1. #1
    OldBill's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I WAS looking for another file but found this

    Fact check: Trump did host rallies, play golf as as COVID-19 outbreak ramped up

    The claim: Trump held rallies, golfed throughout the start of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak

    As coronavirus has spread in the United States, the Trump administration has faced criticism about the scope and speed of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    There have been more than 30,000 American deaths so far as some states scramble to accommodate taxed hospital systems.

    In late March, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said the government may have been too distracted by impeachment hearings to focus on a response to the coronavirus.

    McConnell's comments were disputed, including in a response from President Donald Trump in which he said he wouldn't have handled the coronavirus any better without impeachment.
    President Donald Trump golfs at one of his courses. The president hit the links several times between January and March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded.
    President Donald Trump golfs at one of his courses. The president hit the links several times between January and March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded.

    On social media, users began sharing a list of dates that purported to show all of the times Trump went golfing or held rallies after being warned about the pandemic. The post implies that if Trump had time for leisure and campaign activities, then the administration should have had time to address the coronavirus.

    The list of dates was shared on other social media platforms and comments from posters used the dates to refute McConnell's claim about impeachment distraction.
    The timeline

    Trump was impeached on Dec. 19. The trial ended Feb. 5, when the Senate acquitted him.

    On Jan. 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its first alert advising U.S. clinicians to watch for patients with respiratory symptoms and a travel history to Wuhan, China.It's unclear exactly when the president was first notified about the potential of a pandemic.

    On Jan. 20, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was appeared in the U.S., in Washington state.

    On Jan. 22, when CNBC asked him if there were any concerns about the virus spreading in the U.S., Trump said, "We have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It's going to be just fine."

    On Jan. 31, Trump implemented China travel restrictions, a move he often points to when defending his administration's actions to address the pandemic. That day, the CDC reported seven cases of coronavirus in the U.S.

    By Feb. 4, there were 11 confirmed cases in the U.S.

    On Feb. 25, CDC official Nancy Messonnier warned that a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. was inevitable.

    On Feb. 28, at a Charleston, South Carolina, rally, Trump called the coronavirus the Democrats' "new hoax." That day, there were 59 confirmed cases and two coronavirus deaths in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. There were 4,691 cases around the globe.

    Throughout February and early March, Trump insisted the U.S. had the coronavirus under control and that Americans should stay calm. At a televised visit to the CDC on March 6, Trump said the coronavirus "came out of nowhere."

    During this time, Trump played golf on Jan. 18 and 19, Feb. 1 and 15, and March 7 and 8, according to the Trump Golf Count website.

    He hosted rallies on Jan. 9 (Toledo, Ohio); 14 (Milwaukee), 28 (Wildwood, N.J.) and 30 (Des Moines, Iowa), as well as Feb. 10 (Manchester, N.H.), 19 (Phoenix), 20 (Colorado Springs), 21 (Las Vegas) and 28 (Charleston, S.C.).

    On March 11, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Additional European travel bans were implemented on the same day, but restrictions for the United Kingdom didn't come until two days later, after people re-entered the U.S. from Britain and Ireland.

    On March 16, the White House released social distancing guidelines to limit gatherings of no more than 10 people.

    On March 17, Trump changed from his previous statements that the virus would not severely impact the U.S. and said, "This is a pandemic. ... I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic."
    Our ruling: True

    The information in this post has been rated true because Trump did host rallies and play golf on the listed dates in the early stages of the coronavirus spread.
    Our fact-check sources:

    President Trump's Golf Outings

    CDC coronavirus alert

    Trump rallies 2020 campaign

    Remarks by President Trump at Signing of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020

    The New York Times, He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus

    NPR, A Timeline Of Coronavirus Comments From President Trump And WHO

    New England Journal of Medicine

    What the president said he did on the virus — and what he actually did

    Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Trump had rallies, golfed as COVID-19 outbreak grew

    Remarks by President Trump at Signing of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020

    Diplomatic Room

    8:54 A.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Good morning. I’m going to Tennessee to meet with the governor and a lot of people. And it’s something. It’s really something. I guess some of you are coming along, I assume. Is that right?

    Q No.

    THE PRESIDENT: You going?

    Q There’s a crew out at Andrews waiting on you.


    So we’re signing the $8.3 billion. I asked for 2.5 and I got 8.3, and I’ll take it.

    (The bill is signed.)

    Okay? So here we are, $8.3 billion. We’re doing very well. But it’s an unforeseen problem. What a problem. Came out of nowhere, but we’re taking care of it.

    We have big news on the ship. And a lot of things are happening on the ship. People are being tested right now. And I just spoke to the governor of California, Gavin Newsom. We had a good conversation. We’re both working on the ship together. It’s close to 5,000 people. So, it’s a big ship. But we’re doing testing on those people. Okay?

    Could I have those others papers I’m going to sign, please? These are additional papers relevant to various things.

    Okay, this is it?

    AIDE: Yes.

    (The document is signed.)

    THE PRESIDENT: Okay, give me the other one.

    AIDE: These are the (inaudible) designations for the bill. There’s two of them.

    (The document is signed.)

    Do you have anything you want to say to the press?

    SECRETARY AZAR: I just want to make it — make it clear that in terms of tests, we have provided all the tests to the State of Washington and the State of California that they’ve asked for. The production and shipping of tests that we’ve talked about all week is completely on schedule.

    All of the CDC tests — the tests that are available to test up to 75,000 people — CDC has shipped to America’s public health labs. Those are out.

    Then, IDT, the private contractor working with CDC to ship to the private sector and hospitals, has already shipped enough tests for 700,000 tests. And the remaining lots are arriving at CDC this morning for quality control and should get out, as we forecast, this weekend.

