MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” co-host Joe Scarborough claimed Tuesday that
everybody saw the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic coming President Donald
“We’ve heard that nobody could’ve seen this coming. The fact is, everybody saw this coming. Everybody saw this coming in early January,” Scarborough said.
Scarborough on Trump and the Coronavirus: Unlike him, “Everybody saw this coming in early January” pic.twitter.com/rB2ZZNgzb6
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 1, 2020
On the contrary, the entire network of MSNBC did not once mention the
coronavirus or the pandemic rapidly spreading across China until January 18, not “early January.”
The worst news, however, is that politicians have plenty of additional ideas for how to exploit the crisis.
An especially awful idea for so-called stimulus comes from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wants to restore (retroactively!) the full federal deduction for state and local tax payments.
Pelosi suggested that reversing the tax law’s $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction… The cap on the SALT deduction
has been strongly disliked by politicians in high-tax, Democratic-leaning states such as New York, New Jersey and California… But most Republicans support the SALT deduction cap, arguing that it helps to prevent the tax code from subsidizing higher state taxes.
I’ve written many times on this issue and explained why curtailing that deduction (which basically existed to subsidize the profligacy of high-tax states) was one of the best features of the 2017 tax reform.
At the same time, a Ukrainian OSINT Group Information Resistance posted a video, apparently showing the parade rehearsal where nearly 15,000 Russian troops are seen standing in close ranks without any protective gear, while a narrator who is shooting a video is mocking the authorities for imposing a limit on gatherings to 50 people and at the same time demonstrating full disregard for the safety of troops.
On Friday March 27th Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer threatened to revoke the medical licenses of doctors and pharmacists who prescribe hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus in Michigan. Four days later, March 31st, the same governor asks the federal government to send her hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients. Go figure.
This time around, the FBI highlighted that some of the group’s targets are organisations in the healthcare industry, currently grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: Besides sending out a PIN (Private Industry Notification), the FBI has also published two Flash alerts, one containing YARA rules to identify the group’s Kwampirs malware on infected networks, and the second containing a technical report, complete with IOCs (indicators of compromise).
The Foreign Ministry said seven million masks would be sent to Europe, including Spain, Italy and Britain, while two million would go to the United States, and the rest to the small band of countries which maintain formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
“Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping,” said Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, speaking at the news conference with Tsai.
Mask use has been widespread in Taiwan since the virus took hold and the government had initially banned mask exports. But it has now ensured plentiful supplies domestically, meaning it is able to donate any surplus.
From Wednesday, masks have to be worn on all public transport in Taiwan, though in practice almost everyone already does so.
One law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, estimated the ABF had already seized 800,000 masks with a combined value of more than $1.2 million on
the Australian market.
“We started seeing this stuff arriving roughly three weeks ago when news of the pandemic was really taking off,” the official told the ABC.
“The dodgy material is coming via air cargo because there is a backlog of sea freight at Australian ports.”
The official stressed that not all Chinese products were considered faulty, and other imports of PPE from China were still passing Australian
Thousands of testing kits and
medical masks are below standard or defective, according to authorities
in Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands.
The Dutch health ministry announced it had recalled 600,000 face masks on March 28.
The equipment arrived from a Chinese manufacturer on March 21 and had already been distributed to frontline medical teams.
Dutch officials said the masks did not fit and their filters did not work as
intended, even though they had a quality certificate.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying has rejected suggestions the country’s exports were faulty.
“A large number of Chinese manufacturers are working around the clock to help other countries save lives,” she said yesterday.
Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro said the promotions were “dangerous” for areas with limited health services, while Councillor Amanda Findley, mayor of Shoalhaven on the NSW south coast, said the websites should be shut down until after Easter.
… People have been told to stay in their primary place of residence and this does not include holiday homes. Breaching this rule could attract fines of up to $11,000 in NSW.
The Clinton request comes in Judicial Watch’s lawsuit that seeks records concerning “talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack” (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch famously uncovered in 2014 that the “talking points” that provided the basis for Susan Rice’s false statements were created by the Obama White House. This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the Clinton email system in 2015.
The government has yet to curtail exports by U.S. companies, however — roughly 280 million masks in warehouses around the U.S. were purchased by foreign buyers on Monday alone, according to Forbes.
A FEMA spokesperson said the agency “has not actively encouraged or discouraged U.S. companies from exporting overseas,” noting that various U.S. agencies are coordinating their activities with their overseas
But FEMA is asking USAID to send back most of the reserves of protective gear it has stored in warehouses in
Dubai and Miami for use in the U.S., according to one of the administration officials and a Senate Democratic foreign policy aide.
“What USAID is hoping for is that the market will improve in ways that they will be able to purchase additional PPE for restocking these warehouses or whatever the
facilities are, relatively soon,” the aide said. “But obviously that’s aspirational and not based on any confidence at this point.”
A senior State Department official emphasized that the U.S. government is not providing countries with
hard-to-find equipment that could be used to fight coronavirus in the United States instead.
“When it comes to PPE in particular, right now our assistance is not a zero-sum game,” the official said. “We
are not providing assistance that could be headed to Detroit or to Kansas City. That’s not what we’re doing.”
The official added that the hold isn’t meant to be permanent. When industries “are able to ramp up and we have enough capacity here, we will absolutely shift as much of this stuff [as we can] around the world,” he said.