WASHINGTON – There are alternate facts, then there is the alternate reality of President Trump from daily briefings on the coronaviruses he has been running for weeks.
Just take the president’s own words during Tuesday’s briefing:
“We have performed 1.87 million tests to date. So that’s 1 million, 870,000 million tests. Think about it: 1,870,000 tests to date. And now we play them on a level that no one has ever seen before. ”
In fact, it ranks the United States – with a population of over 300 million – basically of coronaviruses per capita for countries, and the current number masks the lack of tests that existed in the country a month ago.
“They missed the call,” Trump said of the World Health Organization during yesterday’s briefing. “They could have called him months earlier. They would have known, and they should have known. And they probably knew it, so we’re going to look at this very carefully. “
In fact, as the New York Times writes, “The W.H.O. sounded the alarm in the early days of the crisis, declaring a “public health emergency of international concern” one day before the US Secretary of Health and Human Services announced the country’s own public health emergency and weeks before Mr. Trump declares a national emergency. ”
And more from Trump yesterday: “We closed it; had no choice. It was a good decision. It was a good decision. The first move in China was a good decision. The first move in Europe was a good decision. I did a lot of good things. But the closure was a big statement. It was an important and important thing. “
In fact, the day the Trump administration announced travel restrictions for China – it never shut it down completely – there were six confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States now? There are more than 400,000 confirmed cases, more cases registered than in any other country.
Trump’s briefings have allowed him to politicize the response to the epidemic – with Democratic governors, with the former Obama administration and now with WHO.
But more than that, they allowed him to create a different reality from coronaviruses – where the United States responded perfectly to the virus, while everyone felt it – when the facts don’t corroborate this.
“Everyone is amazed at the work we do,” said Trump during Monday’s briefing. “And the public is starting to find out. They’re starting – you know, one of the reasons I do these press conferences – because if I didn’t, they would believe the fake news. And we cannot make them believe false news. ”
In reality, however, disapproval of the federal government’s response is up – not down – around last week, according to a new CNN / SSRS poll.
Downloading data: the numbers you need to know today
400 081: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 31,428 more than yesterday morning.)
12 893: The number of deaths in the United States due to the virus so far. (This is 1,951 more than yesterday morning).
12,469: The number of deaths in the United States – over a period of one year – from the H1N1 flu from April 2009 to April 2010, according to the CDC.
2.06 million: The number of TESTS coronaviruses that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers from The COVID Tracking Project.
Over 2,500: The number of National Guard soldiers yesterday sent relief supplies to Wisconsin polling stations.
Six days: The time that will elapse before yesterday’s Wisconsin election results will be released.
Over 520,000: The number of Floridians who have filed for unemployment since March 15 because those trying to complain complain about a state treatment website not equipped to handle the outbreak
55 percent: The share of Americans in a new CNN / SSRS poll who say the federal government is doing a bad job in response to the crisis, up eight points in two weeks.
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Almost a third: Share of apartment tenants in the United States who have not paid April rent yet, new estimate shows
Watch access to the polls in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin
After what happened yesterday in the election of Wisconsin, it has become clear that the way this country conducts its elections will be the biggest political struggle outside of the general election.
And in particular, this could be summed up as access to ballots in the three battlefields of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin mentioned above.
The good news for Democrats, as they yell at GOP efforts to conduct Wisconsin’s elections yesterday, is that all three states have increased postal and correspondence voting in recent years.
In fact, these three states in 2016 were mainly states voting on election day.
Last October, the Governor of Pennsylvania enacted a measure that allows voters in the state to vote by mail without the need for an apology.
In Michigan now, all registered voters can request a mail-in ballot without providing a reason.
And in Wisconsin, despite all the problems we saw yesterday, the absentee vote was higher than ever before in the state.
Now, none of these three states is Colorado or Washington, which conducts their elections almost entirely by mail, but neither are they the only election day states they once were.
Tweet of the day
Vision 2020: And now we’re waiting a week to get the results of the Wisconsin elections
It was an unprecedented primary and election in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
Also: no exit polls, no projections and no results until April 13.
As NBC Gary Grumbach tweeted last night, “Surveys are now closed across Wisconsin. We will get results … in six days. “
NBC’s Ben Kamisar Ad Watch
The lights go on in the 3rd Congress District of New Mexico, the blue district being freed due to the candidacy of the representative Ben Ray Luján to the Senate.
Two Democratic candidates for the seat have launched new announcements in recent days: John Blair and Teresa Leger Fernandez.
Leger Fernandez’s spotlight focuses on water rights, while Blair, the former assistant secretary of state for New Mexico, gives out his cell phone number for him (something he can only ‘hope to get better than when the candidate at the time, Donald Trump, gave Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number at a campaign event).
Unless there are changes to the coronavirus, candidates will compete in a crowded June 2 primary which also includes former CIA officer Valerie Plame and a handful of other candidates. Whoever emerges will have a big leg in a neighborhood that Trump lost in 2016 and a Luján has easily held for the past decade.
What both parties want in the next relief bill
Senate Democrats set conditions for phase 4 coronavirus relief. Senators of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said on Tuesday that he was publishing a “pandemic bonus” or “Heroes Fund” plan they wanted to include in the next legislative package, when he called journalists. According to the NBC team at Capitol Hill, this plan includes:
- up to $ 25,000 from the start of the public health emergency until the end of the year. Equivalent to $ 13 an hour.
- will be for all frontline workers, not just health care, including grocery store workers, janitors, truck drivers, transit workers and more.
- an essential incentive to recruit workers of $ 15,000 to attract and retain only medical personnel (no other front-line worker).
- provide benefits to the families of those who died while working on the front lines.
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, expect more funding for the small business paycheck protection program in the next phase of the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote on Thursday that “I will be working with [Treasury] Secretary Mnuchin and Leader Schumer hope to approve new funding for the paycheck protection program by unanimous consent or voice vote at the next Senate session scheduled for Thursday. At the time of this letter, the NBC team reports to Capitol Hill, Schumer had not yet heard from McConnell on the proposal.
The cover: stroke down
Don’t miss yesterday’s pod, when we explored racial disparities in the deaths of Covid-19 in the places where we have data about them.
ICYMI: what is happening elsewhere in the world
The President now has a new chief of staff AND a new press secretary in the midst of a crisis.
The next front in the coronavirus war may be the protection of health.
The Trump administration is rescinding many regulations – and not all of them have to do with coronavirus.
One of the men whose state prison sentence was commuted by the former government. Matt Bevin has now been arrested on federal charges.
Biden’s super PAC highlights its plans to fight the pandemic.