Let’s review where we find ourselves today: In response to an impending coronavirus outbreak, Prznint Stupid has undermined the warnings of the CDC, attacked the press, and tapped the Walking Termite Buffet, Mike Pence, a man who doesn’t believe in science to Czar (is too a vurb!) the government’s response. As you know, Pence created the worst HIV outbreak in Indiana’s history when he ignored the advice of state and federal health officials; previously he had taken HIV prevention money and reallocated it to Conversion Therapy, because Jeebus is how you deal with disease, I guess?
As the CDC warned Americans to brace for a disruptive outbreak, Comrade Stupid lashed out at the media for reporting on it.
Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape! @CDCgov…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, while still leader of the coronavirus task force for a few more moments, said that there was no need for a czar, and proposed to finance the administration’s cheap-o $2.5 billion plan to combat the virus by cutting programs for the poor.
House Democrats tell us they are outraged by one aspect of the White House response in particular: The White House appears to have informed Democrats that they want to fund the emergency response in part by taking money from a program that funds low-income home heating assistance. A document that the Trump administration sent to Congress, which we have seen, indicates that the administration is transferring $37 million to emergency funding for the coronavirus response from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, which funds heating for poor families.
A two-fer-one solution! Also, a market opportunity:
Here’s the clip of Azar not assuring Rep. Schakowsky a covid-19 vaccine will be affordable to all. pic.twitter.com/Z8aNd4wLWj
— Michael McAuliff (@mmcauliff) February 26, 2020
So, you know, what could go wrong?
The World Health Organization said that, for the first time, there are more new reported cases of COVID-19 outside of mainland China than inside.
So we got that going for us.
UPDATE 1: Axios morning email thingie
President Trump has warned HHS Secretary Alex Azar, along with other officials, not to criticize China’s response to the virus.
- “They have enough problems without you going out and saying they’re not doing enough,” Trump said to Azar recently, a source familiar with their conversation tells Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
He’s gotta deal on the line, I guess?
UPDATE 2: Tiger Beat’s email thingie
TRUMP’S WEDNESDAY EVENING NEWS CONFERENCE from the hardly used White House briefing room was intended to calm nerves. But Trump seemed to underplay the severity of the virus, and wrongly stated that non-Americans are currently banned from coming into the U.S. from China. He said a vaccine should be developed soon, but experts say it’s likely close to a year away.
ADD TO THAT: After TRUMP’S news conference, the CDC announced that one American who had not traveled abroad or had contact with anyone who had contracted the virus. And, inside the administration, there’s increasing frustrationwith Robert Redfield, the head of the CDC.