    And then next week, we’ll keep ramping up production. So as many as 4 million tests next week are going to be driving forward.

    So everything is on schedule for the tests.

    Q Mr. President, why aren’t you going to CDC today?

    SECRETARY AZAR: He’s actually sent me. I’m going to go down.

    THE PRESIDENT: You — you can tell them.

    SECRETARY AZAR: Yeah. He sent —

    THE PRESIDENT: We may — we may go. There was a — they thought there was a problem at CDC with somebody that had the virus. It turned out negative, so we’re seeing if we can do it. But yesterday afternoon, we were informed that there may have been a person with — with the virus, and they now find out that that was a negative test. They’ve tested the person very fully, and it was a negative test.

    So I may be going. We’re going to see if they can turn it around with Secret Service.

    Q (Inaudible.)

    THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we may —

    Q You may go?

    THE PRESIDENT: We may we may be going. Here, Steve, this is for you after covering me so well. (Laughter.)

    Q How big a — how big a hit to the economy —

    THE PRESIDENT: It’s the first time I’ve ever done that to a reporter.

    Q How big a hit to the economy are you expecting (inaudible)?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, job numbers just came out and they’re incredible. The job numbers were tremendous. And we picked up close to 80,000 new jobs from the last report. And if you add that up, it’s over 350,000 jobs. The job numbers just came out a little while ago, and they were shocking to the people that were analyzing them.

    Q Do you expect more gyrations in the stock market?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, I think — I think, you know, a lot of people are staying here and they’re going to be doing their business here. They’re going to be traveling here. And they’ll be going to resorts here. And, you know, we have a great place. That’s where — so, foreign people come, but we’re going to have Americans staying home instead of going and spending the money in other countries. And maybe that’s one of the reasons the job numbers are so good. We’ve had a lot of travel inside the USA.

    Q Do you think that Congress or your administration needs to take more action to diminish the risk of recession?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, all we can do is do what we do. I mean, we’re getting a lot of business from people staying. In other words, they’re — it’s — I’ve always liked anyway; you’ve known that for a long time. But people are staying here and spending their money here, as opposed to going to Europe and other places.

    Now, that’ll change when this goes away, and hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.

    But people were — I would say virtually everybody — you saw the job numbers, I guess — people were shocked, because you add another 80 or whatever it is, a lot of — a lot of numbers from last month, where they upgraded. So the job numbers were at a level that nobody thought possible. They were really incredible.

    Q No stimulus needed?

    THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. I mean, we’re going to see whether or not the Fed wants to stimulate. In my opinion, they should because Europe is, and China is, and everybody is but us. We have a Fed that is not exactly proactive. I’m being very nice when I say that.

    Q But no fiscal stimulus?

    THE PRESIDENT: I think what happens is the Fed should cut and the Fed should stimulate. And they should do that because other countries are doing it, and it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. And we have the most prime. We are considered by far the most prime. And it’s our dollar that everybody uses. The Fed should stimulate and the Fed — they should cut.

    And why should Germany have an advantage over us with interest rates? So Germany — you know, Germany, just announced that they’re stimulating and they’re cutting.

    Asia is. All over Asia they are. China is. China is tremendously.

    And we’re really not. And we pay higher interest; we have a higher rate. And it’s ridiculous, frankly. We should have the lowest rate by far, and instead we pay more than other countries. Other countries are paying zero and less than zero. You know it very well. And we’re paying interest, which is a very conservative approach, but it’s not a good approach because we’re also competing against other countries, whether we like it or not. Even our friends, we’re competing against.

    Q Mr. President, on Afghanistan, are you afraid that once the U.S. pulls out, that the Taliban will basically just overrun the Afghan government?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, eventually countries have to take care of themselves. We can’t be there for the next — another 20 years. We’ve been there for 20 years, and we’ve been protecting the country. But we can’t be there for the next — eventually, they’re going to have to protect themselves.

    You know, this should have been done a long time ago. But you can only hold somebody’s hand for so long. We have to get back to running our country too. So you understand that.

    Q So do you think the Afghan government will be capable, in the long term, of defending itself?

    THE PRESIDENT: I’ll let you know later. You know, we’ll have to see what happens. I hope they are, but I don’t know. I can’t answer that question.

    Q Mr. President, any concern that the coronavirus is —

    THE PRESIDENT: It’s not supposed to happen that way, but it possibly will.

    Q Any concern that the virus is more widespread than originally thought because of the lack of testing? Is that any reason why you’re not going to Atlanta today?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no. They had one person who was potentially infected.

    And speaking of that, I’d like to go. So you guys are trying to work that out. I was going to Tennessee first, in any event, and then I was stopping in Atlanta, then going down to Florida for meetings. I think that they are trying to work it out that I do go.

    No, I hadn’t heard that. I heard “one person.” And because of the one person at a high level — because of the one person, they didn’t want me going. But I would prefer going. And now that the person — the test came out negative, we’re going to try and go.

    The most powerful man in all of the media. Come on over here, please. He has a little something to do with the Wall Street Journal. I don’t know if you know. This is real power. Right? (Laughter.) You used to do what they did.

    MR. THOMSON: Yeah.

    THE PRESIDENT: Right? And he did it — he did it so well that he’s the boss at News Corp. Of course, Rupert has something to say with that, I guess. Right? Lachlan.

    It’s good to have you. It’s good to have you. They treat me very nicely — the media. Right? Except for the Wall Street Journal, but that’s okay.

    Q How do you keep people from panicking from (inaudible)?

    THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think they’re panicking. I don’t think people are panicking. I said last night — we did an interview on Fox last night, a town hall. I think it was very good. And I said, “Calm. You have to be calm.” It’ll go away.

