Responding to an expert’s statement that “about 3.2 million” American lives have been saved by vaccines against Covid, with “over 14 million lives” saved globally, the far-right Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene said: “I’m not a doctor, but I have a PhD in recognising bullshit when I hear it.”On Capitol Hill on Thursday, Greene attended a hearing staged by the House oversight select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic.The expert Greene responded to, Dr Peter Marks, the director of biologics evaluation and research at the Food and Drug Administration, also described how at the height of the pandemic in the US, “about 3,300 [people], about a World Trade Center disaster a day”, were dying of Covid-19, contributing to a death toll of more than 1.1m.Marks later apologised to viewers, after Greene claimed children should not be given Covid vaccines.Greene, from Georgia, is a former CrossFit gym owner, conspiracy theorist and controversialist who entered Congress in 2021 and has assumed an influential position in a House Republican caucus controlled by the far right.Touting herself as a possible vice-presidential pick for Donald Trump, she is set to act as a manager in the impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security, a process Greene drove in the House.Speaking after Marks answered questions from the Maryland Democrat Jamie Raskin, Greene first dismissed the doctor’s comments as “bullshit”.Then she used her allotted five minutes to deliver rambling remarks about “all kinds of injuries, miscarriages, heart attacks, myocarditis, permanent disability, neurological problems” that she said had arisen from “people being forced to take vaccines”.“There’s been thousands of peer-reviewed medical studies, thousands of them studying vaccine injuries,” Greene said. “They are real. People are dying.“People are having heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and many other countries are dropping the Covid-19 vaccine and saying we shouldn’t give them to children. It’s time to be honest about the vaccine-injured and we need to stop allowing these Covid-19 vaccines to be given out to children.”The next speaker, the California Democrat Robert Garcia, said: “I’m sorry you all had to go through that. That was a lot of conspiracy theories and wild accusations, which we know have been debunked by medical science. We should be clear that vaccines work and have saved lives, and have saved millions of lives in this country.”Garcia displayed blow-ups of tweets and comments in which Greene has spread conspiracy theories and misinformation including comparing pandemic public health rules to the Holocaust, encouraging parents to deny Covid vaccines to children and claiming vaccines contribute to an increase in “turbo cancers”.As Greene indicated her displeasure, Garcia asked Dr Marks to “clarify once again for the American people, do the Covid vaccines cause ‘turbo cancers’?”“I’m a haematologist and oncologist that’s board certified,” Marks said. “I don’t know what a ‘turbo cancer’ is. It was a term that was used first in a paper on mouse experiments, describing an inflammatory response. We have not detected any increase in cancers with the Covid-19 vaccines.”As Garcia began to speak, Marks interjected.“May I just add something here,” he said. “I do need to apologise to the thousand or so parents of children under four years of age who have died of Covid-19, who were unvaccinated. Because there were deaths and there continue to be deaths among children, and that is the reason why they need to get vaccinated. Thank you.” More
People who took an anti-malaria treatment that Donald Trump touted as a cure for Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic and waning days of his presidency were 11% more likely to die from the virus, according to a new scientific study.The study’s authors – who published their findings in the peer-reviewed Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal – also estimated that nearly 17,000 people in six different countries, including the US, died after contracting Covid-19 and taking the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine.Doctors who prescribed hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 at the height of activity restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus did so off-label and without evidence that there was any clinical benefit, as the authors of the new study noted. The study’s conclusions “illustrate the hazard of drug repurposing with low-level evidence for the management of future pandemics”, its authors added.A meta-analysis of randomized trials produced the findings in the study released by Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, a 67-year-old journal edited by DM Townsend of the Medical University of South Carolina.The study’s authors said they used public databases to establish the number of Covid-19 patients who were hospitalized during the early days of the pandemic. They said they then systematically reviewed 44 cohort studies to calculate that there was an 11% increase in mortality associated with cases involving the use of hydroxychloroquine, along with about 16,990 in-hospital deaths in the US, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and Turkey.Trump first hawked hydroxychloroquine as a miracle drug that could cure Covid-19 in March 2020 as he railed against activity lockdowns, saying they would ruin the US economy.His remarks about anti-malaria medication led to a surge in prescriptions for the drug. The Food and Drug Administration – which didn’t approve the first Covid-19 vaccine until December 2020 – was forced to warn that hydroxychloroquine could cause irregular heartbeats and other cardiac trouble.And the regulatory agency also clarified that the medication had only been approved to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.The then-president later dismissed an early study which showed hydroxychloroquine was an ineffective Covid-19 treatment as a “Trump enemy statement”.“They were giving it to people that were … almost dead,” Trump said at one point as the White House claimed he himself was taking the medication prophylactically.Trump ultimately tested positive for Covid-19 on 26 September 2020 and was hospitalized within days. He recovered after doctors treated him with a new antibody cocktail that was nearly impossible for the general public to access.Weeks later, Trump lost his bid for a second term in the Oval Office to Joe Biden. He is now facing 91 pending criminal charges for attempting to subvert his electoral defeat, illegally retaining government secrets, and hush-money payments to an adult film actor who has alleged an extramarital sexual encounter with him.Trump nonetheless is leading the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and polls have suggested a rematch with Biden would be competitive.Before the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped keeping track in May, more than 1.1 million people had died from Covid-19 in the US, and nearly 105m cases had been reported, according to officials. More
