Categories
News NPR

Coronavirus Live Updates : NPR

Dana Nessel announcing her bid for Michigan attorney general in 2017.

Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service via Getty I


hide caption

toggle caption

Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service via Getty I

Dana Nessel announcing her bid for Michigan attorney general in 2017.

Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service via Getty I

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Friday said President Trump had directly threatened the health and safety of her state’s residents through his coronavirus response, including his recent refusals wear a mask in public and defense of those protesting stay-at-home orders.

“He has risked the health, safety and welfare of everyone who lives in this state, and I will not remain silent and just twiddle my thumbs as I see him do that,” Nessel told NPR’s All Things Considered. His choice not to wear a mask, she said, “sends the worst possible message at the worst possible time.”

Nessel’s remarks are the latest escalation in a feud between the president and Michigan’s state leadership amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump, who traveled to Michigan Thursday, called Nessel “The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan,” in a tweet after she, on CNN, compared the president to a “petulant child” for not wearing a mask during most of his visit this week to a Ford Motor Co. plant.

“I don’t know how else to communicate with this man,” Nessel told NPR. “He doesn’t respond to respectful requests, apparently these ridiculous tweets is the only kind of communication he knows or understands.”

Trump has also previously fanned controversies within Michigan between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and a faction of far-right protestors, many armed, who stormed the state capitol demanding a suspension of the state’s stay-at-home order.

Tweeting in support of the protesters, Trump wrote: “The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”

This was after the armed demonstrators occupied the statehouse demanding to speak with the governor. Some comments in a private Facebook group organizing the event went so far as to threaten violence against Whitmer and other lawmakers, according to the Detroit Metro Times.

“This is an individual who has encouraged people to break the law in a manner that jeopardizes the health of all our state residents. And then when we have armed gunmen storming the capitol holding swastikas and confederate flags, he calls them very good people who our governor ought to negotiate with,” Nessel said on Friday.

Nessel suggested that at least a degree of Trump’s ire against Michigan’s leadership stemmed from the fact three of its top leaders — the governor, secretary of state and attorney general — are women.

“I guess if any one of us were doing Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo’s dishes, he might be fine with us. But since we’re not and we’re actually running the state of Michigan, he seems to have a real issue.”



Source link

Categories
News NPR

Coronavirus Live Updates : NPR

President Trump holds a mask as he speaks during a tour of the Ford Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., Thursday.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump holds a mask as he speaks during a tour of the Ford Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., Thursday.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Thursday briefly wore a protective face mask during his visit to a Ford Motor Company plant — away from reporters’ view — after stoking concern for his resistance to wearing the expert-recommended gear.

Trump visited a Rawsonville, Mich., Ford plant, which has been re-purposed to create medical supplies amid the coronavirus crisis. Reporters traveling with the president, who were not with him for the whole tour, asked him if he wore a mask. Trump replied: “I had one on before, I wore one on in this back area. I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.” He said he also wore googles.

Asked why he wasn’t wearing a mask in front of the press and representatives from Ford before making remarks at the plant, Trump said, “in this area … it’s not necessary here, everybody’s been tested and I’ve been tested.”

The Ford company said in a statement that Chairman Bill Ford had “encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived. He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years. The President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.”

Trump and his allies have defended his refusal to wear a mask, arguing that because the president and his inner circle are routinely tested for the coronavirus, he does not need to wear a mask.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals wear snug-fitting cloth masks in public settings to help prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus from the mask-wearing individual to others.

Later Thursday, Trump announced he would order flags on all federal buildings to fly at half-mast for the next three days to honor those who have died from the coronavirus.



Source link

Categories
News NPR

Lindsey Graham Wants To Know Who ‘Unmasked’ Trump’s Teams : NPR

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a Capitol Hill news conference on March 25.

Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a Capitol Hill news conference on March 25.

Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday requested the identities of any Obama administration officials who may have sought intelligence information on members of President Trump’s 2016 and 2017 campaign and transition teams.

The senator’s request comes days after the acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, released a list of names of Obama-era officials who potentially received intelligence reporting connected to Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, in the months following the 2016 election.

