Saturday, March 28, 2020

Fox News Poll: Biden leads Trump, wins high marks for female VP pledge (Biden 49 Trump 40)

Mod: Some have been unhappily puzzled by the latest marginally better approval numbers for Corona Donald. But I think those people are missing the point. In times of national crisis this country will rally to its leader in hopes of leadership and relief from whatever scourges are afflicting it. That is what presidents are expected to do. Why bother with having one otherwise? But does that mean people believe four more years of Trump is a good idea? Not really. Most want this fool gone.

Fox News Poll: Biden leads Trump, wins high marks for female VP pledge (Fox News link): Former Vice President Joe Biden bests President Donald Trump by nine points in a 2020 ballot test, in the first Fox News Poll since Biden became the de facto Democratic nominee.

In a head-to-head presidential matchup, Biden is up by 49-40 percent over Trump, a lead that is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error. Another 11 percent would vote for someone else or are undecided.  Last month, Biden was ahead by 49-41 percent.

The race remains a nine-point advantage for Biden over Trump when looking only at those voters extremely interested in the election (52-43 percent) and the former vice president has an eight-point edge in battleground states (48-40 percent). However, Biden’s advantage grows to 25 points, 57-32 percent, in close counties (where Hillary Clinton and Trump were within 10 points in 2016).

Mod: Much more at the link.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fox News Doublevision: Murdoch family "knew the virus was coming" in January, and took serious precautions

Mod: While their so-called "Fox News" was pushing the message that COVID-19 was a "hoax," the Murdoch family took precautions for themselves all the way back in January.

Murdoch family took serious precautions against coronavirus as Fox News downplayed risk to public (Salon link): The Murdoch family, which owns Fox News, took precautions against the new coronavirus as the network's hosts downplayed the risk posed by the pandemic on TV.

The family abruptly canceled Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch's 89th birthday party at his California estate on March 8 "out of concern for the patriarch's health," according to The New York Times' Ben Smith.

Smith previously reported that Lachlan Murdoch, who runs the news network, "knew the virus was coming" in January, because he was "getting regular updates from the family's political allies and journalists in his father's native Australia."

Around the same time, Fox News executives issued an internal memo instructing staffers to work from home and take precautions to deal with a "crisis of this magnitude."

Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said in a memo this week that six of the network's staffers have tested positive for COVID-19.

"We expect to continue receiving reports of more positive tests given New York is now at the epicenter," the memo said, according to Deadline. "The vast majority of our workforce is now telecommuting so they have not had to weather the issues around each positive case."

But as Fox News executives worried about the impact of the virus, the network assured viewers, who could be at risk of severe illness from the virus because they are are disproportionately elderly, that the outbreak was no worse than the common flu. Echoing President Donald Trump's attempts to downplay the threat of the virus, the network's hosts assured the audience the problem was not serious.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus cases are rising faster in states that voted for Trump: Nate Silver

Mod: Not really as surprising as some might think. Plus in blue states they count a lot better than in red states.

Coronavirus cases are rising faster in states that voted for Trump: Nate Silver (Raw Story link): The novel coronavirus, not being sentient and knowing nothing about human ways, has no political affiliation and doesn’t discriminate between Democrats and Republicans as it spreads across the country. However, according to statistical expert Nate Silver, the data so far indicate that the virus is spreading more readily in states that voted for President Donald Trump.

While there is no definitive reason this is happening, one possible factor could be in the difference between Democratic and Republican governors’ political responses.

Plenty of Republican governors, like Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Larry Hogan (R-MD) have acted promptly and taken the necessary measures to restrict public gatherings and business as the virus has spread. However, a number of others haven’t been as quick. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has dragged his feet on shutting down public beaches, and is declining to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. Meanwhile, Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) has gone so far as to ban city governments from enacting their own curfews and business restrictions.

Trump himself has repeatedly tried to downplay the severity of the situation, suggesting multiple times the virus would go away soon, and more recently urging states to lift their restrictions and let normal business activity resume despite medical advice.