    We do have a situation where we have this massive ship with 5,000 people and we have to make a decision. You know, that’s a big decision because we have very low numbers compared to major countries throughout the world. Our numbers are lower than just about anybody.

    And in terms of deaths, I don’t know what the count is today. Is it 11? Eleven people? And in terms of cases, it’s very, very few. When you look at other countries, it’s a very tiny fraction because we’ve been very strong at the borders. But then you have a ship with a lot of Americans on it. It’s got 5,000 people on it. It’s a massive ship and — you know, and they want to come in. So we have to make a decision. We’re working with the governor of California on that.

    Q Are you meeting with President Bolsonaro this weekend, sir?

    THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I am. We’re having dinner at Mar-a-Lago. He wanted to have dinner in Florida, if that was possible — the President of Brazil. So we’ll be doing that today.

    Q Do you think the financial markets are overreacting?

    THE PRESIDENT: I think financial markets will bounce back as soon as this — really bounce back. Don’t forget, they’re down probably 10 or 11 percent from, you know, where they were, but they were up 70 percent. So, you know, it’s only a — it’s a relatively small piece. I don’t like to see it happen because I was looking for 30,000 very soon. You were — you were — it seemed days away from 30,000. And now we have a little more room to make up.

    But I think financially — I think the country is so strong. We’re so strong as a country now. We have never been like this. The consumer is generating so much because of the tax cuts, the regulation cuts, and, you know, the things we’ve done. So I think we’re in great shape. I mean, I think we’re in great shape.

    This came unexpectedly a number of months ago. I heard about it in China. It came out of China, and I heard about it. And made a good move: We closed it down; we stopped it. Otherwise — the head of CDC said last night that you would have thousands of more problems if we didn’t shut it down very early. That was a very early shutdown, which is something we got right. Okay?

    Q So looking at the Super Tuesday results, are you worried the Democratic Party is unifying around Joe Biden and that will take away your argument about Democrats being too left wing and too socialist?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, he’s left wing and he’s got all people that are left wing. And in many ways, he’s worse than Bernie. Look at what he did with guns; he put Beto in charge of guns. Beto wants to get rid of guns, right? So that’s a bad — that’s a bad stance.

    And he’s got a lot of people that are left wing, and they’ll be running the government. He’s not going to be running anything. If he ever got in, they’ll be running the government. They’ve got people further left wing than what Bernie has. So, not — not going to be good. Wouldn’t be good for Wall Street, I can tell you that.

    Plus, if you look at his taxes, he’s going to raise taxes incredibly. He’s going to raise taxes more than Bernie. I looked at — and he’s open about it. Bernie doesn’t like to — doesn’t like to talk about it.

    I mean, Joe Biden, his tax increases are — they’re staggering. It’s ridiculous. He’ll destroy everything that’s been built.

    Q Do you think sexism was a factor in Elizabeth Warren pulling out? And do you believe you will see a female President in your lifetime?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, I think lack of talent was her problem. She had a tremendous lack of talent. She was a good debater.
    She destroyed Mike Bloomberg very quickly, like it was nothing. That was easy for her. But people don’t like her. She’s a very mean person, and people don’t like her. People don’t want that. They like a person like me, that’s not mean.

    Okay, I’ll see you guys. Bye, bye everybody.


  2. #2
    edawg's Avatar SBR PRO
    Join Date: 07-09-11
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    Fake News
    175 pts

    SBR TRIVIA WINNER 12/01/2022

  3. #3
    stevenash's Avatar SBR PRO
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    Your 18" long posts are bandwidth eaters, and you sound like a broken record.
    STFU already.

    And it's not like I seek out these train wrecks of political threads, this was the first thing I noticed at the top of the new post queue when I just logged on.
    Like a kick to the yam bags, it's hard not to notice this.

    Silly me for expecting a thread about NFL Week 1 while logging on.
    WTF was I thinking.

    Is it any wonder why professionals in this industry look upon SBR these days as a clown show laughing stock.

    I'm not a big Trump fan either but I don't obsess over him 24/7 on a gambling msg board like you and a couple others.
    This post was nominated 1 time . To view the nominated thread please click here. People who nominated: TheMoneyShot

  4. #4
    Roscoe_Word's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Fake News

  5. #5
    OldBill's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    more here :::

    He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus

    An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.

    WASHINGTON — “Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad,” a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Carter Mecher, wrote on the night of Jan. 28, in an email to a group of public health experts scattered around the government and universities. “The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe.”

    A week after the first coronavirus case had been identified in the United States, and six long weeks before President Trump finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing — a pandemic that is now forecast to take tens of thousands of American lives — Dr. Mecher was urging the upper ranks of the nation’s public health bureaucracy to wake up and prepare for the possibility of far more drastic action.

    “You guys made fun of me screaming to close the schools,” he wrote to the group, which called itself “Red Dawn,” an inside joke based on the 1984 movie about a band of Americans trying to save the country after a foreign invasion. “Now I’m screaming, close the colleges and universities.”

    His was hardly a lone voice. Throughout January, as Mr. Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside his government — from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies — identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action.

    The president, though, was slow to absorb the scale of the risk and to act accordingly, focusing instead on controlling the message, protecting gains in the economy and batting away warnings from senior officials. It was a problem, he said, that had come out of nowhere and could not have been foreseen.

    Five Takeaways on What Trump Knew as the Virus Spread
    April 11, 2020

    Even after Mr. Trump took his first concrete action at the end of January — limiting travel from China — public health often had to compete with economic and political considerations in internal debates, slowing the path toward belated decisions to seek more money from Congress, obtain necessary supplies, address shortfalls in testing and ultimately move to keep much of the nation at home.