Strolling past the colorfully restored Victorian homes of the Fourth Ward, watching the barman hand-carve blocks of ice for old fashioneds at the jam-packed bar of The Crunkleton, it’s easy to fall for Charlotte’s ample southern charms. And yet, people are not happy – at least according to the polls.Consumer sentiment in North Carolina is now lower than it was at the height of the pandemic, according to High Point University’s confidence tracker. “People are just not feeling particularly good,” said Martin Kifer, director of the university’s survey research center.North Carolina is not alone. Official figures suggest the US pulled off an astonishing recovery from the Covid pandemic and recession.More than 20 million people in the US lost their jobs in April 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered the world’s largest economy. The unemployment rate rose to 14.7%. But the rebound was just as dramatic. Unemployment has hovered near 50-year lows since January 2022 and is now 3.8%. In North Carolina, it’s just 3.3%. More than 100 people are moving to the city every day.But as an exclusive Guardian/Harris Poll survey found this week, two-thirds (68%) of Americans report it’s difficult to be happy about positive economic news when they feel financially squeezed each month.Across the country, poll after poll shows people are not feeling it. That’s not good news for the Biden administration, particularly in a potential swing state where the perceived success – or failure – of “Bidenomics”, as Biden has dubbed his economic strategy, will be one of the key issues in next year’s election.The election is still a way out, and Biden has proven pollsters wrong in the past. Nevertheless, the economy – or voters’ perception of it – will be a defining issue in one of the most consequential elections in US history.Americans are deeply divided on the economy. The Harris poll shows over half (53%) of Americans believe the economy is getting worse. Some 72% of Republicans share that view compared with 32% of Democrats. But the unhappiness runs deep on both sides. Only a third of Democrats believe that the economy is getting better.Even when Americans say they are doing OK financially, they believe the economy is in trouble. According to the Federal Reserve’s annual survey of economic wellbeing, 73% of households said that they were “at least doing OK financially” at the end of 2022. In 2019, that figure was 75% of households. But back then, 50% said the national economy was good or excellent. By 2022, that number had fallen to just 18%.Some heavyweight voices share the gloom. Both the former Treasury secretary Larry Summers and Bill Dudley, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, have speculated that having shot out of the pandemic like a coyote chasing a roadrunner, the US may be in a “Wile E Coyote” economy and, like Warner Brother’s cartoon canine, the US economy may be heading off a cliff. “Falling back to earth will not be a pleasant experience,” Dudley has warned.Partisanship explains much of the seeming disconnect between economic data and sentiment. But not all of it. Large forces are reshaping the US economy and may explain the nation’s vertigo.Many low-wage workers, have been living with that fear of falling for a long time.Ieisha Franceis’s wages have shot up from $12.50 to $17 since the Durham, North Carolina, resident made the shift from working in fast food to a job at a senior living facility. Wages are – finally – running ahead of inflation overall but for Franceis, “everything looks the same. Inflation’s not gone down, it’s just not going up,” she said. “These days $17 an hour is looking a lot like $12.50,” said the low-wage activist.Franceis used to buy her family’s side dishes, boxes of macaroni and cheese, mashed potato, at Dollar General. The Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (“the good stuff”) has gone. “Now they only carry a cheaper brand with the powdered cheese.” At the average grocery store, that Kraft Mac and Cheese is over $2.“The Dollar Tree went from everything being $1 to everything being $1.25. Now they even have a $5 section and a $10 section. Huh? This was a dollar store,” she said. “Bidenomics” means little to Franceis. “What we need is higher wages and more unions,” she said.Even entrepreneurs are finding the new, post-Covid economy taxing.Cocktail queen Tamu Curtis saw her business boom during lockdown. A Los Angeles transplant, she started giving cocktail classes online and saved enough to open her bricks-and-mortar shop. The Cocktailery – nestled between an Anthropologie and Warby Parker inside an old streetcar station – opened in September 2021 when the vaccines started rolling out. “I thought, OK everybody is going to run and get the vaccines. We are saved! Of course, it didn’t work out that way,” she said ruefully. “That was a plot twist.”Up and running now for over a year, business has been strange. “This has been the craziest summer. It’s so slow,” she said.Retail sales have collapsed but classes have boomed. “People will spend money on experiences. On travel. We spent two years filling our houses with stuff. Maybe we just don’t need that any more.”On top of that, she said, “inflation is killing me.” An order of cocktail bitters that used to cost her $700 shot up to $1,500. “There’s only so much you can pass on. I can’t sell a bitter for $42. There’s a max people will pay.”At the same time, rent is high and financing is getting tougher as interest rates rise. “It’s difficult,” she said. And more so for a minority, woman-owned business. She hasn’t been able to get a traditional bank loan yet or a line of credit from her bank, Charlotte-based Bank of America. “Now the banks aren’t lending the way they were.”Post-Covid has been an easier ride for other local business people but still, existential questions remain, ones that may point to a wider national malaise.Desmond Wiggan and his partner Aubrey Yeboah launched their business, BatteryXchange, in 2019, just before the pandemic. The company sets up battery charging stations for mobile devices and the idea had originally been to target people at conferences or out on the town. “Suddenly there were no people,” said Wiggan.BatteryXChange retooled and now rents its equipment to healthcare providers and others who use the service to help keep their customers online. It worked and business is booming, as is Wiggan’s profile. He has just returned from a business symposium on swanky Martha’s Vineyard. A copy of Propel, a local Black business magazine, sits on his office table. Wiggan’s headshot is above a message from Michelle Obama: “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make.”But Wiggan has some wider concerns. He spent two years living in China and has seen firsthand that other countries think on a longer timescale. Back in the US, he said, it’s all about the next election cycle. On top of that another likely hot election issue worries him. “The age gap of our leaders. They are old. The torch has got to be passed.“These other countries are starting to sniff us out,” he said. Foreign students were getting their education in the US then going home because they see their country looking to the future, he said. “They are thinking 2060 not every four, eight years when we go back and forth.”****Why people feel so bad about an economy that – technically – appears strong is a question that is vexing not just the White House but Nobel economic laureates. Historians will have a better answer. For now, the reasons look manifold.As HPU’s Kifer points out “the perception of the economy is not the economy.” The disconnect between the official figures and how people feel may be temporary. Nor is it unusual for the hangover of a recession to outlast what looks like the beginning of a recovery. High Point’s own consumer confidence index started in 2010, two years after the peak of the 2008/2009 recession. It wasn’t until September 2011 that confidence started rising.The US’s pandemic recession began in February 2020 and ended two months later, making it the shortest recession on record. The body blow it dealt to confidence is, however, proving hard to shift. And things are different this time. For one, there is relatively high inflation – something never directly experienced by Americans under 40. Slowing increases have done little to calm people’s nerves and most people in North Carolina expect inflation to get worse next year, according to another HPU poll.The mood of economic despondency is fueled