Poll: Only 1 in 3 Americans find Trump's coronavirus briefings at the White House helpful  (Business Insider link): Fewer than one third of Americans think that President Donald Trump's daily coronavirus task force briefings are useful, an Insider poll found.

Trump has held daily briefings with the administration's coronavirus task force, helmed by Vice President Mike Pence, and a rotating cast of health experts and administration officials, who provide updates about the country's progress in combating the coronavirus.

Health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration's top infectious disease expert, have been praised for delivering concise updates about how the virus is spreading and the government's efforts to identify treatments and vaccines.

But the briefings can quickly descend into chaos, as Trump contradicts his experts on matters such as not-yet-approved treatments for the coronavirus and guidance from health officials about how long Americans will need to maintain social distancing practices. The president has also used his pulpit to attack journalists and attempt to rebrand the coronavirus with the xenophobic moniker "Chinese virus."

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

#NotDying4WallStreet goes viral as progressives accuse Trump of putting corporate profits over public health

Mod: Apparently your continued and healthy existence is not the top priority right now in Washington.

#NotDying4WallStreet goes viral as progressives accuse Trump of putting corporate profits over public health (Raw Story link): As President Donald Trump and business elites suggest the U.S. public should go back to work in the midst of the worsening coronavirus pandemic, the Twitter hashtag #NotDying4WallStreet went viral late Monday as progressives made clear they are not willing to jeopardize their own or their community’s health to protect corporate profits.

“If we have to rent strike, general strike, whatever has to happen, we will not die for oligarchs’ quarterly profit margin,” tweeted progressive radio host Benjamin Dixon. “This system crashes without our participation. But they cannot force us to participate at the expense of our lives.”

The hashtag erupted after Trump signaled Monday that he could move as early as next week to lift federal social distancing guidelines and encourage some people to return to work—even as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States continues to grow and the death toll rises. “America will again and soon be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting,” Trump said during a press briefing Monday evening, ignoring dire warnings from health officials both within and outside of his administration.

Author and activist Eric Blanc wrote in Jacobin on Monday that “we have now reached the point where, according to some experts, only a five-week national lockdown can avoid a public health catastrophe.”

“Yet the Wall Street Journal and the Lloyd Blankfeins of the world are proposing the exact opposite: ending lockdowns rather than extending them,” wrote Blanc. “Even the limited governmental measures taken so far are apparently too much for Wall Street to stomach.”

“Unless we take action, Wall Street may get its way,” Blanc added. “Stopping Trump from scrapping our existing public health measures is literally a matter of life and death. We need to do everything possible to force the White House and its corporate backers to take the urgent measures that experts agree are necessary to prevent a public health catastrophe. Our lives are on the line.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Trump lashes out at networks, newspapers: All I see is 'hatred of me'

Mod: You know why Donald does all this crazy stuff, right? He's butthurt. And it would be amusing except for the fact that hundreds of thousands of lives all around the world could very well be at stake. 

Trump lashes out at networks, newspapers: All I see is 'hatred of me' (The Hill link): President Trump late Sunday lashed out at much of the media over their coverage of his administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak, claiming that all he's seen is "hatred of me."

"I watch and listen to the Fake News, CNN, MSDNC, ABC, NBC, CBS, some of FOX (desperately & foolishly pleading to be politically correct), the [New York Times], & the [Washington Post], and all I see is hatred of me at any cost," Trump said on Twitter.

"Don't they understand that they are destroying themselves?" he asked.

Trump has regularly attacked the press since entering the White House, often referring to reporters as "fake news" and the "enemy of the people." Last week, Trump railed against an NBC reporter, calling him "terrible," after being asked what he'd say to Americans who are scared.

His tirade against the group of news outlets came after a day in which several state and federal lawmakers called on the president to use his authority to help health systems being overwhelmed by a surge of patients.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on CNN that states were overpaying for medical equipment and were being forced to compete with each other for much-needed resources. Rather than a competition, it "should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government," he said.

"It's a wild, wild West out there, and indeed [we're] overpaying for [personal protective equipment] because of that competition," Pritzker said.

