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Prominent Journal of Medicine Makes Unprecedented Political Statement

There’s no doubt the scientific community has been struck with Trump Derangement Syndrome, but reading the latest screed against the administration over its coronavirus response raises questions about whose pocket one of the most prominent scientific journals may be in.

For the first time since its founding in 1812, The New England Journal of Medicine has taken a position on a presidential election. Titled “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” it’s no surprise which direction it’s taking, though it does not name either political candidate. What is surprising about its criticism, however, is how pro-China it is.

Right off the bat, we’re told about the “magnitude” of the administration’s failure in the U.S. in terms of the number of COVID-19 deaths — “far exceeding the numbers in much larger countries, such as China.” To claim this with a straight face, as if China is truthful about its death count, is beyond the pale. The U.S. intelligence community has warned the CCP is lying as have residents of Wuhan and countless others.

The editors then went on to not only criticize federalism but praise China’s authoritarian crackdown on citizens: “We know that we could have done better. China, faced with the first outbreak, chose strict quarantine and isolation after an initial delay. These measures were severe but effective, essentially eliminating transmission at the point where the outbreak began and reducing the death rate to a reported 3 per million, as compared with more than 500 per million in the United States.”

As a reminder, those “severe” measures included literally locking residents in their homes to stop the spread. 

There are other head-scratching criticisms found in the article, such as the editors’ chastisement of people who don’t wear masks, despite the Journal’s own admission in May that “wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection…In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

The Journal’s nearly three dozen editors urging Americans to “not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs,” follows other scientific journals taking a political stand this year. The Lancet and Scientific American also urged Americans to vote Trump out with the latter actually endorsing Joe Biden.

The Lancet and the NEJM took heat earlier this year after publishing a total fraud of a study on hydroxychloroquine that claimed patients with COVID were dying at higher rates than those who didn’t take it. The studies prompted WHO and other governments around the world to halt studies on the drug and change positions on prescribing it, potentially costing people their lives.

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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

Pelosi Unveils 25th Amendment Bid, Questions Trump’s Fitness | Political News

By LISA MASCARO, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled legislation Friday that would allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove the president, insisting it’s not about President Donald Trump but inspired by the need for greater congressional oversight of his White House.

Pelosi has been raising questions about Trump’s mental fitness since his COVID-19 diagnosis and demanding more transparency about his health. The bill would set up a commission to assess the president’s ability to lead the country and ensure a continuity of government. It comes one year after Pelosi’s House launched impeachment proceedings against Trump.

“This is not about President Donald Trump — he will face the judgment of the voters,” Pelosi said at a press conference at the Capitol.

Just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, with no hopes of the bill becoming law, the rollout was quickly dismissed as a stunt by Trump’s team and top allies.

“It’s an absurd proposal,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Fox.

“Absolutely absurd,” said Senate Majority Leader McConnell during an appearance in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.

The president’s opponents have discussed invoking the 25th Amendment for some time, but are raising it now, so close to Election Day, as the campaigns are fast turning into a referendum on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi said Trump needs to disclose more about his health after his COVID-19 diagnosis and when, exactly, he first contracted COVID as others in the White House have become infected. More than 210,000 Americans have died and millions more have tested positive for the virus, which shows no signs of abating heading into what public health experts warn will be a difficult flu season and winter.

The legislation that would create a commission as outlined under the 25th Amendment, which was passed by Congress and ratified in 1967 as a way to ensure a continuity of power in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

It says the vice president and a majority of principal officers of the executive departments “or of such other body as Congress” may by law provide a declaration to Congress that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” At that point, the vice president would immediately assume the powers of acting president.

“Let Congress exert the power the Constitution gave us,” Pelosi said Friday standing before a poster of the amendment.

Pelosi was joined by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a constitutional scholar, who has proposed similar bills in the past.

“In times of chaos we must hold fast to our Constitution,” he said Friday.

Raskin said the commission would be launched “only for the most extreme situations.”

But, as Congress showed by impeaching — and acquitting the president over the past year — the legislative branch is determined to exert itself at times as a check on the executive branch.

“Congress has a role to play,” Raskin said.

Trump says he “feels great”

In 25th Amendment Bid, Pelosi Mulls Trump’s Fitness to Serve | Political News

By LISA MASCARO, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is questioning President Donald Trump’s fitness to serve, announcing legislation Thursday that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties.

Just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, Pelosi said Trump needs to disclose more about his health after his COVID-19 diagnosis. She noted Trump’s “strange tweet” halting talks on a new coronavirus aid package — he subsequently tried to reverse course — and said Americans need to know when, exactly, he first contracted COVID as others in the White House became infected. On Friday, she plans to roll out the legislation that would launch the commission for review.

“The public needs to know the health condition of the president,” Pelosi said, later invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows a president’s cabinet or Congress to intervene when a president is unable to conduct the duties of the office.

Trump responded swiftly via Twitter.

“Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!” the president said.