by other fires, too, illustrated by life in North Carolina and felt across the country.Politics plays a huge role. The University of Michigan’s national consumer confidence index shows Republican confidence soared under Trump and dropped under Biden while Democrats’ did the opposite.But it’s not the only factor. While people may not have lost their jobs, America’s middle class has lost $2tn in wealth since 2020 thanks to inflation and the fastest increase in interest rates since the 1980s, according to data compiled by economists at the University of California, Berkeley.That fall comes after outsized gains from stimulus cheques, rising house prices and other assets for those who rode out the pandemic with little financial cost. Still, the psychological pain of losing is about twice the pleasure of winning, according to Nobel-winning psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman. Losses loom larger than gains.Then there are the epochal issues of our day – ones that will spread far beyond North Carolina and the Biden presidency.North Carolina has been voted the best state for business for two consecutive years and business is still good. But there are signs of a slowdown. According to the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, the Charlotte area expects businesses to invest $2.3bn in the region this year and create 7,200 jobs. That’s down from $8bn in investment and 20,000 jobs last year.Uncertainty is a large part of that drop, said Danny Chavez, chief business recruitment officer of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. Concerns about the direction of interest rates and political change are part of it – businesses waiting to see what happens next year, a natural part of the cycle. There is also something more.The number of jobs created per investment is also decreasing as tech takes jobs. Financial services and manufacturing are extremely important to the region. They remain so, said Chavez. “But in terms of jobs, both those industries are highly vulnerable to automation and AI,” he said.While Charlotte is better positioned than most to ride out that change, Chavez said the region – and the rest of the US – is also increasingly competing with global players. India and China are challenging the US’s rank as the world’s largest economy.Biden’s economic plans are playing to the long term and America has proved resilient to big shocks before. The president also has a track record of beating expectations. If hiring stays steady and inflation keeps receding, maybe Americans will hear the good news soon. That may or may not happen before the 2024 election.But the polls may also reflect a wider anxiety about the existential challenges the US (and other economies) face. Perhaps those challenges explain some of the national mood. It’s hard to measure existential dread.Longer term, neither Bidenomics – nor Trumponomics – are likely to fix America’s broken healthcare and childcare systems or the climate crisis. Nor do they offer clear solutions to the global trade winds that threaten American exceptionalism or the challenges presented by AI and automation.Little wonder then that so many in the US feel like Wile E Coyote, running off the cliff, treading air, waiting for the fall. More
Jill Biden tested positive for Covid on Monday night, the White House said, the second time the first lady has tested positive for the virus.“She is currently experiencing only mild symptoms. She will remain at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware,” the first lady’s communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, said in a statement.Joe Biden, scheduled to leave on Thursday for a G20 meeting in India, tested negative for Covid on Monday evening. But the president “will test at a regular cadence this week and monitor for symptoms”, the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, said in a statement. The first lady’s positive result came after the Bidens spent Labor Day weekend together.Jill Biden previously tested positive for Covid in August last year. Joe Biden tested positive the previous month.There has been a late-summer uptick in Covid cases across the United States. Experts are closely watching two new variants, EG.5, now the dominant strain, and BA.2.86, which has attracted attention from scientists because of its high number of mutations. Experts have said that the United States is not facing a threat like it did in 2020 and 2021. “We’re in a different place,” Mandy Cohen, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC News last month. “I think we’re the most prepared that we’ve ever been.”New Covid vaccines and booster shots are expected to be available this fall. More
From 2h agoA judge has rejected Donald Trump’s bid to move his hush money criminal case to federal court, ruling that the former president had failed to meet a high legal bar for changing jurisdiction.US district judge Alvin Hellerstein’s decision sets the stage for Trump to stand trial in state court in Manhattan as early as next spring, overlapping with the 2024 presidential primary season, AP reported.Manhattan prosecutors charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to hide reimbursements made to his then fixer, Michael Cohen, for his role in paying $130,000 to the adult film star, Stormy Daniels, ahead of the 2016 presidential election.Trump’s lawyers had argued that the case should be moved from New York state court to federal court because he was being prosecuted for an act under the “color of his office” as president.Judge Hellerstein scoffed at the defense claims, finding that the allegations pertained to Trump’s personal life, not presidential duties that would have merited a move to federal court. He wrote in a 25-page ruling:
The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the matter was a purely a personal item of the President – a cover-up of an embarrassing event.
Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts. It does not reflect in any way the color of the President’s official duties.
Here is a recap of today’s developments:
The letter to Donald Trump by special counsel Jack Smith identifying him as a “target” in the justice department’s investigation into the January 6 insurrection reportedly listed the federal statutes under which the former president could be charged. The letter mentions three federal statutes: conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States, deprivation of rights under color of law, and tampering with a witness, victim or an informant, according to several sources, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Donald Trump sought to downplay his legal challenges while railing against special counsel Jack Smith and the justice department, after announcing he had received a letter naming him as the target of the DoJ’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. “I didn’t know practically what a subpoena was and grand juries. Now I’m becoming an expert. I have no choice,” he said on Tuesday night. Trump could face a new indictment as early as the end of the week.
A federal judge has rejected Donald Trump’s request for a new trial in a civil case brought by E Jean Carroll, where a jury found that he sexually abused her and awarded her $5m in damages. US district judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan ruled that the jury did not reach a “seriously erroneous result” and that the 9 May verdict was not a “miscarriage of justice”.
A judge rejected Donald Trump’s bid to move his hush money criminal case to federal court, ruling that the former president had failed to meet a high legal bar for changing jurisdiction. The decision sets the stage for Trump to stand trial in state court in Manhattan as early as next spring, overlapping with the 2024 presidential primary season.
