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Fauci Says Trump Campaign Ad Uses His Words ‘Completely Out of Context’

At the outset of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci was often by the president’s side at news conferences, joined by Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator. But the two appear to have been sidelined by Dr. Scott W. Atlas, the president’s new science adviser, a radiologist who has argued that the role of the government is not to stamp out the virus but to protect its most vulnerable citizens as Covid-19 takes its course.

That last idea appears to have taken hold in the White House, where two senior administration officials on Monday embraced a declaration arguing that the authorities should allow the coronavirus to spread naturally among young, healthy people while protecting the vulnerable — a heavily disputed approach that argues “herd immunity” should be achieved naturally rather than through a vaccine.

The officials, both speaking anonymously on a conference call with reporters, cited an Oct. 4 petition titled The Great Barrington Declaration, which argued against lockdowns and called for reopening businesses and schools.

“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short- and long-term public health,” the declaration states, adding: “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”

The declaration has more than 9,000 signatories from all over the world, its website says, though most of the names are not public. The document grew out of a meeting hosted by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian-leaning research organization. Its lead authors include Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist and infectious disease expert at Stanford University, where Dr. Atlas is a senior fellow.

“The plan is endorsing what the president’s policy has been for months,” one official said on the call.

Public health experts generally agree that further lockdowns are not optimal and can indeed cause harm to economic and physical health. But experts say herd immunity is not and should never be a strategy, because it could involve hundreds of thousand of avoidable deaths.

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Trump criticizes Fauci amid disagreement over campaign ad

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwo ethics groups call on House to begin impeachment inquiry against Barr Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis McGrath: McConnell ‘can’t get it done’ on COVID-19 relief MORE on Tuesday mocked the top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis Doctors urge Michigan stations to stop running Trump ad quoting Fauci Fauci tensions with Trump escalate over campaign ad MORE, suggesting his “prognostications” about the coronavirus have been inaccurate amid a standoff between the doctor and the president’s reelection campaign.

“Actually, Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications,” Trump tweeted, referencing Fauci’s wild first pitch at the Washington Nationals season opener in July.

The president also appeared to attribute a quote to Fauci that he never said publicly, describing how he and other health officials changed their position on mask usage early in the pandemic.

“ ‘No problem, no masks,’ ” Trump tweeted. 

“WHO no longer likes Lockdowns just came out against. Trump was right. We saved 2,000,000 USA lives!!!” Trump continued. 

Trump’s comments about Fauci come at a time of disagreement between the public health expert and the Trump campaign over the latter’s use of a clip of Fauci in a new advertisement.

The 30-second ad, unveiled last week, was released after Trump was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and seeks to paint a rosy picture of the Trump administration’s response to the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

It includes clips of Trump spliced with a clip of a Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, during which he says, “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.”

Fauci said over the weekend that his remarks were taken out of context and that he did not consent to being featured in the ad. On Monday, he called on the campaign to take the advertisement down.

Fauci’s remarks were taken from a March Fox News interview in which he characterized the response of the task force in positive terms. The Trump campaign has defended its use of the clip, saying the words were Fauci’s own, and have shown no sign of taking it down.

“These are Dr. Fauci’s own words. The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci was praising the work of the Trump Administration,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement Monday.

“The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth. As Dr. Fauci recently testified in the Senate, President Trump took the virus seriously from the beginning, acted quickly, and saved lives,” Murtaugh continued.

Trump in his tweet on Tuesday did not mention the

Biden’s son-in-law advises campaign on pandemic while investing in Covid-19 startups

“StartUp Health is putting the full support of its platform and network behind building a post-Covid world that uses technology and entrepreneurial ingenuity to improve health outcomes,” the firm said at the time.

Krein simultaneously advising the campaign and venturing into Covid investing could pose conflict-of-interest concerns for a Biden administration, or simply create the awkward appearance of Krein profiting off his father-in-law’s policies. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the federal government has directed tens of billions of dollars in coronavirus medical spending in areas like testing and vaccine research to private firms. It is poised to spend billions more next year and possibly beyond.

The potential conflicts are not limited to the coronavirus for Krein, 53, a Philadelphia-based head-and-neck surgeon who got into venture investing not long after he began dating Biden’s daughter, Ashley, in 2010.

Since StartUp Health’s 2011 launch, when Krein came on as its chief medical officer, it has invested in more than 300 health care businesses, according to its website, which prominently features the term “moonshot” to describe its investment goals — language that echoes that of Joe Biden’s own signature Cancer Moonshot initiative. In its early years, the firm enjoyed close ties to the Obama administration and described Krein as a White House adviser.

