Maine Writer

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My blogs are dedicated to the issues I care about. Thank you to all who take the time to read something I've written.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Republicans deliberately instigate expensive election chaos


PHOENIX (AP) — Ten months after Donald Trump lost his 2020, reelection bid in Arizona, supporters hired by Arizona Senate Republicans were preparing to deliver the results of an unprecedented partisan election review that is the climax of a bizarre quest to find evidence supporting the former president’s false claim that he lost because of fraud.
Arizona 2020 election audit in Maricopa County turned out to increase the President Biden 2020, winning vote margin.

Nearly every allegation made by the review team so far has crumbled under scrutiny. Election officials in Arizona and around the country expect more of the same Friday from the review team they say is biased, incompetent and chasing absurd or disproven conspiracy theories.

“Every time Trump and his supporters have been given a forum to prove this case, they have swung and missed,” said Ben Ginsberg, a longtime Republican election attorney and vocal critic of Trump’s push to overturn the election.

The unprecedented partisan review — focused on the vote count in Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa — is led and funded largely by people who already believe that Trump was the true winner, despite dozens of lawsuits and extraordinary scrutiny that found no problems that could change the outcome. They’ve ignored the detailed vote-counting procedures in Arizona law.

Despite being widely mocked, the Arizona review has become a model that Trump supporters are eagerly pushing to replicate in other swing states where Biden won. Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general sued Thursday to block a GOP-issued subpoena for a wide array of election materials. In Wisconsin, a retired conservative state Supreme Court justice is leading a Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 election, and this week threatened to subpoena election officials who don’t comply.

No matter what the reviews in Arizona and elsewhere purport to find, they cannot reverse Biden’s victory.

In Arizona, five people are scheduled to publicly outline the findings for two top Republicans in the state Senate chamber, including Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, a cybersecurity consulting firm with no election experience. He served as the head of the review team despite his prior work to promote “stop the steal” election conspiracies.

Shiva Ayyadurai, who has developed a loyal following for promoting COVID-19 misinformation on social media, will discuss his review of signatures on mail ballots. It’s not clear why he is qualified to do so. Ayyadurai, who is known as Dr. Shiva to his fans, has a Ph.D. but is not a medical doctor.

Ben Cotton, a computer forensics expert, will outline his analysis of vote-counting machines. Cotton has walked back his allegation that a key elections database was deleted.

Also scheduled to speak are Ken Bennett, a former Republican secretary of state, and Randy Pullen, a former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. Both served as liaisons between the Senate and the review team.

They’ve been tight-lipped about their findings, but Bennett told a conservative radio host this week that he will “have a brief report about where Maricopa County failed to meet and comply with state statutes and election procedures.”

A document purported to be a leaked draft of the Cyber Ninjas report circulated late Thursday. It said a hand count of ballots confirmed Biden’s victory and showed a net gain of 360 votes for him. It also outlined a series of alleged shortcomings and recommended changes to state election laws.

Republican Senate President Karen Fann said in a text message the document was “a leaked draft from three days ago,” but did not dispute its authenticity. 

In fact, Fann would not say if the findings from the draft had changed over the course of the week, citing a nondisclosure agreement. (OMG!)

“I have signed an NDA,” she said. “I will not break my word.”

The hand count’s confirmation of a Biden victory goes against Trump’s narrative that widespread election fraud cost him the election. It also undercuts claims by some of this closest allies that vote-counting machines from Dominion Voting Systems, which were used in Maricopa County, changed votes.

“Unfortunately, the report is also littered with errors & faulty conclusions about how Maricopa County conducted the 2020, General Election,” Maricopa County officials said on Twitter.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, controlled 4-1 by Republicans, has vehemently defended the vote count. Republican Chairman Jack Sellers has called the review “a grift disguised as an audit.” GOP Supervisor Bill Gates said Thursday that the review’s reliance on funding from out-of-state Trump allies means the findings won’t be believable.

“The people who are funding this audit, the people who have called for this audit, we all know what they want it to find,” Gates said. “They want it to find that Donald Trump won Maricopa County.”

The Senate has agreed to spend $150,000 on the audit, plus security and facility costs. That pales in comparison to the nearly $5.7 million contributed as of late July by Trump allies.

Another Republican county supervisor, Clint Hickman, has been the subject of an outlandish conspiracy theory claiming a fire that killed 120,000 chickens at his family’s egg farm west of Phoenix was a ruse to destroy evidence of Trump’s victory.

Maricopa County’s vote count was conducted in front of bipartisan observers, as were legally required audits meant to ensure voting machines work properly. A partial hand count spot check found a perfect match.