Trump railed against Pritzker and CNN just hours later, tweeting that they "shouldn't be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings." Pritzker tweeted in response that Trump "wasted precious months when you could've taken action to protect Americans & Illinoisans."

"Get off Twitter & do your job," Pritzker said.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Rolling Stone: Trump’s Coronavirus Response Will Be His Toxic Legacy

Mod: Unfortunately what we have now is the worst possible president for the job.

Trump’s Coronavirus Response Will Be His Toxic Legacy (Rolling Stone link): His handling of this pandemic is how history will remember Donald Trump. Fifty years from now historians will not spend much time on Russiagate, Robert Mueller or Dirty Dossiers and alleged pee tapes, nor will massive tax cuts for the rich or the endless petty insults and the litany of lies make much of a mark.

In a time of national crisis, the president is failing the most basic tests of leadership. He spends his time in front of the camera attacking the media, spreading disinformation and sowing racism. His response should come as no surprise. These have been the signature moves of his presidency and in normal times, these actions were bad enough, in a pandemic they are destabilizing and destructive.

Who could doubt that Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama or George Bush I and II would have struck somber and fatherly tones in the crisis? They would have attempted to soothe a country in distress and ease the minds of the people — to be sure, much of this would have been bromides.

But it turns out, that’s a big part of the job. Trump has from day one completely abdicated the moral authority of the office, perhaps knowing intuitively that his moral compass was so hopelessly bent that it was pointless to try. It would be hard to underestimate the unexpected and deleterious effects this has had on the presidency. As we all isolate and seek shelter, to not have someone who is of good character at the helm only adds to the extreme anxiety, anger and coming heartbreak.

There is no moment Trump can ever rise to, he only sinks to his most base nature. The record of his mishandling and deceptions about the COVID-19 virus are clear as day and exactly like how he handles everything else — only this time the scale is so monumental and the threat so critical that it can’t be swept away by the news cycle. For more than three years we have seen him blunder and rage from one drama to the next, some serious and deadly like abandoning the Kurds in Syria, some foolish like the size of the crowd at his inauguration.

Through it all, Trump consistently displays a smallness of character, a signature brand of toxic narcissism and a nasty mean streak; his only gifts being an instinctual understanding of his supporters and a mediocre talent to work a crowd like some cheap Borscht Belt comedian. That will not be enough in the face of a pandemic.

Trump knows this is how he will be judged. That’s why he’s growing so unhinged in public. He’s going to his familiar playbook and trying all his tricks. But a virus is not something he can insult or lie his way out of. People are dying. Our economy, seemingly so strong, cratered in a mere ten days.

The virus is not Trump’s fault of course, but the dismantling of the pandemic response team at the National Security Council surely is. Ignoring the threat for months also rests on his shoulders. The nation is now on the brink, and how he handles the crisis is his test. It should be clear to all, he’s failing miserably.

Mod: More at the link.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Donald Trump starts 2020 in the worst polling position since Harry Truman

Mod: Now you might say Harry Truman did end up winning in 1948, which is fair. But Harry was a Democrat, and the other guy? Just another empty Republican suit.

Donald Trump starts 2020 in the worst polling position since Harry Truman (CNN link): A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump 52% to 43% in a general election matchup. An average of all polls this month puts Biden's advantage at a similar 7 points.

What's the point: For all intents and purposes, the general election campaign is underway. Yes, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is still running, but he has no realistic path to winning the Democratic nomination. That means that it's Biden vs. Trump.

And the President starts out in a very unusual place for an incumbent: behind. Trump is the first incumbent president to be trailing at this point in the general election cycle (i.e. late March in the election year) since Harry Truman in 1948.

Now, we're still more than half a year away from the election. It would be easy to dismiss Biden's advantage as meaningless. To do so, however, would be a mistake in my opinion.

Polling at this point in the general election cycle when an incumbent is running is correlated with the ultimate outcome. A candidate in Biden's position would win the popular vote about two-thirds of the time if historical trends hold.

Moreover, there's something to be said about the consistency of Biden's edge. Despite the ever-shifting news cycle, Biden's lead in the average of polls has been between 5 and 10 points throughout the last year. In other words, Trump's general election polling has stayed stable, just like his approval ratings.