    Unfolding as it did in the wake of his impeachment by the House and in the midst of his Senate trial, Mr. Trump’s response was colored by his suspicion of and disdain for what he viewed as the “Deep State” — the very people in his government whose expertise and long experience might have guided him more quickly toward steps that would slow the virus, and likely save lives.

    Decision-making was also complicated by a long-running dispute inside the administration over how to deal with China. The virus at first took a back seat to a desire not to upset Beijing during trade talks, but later the impulse to score points against Beijing left the world’s two leading powers further divided as they confronted one of the first truly global threats of the 21st century.

    The shortcomings of Mr. Trump’s performance have played out with remarkable transparency as part of his daily effort to dominate television screens and the national conversation.

    But dozens of interviews with current and former officials and a review of emails and other records revealed many previously unreported details and a fuller picture of the roots and extent of his halting response as the deadly virus spread:

    The National Security Council office responsible for tracking pandemics received intelligence reports in early January predicting the spread of the virus to the United States, and within weeks was raising options like keeping Americans home from work and shutting down cities the size of Chicago. Mr. Trump would avoid such steps until March.

    Despite Mr. Trump’s denial weeks later, he was told at the time about a Jan. 29 memo produced by his trade adviser, Peter Navarro, laying out in striking detail the potential risks of a coronavirus pandemic: as many as half a million deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses.

    The health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, directly warned Mr. Trump of the possibility of a pandemic during a call on Jan. 30, the second warning he delivered to the president about the virus in two weeks. The president, who was on Air Force One while traveling for appearances in the Midwest, responded that Mr. Azar was being alarmist.

    Mr. Azar publicly announced in February that the government was establishing a “surveillance” system in five American cities to measure the spread of the virus and enable experts to project the next hot spots. It was delayed for weeks. The slow start of that plan, on top of the well-documented failures to develop the nation’s testing capacity, left administration officials with almost no insight into how rapidly the virus was spreading. “We were flying the plane with no instruments,” one official said.

    By the third week in February, the administration’s top public health experts concluded they should recommend to Mr. Trump a new approach that would include warning the American people of the risks and urging steps like social distancing and staying home from work.

    But the White House focused instead on messaging and crucial additional weeks went by before their views were reluctantly accepted by the president — time when the virus spread largely unimpeded.

    When Mr. Trump finally agreed in mid-March to recommend social distancing across the country, effectively bringing much of the economy to a halt, he seemed shellshocked and deflated to some of his closest associates. One described him as “subdued” and “baffled” by how the crisis had played out. An economy that he had wagered his re-election on was suddenly in shambles.

    He only regained his swagger, the associate said, from conducting his daily White House briefings, at which he often seeks to rewrite the history of the past several months. He declared at one point that he “felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic,” and insisted at another that he had to be a “cheerleader for the country,” as if that explained why he failed to prepare the public for what was coming.

    Mr. Trump’s allies and some administration officials say the criticism has been unfair. The Chinese government misled other governments, they say. And they insist that the president was either not getting proper information, or the people around him weren’t conveying the urgency of the threat. In some cases, they argue, the specific officials he was hearing from had been discredited in his eyes, but once the right information got to him through other channels, he made the right calls.

    “While the media and Democrats refused to seriously acknowledge this virus in January and February, President Trump took bold action to protect Americans and unleash the full power of the federal government to curb the spread of the virus, expand testing capacities and expedite vaccine development even when we had no true idea the level of transmission or asymptomatic spread,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

    There were key turning points along the way, opportunities for Mr. Trump to get ahead of the virus rather than just chase it.

    There were internal debates that presented him with stark choices, and moments when he could have chosen to ask deeper questions and learn more. How he handled them may shape his re-election campaign. They will certainly shape his legacy.
    The Containment Illusion

    By the last week of February, it was clear to the administration’s public health team that schools and businesses in hot spots would have to close.

    But in the turbulence of the Trump White House, it took three more weeks to persuade the president that failure to act quickly to control the spread of the virus would have dire consequences.

    When Dr. Robert Kadlec, the top disaster response official at the Health and Human Services Department, convened the White House coronavirus task force on Feb. 21, his agenda was urgent. There were deep cracks in the administration’s strategy for keeping the virus out of the United States. They were going to have to lock down the country to prevent it from spreading. The question was: When?
    ImageDr. Robert Kadlec with the Department of Health and Human Services ran an exercise with the White House Task Force in February that helped convince some in the administration to push for taking more urgent action against the virus.
    Dr. Robert Kadlec with the Department of Health and Human Services ran an exercise with the White House Task Force in February that helped convince some in the administration to push for taking more urgent action against the virus.Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

    There had already been an alarming spike in new cases around the world and the virus was spreading across the Middle East. It was becoming apparent that the administration had botched the rollout of testing to track the virus at home, and a smaller-scale surveillance program intended to piggyback on a federal flu tracking system had also been stillborn.

    In Washington, the president was not worried, predicting that by April, “when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

    His White House had yet to ask Congress for additional funding to prepare for the potential cost of wide-scale infection across the country, and health care providers were growing increasingly nervous about the availability of masks, ventilators and other equipment.

    What Mr. Trump decided to do next could dramatically shape the course of the pandemic — and how many people would get sick and die.

    With that in mind, the task force had gathered for a tabletop exercise — a real-time version of a full-scale war gaming of a flu pandemic the administration had run the previous year. That earlier exercise, also conducted by Mr. Kadlec and called “Crimson Contagion,” predicted 110 million infections, 7.7 million hospitalizations and 586,000 deaths following a hypothetical outbreak that started in China.