Two extra post-election reviews by federally certified election experts also found no evidence that voting machines switched votes or were connected to the internet. The Board of Supervisors commissioned the extraordinary reviews in an effort to prove to Trump backers that there were no problems, but Fann and others backing her partisan review were unpersuaded.

Election experts predict the report could misinterpret normal election procedures to claim something nefarious or elevate minor mistakes into major allegations of wrongdoing.

“They’re minor procedural issues, and to try and amplify them to the point where they cast doubt on the election is nothing more than sore loserism,” said David Becker, a former lawyer in the U.S. Department of Justice voting section who founded the Center for Election Innovation and Research.

Biden won Maricopa County by 45,109 votes and Arizona by 10,457 votes. Minor procedural issues wouldn’t affect a margin that large, Becker said.

In July, Logan laid out a series of claims stemming from his misunderstanding of the election data he was analyzing, including that 74,000 mail ballots that were recorded as received but not sent. Trump repeatedly amplified the claims. But they had innocuous explanations.

Friday’s report stems from a process that began nearly a year ago. Trump and his allies, after their claims of election fraud were repeatedly dismissed in court, searched frantically for a way to block the certification of Biden’s victory on Jan. 6. Two top Republicans in the Arizona Senate came through, issuing a sweeping subpoena for all ballots in Maricopa County, the machines that counted them and a trove of election data. They said they would use the materials to conduct a “forensic audit.”

A court battle over the validity of the subpoena delayed the delivery of materials until April, three months after Biden took office. The review was supposed to take about 60 days but has been repeatedly set back, most recently because Logan and four others on his team contracted COVID-19.

The review has energized Trump supporters who hope it will prove he was the legitimate winner of the election and lead to his return to the White House, despite extraordinary scrutiny finding no fraud that would affect the election’s outcome.

Fann, the Republican Senate president, says the review is not intended to overturn the 2020 election but will find ways the Legislature can improve election laws.

Not all Republicans, even in the Senate, trust whatever results will come out of the review.

“They’re going to have to justify their existence, so they’re going to have to come up with something,” GOP Sen. Paul Boyer said Thursday. “And God knows what that is.”

Associated Press writer Bob Christie contributed.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Idaho population is in a daunting COVID crisis - #vaccineswork

Idaho population is 1.787 million people.  In COVID blogging, I have seen this low population state report an average of over 1,000 infections a day for over 18 months. How many thousands of Idaho people are COVID protected when, simple arithmetic, the entire state should already be infected?  Nevertheless, Idaho is in a COVID crisis as reported on September 21, 2021, by the Idaho Statesman.

‘Unprecedented event in modern medicine’: St. Luke’s doctor details Idaho COVID crisis. This news report was written by Ian Max Stevenson, published in the Idaho Statesman. 

On Sept. 16, the day Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare began allowing crisis standards of care at hospital systems across the whole state, the department director’s mother had a stroke. 
Doctors and nurses with St. Luke’s Health System work at the hospital in Boise, in August 2021. The surge of patients is eroding the quality of care the hospital can offer, a doctor said. St. Luke's Health System.

When she went to a St. Luke’s Health System emergency room, the care she received was not what you’d expect.

Other patients were receiving treatment in the emergency facility waiting room, she had to wait longer than usual, and X-rays she received to assess whether she had broken any bones were taken in a “nontraditional” area, said Dave Jeppesen, director of Health and Welfare, at a press briefing on Tuesday.

Instead of being admitted to the hospital for observation overnight, she was discharged the same day.

“The ER team at St. Luke’s was amazing,” Jeppesen said. But “those same dedicated health care professionals across the state need our help.”

Crisis standards allow hospitals to ration care in response to an emergency, and they were activated statewide at the request of St. Luke’s last week. Since then, the number of COVID-19 patients is still rising and the strain on available care for all patients continues to mount.

Though hospital leaders continue to encourage those experiencing medical emergencies to go to a hospital, health care facilities are teetering.
“We’re not providing the same level of care,”  Dr. Jim Souza, the chief physician executive at St. Luke’s, said at Tuesday’s briefing.

Breast cancer patients have had their surgeries postponed, he said, and some COVID-19 patients who should be transferred to an intensive care unit are instead being treated in less-equipped facilities.

“Everybody is going with a little bit less,” Souza said.

In Twin Falls, doctors at St. Luke’s on Saturday were nearly forced to ration care when the condition of six hospitalized patients went south rapidly, and the facility had no available ICU beds, he said.

Other facilities were able to make room for the patients, but Souza said a similar problem is almost certain to recur.

“This happens every day,” Souza said. “And yet, when it happened on Saturday, we were really pressed to find a solution.”

The crux of the problem is the overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients in a state where barely 50% of eligible people are vaccinated.