“I have little doubt that the relationship to Joe Biden, particularly if he becomes president, would attract the interest of some investors,” said Avik Roy, founder of Roy Healthcare Research, an investment research firm, and a former adviser to the presidential campaigns of Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

StartUpHealth did not respond to interview requests, and the Biden campaign declined to make Krein or others tied to the company available for interviews. In response to questions, a campaign official said that Krein does not have a formal role with the campaign, but acknowledged that he had participated in calls briefing Biden on coronavirus based on his experience treating patients and coordinating his hospital’s response to the outbreak.

Even informal input or the perception of access can be valuable in health care, a heavily regulated sector that is influenced by federal policy and spending priorities.

“Sometimes the perception is all you need,” said Laura Huang, a professor at Harvard Business School who studies the early-stage investment process. “Signaling is very important for startups and investors alike, and one signal is high-profile individuals who can help provide access.”

Roy said the firm’s Biden ties could also help it land stakes in hot startups that can be choosy about the investors they take money from. “Those companies will take your calls,” he said. “People who are plugged in have an advantage, and that is a common feature of a lot of heavily regulated industries.”

The influence concerns posed by the firm are compounded by its foreign ties. One StartUp Health fund raised $31 million from investors, including the Swiss drugmaker Novartis and the Chinese insurer Ping An, in 2018. The firm’s website also lists the Chinese technology conglomerate

Trump, downplaying risk, says he’s ready to ‘kiss everyone’ at his first campaign trail rally since COVID-19 diagnosis

President Trump in his return to the campaign trail in Florida on Monday evening boasted he has recovered from COVID-19 and is impervious to the disease that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

The president, who tested positive on Oct. 1, also indicated he is unconcerned about being contagious and told the audience gathered at Orlando Sanford International Airport that he would be happy to engage in some close contact. 

“One thing with me, the nice part, I went through it, now they say I’m immune. … I feel so powerful,” Trump said. “I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys, and the beautiful women, and the — everybody. I’ll just give you a big fat kiss.”

Trump spoke for about an hour. While his remarks were short by the standards of his past rallies, which are often about 80 minutes long, it was far longer than any of the brief videos he released while recovering from the virus or his first live speech, which took place at the White House on Saturday and lasted less than 2 minutes. 

The president’s return to the campaign trail came shortly after the White House medical team announced that he tested negative “on consecutive days.” Trump’s return to public events came exactly 10 days after the White House said his symptoms first appeared, which is the period of isolation recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Trump, who was treated with steroids and experimental drugs, became ill after his campaign and the White House hosted a series of events that ignored masks and social distancing measures designed to stop the spread of the virus. Over a dozen people linked to those gatherings also tested positive, including senior members of the president’s campaign team and White House staff.

The White House has declined to reveal precisely how many staffers have fallen ill. Trump’s team has also repeatedly refused to say when he last tested negative prior to his diagnosis, raising the possibility that the testing regimen supposedly in place at the White House was not followed and also making it impossible to say whether the president traveled to events while contagious. 

Even after the cluster of cases at the White House, Trump’s Florida rally still didn’t include standard measures designed to minimize risks of coronavirus spread. Guests were packed together and many did not wear masks. 

On stage, Trump, as he has for months, criticized lockdowns and quarantine measures as detrimental to the economy. He encouraged people to ignore them if they choose.

“The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself,” Trump said of the lockdowns.“If you want to stay, stay. Relax. Stay. But, if you want to get out there, get out.”



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla. (John Raoux/AP)


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President Trump at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla. (John Raoux/AP)

The president also suggested keeping distance from others was never an option for him.   

Video: President Trump: White House doctors said I can’t spread the virus anymore

Trump campaign manager returns to office 10 days after positive COVID-19 test

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE‘s campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienTrump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining The Memo: Trump searches for path to comeback Bob Dole claims no Republicans on debate commission support Trump MORE resumed working at the campaign’s Virginia headquarters on Monday, 10 days after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Stepien told reporters on a conference call that he was back in the office after his recent positive test, “in full accordance with” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

The CDC guidelines say adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 cases can be around others 10 days after the onset of symptoms so long as they have gone 24 hours without a fever and other symptoms are improving. Severe cases require longer isolation periods. Public health experts have also encouraged individuals to obtain two negative tests before resuming regular activities.

Stepien, 42, tested positive on Oct. 2 and dealt with mild flu-like symptoms, the campaign said at the time. He went into quarantine and worked from home until Monday.

Stepien did not say on Monday’s call whether he had tested negative for the virus but cited being beyond the 10 day window from the onset of symptoms for his decision to return to the office.

“We take a lot of precautions here at the headquarters every single day,” Stepien said, pointing to signage about health protocols and noting that the campaign has a nurse on staff to ensure everyone is healthy.

Stepien’s decision to resume working in-person reflects the broader attitude of the president and his team toward the virus, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the U.S. and infected nearly 8 million.

