Associated Press’s Michael Tackett: “Trump said there are ‘very encouraging’ signs that the ‘virus is receding’”

CNN: “Forever spinning their failure in handling the crisis, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Monday made selective claims of ‘significant’ advances and ‘very encouraging’ signs and celebrated ‘plateauing’ cases in sunbelt areas that might have escaped their disasters by ignoring the President’s advice.”

Meanwhile, Trump still has no plan to contain the virus and Dr. Fauci reiterated Dr. Birx’s warning that the pandemic is in a “new phase.”

CNN: “No signs Trump has a plan as experts say the pandemic enters new phase”

Washington Post: “Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, defended and amplified Deborah Birx’s statements about what she characterized as a ‘new phase’ of the pandemic in the United States. Speaking to reporters Monday, Fauci said that the kind of spread some states are experiencing is extremely difficult to contain. ‘When you have community spread it’s insidious, there are people who are spreading it who have no symptoms at all … It’s difficult to do identification, isolation and contact tracing,’ Fauci said.”

The post Trump on Coronavirus Deaths: ‘It Is What It Is’ appeared first on Democrats.

DNC on Trump’s Axios Interview

4 Aug

In response to Trump’s “Axios on HBO” interview last night, DNC War Room senior spokesperson and advisor Lily Adams released the following statement:

“Trump’s disastrous interview would be laughable if the stakes weren’t so high. More than 155,000 Americans have died, over 4.7 million have been infected, and we are in the sharpest economic downturn on record, and Trump says ‘it is what it is.’ But it didn’t have to be this way. While Trump continues to downplay the crisis, ignore the experts, and incoherently ramble through misinformation, coronavirus cases are skyrocketing and the economy is spiraling because of his failed response.”

The post DNC on Trump’s Axios Interview appeared first on Democrats.

On the Chinese Communist Party’s Extra-Territorial Authoritarianism

4 Aug

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The Chinese Communist Party cannot tolerate the free thinking of its own people, and increasingly is trying to extend its reach outside China’s borders. In the latest example, Chinese authorities have reportedly issued arrest warrants for six pro-democracy advocates resident outside of China, including a U.S. citizen. The United States and other free nations will continue to protect our peoples from the long arm of Beijing’s authoritarianism.

 

Uncategorised

On the Chinese Communist Party’s Extra-Territorial Authoritarianism

4 Aug

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The Chinese Communist Party cannot tolerate the free thinking of its own people, and increasingly is trying to extend its reach outside China’s borders. In the latest example, Chinese authorities have reportedly issued arrest warrants for six pro-democracy advocates resident outside of China, including a U.S. citizen. The United States and other free nations will continue to protect our peoples from the long arm of Beijing’s authoritarianism.

 

Uncategorised

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Singaporean Foreign Minister Balakrishnan

4 Aug

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is attributable to Principal Deputy Spokesperson Cale Brown:

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. Secretary Pompeo reiterated U.S. support for Southeast Asian states upholding their sovereign rights and interests under international law, and he underscored U.S. opposition to PRC efforts to use coercion to push its unlawful South China Sea maritime claims. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Balakrishnan also discussed the importance of our longstanding partnership and ways to expand our cooperation further, including in ASEAN and its related fora.

 

Uncategorised

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Singaporean Foreign Minister Balakrishnan

4 Aug

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is attributable to Principal Deputy Spokesperson Cale Brown:

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. Secretary Pompeo reiterated U.S. support for Southeast Asian states upholding their sovereign rights and interests under international law, and he underscored U.S. opposition to PRC efforts to use coercion to push its unlawful South China Sea maritime claims. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Balakrishnan also discussed the importance of our longstanding partnership and ways to expand our cooperation further, including in ASEAN and its related fora.

 

Uncategorised