Trump

Trump Administration Shut Down U.S. Postal Service Plan to Mail Masks to Every American: Reports

PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration shut down a plan from the U.S. Postal Service to mail five free face masks to every U.S. household in April, according to several reports.

The USPS, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), had drafted a press release announcing that it would distribute a stockpile of 650 million reusable masks to every residential address in the country. The first shipments, in April, would go to COVID-19 hotspots.

“Our organization is uniquely suited to undertake this historic mission of delivering face coverings to every American household in the fight against the COVID-19 virus,” then-Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan said the unsent press release.

RELATED: If All Americans Wore Masks ‘We Could Drive This Epidemic to the Ground,’ Says CDC Director

Internal White House emails, obtained by the Washington Post and NBC News, showed that the Trump

Read More

Trump appointee Michael Caputo takes leave of absence from HHS after online rant

Michael Caputo, a top Trump administration communications official who in a private online social media video accused government scientists of “sedition” and called on the president’s supporters to arm themselves ahead of the election, announced in a statement Tuesday that he’s taking temporary medical leave from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Also leaving HHS is Caputo’s senior advisor, Dr. Paul Alexander. HHS confirmed the departures in a separate statement, noting that Caputo’s leave would last 60 days.

Caputo tells ABC News he will continue collecting a paycheck and health insurance from his HHS post while on leave.

The staff departures follow media reports that Caputo and Alexander had pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to alter scientific reports.

PHOTO: Former Trump campaign official Michael Caputo arrives at the Hart Senate Office building to be interviewed by Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, on May 1, 2018, in Washington.

Read More

Health Chief Denies School Shutdowns Are Politically-Driven, Meant To Harm Donald Trump

Los Angeles County’s Public Health Director, Barbara Ferrer, denied on Tuesday that plans for keeping L.A. school campuses closed amid the coronavirus pandemic are politically motivated and meant to damage President Donald Trump’s election chances. Ferrer insisted comments she made on a conference call last week were only using the school year to reference an early November time frame.

“It had nothing to do with the election per se, as much as it had to do with — we need about six weeks of implementation for the school openings that are going to be happening so that we can have a lot of assessment data that will help guide and inform any decisions we make,” Ferrer told the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. “I apologize for any confusion that I may have caused by referencing the elections in early November.”

In early September, California Governor Gavin Newsom amended the state’s

Read More

Number of Americans willing to get a COVID vaccination falls to a new low as fears mount that Trump is putting politics before safety

In early May, most Americans (55 percent) said they would get vaccinated for COVID-19 if and when a vaccine becomes available. 

Now, four months later, less than a third of Americans (32 percent) say they plan to get vaccinated, according to the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll — a stunning 23-point decline that reflects rising concern about the politicization of the vaccine process and underscores how challenging it will be to stop the pandemic through vaccination alone.

The survey, which was conducted from Sept. 9 to 11, found for the first time that more Americans say they would not get vaccinated (33 percent) or that they’re not sure (34 percent) than say they would. As recently as late July, 42 percent of Americans had said they planned to get vaccinated, meaning 10 percent of the public has moved into the “no” or “not sure” column over the last month or so.

Read More

After Report That Trump Disparaged War Dead, Democrats See Chance to Win Over Military Voters

Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns at a VFW post in Osage, Iowa, Jan. 22, 2020. (Tamir Kalifa/The New York Times)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns at a VFW post in Osage, Iowa, Jan. 22, 2020. (Tamir Kalifa/The New York Times)

WASHINGTON — Long before The Atlantic published an article Thursday night depicting President Donald Trump disparaging America’s war dead, liberal veterans groups had been feverishly working in battleground states to appeal to veterans and military family members, a cornerstone of Trump’s base.

That effort got a significant jolt in both interest and money, and the attention of Joe Biden, in the hours after the article appeared.

By Friday morning, Democrats, especially those with a military background, were reacting with both outrage and a sense of opportunity, denouncing Trump in news conferences and news releases and assuring veterans and military families that they had their backs.

Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, lashed out at Trump on Friday afternoon in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, noting that the remarks attributed

Read More

Jill Biden drawing on classroom time for case against Trump

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (AP) — When Jill Biden introduced herself to millions of Americans during last month’s Democratic National Convention, she did so from a high school where she once taught English near her Delaware home.