Allies of Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis are reportedly pressing for a shake-up of his campaign amid financial pressure and flagging poll numbers. His campaign manager, Generra Peck, is “hanging by a thread”, according to a DeSantis donor who is close to the campaign, after fewer than 10 staffers were laid off last week.
Robert Kennedy Jr, a long-shot Democratic candidate for US president, has a long history of racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, and should be denied a national platform, according to a damning report seen by the Guardian.
Half a dozen House Republicans would reportedly support a measure to censure George Santos, the Republican congressman whose résumé has been shown to be largely fabricated and who has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds.
The Republican-led House in Alabama approved a new congressional map that would increase the percentage of Black voters – but not by enough, said Black lawmakers who called the map an insult to Black Alabamians and the supreme court.
Wesleyan University announced it would end legacy admissions, after the supreme court struck down affirmative action in the college admission process last month. A small number of schools have ended the practice of legacy admissions, including Johns Hopkins, MIT and Amherst college.
The department of justice said that it is assessing the situation by the Texas-Mexico border following “troubling reports” that have emerged over Texas troopers’ treatment of migrants.
The Republican-led House in Alabama approved a new congressional map on Wednesday that would increase the percentage of Black voters – but not by enough, said Black lawmakers who called the map an insult to Black Alabamians and the supreme court.The House of Representatives voted 74-27 to approve the GOP plan, which came after a supreme court opinion last month found lawmakers previously drew districts that unlawfully dilute the political power of its Black residents in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.While Black people make up about 27% of Alabama’s population, only one of the state’s seven districts is majority-Black.The GOP plan does not establish the second majority-Black district sought by plaintiffs who won the supreme court case, instead it increases the percentage of Black voters to 42% in the district, AP reported.Representative Barbara Drummond, speaking during the floor debate, said:
This is really a slap in the face, not only to Black Alabamians, but to the supreme court.
“Once again, the state decided to be on the wrong side of history,” Representative Prince Chestnut said.
Once again the (Republican) super majority decided that the voting rights of Black people are nothing that this state is bound to respect. And it’s offensive. It’s wrong.
Half a dozen House Republicans would reportedly support a measure to censure George Santos, the Republican congressman whose résumé has been shown to be largely fabricated and who has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds.House Democrats unveiled a resolution on Monday to formally reprimand Santos for blatantly lying to voters about his life story.Mike Lawler, Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Marc Molinaro, Nick Langworthy, and Max Miller have all said that they would support the Democrats’ resolution, according to an Axios report. With Republicans holding a 10-seat House majority, it could take as few as five GOP defections for the measure to pass.A banal dystopia where manipulative content is so cheap to make and so easy to produce on a massive scale that it becomes ubiquitous: that’s the political future digital experts are worried about in the age of generative artificial intelligence (AI).In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, social media platforms were vectors for misinformation as far-right activists, foreign influence campaigns and fake news sites worked to spread false information and sharpen divisions.Four years later, the 2020 election was overrun with conspiracy theories and baseless claims about voter fraud that were amplified to millions, fueling an anti-democratic movement to overturn the election.Now, as the 2024 presidential election comes into view, experts warn that advances in AI have the potential to take the disinformation tactics of the past and breathe new life into them.AI-generated disinformation not only threatens to deceive audiences, but also erode an already embattled information ecosystem by flooding it with inaccuracies and deceptions, experts say.Read the full story here.A judge has rejected Donald Trump’s bid to move his hush money criminal case to federal court, ruling that the former president had failed to meet a high legal bar for changing jurisdiction.US district judge Alvin Hellerstein’s decision sets the stage for Trump to stand trial in state court in Manhattan as early as next spring, overlapping with the 2024 presidential primary season, AP reported.Manhattan prosecutors charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to hide reimbursements made to his then fixer, Michael Cohen, for his role in paying $130,000 to the adult film star, Stormy Daniels, ahead of the 2016 presidential election.Trump’s lawyers had argued that the case should be moved from New York state court to federal court because he was being prosecuted for an act under the “color of his office” as president.Judge Hellerstein scoffed at the defense claims, finding that the allegations pertained to Trump’s personal life, not presidential duties that would have merited a move to federal court. He wrote in a 25-page ruling:
The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the matter was a purely a personal item of the President – a cover-up of an embarrassing event.
Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts. It does not reflect in any way the color of the President’s official duties.
The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, refused to weigh in on whether Donald Trump should face charges over the January 6th insurrection.Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has also reportedly developed a relationship with her former boss Donald Trump’s rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.Sanders attended a retreat with prominent DeSantis donors last year, and Axios reports that she has become close to DeSantis’s wife, Casey, since their experiences with cancer in recent years.One senior Republican told the news website:
Sarah reached out to Casey during her treatments and the same thing happened when Sarah had her experience.
Sanders, 40, is the country’s youngest governor and her allies believe she is positioning herself for a possible presidency run in 2028 or 2032, the report says.Tensions between Donald Trump and his former press secretary, Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have grown over her neutrality in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, according to an Axios report.The report outlines how Sanders’s team told the Trump campaign that she wouldn’t make endorsement until after her first legislative session in Arkansas. That session ended in May.Sanders is among several Republicans who have so far stayed neutral in the presidential primary, but Trump sees her in a different category because he hired her to be his press secretary and endorsed her when she ran for governor in 2021, the report writes.Trump reportedly asked Sanders for her endorsement in a phone call earlier this year and she declined, according to the New York Times. Trump denied the report in March, writing:
I never asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders for an endorsement. I give endorsements, I don’t generally ask for them. With that being said, nobody has done more for her than I have, with the possible exception of her great father, Mike!
