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Trump claims “big progress” made on virus while fighting outbreak in his own White House

Trump claims “big progress” made on virus while fighting outbreak in his own White House

The United States now has over 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with over 81,000 deaths. This pandemic has proven to be a tragedy of historic proportions and far too much of this suffering can be laid directly at the feet of the president, a man who refused to take the outbreak seriously at first and who decided early on that hurling blame at his enemies was more important than focusing on the hard work needed to save lives.

Trump has proven to be an abject failure when his country needed him most and rather than own up to that difficult reality he is insisting that he has done a spectacular job at fighting the pandemic.

Today, the president tweeted out that coronavirus numbers are “looking MUCH better” and “going down almost everywhere” which he claimed constitutes “big progress.” As usual, he failed to provide any evidence or specific figures and the tweet reads like yet another attempt to downplay the severity of the virus in order to blunt backlash at the ballot boxes in November.

While Trump is busy presenting a disingenuously brave face to the public about COVID-19, CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz reports that in private he “expressed concern” over the weekend that White House aides contracting the virus might “undercut his message that the outbreak is waning and states should be reopening.”

So far, there have been two confirmed White House staffer COVID-19 cases. Katie Miller, Press Secretary for Vice President Mike Pence has been infected as has as one of Donald Trump’s valets. The exposure to Miller has prompted Pence to self-isolate.

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Clearly, the risk of infection is still incredibly high and reopening the economy right now means more people, especially the at-risk elderly, will die. If the White House with its unparalleled resources can’t even manage to prevent new cases within its own walls, how can regular places of employment be expected to?

Trump’s concerns here are telling. He’s not worried that reopening the economy is unsafe, he’s worried that aggressively pushing for it will make him look bad if infections at 1600 Pennslyvania Avenue spike. His focus is on his own PR, not the lives of working-class Americans. The people of this country deserve so much better and in November we will finally have a chance to make the change we need.

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