Trump, who revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 2, is set to resume campaign rallies on Monday night in Florida despite the White House refusing to say when he last tested negative, and some top White House officials, such as chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsAdministration officials call on Congress to immediately pass bill to spend unused PPP funds Trump claims he is ‘immune’ from coronavirus, defends federal response Senate Republicans rip new White House coronavirus proposal MORE, have continued to work from the building despite being in close contact with the president, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and others who have tested positive. 

The president’s physician said late Saturday that Trump is no longer a risk to spread the virus but stopped short of saying he had tested negative.

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Covid-19 Live Updates: Fauci Says a Trump Campaign Ad Misrepresented His Comments

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Pool photo by Graeme Jennings

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, took issue Sunday with a decision by the Trump campaign to feature him in an advertisement without his consent and said it had misrepresented his comments.

“I was totally surprised,” Dr. Fauci said. “The use of my name and my words by the G.O.P. campaign was done without my permission, and the actual words themselves were taken out of context, based on something that I said months ago regarding the entire effort of the task force.”

CNN first reported Dr. Fauci’s displeasure with the campaign ad.

The spot seeks to use Mr. Trump’s illness with Covid-19 and apparent recovery to improve the negative image many Americans have of his handling of the coronavirus.

“I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more,” the ad shows Dr. Fauci saying — though in fact he was talking about the broader government effort.

Dr. Fauci, who said he had never publicly endorsed a political candidate in decades of public work, has long had an uneasy relationship with President Trump. Just a little over a week ago, he clashed with his boss over his position on mask-wearing.

In his debate with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Trump claimed that Dr. Fauci had initially said “masks are not good — then he changed his mind.” When Mr. Biden said wearing masks could save tens of thousands of lives, Mr. Trump contended that “Dr. Fauci said the opposite.”

In fact, in the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci and other health experts discouraged the general public from rushing out to buy masks because they were worried about shortages for health workers. Their position changed when it became clear that asymptomatic transmission was spreading the virus.

Dr. Fauci may favor measured language, but his criticisms of the White House — and, implicitly, the man in the Oval Office — over the handling of the pandemic have not gone unnoticed — including by hard-core Trump supporters who claim he is part of a “deep state” conspiracy to undermine the president.

On Friday, Dr. Fauci called the White House ceremony announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court a “superspreader event.”

“It was in a situation where people were crowded together and not wearing masks,” he said. “The data speak for themselves.”

Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee begins on Monday. The proceedings will play out partially by video to allow senators who may be sick or worried about infection to participate remotely. No members of the public will be allowed in the hearing room, which will be sparsely populated with senators and spectators.

Donald Trump chooses denial and recklessness as he’s set to resume campaign rallies

As President Donald Trump stood on a White House balcony Saturday — spewing mistruths about his opponent’s plan for policing and claiming the coronavirus is “disappearing” while hundreds of people watched from below — it was clear that his illness has taught him very little and he will continue to endanger Americans until Election Day.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump removes his face mask to speak from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Alex Brandon/AP
President Donald Trump removes his face mask to speak from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

There was a chance for a strategic pivot by the President after he contracted Covid-19 that would have helped him shore up his flagging approval ratings on the handling of the virus. After learning a great deal about coronavirus, as he claimed during his stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he could have chosen a path of responsibility by using his platform to educate the public about the risks of the virus at a time when US cases are surging and doctors fear that the nation is entering a second wave.

But nine days after he announced his coronavirus diagnosis — and hours before his physician said he is no longer considered “a transmission risk to others” but did not say he had tested negative — Trump chose his familiar tactics of denial, risk and ignorance. Two weeks after one super-spreader event in the White House Rose Garden, he held another on the South Lawn with no social distancing. This time, it was before an audience of Black and Latino Americans, groups who have been disproportionately harmed by the pandemic.



a group of people posing for the camera: Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump makes remarks on law and order on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday, where there was little social distancing. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)


© Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump makes remarks on law and order on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday, where there was little social distancing. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Rather than mitigating risk, Trump is planning at least three campaign rallies next week in Florida, Pennsylvania and Iowa, stating Saturday, “We are starting very, very big with our rallies and with our everything” as he again threw caution to the wind.

In his speech from the White House balcony and during his interviews with right wing outlets like the Rush Limbaugh radio show on Friday, he embraced the only political strategy he knows — playing to his base, rather than attempting to broaden his appeal, as his campaign spirals toward Election Day. He still appears either unwilling or unable to see the huge drag that the public’s lack of confidence in his handling of the pandemic is having on his election prospects.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released this week showed only 37% of Americans approved of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, while 59% disapproved. And the Pew Research Center found that Biden had a 17-point advantage over Trump when registered voters were asked who could better handle the public health impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

View Trump and Biden head-to-head polling

The President continued downplaying Covid-19 on Saturday, referring to it with

Trump claims he’s free of virus, ready for campaign trail

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Sunday declared he was ready to return to the campaign trail despite unanswered questions about his health on the eve of a Florida rally meant to kick off the stretch run before Election Day.