“Given the extensive number of requests for the unmasking of General Flynn’s name during this short time period, it raises the question of whether these or other officials sought the unmasking of the identities of other individuals associated with the Trump campaign or transition team,” Graham wrote in a letter to Grenell and U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

However, it is not possible for officials to have known what names had been redacted, or masked, in security agencies’ reports. As NPR reported last week:

“Reporting about those communications is used in myriad ways by investigators, analysts and policymakers. But for the sake of security and, to some extent, privacy, the reports undergo ‘minimization’ before they’re circulated widely.

“So a report might not say: ‘Foreign Minister So-And-So talked about the election this week with John Smith.’ It would say he talked with ‘U.S. Person 1.’

“Certain officials of sufficient stature can ask for Person 1’s identity to be ‘unmasked’ to more fully understand what’s taking place in the reporting.”

Still, Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, requested information from Grenell and Barr regarding inquiries between Nov. 8, 2016, and Jan. 31, 2017, into Trump campaign affiliates, including Trump himself, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Sam Clovis, Chris Christie, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Graham also seeks an “explanation as to why the list released on May 13th by [Grenell’s office] did not contain a record showing who unmasked General Flynn’s identity for his phone call with [then-Russian Ambassador Sergey] Kislyak.”

The topic of unmasking has sparked attention in recent weeks in light of Barr’s Justice Department seeking to drop charges against Flynn that stem from the federal investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — this despite Flynn’s admission of lying to the FBI about his communications with Russian officials.

On Thursday, Graham’s Judiciary Committee will vote on whether to give him the authority to subpoena documents and communication related to the FBI’s investigation into any links between Trump associates and Russian officials.

Source link

Categories
News NPR

What Mnuchin, Powell Will Tell The Senate Banking Committee : NPR

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing in April.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing in April.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, will remotely address the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday regarding the disbursement of hundreds of billions of dollars in coronavirus relief aid.

In written testimony released on Monday (below), Powell described the pandemic as having caused “a level of pain that is hard to capture in words.”

He added: “As a society, we should do everything we can to provide relief to those who are suffering for the public good.”

Powell has called on Congress to do more to meet the Fed on its historic lending, and to expand relief funding to Americans. So far, Congress has passed an unprecedented $3 trillion in aid to temper the economic blow from the crisis.

The Democratic-led U.S. House last week approved $3 trillion in additional relief, including nearly $1 trillion for state, local and tribal governments, and hazard pay for essential workers and families. Republicans have called the measure a Democratic wish list, and the White House has issued a veto threat.

The testimony comes a day after a congressional oversight panel released its first report outlining its supervision of lending programs. The report found that the Treasury has not yet paid out any of the $46 billion earmarked for businesses of national security and the U.S. airline industry, which has faced particular devastation during the pandemic.

Read Chairman Powell’s testimony.

Read Secretary Mnuchin’s testimony.

Source link

Categories
News NPR

Coronavirus Live Updates : NPR

President Trump meets with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum in the White House Cabinet Room.

Pool/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Pool/Getty Images

President Trump meets with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum in the White House Cabinet Room.

Pool/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday criticized an administration official’s caution over reopening the country too soon, especially sending children back to school.

Trump, who has bullishly recommended the country reopen to minimize the economic fallout from the virus, said he was taken aback by the cautious stance infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed this week in Senate testimony.

“Look, he wants to play all sides of the equation,” Trump said about Fauci’s concerns over reopening too quickly. Trump said he was especially surprised by Fauci’s warning not to be too cavalier about the risks to children and his assessment that a vaccine is unlikely to be ready before Fall classes begin.

“I was surprised by his answer actually, because, you know, it’s just to me — it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools,” Trump told reporters, adding that “the only thing that would be acceptable” is giving older teachers and professors a reprieve for a few weeks before returning. “But with the young children, I mean, and students, it’s really — just take a look at the statistics. It’s pretty amazing,” Trump said.

While young people who don’t have other health or immune system issues are at a significantly lower risk of dying from COVID-19, youth fatalities from the disease have been recorded, as have additional complications.

This is not the first time Trump and Fauci have publicly disagreed on the nation’s coronavirus response.