Eighty people have died of COVID-19 at St. Luke’s facilities this month, stretching from the Treasure Valley to Twin Falls to Ketchum, and 35 of them have died in the past week, Souza said. Three of the deaths were individuals younger than 30, and six were younger than 40.

“For the people who say ‘we all die sometime,’ yes, we do,” said Souza. “But these people didn’t need to die now, and they didn’t need to die like this.”

Seventy percent of the hospital system’s ICU beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, as are 67% of its hospital beds in general, which Souza called an “unprecedented event in modern medicine.” Of those in the hospital beds, 90% are unvaccinated; of those in ICU, 98% are unvaccinated, he said.

The hospital’s COVID-19 mortality rate has grown markedly, from around 28% in ICU beds last winter to 43% (!) today. The patients at St. Luke’s facilities are sicker and younger, too, down from a two-week average of 72 years old for hospitalized patients in December to 58 years old now.

Statewide, there are nearly twice as many ICU patients as there were during last year’s COVID-19 peak, according to Health and Welfare data. The high point last December was 60 in ICU, and that figure was 112 on Saturday.

Bottom line, arithmetic notwithstanding, the daunting Idaho COVID health crisis has been and continues to be preventable.  #VaccinesWork! 

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

France was snubbed on Constitution Day!

Echo report published in The Atlantic written by the David Frum:

Dining room of the French Embassy, Washington, D.C. digital file from original.

DATELINE: September 17, 2021, in the dining room of the French ambassador’s residence.  Constitution Day.

In fact, the location is one of the most beautiful places in Washington, D.C., a confection of frothed plaster overlooking a garden in the poodle-clipped style the French so love. Before COVID-19, the room was known for the discussion sessions held there, hosted by a gracious series of ambassadors. 
French Ambassador Philippe Étienne was recalled after the usurped submarine deal between the US and Australia was abruptly announced.

It’s been a long time since anyone was able to enjoy an in-person event at the residence. So when invitations arrived to celebrate Constitution Day, September 17, at the residence in a lunchtime discussion with a former justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and an equally distinguished French judge, well, the RSVPs returned quickly.

The timing, however, was unfortunate, as it coincided with an angry upset in Franco-American relations. The United States had snatched a $90 billion submarine contract with Australia from French shipyards. To add (security policy) insult to the (lost jobs and revenues) injury, the redirected submarine contract would consolidate a new U.S.-U.K.-Australia naval defense agreement in the Indo-Pacific, an agreement into which France had not been invited.

Worse still, the French received word only hours before the public found out, reportedly because the Americans and the Australians each insisted that the other deliver the bad news.

The French administered a symbolic protest by canceling a gala event planned for Friday evening: a commemoration of the 240th anniversary of a naval battle that helped secure the American victory at Yorktown in 1781. But lunch? Attendees hastily confirmed: Lunch was safe. Or so it seemed.

The first hour of the lunch event harkened back to pre-COVID days. There was champagne in the foyer and courteous welcomes by embassy senior staff, all as it used to be. 

Guests took their seats. Opening remarks were elegantly spoken, all off the record, but so guarded and careful that there would be no news in them even without an agreement not to quote them. 

Steve Clemons, an editor at large at The Hill and the whiskey-smooth master of ceremonies, set the conversation in motion. But about 15 minutes in, Clemons was obliged to make a regretful announcement: The ambassador had a very important meeting and would be leaving immediately.

Somebody loudly asked, “Off to the State Department?” (Maine Writer: Oh no, I don't think so!)

Only later did we learn where the ambassador was heading: not to the State Department, not to the Pentagon, not to the White House, but upstairs to pack before flying to Paris for “consultations.”

Earlier in the meal, somebody had cracked a joke about U.S.-French relations—how they’d sunk so low that they were now underwater. The Americans laughed. The French did not.

But on the plus side: They did not shove us out on the sidewalk. A powerful symbolic message was sent. France is mad, but not so mad that we will deprive our American friends of lunch and dessert. (Crème brûlée, in case you were wondering, under crackling crusts individually crafted by a sous-chef with a miniature flamethrower.)

It’s like a scene from a marriage that endures despite the quarrels. The aggrieved partner walked out in a rage, but not before ensuring that the other had been properly fed.

David Frum is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy 

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Monday, September 20, 2021

Evangelical hypocrisy defies Scripture - Luke 6:46

 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?"

Hypocrisy 101!*

By Charles M. Blow published in The New York Times

Evangelical Christians castigated Bill Clinton in wake of his “improper relationship” with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He had sinned. He would be stoned.