This fits a pattern of general election polling being less volatile than it used to be. You saw it in 2018, when Democrats held a consistent edge on the generic congressional ballot, which translated to them taking back the House. The polling at this point in the last two presidential elections in which an incumbent was running matched the final result within 0.3 percentage points.

I can hear some folks saying, "It's the states that matter, not the popular vote." And indeed, Trump is probably in a stronger position in the electoral college than the popular vote alone would suggest.

Still, Biden, at this time, clearly has the advantage in the electoral college. Biden holds leads of 4 points or more in Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Add those states together with the states Hillary Clinton won in 2016, and Biden gets more than 270 electoral votes.

This reaffirms something that the 2018 midterms showed: it's very difficult to overcome a 7-point deficit nationally even if you're doing better in the electoral college. If all the states voted the way they did in the 2018 midterms for the House, Biden would easily defeat Trump in the electoral college. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The coronavirus crisis calls for a real leader — and it’s time for Trump to step aside

Mod: The following Raw Story piece was taken from a Washington Post op-ed. An idea whose time has come.

The coronavirus crisis calls for a real leader — and it’s time for Trump to step aside (Raw Story link): Writing for the Washington Post, columnist Colbert King said it is time for Donald Trump to exit the spotlight as the country deals with coronavirus pandemic that is killing Americans due to his delays and poor management of the government during the health crisis. Following yet another coronavirus task force press conference on Friday where the president took over and made it all about himself, King said it is time for Trump to — at least — retreat to shadows and let the professionals do their jobs without interference.

Noting that the president has tried to soft-sell the dangers the pandemic still might unleash by saying, “We will just get through it,” the columnist said the president still doesn’t get it despite the rocketing infection rates.

“At issue is not whether we will ‘get through’ the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease officially dubbed covid-19. Pandemics eventually play out. Though this dangerous virus is spiraling out of control today — infecting more than 250,000 people and killing more than 11,000 since December — it will not be here forever,” he wrote before adding, “What matters most at this moment is how the onslaught is being handled.

Is it being addressed head-on as a global pandemic that, above all else, must be combated? Or is the outbreak being treated as an unexpected threat to Trump’s personal political fortunes? Sadly, with all the country now has on its hands, Trump has politicized and personalized the problem.”

According to the columnist, the president has continually played down the coronavirus threat long before it was designated a pandemic — and he no longer has any credibility when he tries to reassure the public.

Biden ad video click here.
“Besides spouting untruths and wild exaggerations, Trump deflects challenges to his stewardship by shifting blame — to former president Barack Obama and past administrations, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats on the Hill, to the Federal Reserve, and to the media, which, he whines, only give him bad press,” he wrote. “Now, confronted with hard truths about the disease, his administration’s muddled response and the country’s economic collapse, Trump is trying to switch hats from belittler in chief to wartime commander. But our great war presidents had great wartime generals: Harry Truman had Dwight D. Eisenhower; Abraham Lincoln had Ulysses S. Grant. Vice President Pence, who is heading up Trump’s coronavirus task force, is no Eisenhower or Grant.”

“And Trump sure as hell is no Truman or Lincoln,” he dryly concluded.

Republicans are actually supervillains: They profited while abandoning us to coronavirus

Mod: 3 Republican Senators cashed in their stocks for some serious profits. Their strategy? Use insider knowledge about coronavirus. Ghoulish corruption. 

Republicans are actually supervillains: They profited while abandoning us to coronavirus ( link): The No. 1 rule, when it comes to Republican behavior during a crisis, is that it is always worse than you imagined. That was true during Donald Trump's Russia scandal, when it turned out that the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee was denying and hiding evidence while trying to undermine the federal investigation into Trump. It was true throughout the impeachment process, when various Republican figures made no bones about their belief that there was no crime Trump could commit that they would convict him for.

Nor is this a recent development. George W. Bush is primarily remembered for lying us into a war with Iraq, but let's not forget that this was accompanied by outing a CIA agent for vindictive purposes and running torture camps, as well as an explosive scandal involving multiple Republican members of Congress reportedly being paid off by lobbyists.

