Sunday, October 04, 2020

The White House Is Already Lying About Trump's Condition & When He Tested Positive

Michael D. Shear, Maggie Haberman And Kenneth P. Vogel, NYT, Oct. 2, 2020
It is not clear exactly when Mr. Trump was infected or by whom, and the White House remained secretive about the circumstances on Friday, declining to provide any account of who made the decision for the president to go to New Jersey or of how Ms. Hicks's illness was handled on Wednesday and Thursday.

But by day's end, there was little doubt that the virus had been circulating in proximity to Mr. Trump for the past week, even as he disparaged mask wearing and campaigned in person in front of crowds that were not socially distanced.

The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, received a positive test on Wednesday afternoon after accompanying the president to events late last week. Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, who went mask-free to the Rose Garden event on Saturday where Mr. Trump introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee, said on Friday that he had tested positive. So did three other guests at the event, Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, Kellyanne Conway, a former White House counselor, and the president of the University of Notre Dame, the Rev. John I. Jenkins. . . .

At least three members of the White House press corps also tested positive on Friday.
To keep himself and his staff safe, Mr. Trump had relied heavily on regular use of a rapid test that was never intended for that type of screening and can miss as many as one in three or four cases.

On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Trump, presumably already infected himself, mingled with supporters for several hours at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., first for a round-table discussion indoors and then a fund-raiser outside that included about 200 people. . . .

In the early hours of Friday morning, reality would finally catch up to Mr. Trump. After months of wishing that the virus would "disappear, like a miracle" and insisting that the country was "rounding the corner" in its fight against the pandemic, the president announced that he and Melania Trump, the first lady, had tested positive . . .

Now the White House itself is a hot spot of sorts, the center of a contact tracing effort that extends to the upper reaches of American politics and government. . . .

Last Friday, Ms. McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, mingled with Mr. Trump at a glitzy fund-raiser at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, along with the committee's leadership team. The president seemed to be in good cheer and good health. He had reason to be happy.

The next afternoon, he gathered Republican lawmakers and members of conservative interest groups in the Rose Garden to announce Judge Barrett as his pick to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court . . .

Ms. McDaniel was not there, having traveled to her home in Michigan. It would be a few days before she began to feel ill and then tested positive for the virus. But the newly renovated Rose Garden was packed with Mr. Trump's supporters, including at least eight Republican senators, few of them wearing masks. Judge Barrett, who is said to have already had the coronavirus and has since recovered, had earlier met with the president in the Oval Office without wearing a mask. . . .

The president also mingled with his guests indoors, including a reception in the Diplomatic Room, where few people, if any, were wearing masks. . . .

Not present at the Barrett events that day was Ms. Hicks.
As Vox's Aaron Rupar notes, this article makes it seem as though Trump infected Hicks and not the other way around, as was first reported. Because McDaniel tested positive after attending a fundraiser with Trump (and others) on September 25 and did not attend the Rose Garden announcement the following day, Covid-19 had been in Trump's orbit at least since Friday the 25th. 
Any time Team Trump says X is going well, it is a safe bet to automatically assume X is a stone-cold disaster. Anyone associated with Trump is going to lie about his condition. They are going to lie about how he got infected. They are going to lie about who he infected. They are going to lie about who else in his circle tested positive. They are going to lie about his health when/if he recovers. They lie. They deny reality. That's what they do.

On Friday, Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post wrote:
"[A] culture of lies permeates the White House. There has been a parade of press secretaries with a remarkably consistent record of failing to tell the truth to reporters and the general public. . . .

In this latest crisis, the predictable cycle of dangerous obfuscation has already begun. It was only after Bloomberg News reported that Trump aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for coronavirus that the White House acknowledged it.

Would we even know about Trump's diagnosis if it weren't for that? Maybe not. What about those he has come in contact with in recent days? Would they know they were endangered? The indications aren't good. Yamiche Alcindor, the PBS White House correspondent, reported Friday that there was "no contact from the Trump campaign or the White House to alert the Biden campaign of possible exposure."
The Post added:
Not a single administration statement deserves to be taken at face value. That privilege has been forfeited.
There already have been several lies, not surprisingly. 

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Friday that Trump had "mild symptoms". On Saturday, Meadows referred to the previous day, saying "we were concerned" because Trump had a fever and "his blood oxygen level had dropped rapidly". Those two stories do not make sense. The Los Angeles Times reported (as did CNN) that Trump received supplemental oxygen Friday morning after laboring to breathe, which alarmed White House WH officials. Again, "mild symptoms" for an out-of-shape 74-year-old man who had contracted a deadly disease?

Early on Saturday, tweets from CBS's Paula Reid (8:45 AM) and CNN's Kaitlin Collins (9:04 AM) stated that Trump's doctor stated the president was 72 hours into the diagnosis That would mean Trump tested positive on Wednesday morning – many hours before Hicks reportedly tested positive. Another physician said Trump received a special antibody therapy "about 48 hours ago", which was eight hours before the pubic learned of Trump's positive test. Which would also suggest it was actually Wednesday morning that Trump tested positive. 

Reid's follow-up tweets:
Doctor was just asked about this discrepancy & says Thursday night they got PCR clarity......this did not clear this up and this would be a big misstatement. Also hasnt clarified why President would have started 48 hours ago...which would be prior to positive test.

Instead of reassuring the public, Walter Reed press conference sets-off new confusion and serious questions about President's #COVID19 diagnosis.
Jeremy Faust, an instructor in emergency medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, tweeted that if Dr. Conley "knew the diagnosis Wednesday, and allowed the President to continue his schedule, he should lose his medical license and face any legal consequences".
Maggie Haberman, New York Times:
Conley has now jeopardized his own ability to be believed by the public. It is in part because he is adhering to the wishes of a patient who does not want the information about yesterday disclosed, according to people briefed on what has taken place so far.
Dr. Faust appeared on CNN this evening and stated that the White House press release on Saturday:
suggests a very different past couple of days than we were initially led to believe. . . . Either the President has a rapidly progressing case (positive test+ fever + low oxygen in a very short time), implying high viral load and more serious infection . . . or much longer infection and he exposed many others.

More Lies

"Rounding The Corner"
Jeffrey St. Clair, Counterpunch, October 2, 2020:
+ Trump should have hired someone to take the COVID test for him, like he did his SAT, then they’d have the COVID instead of him.

+ Trump was just one of 43,000 other Americans who tested positive for COVID on Thursday. While nearly all of them paid more in taxes than he did, few will have his resources to fight the ravages of the disease and recover from its financial aftershocks. . . .

+ Nearly, every undocumented immigrant working in the US pays more in federal taxes than Donald Trump.

+ In 2017, a single worker without children who made $18,000 would have paid $760 in federal income tax. Donald Trump paid $750. . . .

+ Trump should be thanking Obama, the $70 million tax refund he cashed, which is basically the only money he’s made in the last decade, came from a loophole in the tax code created by Obama’s 2009 recession bailout for Wall Street bill.
Mark your calendar: "CNN host just said there is now a 'credibility crisis' at the White House" (emphasis added)

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