So it happened last week when the United States was counting on disease and racism in a fog of lies and Presidential distortions. A sampling:
ASSET: “You know, the test is a double-edged sword. … Here’s the bad part. When you test this measure, you will find more people, find more cases. So I said to my people, “Slow down the tests, please.” – Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally on June 20.
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THE FACT: First, it is not true that he ordered that the tests be slowed down. Senior government public health officials testified to Congress one by one that Trump had told them nothing like that.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the comment was “made as a joke” and other senior officials also said it was not serious. Trump did not play the game. “I’m not kidding,” he said Tuesday when asked about the remark.
Then he turned around, saying to Fox News on Thursday, “Sometimes I joke, or sarcastically, if we weren’t testing, we would look great. But retaining the tests is “not the right thing to do.”
Trump’s broader point – “If you don’t test, you have no case,” he also said – turns science upside down. No one disputes the fact that screening for the virus is essential to controlling it. The tests are just one measure of the pandemic. It is also measured by hospitalization and death, which continues even if authorities ignore the spread of the disease.
Coronavirus: Slowing COVID-19 tests “is not a laughing matter,” says Pelosi
COVID-19 has killed an estimated 125,000 people in the United States. The infections are much higher than is known, as many people with the disease and transmitting it are not tested.
ASSET: “There is huge evidence of fraud every time you have postal ballots.” – remarks Tuesday at the Phoenix rally.
THE FACTS: No, there aren’t.
Election fraud is actually rare, and Trump’s attempts to show the opposite have come to nothing. Nevertheless, he persists in the assertion, in what can be considered an excuse to discredit the results if he loses in November.
Trump appointed a commission after the 2016 election to get to the bottom of his theory that electoral fraud is rampant. The panel disbanded without producing any conclusions.
Joe Biden attacks Trump’s comments on COVID-19: “He is afraid of looking bad”
Some electoral studies have reported a higher incidence of postal vote fraud than in-person voting, but the overall risk is almost imperceptible. The Brennan Center for Justice said in 2017 that the risk of electoral fraud was 0.00004% to 0.0009%.
When Trump made similar claims last month, Twitter took the extraordinary step of attaching fact-checking notices.
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Richard L. Hasen, an election expert at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, recently wrote in an editorial that “problems are extremely rare in the five states that rely primarily on email voting, including the very republican state of Utah. ”
Trump himself voted by mail to the Florida Republican primary in March. Half a dozen of the president’s senior advisers also voted by mail, according to the Associated Press’s election results.
ASSET: “I also clarified that any rioter damaging federal property and degrading our monuments would face severe and long-term criminal sanctions. Ten years. – remarks Tuesday in Phoenix.
Trump launched his first campaign rally in months when 6 staff are positive for coronavirus
THE FACTS: He has no such authority. A president is not a judge.
ASSET: “I have authorized the federal government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys a monument, statue or other federal asset in the United States with up to 10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or any other relevant law. … This action takes effect immediately, but can also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions! – tweets Tuesday.
THE FACTS: This action “immediately” and “retroactively” is just words. This has no effect.
Coronavirus: Dr Fauci refutes Trump’s statement, says no one has ever asked to slow down COVID-19 tests
The Veterans ‘Memorials Conservation Act, passed by Congress in 2003, already authorizes fines or prison terms of up to 10 years for the destruction of veterans’ memorials on public property.
The law covers “any structure, plaque, statue or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States”.
So all of the prosecutors obtained from Trump are a reminder of the legal authority they already had.
ASSET: “They even vandalized – it’s true – the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial. ”- remarks at the Phoenix rally on Wednesday, causing public boos.
THE FACTS: No one damaged the memorial housing the Lincoln statue during protests that took place near him. An online photo that appeared to show the Lincoln statue and a graffiti-covered memorial wall was fake.
Coronavirus: Trump says he’s not kidding when he tells authorities to slow down COVID-19 testing
The reality: someone painted with a spray, “Aren’t you tired yet?” From the bottom of the memorial steps on May 30 and the National Park Service cleaned it up.
“The only vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial was graffiti at the bottom of the steps at street level, away from the statue,” said National Parks spokesman Mike Litterst.
He said that vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial is unusual but not unknown. “Probably the most notable was in 2013 when someone splashed green paint on the statue,” he said in an email. “And it was vandalized twice in 2017, once in February with a black magic marker and again in August with red spray paint on one of the columns. “
RISK OF VIRUS
ASSET: “The number of ChinaVirus cases is increasing, due to LARGE TESTS, while the number of deaths (death rate) is drastically decreasing. – tweet Thursday.
THE FACTS: No, the increase in testing does not fully account for the increase in cases. People are also becoming more infected than before as the rules of social distancing diminish and “community spread” accelerates.
“One of the things is an increase in the spread in the community, and that is something that really concerns me,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, on Tuesday.
As for Trump’s point on declining mortality, Fauci said it was not a relevant measure of what was happening at the moment with infections. “Deaths still lag considerably behind cases,” he said. “It is conceivable that you can see the dead increase. ”
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that “many communities are seeing an increase in the number of cases due to multiple factors, including an increase in tests, epidemics and evidence of community transmission.”
TRUMP on the pandemic: “It is disappearing, it will disappear. – Fox News interview on June 17.
THE FACTS: It is not discoloration and it is not about to.
New COVID-19 cases flock to several US states
Daily coronavirus infections in the United States reached an all-time high of 40,000 at the end of the week, overshadowing the previous high of 36,400 on April 24 during one of the deadliest stretches of the crisis. New cases reported daily have increased on average by about 60% in the past two weeks, according to analysis by the Associated Press.
Earlier in the week, Fauci told Congress that the United States was “still in the middle of the first wave” and that it was imperative to “bring this epidemic under control in the coming months.” He said that the New York area, once an epicenter, has done remarkably well, but “in other parts of the country, we are now witnessing a worrying wave of infections.”
The coming weeks “are going to be crucial in our ability to cope with the surgeries we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona and other states,” said Fauci. “They are not the only ones having difficulties. “
Fauci added, “There will certainly be coronavirus infections in the fall and winter because the virus will not go away. ”
Redfield said, “As we approach fall, we will have the flu and COVID at the same time. ”
TRUMP: “We have the largest testing program in the world.” – remarks Tuesday.
ASSET: “We did too good a job. “- interview Monday.
Coronavirus: Trump’s comment on slowdown in COVID-19 testing is “joking”, said press secretary
THE FACTS: According to its own health experts, the United States is far from the level of testing required to stem the virus.
Redfield testified that health officials are still working to dramatically increase testing capacity, calling this expansion “the essential foundation of our response.”
The United States currently performs between 500,000 and 600,000 tests per day. Many public health experts say the United States should test nearly twice as many people a day to control the spread of the virus. As for the fall, some experts have asked for at least 4 million tests a day, while a group assembled by Harvard University estimated that 20 million a day would be needed to control the virus.
Redfield said the United States aims to increase testing to 3 million a day by “pooling” samples from multiple people, a technique that is still under review by the FDA. He stressed the need for increased surveillance as some infected people may not show symptoms.
“We still have a long way to go,” said Redfield.
The United States tripped at the start of the pandemic response when the CDC struggled to develop its own coronavirus test in January, later discovering problems in its kits sent to state and state public health laboratories. counties in early February.
It took the CDC more than two weeks to find a solution for the test kits, causing diagnostic delays until February, a critical month when the virus took root in the United States.
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