Three weeks after the NYT story was published, Mike Huckabee, Sanders’s father, publicly endorsed Trump on his TV show.Donald Trump has reportedly been seething about the potential new indictment, as he reached out to his top allies to strategize how they could help defend him against potential criminal charges over his effort to overturn the 2020 election.Trump spoke with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik, according to sources, CNN reported.The former president’s call with Stefanik, who leads the House GOP’s messaging efforts, was described as a “long conversation” where the two went over plans to go on the offense on alleged weaponization of the federal government, the report says.Trump asked things like “Can you believe this?” and used vulgarities to vent his displeasure, Politico reported.Donald Trump’s rivals have largely shied away from criticizing his legal woes, with most of the Republican presidential candidates choosing instead to portray the former president’s pending prosecution as a perversion of justice.Besides Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson, who have long made clear their view that Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election should disqualify him from reelection, there was no discernible movement within the former president’s party against him, according to a NBC report.“This could be different,” said Terry Sullivan, who served as campaign manager for Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 GOP presidential bid.
Now that being said, Mission Impossible 9 could be different than the first eight Mission Impossibles, but it’s unlikely. It’s likely to end the same way the first eight did.
Trump’s rivals boxed themselves in on the former president, the January 6 insurrection and the criminal charges against him, the report continues.
That won’t change unless there’s a massive shift in opinion among Republican primary voters, and Trump’s most prominent rivals are in no position to try to lead such a movement because they already have weighed in on the indictments and Jan. 6.
A group of 200 lawmakers said they have agreed not to intervene if UPS workers go on strike, Reuters reports.The world’s biggest package delivery firm and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have until midnight on 31 July to reach a contract deal covering some 340,000 workers that sort, load and deliver packages in the United States.
“We are hopeful that both sides can negotiate in good faith and reach a consensus agreement,” the lawmakers said, adding if no deal is reached they have committed to respect the rights of workers “to withhold their labor and initiate and participate in a strike.”
UPS workers are currently calling for better pay, more full-time jobs and better workplace health and safety conditions.Despite UPS tentatively agreeing to make Martin Luther King Jr Day a holiday and to install ACs in more of its trucks as temperatures rise, the union for UPS workers said that the company had not agreed to all of its demands.Should a strike happen, Bloomberg estimates that the company could lose a staggering $170m a day.For further details on how likely a UPS workers strike is, click here:The department of justice said that it is assessing the situation by the Texas-Mexico border following “troubling reports” that have emerged over Texas troopers’ treatment of migrants.Speaking to CNN, DoJ spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said, “The department is aware of the troubling reports, and we are working with DHS and other relevant agencies to assess the situation.”Earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle reported email exchanges between a trooper and a superior over alleged mistreatment of migrants crossing the border.The emails alleged that officers working along the border have been ordered to push small children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande, and have also told to not give water to migrants, despite scorching temperatures.
“Due to the extreme heat, the order to not give people water needs to be immediately reversed as well,” the trooper wrote, adding, “I believe we have stepped over a line into the inhumane.”
A statement released by Abbott’s office on Tuesday pushed back against the allegations, saying:“No orders or directions have been given under Operation Lone Star that would compromise the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally.”Amid speculation about whether or not Rudy Giuliani has “flipped” on Donald Trump in the federal investigation of the former president’s election subversion and incitement of the January 6 attack on Congress, one former Trump White House insider had a somewhat…dry response.The former New York mayor turned Trump adviser and lawyer might have turned on his boss “Cause they don’t have happy hour up the river”, the former insider said in a message viewed by the Guardian.Reports of Giuliani’s fondness for alcohol are legion. “Up the river” is, according to Collins dictionary, an American idiom meaning to be sent “to or confined in a penitentiary”.Speculation about Giuliani flowered on Tuesday after Trump announced that he had received a letter naming him as a target in the investigation led by the special counsel Jack Smith.CNN said Giuliani “did a voluntary interview with special counsel investigators several weeks back” and “his lawyer does not expect him to be charged”.That lawyer, Ted Goodman, said: “Any speculation that Mayor Rudy Giuliani ‘flipped’ against President Donald Trump is as false as previous lies that America’s Mayor” – Giuliani’s post-9/11 nickname – “was somehow a Russian Agent.“In order to ‘flip’ on President Trump – as so many in the anti-Trump media are fantasising over – Mayor Giuliani would’ve had to commit perjury, because all the information he has regarding this case points to President Trump’s innocence.”Many observers pointed out that Giuliani, whose law licenses have come under review arising from his work for Trump, may not be out of the woods on the other investigation of Trump’s election subversion, in Fulton county, Georgia.Some further reading:The letter identifying Donald Trump as a target in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the January 6 insurrection could mean that the former president face a new indictment as early as the end of the week.“A third indictment appears to be forthcoming,” Brookings Institution senior fellow Benjamin Wittes posted on the Lawfare blog, adding:
It’s reasonable to expect the grand jury to act as early as the end of this week.
The Republican governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, has announced he will not be running for re-election next year.Wesleyan University announced it would end legacy admissions, after the supreme court struck down affirmative action in the college admission process last month.In a statement on Wednesday, university president Michael Roth said legacies – a practice that favors relatives of alumni – had played a “negligible role” in the school’s admission process for many years. He added:
Nevertheless, in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding affirmative action, we believe it important to formally end admission preference for ‘legacy applicants’.