The president’s opponents have discussed invoking the 25th Amendment for some time, but are raising it now, so close to Election Day, as the campaigns are fast turning into a referendum on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 210,000 Americans have died and millions more infected by the virus that shows no signs of abating heading into what public health experts warn will be a difficult flu season and winter.

Trump says he “feels great” after being hospitalized and is back at work in the White House. But his doctors have given mixed signals about his diagnosis and treatment. Trump plans to resume campaigning soon.

Congress is not in legislative session, and so any serious consideration of the measure, let alone votes in the House or Senate, is unlikely. But the bill serves as a political tool to stoke questions about Trump’s health as his own White House is hit by an outbreak infecting top aides, staff and visitors, including senators.

In a stunning admission, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he had stopped going to the White House two months ago because he disagreed with its coronavirus protocols. His last visit was Aug. 6.

“My impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said at a campaign stop in northern Kentucky for his own reelection.

On Friday, Pelosi along with Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a constitutional law professor, plan to roll out the legislation that would create a commission as outlined under the 25th Amendment, which was passed by Congress and ratified in 1967 as way to ensure a continuity of power in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

It says the vice president and a majority of

The Latest: Trump Gives Thumbs-Up From White House Balcony | Political News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s health after his COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization, and infections of close aides and others (all times local):

President Donald Trump says he feels “good” as he arrives back at the White House after three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was being treated for COVID-19.

Marine One landed at the White House just before 7 p.m. Monday just as the sun was setting.

He then walked upstairs to the South Portico balcony, took off his mask and stuffed it in his pocket, and flashed a double thumbs-up to the cameras. He saluted as he watched the helicopter lift back off. He walked into the White House without putting his mask back on.

Trump’s doctors said he would continue his recovery from the White House, where he will be cared for 24/7 by a team of doctors and nurses. His doctor says he’s still contagious.

Trump walked out the golden front doors of Walter Reed earlier Monday and offered a thumbs-up and fist bump before he stepped into an SUV that carried him to the helicopter. Lights had been set up to illuminate the scene for cameras.

President Donald Trump pumped his fist as he departed a military hospital after a three-day stay for the coronavirus.

A masked Trump walked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening toward a waiting SUV that carried him to Marine One for the short flight back to the White House. He said, “Thank you very much,” to the assembled reporters.

Even before he walked out the doors, he tweeted that he’d be back on the campaign trail soon.

The 74-year-old Trump was expected to continue his recovery at the White House, where he will be cared for around-the-clock by a team of doctors and nurses. He announced his coronavirus diagnosis early Friday.

His doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, told reporters earlier Monday that Trump remains contagious.

His return comes as the White House is still learning the extent of the outbreak that has sickened over a dozen close contacts of the president over the last week.

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina says he’s regained his sense of taste and smell after testing positive for the coronavirus last week.

Tillis tweeted Monday: “I feel great.” He says that although he’s no longer exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus, he will continue to self-isolate.

Tillis is among several people who tested positive for the virus days after attending the Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on Sept. 26. Others who came down with the coronavirus include President Donald Trump and Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

Tillis was wearing a mask during the outside ceremony and has supported mask use. A New York Times photo taken inside the White House showed a maskless Tillis speaking to Barrett.

Tillis is in a tight race for reelection in November. He has temporarily halted in-person

Americans Fault US Govt Over Foreign Powers for Virus Crisis | Political News

By MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans blame the U.S. government instead of foreign nations for the coronavirus crisis in the United States, a rebuke to the Trump administration’s contention that China or other countries are most at fault, a new poll shows.

The poll by The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research was conducted before President Donald Trump tested positive for the virus Friday and was hospitalized. Trump has downplayed the severity and impact of the pandemic in recent months.

Although many see plenty of blame to go around and there’s a wide bipartisan divide over who is responsible, 56% of Americans say the U.S. government has substantial responsibility for the situation. That compares with 47% who place that much blame on the governments of other countries and only 39% who say the same about the World Health Organization.

“It reflects a general lack of confidence in the way the government has handled the situation,” said Austin Wright of the Harris School for Public Policy.

More than 1 million people worldwide, including more than 200,000 Americans, have died of COVID-19 in the outbreak. Trump has squarely blamed the virus’ spread on China, where it originated, and an inadequate response from the WHO.

As he faces a rough reelection contest in November, Trump has steadily ramped up criticism of China for the virus and announced the U.S. would halt funding for and withdraw from the international health agency over alleged Chinese interference in its work. Critics, including public health experts, have said China bears some responsibility but have also harshly criticized Trump’s response.

The poll shows Democrats are especially likely to say the U.S. government is responsible for the situation, while many Republicans are likely to place the blame elsewhere. Among Democrats, 79% say the U.S. government has a great deal of responsibility, while 37% say that about other countries’ governments and 27% about the WHO. Among Republicans, 38% say the U.S. government is responsible, compared with 60% for the governments of other countries and 55% the WHO.