So it's sadly comes as no surprise that not only did congressional Republicans knowingly back up Trump's efforts to lie to the public about the dangers of the new coronavirus, there's good reason to fear they leveraged that knowledge to cash in on the stock market.

At least three Republican senators — Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia — all unloaded large amounts of stock before the crash, and the question is whether they did so because they were apprised of the dangers of the coronavirus and the fact that this crash was almost certainly coming. If so, that's especially sinister, since all three of them misled the public about the real dangers of the virus and Trump's refusal to do anything about it until it was too late. All of which paints a picture of people who not only lie to the public, but make money off doing so.

As reported by ProPublica, Burr spent weeks getting daily coronavirus briefings, due to his role on the Intelligence Committee, and spent that time telling the public everything was going to be just fine. Privately, however, he was selling off up to $1.7 million in cash and telling high-dollar donors in a closed-door event that the situation was actually quite severe.

It's a similar story with the recently-appointed Loeffler, who told the public on Feb. 28 that Trump and his administration were "doing a great job working to keep Americans healthy & safe." But starting in January, after Loeffler received briefings about the dangers of the coronavirus from health officials, the Daily Beast reports that she and her husband made a series of 27 stock sales that beat the crash — and one stock purchase, in one of the few companies that has seen share prices rise.

Who is Loeffler's husband, you may be idly wondering? His name is Jeffrey Sprecher, and he's the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. An interesting coincidence, no?

Mod: Much more at the link.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The View’s Meghan McCain destroys White House adviser Ivanka Trump for playing on Instagram instead of working

Mod: Not really that big of a surprise, right? Isn't this how the boss's kids always operate? Rome burns while the White House employed Trump kids play on the Internet.

The View’s Meghan McCain destroys White House adviser Ivanka Trump for playing on Instagram instead of working (Raw Story link): “The View” co-host Meghan McCain called out Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner for posting Instagram photos of their family life while the coronavirus outbreak shuts down American life.

The conservative McCain criticized President Donald Trump for blowing his response and continuing to attack the press, and then she blasted the president’s daughter and son-in-law for trying to put a happy face on the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I have been upset about their roles in this because they put on hats when they want it,” McCain said.”When you are a White House adviser and you want to create policy, you got that hat on. When you want to be a mom at home talking about how to entertain your kids, you got that hat at home.”

“It’s not she can’t talk about being a mom at the same time, but I haven’t heard anything — the three of us are raging about masks and ventilators,” she added. “You know what I was thinking about? This is her hometown, this is Ivanka’s hometown. If this was happening in Phoenix — I’m sorry. I love this show, but I would be at home in Phoenix raging about it.”

Ivanka Trump has faced criticism for posting Instagram photos of her family enjoying their time in social distancing, and McCain was appalled.

“It’s incredibly tone deaf to me if you are Jared or Ivanka right now,” she said. “I am enraged in a way that I haven’t felt in a very long time about anything. It’s just sort of strange to me when they want to be policy advisers, they’re policy advisers when it’s easy and convenient. When crap’s really going down, you want to put beautiful Instagram photos up, and I, for one, I’m not interested in it.”

CA Gov. Gavin Newsom said more than half of the state's population could contract coronavirus in the next 8 weeks

Mod: I'm at an almost complete loss for words today. Doesn't happen too often. Must be a side effect of that stay-at-home order. If this is true COVID-19 will sweep over the state like a viral tsunami.   
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said more than half of the state's population could contract the coronavirus in the next 8 weeks (Business Insider link): California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 56% of people living in California — about 25.5 million people — could contract the coronavirus in the next eight weeks, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  

The projection was included in a letter sent to President Donald Trump asking that a Navy hospital ship be sent to Los Angeles to help with the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.

"This resource will help decompress the health care delivery system to allow the Los Angeles region to ensure that it has the ability to address critical acute care needs, such as heart attacks and strokes or vehicle accidents," Newsom wrote in the letter as reported by the Chronicle.