His impending return comes after the White House doctor said he was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it. The president insisted he was now “immune” from the virus, a claim that was impossible to prove and added to the unknowns about the president’s health.

“I’m immune,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “The president is in very good shape to fight the battles.”

In a memo released Saturday night by the White House, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk. The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus.


But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor’s statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat. Some medical experts had been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness. Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said.

His return to full-fledged rallies will be in Florida on Monday, a comeback that comes with the president facing stubborn deficits in the polls. The Trump campaign and White House has not indicated that any additional safety measures will be taken to prevent the transmission of the virus among those traveling on Air Force One, at the event site or at rallies scheduled for Pennsylvania and Iowa later in the week.

Campaign officials have signaled that Trump will be traveling nearly every day the rest of the campaign, and sometimes making more than one stop, an aggressive schedule for a 74-year-old who was hospitalized just days ago.

On Sunday, Trump asserted in a tweet that he had “total and complete sign off from White House Doctors” to fully return to the campaign trail, insisting he can no longer spread the disease to others and was impervious to getting sick again.

That’s far from certain, and Twitter later flagged his tweet with a fact-check warning.

While there’s evidence that reinfection in unlikely for at least three months even for those with a mild case of COVID-19, very few diseases leave people completely immune for life. Antibodies are only one piece of the body’s defenses, and they naturally wane over time.

“Certainly it’s presumptuous to say it’s a lifetime,” said Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist and department chairman at the Yale School of Public Health.

As to whether Trump could still be

Trump Insists He’s Free of Virus, Ready for Campaign Trail | Political News

By JONATHAN LEMIRE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Sunday declared he was healthy enough to return to the campaign trail, a day after the White House doctor said he was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it.

Trump, who was poised Monday to host his first rally after his COVID-19 diagnosis, declared he was now “immune” from the virus, a claim that was impossible to prove and comes amid a series of outstanding questions about the president’s health.

“I’m immune,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News. “The president is in very good shape to fight the battles.”

In a memo released Saturday night by the White House, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk. The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus.

But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor’s statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat. Some medical experts had been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness. Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said.

The memo followed Trump’s first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus at a military hospital. Hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon on the South Lawn for a Trump address on his support for law enforcement from a White House balcony.

Trump took off a mask moments after he emerged on the balcony to address the crowd on the lawn below, his first step back onto the public stage with just more than three weeks to go until Election Day. He flouted, once more, the safety recommendations of his own government days after acknowledging that he was on the brink of “bad things” from the virus and claiming that his bout with the illness brought him a better understanding of it.

His return was a brief one. With bandages visible on his hands, likely from an intravenous injection, Trump spoke for 18 minutes, far less than his normal hour-plus rallies. He appeared healthy, if perhaps a little hoarse, as he delivered what was, for all intents and purposes, a short version of his campaign speech despite the executive mansion setting.

“I’m feeling great,” Trump told the crowd, adding that he was thankful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered. He then declared that the pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans, was “disappearing” even though he is still recovering from the virus.

In either an act of defiance or simply tempting fate, officials organized the event just steps from the

Trump insists he’s free of virus, ready for campaign trail

President Donald Trump on Sunday declared he was healthy enough to return to the campaign trail, a day after the White House doctor said he was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it.

Trump, who was poised Monday to host his first rally after his COVID-19 diagnosis, declared he was now “immune” from the virus, a claim that was impossible to prove and comes amid a series of outstanding questions about the president’s health.

“I’m immune,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News. “The president is in very good shape to fight the battles.”


In a memo released Saturday night by the White House, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk. The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus.

But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor’s statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat. Some medical experts had been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness. Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said.

The memo followed Trump’s first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus at a military hospital. Hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon on the South Lawn for a Trump address on his support for law enforcement from a White House balcony.

Trump took off a mask moments after he emerged on the balcony to address the crowd on the lawn below, his first step back onto the public stage with just more than three weeks to go until Election Day. He flouted, once more, the safety recommendations of his own government days after acknowledging that he was on the brink of “bad things” from the virus and claiming that his bout with the illness brought him a better understanding of it.

His return was a brief one. With bandages visible on his hands, likely from an intravenous injection, Trump spoke for 18 minutes, far less than his normal hour-plus rallies. He appeared healthy, if perhaps a little hoarse, as he delivered what was, for all intents and purposes, a short version of his campaign speech despite the executive mansion setting.

“I’m feeling great,” Trump told the crowd, adding that he was thankful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered. He then declared that the pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans, was “disappearing” even though he is still recovering from the virus.

In either an act of defiance or simply tempting fate, officials organized the event just steps from the Rose Garden, where exactly two weeks ago the