Self-described conservative Republican Ralph Martinez, a 67-year-old grocery store manager from the Fort Worth, Texas area, said he wasn’t sure that any government could have handled it better and dismissed criticism that Trump had downplayed the matter.

“It’s an open question, honestly,” he said. “I don’t care who’s in office, I think they’re going to do their best for everyone. But how much can they do?”

Martinez, who said he had to throw a customer out of his store for not wearing a mask recently, lauded Trump for not wanting to create panic in the early stages of the outbreak in the U.S. He also recalled unprecedented runs on items such as toilet paper and paper towels when people realized the virus was not a momentary phenomenon.

“You would not believe how crazy these people got,” he said. “I can’t imagine how bad it would have been

Trump Takes a Brief Car Ride, Ignoring Own COVID Infection | Political News

By JILL COLVIN, STEVE PEOPLES and ZEKE MILLER, Associated Press

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Infected and contagious, President Donald Trump briefly ventured out in a motorcade on Sunday to salute cheering supporters, a move that disregarded precautions meant to contain the deadly virus that has forced his hospitalization and killed more than 209,000 Americans.

Hours earlier, Trump’s medical team reported that his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick. Still, the doctors said Trump’s health is improving and that he could be discharged as early as Monday.

With one month until Election Day, Trump was eager to project strength despite his illness. The still-infectious president surprised supporters who had gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, driving by in a black SUV with the windows rolled up. Secret Service agents inside the vehicle could be seen in masks and other protective gear.

The move capped a weekend of contradictions that fueled confusion about Trump’s health, which has imperiled the leadership of the U.S. government and upended the final stages of the presidential campaign. While Trump’s physician offered a rosy prognosis on his condition, his briefings lacked basic information, including the findings of lung scans, or were quickly muddled by more serious assessments of the president’s health by other officials.

In a short video released by the White House on Sunday, Trump insisted he understood the gravity of the moment. But his actions moments later, by leaving the hospital and sitting inside the SUV with others, suggested otherwise.

“This is insanity,” Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed who is a critic of Trump and his handling of the pandemic. “Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die.”

“For political theater,” the doctor added. “Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater.”

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump’s trip outside the hospital “was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.” He added that precautions were taken, including using personal protective equipment, to protect Trump as well as White House officials and Secret Service agents.

Joe Biden’s campaign, meanwhile, said the Democratic presidential nominee again tested negative for coronavirus Sunday. The results come five days after Biden spent more than 90 minutes on the debate stage with Trump. Biden, who has taken a far more cautious approach to in-person events, had two negative tests on Friday.

For his part, Trump still faces questions about his health.

His doctors sidestepped questions on Sunday about exactly when Trump’s blood oxygen dropped — an episode they neglected to mention in multiple statements the day before — or whether lung scans showed any damage.

It was the second straight day of obfuscation from a White House already suffering from a credibility crisis. And it raised more doubts about whether the

The Latest: VP Pence Tests Negative for Coronavirus Again | Political News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on coronavirus infections hitting President Donald Trump and others in his circle (all times EDT):

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, have tested negative again for the coronavirus days after President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were diagnosed with COVID-19.

A Pence spokesperson confirmed Sunday’s negative tests.

Despite the president’s hospitalization, Pence is expected to resume regular campaigning this week with no changes to protocols meant to keep him from getting infected.

Pence is set to debate Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

President Donald Trump’s physician says he was trying to “reflect the upbeat attitude” of the president and his medical team when he declined to share Saturday that Trump was placed on oxygen the day before.

Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley was pressed Sunday on why his rosy picture of the president’s health was contradicted moments later by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who expressed that the medical team was very concerned with the president’s health Friday morning when he experienced a drop in his blood oxygen levels and had a high fever.

Said Conley: “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team, that the president, that his course of illness has had.”

He added that he “didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, came off like we’re trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”

President Donald Trump’s team of doctors says he is doing well after his COVID-19 diagnosis and could be discharged as early as Monday to continue his treatment.

Dr. Brian Garibaldi, a specialist in pulmonary critical care, said Trump received a second dose of the experimental drug remdesivir along with a first dose of dexamethasone Saturday and isn’t showing any side effects “that we can tell.”

He said Sunday that Trump is “up and well” and the plan was to have him “out of bed” Sunday as much as possible.

Garibaldi and Trump’s doctor, Dr. Sean Conley, said if things continue to go well, Trump will be able to return to the White House on Monday to continue his five-day course of remdesivir treatment and other appropriate therapy.

The president’s physician says President Donald Trump was treated with a steroid after a drop in oxygen levels on Saturday.

Dr. Sean Conley said at a news conference on Sunday that he was given the steroid dexamethasone while he was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Conley said the president’s oxygen level had dropped down to 93% on Saturday. He says the president did not feel short of breath.

He says the president’s medical team is hoping Trump will be up and about, out of bed and eating and drinking throughout the day.

President Donald Trump’s doctors are set to brief the public on his condition late Sunday morning after he spent a second night hospitalized with COVID-19.

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