There are 978 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, with 19 deaths. California has been among the states hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak.

It also has a sizable homeless population. Those living on the streets are more at risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as the coronavirus. Newsom also said Wednesday that more than 60,000 of the state's 100,000-plus homeless community could be among those infected in the next two months.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

More than 80 national security professionals break with tradition and endorse a presidential candidate — Biden

Mod: There is a first time for everything. But in this case, what other choice did they have?

More than 80 national security professionals break with tradition and endorse a presidential candidate — Biden (The Washington Post link): More than 80 career national security professionals have signed an open letter of support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying that President Trump “has created an existential danger to the United States.”

Most of the signatories, who include career diplomats, intelligence officers and defense policymakers, have served both Republican and Democratic administrations. They noted that their policy views cover a spectrum and as officials they “have often been in opposition, sometimes bitterly, with each other.”

But in a letter published online Wednesday, they expressed a shared belief that Trump’s approach to leadership has undermined the country’s role in the world.

“His reelection would continue this downward spiral and will likely have catastrophic results,” say the signatories, most of whom have never publicly endorsed a candidate for president.

Doug Wise, a former CIA clandestine officer and former deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, broke a career-long vow to serve in silence by signing the letter.

“We need to restore courtesy, respectability and consensus decision-making based not on the personal interests of Donald J. Trump but on the personal interests of Americans,” said Wise, who retired in 2016 after 48 years of government service.

Wise, who leans Republican, said that he has never voted for president, content to trust in the American democratic system “to produce a good president and commander in chief.” But the system has failed, he said. So this November, he said, he will cast his first vote for president — for Biden.

Larry Pfeiffer, former senior director of the White House Situation Room and a former chief of staff to then-CIA Director Michael Hayden, said he leans Republican. “If Donald Trump wasn’t running, and it was Mitt Romney versus Joe Biden, I’d be endorsing Mitt Romney,” he said. “And I probably wouldn’t be public about it.”

Mod: More at the link.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Nepotism Kills: Trump downplayed the Coronavirus crisis in its early days. A new report fingers Jared Kushner

Mod: In this case in particular, nepotism kills. And then some.

Trump downplayed the coronavirus threat in its early days. A new report says Jared Kushner had been telling him the media was exaggerating the crisis (Yahoo News link): Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, repeatedly told the president that the media was exaggerating the threat posed by the coronavirus, The New York Times reported Monday.

In the early weeks of the outbreak Trump attempted to downplay the severity of the illness, comparing it to the common flu, describing it as a "hoax" concocted by Democrats at a campaign rally in February, and assuring Americans that the outbreak would "disappear."

He was reportedly furious about stark warnings made by health officials about the likely negative impact of the disease, and blamed them for spooking financial markets as he geared up his reelection campaign.

According to The Times, Kushner — who has reportedly been playing a key role in the US response to the outbreak — had been telling the president around this time that the media was exaggerating the threat posed by the virus.

Trump has repeatedly sought to blame the media for exaggerating the crisis, echoing what Kushner was reportedly telling him, and as recently as last week blamed the "fake news media" for seeking to "inflame the CoronaVirus [sic] situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Times report.

Kushner was reportedly influential in Trump's decision last week to ban travel from several European countries to halt the spread of the illness, efforts to mobilize hospitals to increase testing, and ensure hospitals were better supplied.

He and Stephen Miller — a senior policy adviser — reportedly took the lead in writing the president's coronavirus speech to the nation last Wednesday, which was riddled with errors. Both Kushner and Miller have no public-health or medical expertise.

According to The Times, Kushner also played in a role in a Rose Garden speech last Friday, in which Trump claimed Google had designed a website to coordinate national coronavirus testing, when no such website existed.

"Mr. Trump has refused repeated warnings to rely on experts, or to neutralize some of the power held by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in favor of a traditional staff structure," the newspaper reported. The Times report follows the revelation last week that Kurt Kloss, a doctor whose daughter Karlie Kloss is married to Kushner's brother, had crowd sourced responses to the coronavirus crisis on Facebook at Kushner's request.