Since then, she’s visited a classroom that would otherwise be filled with elementary school children, participated in a health briefing on how to safely resume in-person learning and met with teachers in a Wisconsin backyard.

The emphasis on education is a natural fit for someone who was a public school teacher for more than 20 years, earned two master’s degrees and then a doctorate in education and continued teaching at a community college when her husband, Joe Biden, was vice president.

But in an election year where reopening schools shuttered by the coronavirus is emerging as a flashpoint, Jill Biden is increasingly drawing on her classroom experience to empathize with parents struggling to cope with

Read More

Reports, Trump tweet about ‘mini strokes’ spark speculation about president’s health: What we know

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that he had not been hospitalized for ‘mini strokes,’ accusing the ‘FAKE NEWS’ of pushing the claim.

The response was instantaneous, with opponents challenging the president’s ability to lead the country and his supporters saying people are pushing conspiracy theories about Trump. 

Cognitive function has been an attack point throughout the general election. The Trump campaign has taken every opportunity to undermine Democratic nominee Joe Biden based on the former vice president’s occasional verbal gaffes, accusing him of mental decline.

Questions of Trump’s health have once again arisen this week, prompted by a new book from New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt that reports Vice President Mike Pence was put on standby after the president’s unexpected trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last year. 

Read More

Jim Gaffigan Shares What He Learned After Viral Rant Against Trump

Jim Gaffigan is sharing what he learned after he spoke out against Trump online, and frankly, it’s pretty scary

Most of us know Jim Gaffigan. He’s a standup comedian known for being a “clean” comic, making jokes about being a father of five, being a Midwestern Catholic, and eating weird foods around the world. Because of his clean image, Gaffigan has always been seen as apolitical, but that all changed last week when he took to Twitter to speak out against Donald Trump during the Republican National Convention. He didn’t say anything groundbreaking, but pointed out some of the more glaring and obvious instances of lies and gaslighting taking place at the RNC. Now, after that “tirade,” Gaffigan is sharing what he learned from finally using his platform to speak out for what he believes in.

In a long post on Facebook, the comedian shared some of the aftermath of

Read More

Falling Covid-19 cases create opportunity and peril for Trump

Coronavirus infections are down in nearly every state. That could either give President Donald Trump just what he needs to prime his reelection odds or become another missed opportunity to capitalize on a lull during the pandemic.

The positive trends are real. Covid-19 cases have been falling since late July, including in several battleground states. Hospitalizations have dropped 37 percent in the last month and the daily death count is leveling off.

But that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over, even if Trump and his team portray it that way.

The circumstances create a moment to reinforce public health measures like testing, tracing and social distancing that could finally bring the outbreak to more manageable proportions, while the world waits for a vaccine or new treatments.

Trump hasn’t been inclined to go that route, instead pressing states to reopen and slowing down testing. In his closing speech at the Republican

Read More

At RNC, White House staffers Kellyanne Conway and Kayleigh McEnany make personal case for Trump

White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway addresses the Republican National Convention. <span class=(Associated Press)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/cu6cZg4WFkwf3QKGcTpVsg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ3MA–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/KT4f3ZXf9A433VX4mzmycg–~B/aD01NjA7dz04NDA7c209MTthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/la_times_articles_853/31c26e4e76f4625582d32d9063fd32e8″ data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/cu6cZg4WFkwf3QKGcTpVsg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ3MA–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/KT4f3ZXf9A433VX4mzmycg–~B/aD01NjA7dz04NDA7c209MTthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/la_times_articles_853/31c26e4e76f4625582d32d9063fd32e8″/
White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway addresses the Republican National Convention. (Associated Press)

At a typical political convention, political staffers would be relegated to behind-the-scenes spin rooms. On Wednesday, the spin room took center stage.

President Trump’s senior counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany got prime speaking slots at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. Convention speeches from campaign and White House staffers are exceedingly rare, but Trump’s RNC has broken a number of norms.

Both used their remarks to try to appeal to the suburban women voters who the GOP lost during the 2018 midterm election.

The appearance had added significance for Conway, one of Trump’s longest-serving aides, who announced this week she would be departing her White House post at the end of the month. Conway served as Trump’s third campaign manager, and when he won in 2016, she

Read More