Relatives of Wesleyan alumni will continue to be admitted to the school “on their own merits”, Roth said.Legacy admissions came under fire after the nation’s highest court ruled that schools could not give preferential treatment to applicants based on race or ethnicity.A small number of schools have ended the practice, including Johns Hopkins, MIT and Amherst college. More
Family members of Democratic presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy Jr joined the White House on Monday in condemning his “deplorable” claim that Covid-19 was engineered to target some ethnic groups and spare others.The former attorney and nephew of John F Kennedy made the extraordinary assertion during a recent dinner in New York city, saying the virus was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people”.His remarks, also alleging development by China of viruses as a bioweapon, were captured on video, and published by the New York Post on Saturday, drawing accusations of racism and antisemitism.“There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. Covid-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” he said. “The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese”.At the media briefing Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre denounced the remarks.“The claims made on that tape is false. It is vile,” she said. “They put our fellow Americans in danger if you think about the racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories that come out of saying those types of things. It’s an attack on our fellow citizens, our fellow Americans. So it’s important that we speak out.”Kennedy’s relatives took to social media on Monday to join in the condemnation.“I STRONGLY condemn my brother’s deplorable and untruthful remarks last week about Covid being engineered for ethnic targeting,” his sister Kerry Kennedy, chair of the Robert F Kennedy human rights advocacy group named for their father, wrote.“His statements do not represent what I believe or what Robert F Kennedy Human Rights stands for, with our 50+ year track record of protecting rights and standing against racism and all forms of discrimination.”Her rebuke was echoed by Democratic former Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy III, nephew of the businessman who is challenging Joe Biden for next year’s Democratic presidential nomination.“My uncle’s comments were hurtful and wrong. I unequivocally condemn what he said,” the younger Kennedy, US special envoy to Northern Ireland, wrote in a tweet.Close Kennedy family members weighing in reflects the growing outrage at Kennedy’s words, which he tried to disavow on Monday in a statement sent to the Guardian by his campaign staff.“The New York Post story is mistaken. I have never, ever suggested that the Covid-19 virus was engineered to ‘spare Jews,’ and I unequivocally reject this disgusting and outlandish conspiracy theory,” he said.“New York Post reporter Jon Levine exploited this off-the-record conversation to smear me as an antisemite. This cynical maneuver is consistent with the mainstream media playbook to discredit me as a crank – and by association, to discredit revelations of genuine corruption and collusion.”Separate messages sent to the Guardian purportedly from Kennedy’s personal email address cite Wikipedia links to press articles about the plausibility of ethnically-targeted bioweapons.“The study is solid, and not at all controversial,” one of the messages says of a research paper by the British Medical Association, reported by the Guardian in 2004, that “rogue scientists” could develop bioweapons designed to target certain ethnic groups based on their genetic differences.Kennedy, a conspiracy theorist and vaccine skeptic who in June announced, then later retracted, a claim that he had “conversations with dead people” every day, also came under fire on Monday from House Democrats.“These are deeply troubling comments and I want to make clear that they do not represent the views of the Democratic party,” Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee, said in a tweet.Meanwhile Kyle Herrig, executive director of the congressional integrity project, wrote to Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, chair of the House subcommittee on the weaponization of federal government, asking him to disinvite Kennedy from a hearing scheduled for Thursday. More
Thursday marked the end of Covid-19’s public health emergency status in the US, concluding more than three years of free access to testing, vaccines, virtual accommodations and treatment for the majority of Americans.The end of the emergency designation comes just weeks after the World Health Organization declared an end to the global health emergency. But the nation’s leading health officials also wanted to be sure Americans don’t confuse this marker for the end of Covid-19 concerns.“This does not mean it’s over. This is just a new phase of managing it,” Dr Becky Smith, infectious disease specialist and director of Duke Health News, said. “The ability to make the transition out of the public health emergency phase signals a lot of successes in vaccine development, immunity and effective therapeutics.“All of those successes have paid off and now because we’re seeing less severe disease we can sort of fold it into how we think about other respiratory infections.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 1,000 people are still dying of Covid-19 in the United States every week and many suffer from long Covid symptoms months or years after being affected. Meanwhile, at the height of the pandemic, there were sometimes upwards of 20,000 people dying in the country in just one week.According to the CDC, both vaccines and medication, like Pfizer’s Paxlovid, will remain available for free “while supplies last”. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted access to these supplies under the Covid-19 emergency use authorization declaration and insured Americans can continue to get vaccinated at no cost.However, most Americans will be left to foot the bill for testing. Without public health emergency designation, insurance providers aren’t required to waive costs for testing. The federal government will continue to distribute tests online via their website through the end of May.For those who have Medicaid benefits, a program which largely insures low-income families, at-home and in-office testing will remain free until 24 September, when federal funding expires. At this point, those who are uninsured will no longer have access to free testing, though community health organizations and local clinics are still likely to offer these supplies.There are other ways that the emergency designation changed the US healthcare system that could extend beyond Thursday.Telehealth and telemedicine, for which many restrictions were lifted to expand access and stop viral spread, will remain largely intact for now.The Consolidated Appropriations Act passed last December and included provisions that extend access to telehealth through December 2024 for Americans with Medicare. In addition, clinics in rural areas can continue to see patients remotely.skip past newsletter promotionafter newsletter promotionThrough November 2024, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced, providers can still prescribe controlled substances via telehealth after the emergency is lifted.But for Medicaid recipients and children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, telehealth flexibilities are up to the states.After years of updating maps and statistics, the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response team will disband after Thursday and Americans will lose access to data collected and shared by the CDC. Federal tracking of Covid-19 infections will be largely left to individual states.The Department of Health and Human Services will also no longer require labs to report Covid-19 test results, meaning data regarding test positivity at the county level will no longer be available.The CDC will end weekly updates of case and death counts and officials urge states to sign agreements to enable the sharing of vaccine administration data. More