    Facing the likelihood of a real pandemic, the group needed to decide when to abandon “containment” — the effort to keep the virus outside the U.S. and to isolate anyone who gets infected — and embrace “mitigation” to thwart the spread of the virus inside the country until a vaccine becomes available.

    Among the questions on the agenda, which was reviewed by The New York Times, was when the department’s secretary, Mr. Azar, should recommend that Mr. Trump take textbook mitigation measures “such as school dismissals and cancellations of mass gatherings,” which had been identified as the next appropriate step in a Bush-era pandemic plan.

    The exercise was sobering. The group — including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Robert R. Redfield of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Mr. Azar, who at that stage was leading the White House Task Force — concluded they would soon need to move toward aggressive social distancing,

    even at the risk of severe disruption to the nation’s economy and the daily lives of millions of Americans.

    The president urged social distancing in mid-March but almost immediately began talking about reopening the economy.
    The president urged social distancing in mid-March but almost immediately began talking about reopening the economy.Credit...Andrew Seng for The New York Times

    If Dr. Kadlec had any doubts, they were erased two days later, when he stumbled upon an email from a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who was among the group of academics, government physicians and infectious diseases doctors who had spent weeks tracking the outbreak in the Red Dawn email chain.
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    A 20-year-old Chinese woman had infected five relatives with the virus even though she never displayed any symptoms herself. The implication was grave — apparently healthy people could be unknowingly spreading the virus — and supported the need to move quickly to mitigation.

    “Is this true?!” Dr. Kadlec wrote back to the researcher. “If so we have a huge whole on our screening and quarantine effort,” including a typo where he meant hole. Her response was blunt: “People are carrying the virus everywhere.”

    The following day, Dr. Kadlec and the others decided to present Mr. Trump with a plan titled “Four Steps to Mitigation,” telling the president that they needed to begin preparing Americans for a step rarely taken in United States history.

    But over the next several days, a presidential blowup and internal turf fights would sidetrack such a move. The focus would shift to messaging and confident predictions of success rather than publicly calling for a shift to mitigation.

    These final days of February, perhaps more than any other moment during his tenure in the White House, illustrated

    Mr. Trump’s inability or unwillingness to absorb warnings coming at him. He instead reverted to his traditional political playbook in the midst of a public health calamity, squandering vital time as the coronavirus spread silently across the country.

    Dr. Kadlec’s group wanted to meet with the president right away, but Mr. Trump was on a trip to India, so they agreed to make the case to him in person as soon as he returned two days later. If they could convince him of the need to shift strategy, they could immediately begin a national education campaign aimed at preparing the public for the new reality.

    A memo dated Feb. 14, prepared in coordination with the National Security Council and titled “U.S. Government Response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” documented what more drastic measures would look like, including: “significantly limiting public gatherings and cancellation of almost all sporting events, performances, and public and private meetings that cannot be convened by phone. Consider school closures. Widespread ‘stay at home’ directives from public and private organizations with nearly 100% telework for some.”

    The memo did not advocate an immediate national shutdown, but said the targeted use of “quarantine and isolation measures” could be used to slow the spread in places where “sustained human-to-human transmission” is evident.

    Within 24 hours, before they got a chance to make their presentation to the president, the plan went awry.

    Mr. Trump was walking up the steps of Air Force One to head home from India on Feb. 25 when Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, publicly issued the blunt warning they had all agreed was necessary.

    But Dr. Messonnier had jumped the gun. They had not told the president yet, much less gotten his consent.

    On the 18-hour plane ride home, Mr. Trump fumed as he watched the stock market crash after Dr. Messonnier’s comments. Furious, he called Mr. Azar when he landed at around 6 a.m. on Feb. 26, raging that Dr. Messonnier had scared people unnecessarily.

    Already on thin ice with the president over a variety of issues and having overseen the failure to quickly produce an effective and widely available test, Mr. Azar would soon find his authority reduced.

    The meeting that evening with Mr. Trump to advocate social distancing was canceled, replaced by a news conference in which the president announced that the White House response would be put under the command of Vice President Mike Pence

    Vice President Mike Pence visiting a Walmart distribution center in Gordonsville, Va. this month. He was put in charge of the coronavirus task force after Mr. Trump clashed with Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary.

    Vice President Mike Pence visiting a Walmart distribution center in Gordonsville, Va. this month. He was put in charge of the coronavirus task force after Mr. Trump clashed with Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary.Credit...Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

    The push to convince Mr. Trump of the need for more assertive action stalled. With Mr. Pence and his staff in charge, the focus was clear: no more alarmist messages. Statements and media appearances by health officials like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield would be coordinated through Mr. Pence’s office. It would be more than three weeks before Mr. Trump would announce serious social distancing efforts, a lost period during which the spread of the virus accelerated rapidly.

    Over nearly three weeks from Feb. 26 to March 16, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States grew from 15 to 4,226. Since then, nearly half a million Americans have tested positive for the virus and authorities say hundreds of thousands more are likely infected.
    The China Factor

    The earliest warnings about coronavirus got caught in the crosscurrents of the administration’s internal disputes over China. It was the China hawks who pushed earliest for a travel ban. But their animosity toward China also undercut hopes for a more cooperative approach by the world’s two leading powers to a global crisis.

    It was early January, and the call with a Hong Kong epidemiologist left Matthew Pottinger rattled.

    Mr. Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser and a hawk on China, took a blunt warning away from the call with the doctor, a longtime friend: A ferocious, new outbreak that on the surface appeared similar to the SARS epidemic of 2003 had emerged in China. It had spread far more quickly than the government was admitting to, and it wouldn’t be long before it reached other parts of the world.