Last month in an interview with CNN, Fauci seemed to imply that had the administration acted sooner to implement federal social distancing rules, fewer people might have died from the disease.

Trump later retweeted a message from a supporter that read in part: “Time to #FireFauci,” sparking speculation of a shake-up within the coronavirus task force.

Fauci later said he had made a poor choice of words, and Trump said he had no intention of removing the doctor from the pandemic response team.

A rash of positive tests within the president’s orbit have also sent the White House into mitigation mode, with several coronavirus task force officials opting to self isolate and the West Wing implementing a new rule that staffers wear masks in the building when away from their desks.

During Wednesday’s remarks, Trump also spoke about his vice president, who chairs the coronavirus task force.

“I haven’t seen Mike Pence, and I miss him, but he was in the room with somebody that tested positive,” Trump said.

Pence’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller, who is married to Trump adviser Stephen Miller, last week tested positive for coronavirus, shortly after a military valet for the president also tested positive for the virus.

Source link

Categories
News NPR

Text Of HEROES Act, House Democrats’ Coronavirus Relief Bill : NPR

House Democrats plan to move forward with a $3 trillion bill for additional coronavirus relief, following up on the historic $2 trillion aid package passed in March.

The latest bill, called the HEROES Act, prioritizes granting hazard pay to front-line workers and providing aid to state and local governments, which had not been allotted in previous versions of the bill.

The House could hold a vote on the measure as soon as Friday. It is not expected to gain traction in the Senate, though, as bipartisan talks on the latest recovery package have stalled.

Read the full text of the bill — all 1,815 pages — here:

Source link

Categories
News NPR

How 3 Phases Of Reopening Work : NPR

A woman wearing a mask walks past closed store fronts in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens on April 15 in New York City. States are beginning to implement phased reopening plans, in part to help businesses hit hard by the coronavirus.

Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

A woman wearing a mask walks past closed store fronts in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens on April 15 in New York City. States are beginning to implement phased reopening plans, in part to help businesses hit hard by the coronavirus.

Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wants states to begin relaxing stay-at-home orders and reopen businesses after the spread of the coronavirus pummeled the global economy and killed millions of jobs.

The White House coronavirus task force released guidelines on April 16 to encourage state governors to adopt a phased approach to lifting restrictions across the country. Some states have moved ahead without meeting the criteria.

The task force rejected a set of additional detailed draft recommendations for schools, restaurants, churches and mass transit systems from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it considered “overly prescriptive.”

A number of states have already begun to lift restrictions, allowing for businesses including hair salons, diners and tattoo parlors to once again begin accepting customers. Health experts have warned that reopening too quickly could result in a potential rebound in cases.

States are supposed to wait to begin lifting any restrictions until they have a 14-day “downward trajectory” of influenza-like illnesses and confirmed virus cases, as well as sufficient hospital capacity and testing for health care workers.

Below is a summary of the three phases as outlined by the task force (read the full guidance here):

Don’t see the graphic above? Click here.

Source link

Categories
News NPR

Trump Vetoes Bill to Limit War Powers Against Iran : NPR

President Trump talks to reporters Wednesday at the White House.

Pool/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Pool/Getty Images

President Trump talks to reporters Wednesday at the White House.

Pool/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that would have suppressed his ability to unilaterally take military action against Iran, calling the bipartisan bill an “insulting” attack on his presidential powers.

“This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands,” the president said in a statement.

The bipartisan resolution approved by both the House and Senate was a rare pushback to the president’s war powers, even after the president vowed he would veto it. The measure was introduced in early January after the president ordered an airstrike to kill Qassem Soleimani, one of Iran’s most powerful and beloved military leaders.

“My Administration has taken strong actions, within statutory authority, to help keep our Nation safe, and I will not approve this resolution, which would undermine my ability to protect American citizens, service members, and interests. Therefore, it is my duty to return S.J. Res. 68 to the Senate without my approval.”

It’s unclear when the Senate might take a vote to attempt to override the president’s veto, but neither chamber approved the measure by a veto-proof majority (two-thirds) when it passed earlier this year.

Source link