‘Time is not on our side’: Congress panel says tackling China defines next century‘We do not want a war within the PRC, a clash of civilizations,’ says ranking Democrat as new committee holds first hearingThe US Congress must act urgently to counter the economic and national security threats posed by the Chinese government, a bipartisan chorus of lawmakers on a newly created special House committee has warned during an inaugural, primetime hearing.The two superpowers were locked in an “existential struggle over what life will look like in the 21st century”, the committee’s Republican chairman, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, said as the rivalry between the US and China deepens.With democracy advocates and protesters in attendance, the panel – formally the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party – began its work at a precarious moment for US-China relations. It comes weeks after a suspected Chinese spy balloon traversed the continental US and amid intelligence that Beijing is considering providing lethal weapons to aid Russia in its war against Ukraine.Some politicians seem comfortable with the prospect of a new cold war. They shouldn’t be | Christopher S ChivvisRead moreMeanwhile, China’s militarization and aggression toward Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own, as well as its response to the coronavirus pandemic, have further escalated tensions.Underscoring the broad range of challenges the panel hopes to address, lawmakers peppered the witnesses with questions on human rights abuses, trade policies, the influence of TikTok, aggression in Taiwan, the origins of Covid-19 and international espionage.Gallagher hopes the committee will help shape China policy and legislation that can win support from both parties. But with the 2024 presidential campaign looming, and Republicans eager to paint Joe Biden as “weak on China”, the possibility of bipartisan action is likely to become increasingly narrow.“Time is not on our side,” he said, imploring a bitterly divided Congress to come together to confront China. “Our policy over the next 10 years will set the stage for the next hundred.”Illinois congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, the ranking Democrat on the panel, echoed Gallagher’s sense of urgency. He said Democrats and Republicans had for years “underestimated” the Chinese government, believing that economic integration would “inevitably lead to democracy”. But it did not and now the US needed to move quickly to pursue economic and trade policies that would “up our game” as Americans to compete with China.“We do not want a war within the PRC,” he said, referring to the People’s Republic of China, “not a cold war, not a hot war. We don’t want a clash of civilizations.”The hours-long proceeding offered a rare display of cross-party unity in an otherwise bitterly divided Congress. It featured two former advisers to Donald Trump: former national security adviser HR McMaster and former deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, a China expert who resigned after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.Offering a sweeping overview of China’s rise, Pottinger said the success of the Chinese Communist party (CCP) at presenting itself as “responsible” and “normal” was “one of the great magic tricks of the modern era”.“You could say the CCP is the Harry Houdini of Marxist-Leninist regimes; the David Copperfield of Communism; the Criss Angel of autocracy,” he said “But the magic is fading.”McMaster said the US and western leaders were guilty of decades of “wishful thinking and self-delusion” in its efforts to integrate China into the international system. But he expressed optimism that the panel’s work could help lay the groundwork in Washington to “rebuild America’s and the free world’s competitive advantage”.Pentagon releases selfie of US pilot flying above Chinese spy balloonRead moreThe panel met in the same chandeliered room where the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol held its hearings. In the audience were Hong Kong pro-democracy activists as well as anti-war protesters who interrupted the proceedings, with one yelling “this committee is about saber-rattling, it’s not about peace” as he was removed from the hearing room.Several members remarked on the interference, noting that the right to protest was a hallmark of American democracy and a freedom not afforded to those in China.Highlighting human rights concerns will be a major focus of the panel. On Tuesday, the panel heard compelling testimony from Tong Yi, a human rights activist who was the former secretary to one of China’s leading dissidents, Wei Jingsheng. Yi told how she was arrested and detained by the CCP in the 1990s. After spending nine months in a detention center she was charged with “disturbing social order” and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a labor camp.“In the US, we need to face the fact that we have helped feed the baby dragon of the CCP until it has grown into what it now is,” she said.The committee also heard from Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, who argued that the US dependency on China has had a crushing impact on American workers and wages. “While conflict with China isn’t inevitable, fierce economic competition is,” he said.On Capitol Hill, a bipartisan consensus has emerged around measures banning TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media app, bills barring Chinese citizens and companies from purchasing land near sensitive military sites, and efforts to limit US exports and technology trade to China. But there are also sharp divisions.Republicans continue to assail Biden over his response to the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon, which was downed by the US military after it sailed across North America.Asked during the hearing what message China hoped to send with the balloon, McMaster said he believed it was likely a “metaphor for the massive effort at espionage” Beijing is carrying out around the world. China has denied the airship was used for spying, claiming that it was a civilian aircraft blown off course.Meanwhile, revelations that the US energy department concluded with “low confidence” that the Covid-19 pandemic was the result of a lab leak in China has inflamed anew a partisan debate over the virus’s origins. Officials in Washington have said that US agencies are not in agreement over the virus’s origins.Critics of the panel have raised concerns that heated rhetoric casting China as the US’s enemy would amplify anti-Asian sentiment amid a surge in hate incidents. Addressing those fears directly, Krishnamoorthi would avoid “anti-Chinese or Asian stereotyping at all costs”.“We must recognize that the CCP wants us to be fractious, partisan and prejudiced – in fact, the CCP hopes for it,” he said.Earlier on Tuesday, the House foreign affairs committee held a hearing focused on countering the rising national security threats posed by China. Testifying before the panel, Daniel Kritenbrink, US assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs, said China represented “our most consequential geopolitical challenge”.Joan E Greve contributed to this reportTopicsUS foreign policyChinaUS politicsAsia PacificCoronavirusnewsReuse this content More
‘It’s just gotten crazy’: how the origins of Covid became a toxic US political debateNew report supporting theory the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab has sparked the latest eruption in a long fight over how the virus started, clouding efforts to pursue a neutral, fact-based inquiryWhite House official John Kirby, standing at the podium where Donald Trump once railed against the “China virus” and praised the healing powers of bleach, faced questions on Monday about the origins of Covid-19. He had no choice but humility. “There is not a consensus right now in the US government about exactly how Covid started,” Kirby admitted. “There is just not an intelligence community consensus.”The renewed interest in a genuine scientific mystery followed a report in the Wall Street Journal that the US Department of Energy had determined the coronavirus most likely leaked by accident from a Chinese laboratory.This startling assessment appeared to have a solid foundation: according to the Washington Post, it was based on an analysis by experts from the national laboratory complex, including the “Z-Division”, known for carrying out some of the American government’s most secretive and technically challenging investigations of security threats from adversaries such as China and Russia.But the claim was not officially confirmed by the energy department or Kirby, and it came with a caveat: the department had “low confidence” in its assessment, which was provided to the White House and certain members of Congress, the Journal said.Even so, gleeful Republicans seized on the findings to