    Matthew Pottinger, left, the deputy national security adviser, was among those in the administration who pushed for imposing limits on travel from China.
    Matthew Pottinger, left, the deputy national security adviser, was among those in the administration who pushed for imposing limits on travel from China.Credit...Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

    Mr. Pottinger had worked as a Wall Street Journal correspondent in Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic, and was still scarred by his experience documenting the death spread by that highly contagious virus.

    Now, seventeen years later, his friend had a blunt message: You need to be ready. The virus, he warned, which originated in the city of Wuhan, was being transmitted by people who were showing no symptoms — an insight that American health officials had not yet accepted. Mr. Pottinger declined through a spokesman to comment.

    It was one of the earliest warnings to the White House, and it echoed the intelligence reports making their way to the National Security Council. While most of the early assessments from the C.I.A. had little more information than was available publicly, some of the more specialized corners of the intelligence world were producing sophisticated and chilling warnings.

    In a report to the director of national intelligence, the State Department’s epidemiologist wrote in early January that the virus was likely to spread across the globe, and warned that the coronavirus could develop into a pandemic. Working independently, a small outpost of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Center for Medical Intelligence, came to the same conclusion. Within weeks after getting initial information about the virus early in the year, biodefense experts inside the National Security Council, looking at what was happening in Wuhan, started urging officials to think about what would be needed to quarantine a city the size of Chicago.

    An I.C.U. ward at Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, Italy last month where critical Covid-19 patients were hospitalized.
    An I.C.U. ward at Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, Italy last month where critical Covid-19 patients were hospitalized.Credit...Fabio Bucciarelli for The New York Times

    By mid-January there was growing evidence of the virus spreading outside China. Mr. Pottinger began convening daily meetings about the coronavirus. He alerted his boss, Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser.

    The early alarms sounded by Mr. Pottinger and other China hawks were freighted with ideology — including a push to publicly blame China that critics in the administration say was a distraction as the coronavirus spread to Western Europe and eventually the United States.

    And they ran into opposition from Mr. Trump’s economic advisers, who worried a tough approach toward China could scuttle a trade deal that was a pillar of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

    With his skeptical — some might even say conspiratorial — view of China’s ruling Communist Party, Mr. Pottinger initially suspected that President Xi Jinping’s government was keeping a dark secret: that the virus may have originated in one of the laboratories in Wuhan studying deadly pathogens. In his view, it might have even been a deadly accident unleashed on an unsuspecting Chinese population.

    During meetings and telephone calls, Mr. Pottinger asked intelligence agencies — including officers at the C.I.A. working on Asia and on weapons of mass destruction — to search for evidence that might bolster his theory.

    They didn’t have any evidence. Intelligence agencies did not detect any alarm inside the Chinese government that analysts presumed would accompany the accidental leak of a deadly virus from a government laboratory. But Mr. Pottinger continued to believe the coronavirus problem was far worse than the Chinese were acknowledging. Inside the West Wing, the director of the Domestic Policy Council, Joe Grogan, also tried to sound alarms that the threat from China was growing.

    Mr. Pottinger, backed by Mr. O’Brien, became one of the driving forces of a campaign in the final weeks of January to convince Mr. Trump to impose limits on travel from China — the first substantive step taken to impede the spread of the virus and one that the president has repeatedly cited as evidence that he was on top of the problem.

    In addition to the opposition from the economic team, Mr. Pottinger and his allies among the China hawks had to overcome initial skepticism from the administration’s public health experts.
    Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Robert Redfield, two leading members of the administration’s public health team, were ready to back a shift in administration strategy by late February.
    Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Robert Redfield, two leading members of the administration’s public health team, were ready to back a shift in administration strategy by late February.Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times

    Travel restrictions were usually counterproductive to managing biological outbreaks because they prevented doctors and other much-needed medical help from easily getting to the affected areas, the health officials said. And such bans often cause infected people to flee, spreading the disease further.

    But on the morning of Jan. 30, Mr. Azar got a call from Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield and others saying they had changed their minds. The World Health Organization had declared a global public health emergency and American officials had discovered the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission inside the United States.

    The economic team, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, continued to argue that there were big risks in taking a provocative step toward China and moving to curb global travel. After a debate, Mr. Trump came down on the side of the hawks and the public health team. The limits on travel from China were publicly announced on Jan. 31.

    Email sent among federal government physicians and former senior pandemic advisers by Dr. James Lawler, an infectious diseases specialist and public health expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
    Email sent among federal government physicians and former senior pandemic advisers by Dr. James Lawler, an infectious diseases specialist and public health expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

    Still, Mr. Trump and other senior officials were wary of further upsetting Beijing.

    Besides the concerns about the impact on the trade deal, they knew that an escalating confrontation was risky because the United States relies heavily on China for pharmaceuticals and the kinds of protective equipment most needed to combat the coronavirus.

    But the hawks kept pushing in February to take a critical stance toward China amid the growing crisis. Mr. Pottinger and others — including aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — pressed for government statements to use the term “Wuhan Virus.”

    Mr. Pompeo tried to hammer the anti-China message at every turn, eventually even urging leaders of the Group of 7 industrialized countries to use “Wuhan virus” in a joint statement.

    Others, including aides to Mr. Pence, resisted taking a hard public line, believing that angering Beijing might lead the Chinese government to withhold medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and any scientific research that might ultimately lead to a vaccine.

    A temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients in Wuhan, China, where the virus originated. Crosscurrents in the administration’s China policy complicated its response to the outbreak.
    A temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients in Wuhan, China, where the virus originated. Crosscurrents in the administration’s China policy complicated its response to the outbreak.Credit...Chinatopix, via Associated Press

    Mr. Trump took a conciliatory approach through the middle of March, praising the job Mr. Xi was doing.