claim vindication in their pursuit of the lab leak theory, triggering a fresh round of toxic debate in Washington and on social media.Opponents say there is still no hard evidence for a lab leak, as many scientists still believe the virus most probably came from animals, mutated and jumped into people. They note that the loudest champions of the lab leak hypothesis are often also trafficking in rightwing conspiracy theories, for example about the top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.But the two do not necessarily go hand in hand. Some scientists and other observers argue that the lab leak theory cannot be ruled out and should be kept separate from the racist propaganda that often accompanies it. It demands careful investigation, not peremptory dismissal or acceptance, they contend.It is the latest chapter in a long fight over the origin of a virus that has caused close to 7m deaths worldwide, clouding efforts to pursue a neutral, fact-based inquiry. In its loud opinions, blue v red certainties and lack of nuance, the melee echoes clashes over pandemic lockdowns, masks and vaccines, as well as the investigation into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.Bill Galston, a former policy adviser to Bill Clinton, said: “Isn’t this just like everything else in American politics, where a partisan position on one side invites a partisan response by the other? There’s a lot of what might be called reactive thinking going on because of the high degree of polarisation and the high stakes. Charges without foundation invite responses without foundation.”Calling for public hearings into the matter, Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution thinktank in Washington, warned: “If this isn’t lifted out of the crucible of political debate right now, it’ll just get worse and worse.”Studies by experts around the world have indicated that Covid-19 most likely emerged from a live animal market in Wuhan, China. The hypothesis that it originated from an accidental lab leak was initially dismissed by most public health experts and government officials.In February 2020, the Lancet medical journal published a statement that rejected the lab leak theory, signed by 27 scientists and expressing “solidarity with all scientists and health professionals in China”. It asserted: “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.” (The journal later disclosed that the organiser of the letter had links to the Wuhan lab at the center of the controversy.)That the lab leak theory was being pushed by Trump, who long played down the virus and used xenophobic language such as “China virus”, and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, may have contributed to the instinctive eagerness of some to dismiss the hypothesis – and to ostracise scientists who dared question the mainstream orthodoxy.“From the start, the lab leak theory was never properly framed and parsed,” David Relman, a microbiology and immunology professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, wrote in an email. “The hypothesis of a lab-associated origin became synonymous with deliberate efforts to engineer viruses and malevolent intent, and this has not been helpful. The emotions, assumptions about motives, obstructionism by the Chinese government, and poor scrutiny of the evidence have only made things worse.”Jackson Lears, a history professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, echoed this view: “People who consider themselves Democratic party sympathisers and liberals uncritically arrayed themselves against this. It was a kind of a lockstep reaction against Trump, as in so many matters.”The lab leak hypothesis did begin to receive scrutiny after Joe Biden ordered an intelligence investigation in May 2021. The 90-day review was intended to push US intelligence agencies to collect more information and review what they already had.But the review proved inconclusive. A report summary said four members of the US intelligence community believed with low confidence that the virus was first transmitted from an animal to a human, and a fifth believed with moderate confidence that the first human infection was linked to a lab. Two agencies – including the CIA – remain undecided.Without the equivalent of a special counsel delivering a final report, the White House is left in a fog of uncertainty that satisfies no one. Lears commented: “There should have been a more carefully orchestrated investigation, more centralised, more high profile, with more legitimacy. Splitting it up and into many agencies is a way of defanging the whole situation.”Others agree that the multiple investigations give Biden a political headache, especially at a moment of rising tensions with China over trade, Taiwan, Ukraine and a recent spy balloon shot down after transiting US airspace.Laurie Garrett, a columnist at Foreign Policy magazine who spent time in China during the Sars outbreak, witnessing how animal markets operated, said: “The president said, ‘I want the relevant agencies in the government to take a close look at this.’ Well, every agency has its own prism, its own skill set.“In Britain if you asked the Home Office, MI5, the Metropolitan Police, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the British Medical Association to take a look, you would get seven different answers and that’s the situation that the Biden administration has created for itself. By trying to appease all the screaming and cut the rightwing Republicans off at the knees on this, they’ve essentially opened up a Pandora’s box because every single agency is going to have a different way of looking at the problem.”Many scientists, including Fauci, who until December served as Biden’s chief medical adviser, say they still believe the virus most likely emerged in nature and jumped from animals to humans, an established phenomenon known as a spillover event. But the reports of dissent in the intelligence community will give enough oxygen to those with doubts, good faith or otherwise.Jeremy Konyndyk, president of Refugees International and formerly USAid’s lead official for Covid-19, likens it to a Rorschach test. He said: “The priors that you come in with are going to shape a lot of how you interpret the evidence, because ultimately, the evidence may suggest one way or another, but it’s not definitive one way or another.“If you want to craft a narrative that justifies the lab leak theory, you can do so. If you want to craft a narrative that justifies a natural origin, natural spillover, market amplification theory, you can do so. There’s not enough on either side to definitively rule in or out either.”But that does not make them equally plausible, Konyndyk added. “The preponderance of evidence strongly points to a natural spillover, occurring at and certainly amplified at the market.” Konyndyk noted how online debate about the issue has become toxic, with proponents of the lab leak making death threats to scientists. “There’s been some really irresponsible behaviour and they’re not trying to turn the temperature down.“That has prompted in turn very strong views from some of the more vocal folks who believe in the natural origin theory because they’re getting attacked on Twitter with a larger and larger army of trolls. It’s just gotten crazy.”Earlier this month, Republicans in the House of Representatives issued letters to current and former Biden administration officials for documents and testimony, exploring the hypothesis of a lab leak. Congressman Brad Wenstrup, chair of the House oversight panel’s virus subcommittee, has accused US intelligence of withholding key facts about its investigation.Garrett, author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance, added: “My concern about where we are right now with this whole Wuhan origins question is that several very serious, real issues are getting conflated and they’re being manipulated for political purposes by people who don’t understand the issues at all and don’t care.“We’re not hearing in these congressional hearings this is what we should do to strengthen the chemical, biological warfare agreements and make lab research safe in the world. Nobody’s saying that. They couldn’t care less. That’s not their agenda. Their agenda is to tear down a man who was seen on camera in a live press conference putting his hand over his face and shaking his head as President Trump said, ‘Maybe bleach can cure Covid.’”TopicsCoronavirusUS politicsInfectious diseasesMicrobiologyMedical researchBiologyfeaturesReuse this content More