    That changed abruptly, when aides informed Mr. Trump that a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman had publicly spun a new conspiracy about the origins of Covid-19: that it was brought to China by U.S. Army personnel who visited the country last October.

    Mr. Trump was furious, and he took to his favorite platform to broadcast a new message. On March 16, he wrote on Twitter that “the United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus.”

    Mr. Trump’s decision to escalate the war of words undercut any remaining possibility of broad cooperation between the governments to address a global threat. It remains to be seen whether that mutual suspicion will spill over into efforts to develop treatments or vaccines, both areas where the two nations are now competing.

    One immediate result was a free-for-all across the United States, with state and local governments and hospitals bidding on the open market for scarce but essential Chinese-made products. When the state of Massachusetts managed to procure 1.2 million masks, it fell to the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert K. Kraft, a Trump ally, to cut through extensive red tape on both sides of the Pacific to send his own plane to pick them up.
    The Consequences of Chaos

    The chaotic culture
    of the Trump White House contributed to the crisis. A lack of planning and a failure to execute, combined with the president’s focus on the news cycle and his preference for following his gut rather than the data cost time, and lives.

    Inside the West Wing, Mr. Navarro, Mr. Trump’s trade adviser, was widely seen as quick-tempered, self-important and prone to butting in. He is among the most outspoken of China hawks and in late January was clashing with the administration’s health experts over limiting travel from China.

    Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump’s trade adviser, warned that a pandemic could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death.

    Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump’s trade adviser, warned that a pandemic could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

    So it elicited eye rolls when, after initially being prevented from joining the coronavirus task force, he circulated a memo on Jan. 29 urging Mr. Trump to impose the travel limits, arguing that failing to confront the outbreak aggressively could be catastrophic, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses.

    The uninvited message could not have conflicted more with the president’s approach at the time of playing down the severity of the threat. And when aides raised it with Mr. Trump, he responded that he was unhappy that Mr. Navarro had put his warning in writing.

    From the time the virus was first identified as a concern, the administration’s response was plagued by the rivalries and factionalism that routinely swirl around Mr. Trump and, along with the president’s impulsiveness, undercut decision making and policy development.

    Faced with the relentless march of a deadly pathogen, the disagreements and a lack of long-term planning had significant consequences. They slowed the president’s response and resulted in problems with execution and planning, including delays in seeking money from Capitol Hill and a failure to begin broad surveillance testing.

    The efforts to shape Mr. Trump’s view of the virus began early in January, when his focus was elsewhere: the fallout from his decision to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s security mastermind; his push for an initial trade deal with China; and his Senate impeachment trial, which was about to begin.

    Even after Mr. Azar first briefed him about the potential seriousness of the virus during a phone call on Jan. 18 while the president was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Mr. Trump projected confidence that it would be a passing problem.

    “We have it totally under control,” he told an interviewer a few days later while attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. “It’s going to be just fine.”

    Back in Washington, voices outside of the White House peppered Mr. Trump with competing assessments about what he should do and how quickly he should act.

    Traders at the New York Stock Exchange on March 9, when stocks suffered their worst single-day decline in more than a decade. Two days later, Mr. Trump announced restrictions on travel from Europe.
    .Credit...Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times

    The efforts to sort out policy behind closed doors were contentious and sometimes only loosely organized.

    That was the case when the National Security Council convened a meeting on short notice on the afternoon of Jan. 27. The Situation Room was standing room only, packed with top White House advisers, low-level staffers, Mr. Trump’s social media guru, and several cabinet secretaries.

    There was no checklist about the preparations for a possible pandemic, which would require intensive testing, rapid acquisition of protective gear, and perhaps serious limitations on Americans’ movements.

    Instead, after a 20-minute description by Mr. Azar of his department’s capabilities, the meeting was jolted when Stephen E. Biegun, the newly installed deputy secretary of state, announced plans to issue a “level four” travel warning, strongly discouraging Americans from traveling to China. The room erupted into bickering.

    A few days later, on the evening of Jan. 30, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff at the time, and Mr. Azar called Air Force One as the president was making the final decision to go ahead with the restrictions on China travel. Mr. Azar was blunt, warning that the virus could develop into a pandemic and arguing that China should be criticized for failing to be transparent.

    Mr. Trump rejected the idea of criticizing China, saying the country had enough to deal with. And if the president’s decision on the travel restrictions suggested that he fully grasped the seriousness of the situation, his response to Mr. Azar indicated otherwise.

    Stop panicking, Mr. Trump told him.

    That sentiment was present throughout February, as the president’s top aides reached for a consistent message but took few concrete steps to prepare for the possibility of a major public health crisis.
    ImageA worker at a Starbucks at an airport in Beijing in January checks a customer’s temperature.
    A worker at a Starbucks at an airport in Beijing in January checks a customer’s temperature.Credit...Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

    During a briefing on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5, senators urged administration officials to take the threat more seriously. Several asked if the administration needed additional money to help local and state health departments prepare.

    Derek Kan, a senior official from the Office of Management and Budget, replied that the administration had all the money it needed, at least at that point, to stop the virus, two senators who attended the briefing said.

    “Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus,” Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, wrote in a tweet shortly after. “Bottom line: they aren’t taking this seriously enough.”

    The administration also struggled to carry out plans it did agree on. In mid-February, with the effort to roll out widespread testing stalled, Mr. Azar announced a plan to repurpose a flu-surveillance system in five major cities to help track the virus among the general population.

    The effort all but collapsed even before it got started as Mr. Azar struggled to win approval for $100 million in funding and the C.D.C. failed to make reliable tests available.

    The number of infections in the United States started to surge through February and early March, but the Trump administration did not move to place large-scale orders for masks and other protective equipment, or critical hospital equipment, such as ventilators. The Pentagon sat on standby, awaiting any orders to help provide temporary hospitals or other assistance.

    Dr. Carter Mecher with the Department of Veterans Affairs argued to colleagues in late February for so-called targeted layered containment (TLC) and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), which are measures like closing schools and businesses, to limit the spread of the virus. Mr. Azar and other public health officials came to the same conclusion around that time.

    As February gave way to March, the president continued to be surrounded by divided factions even as it became clearer that avoiding more aggressive steps was not tenable.

    Mr. Trump had agreed to give an Oval Office address on the evening of March 11 announcing restrictions on travel from Europe, where the virus was ravaging Italy. But responding to the views of his business friends and others, he continued to resist calls for social distancing, school closures and other steps that would imperil the economy.

    Pandemic experts, including Mr. Trump’s own former homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, compare notes via the Red Dawn email group, after Mr. Trump’s March 11 announcement that he is limiting travel from Europe.

    But the virus was already multiplying across the country — and hospitals were at risk of buckling under the looming wave of severely ill people, lacking masks and other protective equipment, ventilators and sufficient intensive care beds. The question loomed over the president and his aides after weeks of stalling and inaction: What were they going to do?

    The approach that Mr. Azar and others had planned to bring to him weeks earlier moved to the top of the agenda. Even then, and even by Trump White House standards, the debate over whether to shut down much of the country to slow the spread was especially fierce.

    Always attuned to anything that could trigger a stock market decline or an economic slowdown that could hamper his re-election effort, Mr. Trump also reached out to prominent investors like Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of Blackstone Group, a private equity firm.

    “Everybody questioned it for a while, not everybody, but a good portion questioned it,” Mr. Trump said earlier this month. “They said, let’s keep it open. Let’s ride it.”

    In a tense Oval Office meeting, when Mr. Mnuchin again stressed that the economy would be ravaged, Mr. O’Brien, the national security adviser, who had been worried about the virus for weeks, sounded exasperated as he told Mr. Mnuchin that the economy would be destroyed regardless if officials did nothing.

    Soon after the Oval Office address, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and a trusted sounding board inside the White House, visited Mr. Trump, partly at the urging of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law. Dr. Gottlieb’s role was to impress upon the president how serious the crisis could become.

    Mr. Pence, by then in charge of the task force, also played a key role at that point in getting through to the president about the seriousness of the moment in a way that Mr. Azar had not.
    Dr. Deborah Birx eventually helped convince Mr. Trump that stricter measures needed to be taken.
    Credit...Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

    But in the end, aides said, it was Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the veteran AIDS researcher who had joined the task force, who helped to persuade Mr. Trump. Soft-spoken and fond of the kind of charts and graphs Mr. Trump prefers, Dr. Birx did not have the rough edges that could irritate the president. He often told people he thought she was elegant.

    On Monday, March 16, Mr. Trump announced new social distancing guidelines, saying they would be in place for two weeks. The subsequent economic disruptions were so severe that the president repeatedly suggested that he wanted to lift even those temporary restrictions.

    He frequently asked aides why his administration was still being blamed in news coverage for the widespread failures involving testing, insisting the responsibility had shifted to the states.

    During the last week in March, Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House adviser involved in task force meetings, gave voice to concerns other aides had. She warned Mr. Trump that his wished-for date of Easter to reopen the country likely couldn’t be accomplished. Among other things, she told him, he would end up being blamed by critics for every subsequent death caused by the virus.

    Within days, he watched images on television of a calamitous situation at Elmhurst Hospital Center, miles from his childhood home in Queens, N.Y., where 13 people had died from the coronavirus in 24 hours.

    He left the restrictions in place.

    Mark Walker contributed reporting from Washington, and Mike Baker from Seattle. Kitty Bennett contributed research.
    The Coronavirus Crisis
    Torn Over Reopening Economy, Trump Says He Faces ‘Biggest Decision I’ve Ever Had to Make’
    April 10, 2020
    Restarting America Means People Will Die. So When Do We Do It?
    April 10, 2020
    Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count
    March 3, 2020

    Eric Lipton is a Washington-based investigative reporter. A three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, he previously worked at The Washington Post and The Hartford Courant. @EricLiptonNYT

    David E. Sanger is a national security correspondent. In a 36-year reporting career for The Times, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting. His newest book is “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age.” @SangerNYT • Facebook

    Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The Times in 2015 as a campaign correspondent and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on President Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. @maggieNYT

    Michael D. Shear is a White House correspondent. He previously worked at The Washington Post and was a member of their Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007. @shearm

    Mark Mazzetti is a Washington investigative correspondent, a job he assumed after covering national security from the Washington bureau for 10 years. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. @MarkMazzettiNYT

    Julian E. Barnes is a national security reporter based in Washington, covering the intelligence agencies. Before joining The Times in 2018, he wrote about security matters for The Wall Street Journal. @julianbarnes • Facebook
    A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2020, Section A, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: Despite Timely Alerts, Trump Was Slow to Act. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper |

  6. #6
    I don't believe you ... please continue
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  7. #7
    19th Hole
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    Wrinkled Bill

    We get it.
    You have extreme TDS.
    Learn how to post properly for the sake of SBR.
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  8. #8
    My Finger Smells Like Pork
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldBill;3097868[B


    Dude, we had 3 straight months of Riots where the CDC and the Lying Left looked the other way and made excuses.

    I don't even want to hear about what Trump did.
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