Franklin Graham, the evangelical minister, wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 1998 that Clinton’s “extramarital sexual behavior in the Oval Office now concerns him and the rest of the world, not just his immediate family,” and that “private conduct does have public consequences.”

He concluded: “Mr. Clinton’s sin can be forgiven, but he must start by admitting to it and refraining from legalistic doublespeak. According to the Scripture, the president did not have an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with Monica Lewinsky — he committed adultery. He didn’t ‘mislead’ his wife and us — he lied. Acknowledgment must be coupled with genuine remorse. 

A repentant spirit that says, ‘I’m sorry. I was wrong. I won’t do it again. I ask for your forgiveness,’ would go a long way toward personal and national healing.”

But Mr. Graham never demanded the same of Donald Trump. To the contrary, he became one of Trump’s biggest defenders.

When a tape was released during the 2016 campaign of Trump bragging years earlier about sexually assaulting women, Graham revealed his true motives: It wasn’t religious piety, but rather raw politics.

He wrote on Facebook that Trump’s “crude comments” could not be defended, “but the godless progressive agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton likewise cannot be defended.” He continued, “The most important issue of this election is the Supreme Court.”

The Supreme Court represents a more lasting power than the presidency, a way to lock in an ideology beyond the reach of election cycles and changing demographics at least for a generation.

In an interview with Axios on HBO in 2018, Graham said of his
support of Trump, “I never said he was the best example of the Christian faith. He defends the faith. And I appreciate that very much.”

The courts are central to that supposed defense, in Graham’s calculation.

Case in point, his rigid defense of Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of cornering her in a bedroom at a 1982 house party. Graham dismissed the allegations as “not relevant” and said of the episode:

Well, there wasn’t a crime that was committed. These are two teenagers, and it’s obvious that she said no and he respected it and walked away — if that’s the case, but he says he didn’t do it. He just flat out says that’s just not true. 

Regardless if it was true, these are two teenagers and she said no and he respected that, so I don’t know what the issue is. This is just an attempt to smear his name, that’s all.

The hypocrisy of white evangelicals, taken into full context, shouldn’t have been shocking, I suppose, but as a person who grew up in the church (although I’m not a religious person anymore), it was still disappointing.

I had grown up hearing from pulpits that it was the world that changed, not God’s word. The word was like a rock. A lie was a lie, yesterday, today and tomorrow, no matter who told it.

*Evangelicals read the Bible and claim to believe it verbatim, but they do not demonstrate an understanding about what the Scripture actually says. 

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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Republican extremism and the roots of crazy evil

In October 2003, while working at the CBS affiliate in Bakersfield, California., Kurt Bardella was running the assignment desk and helping produce political coverage. It was an exciting time to be in both news and politics.

Opinion echo published in the Los Angeles Times:  On our very own news set, country music icon Buck Owens, who had made Bakersfield his adopted home, presented Arnold Schwarzenegger with an autographed guitar. 
Former California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger won't vote for Trump, and he implored other Republicans to do the same

I remember so vividly the energy and excitement that filled the atmosphere. One of the loudest campaign events I've ever experienced was when the would-be "Governator" campaigned with the man who was then-known as "America's Mayor," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

There was a palpable feeling that this could be a fresh start, for the state but also for the Republican Party. 

Even though we were in the midst of an unprecedented political upheaval in California, the environment was positive and enthusiastic.

During his victory speech, Schwarzenegger declared that he would "reach out to Republicans, to Democrats and independents, to those who supported the recall and those who did not, those who supported me today and those who did not. I want to reach out to everybody, to young and old, rich and poor, people of all religions, all colors and all nationalities. I want to be the governor for the people. I want to represent everybody."

In many ways, the recall election of 2003, was a battle between the state's more moderate and conservative factions. Schwarzenegger, who was then a member of the Kennedy family, became the standard-bearer for the moderates while then-state Sen. Tom McClintock ran as the conservative choice.

McClintock openly questioned Schwarzenegger's party loyalty, saying, "This is a man who just a few years ago said he was ashamed to be a Republican."

Schwarzenegger, the moderate, won decisively.

That was the last time the Golden State elected a Republican governor.

Two decades later, the portrait of the Republican Party is far different. In 2003, Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield was the Assembly Republican leader who attached himself to Schwarzenegger and helped lead the fight for the "moderates" in the party. 

Today, McCarthy (the dummy lives!), U.S. House minority leader, has wrapped himself in the cloak of conspiracy theories and anti-democratic identity politics.
Charlie McCarthy is Edgar Bergen's famed ventriloquist dummy partner.

Schwarzenegger calls the effort that McCarthy has embraced to overturn a free and fair election "crazy and evil". Such rhetoric is enough for you to get kicked out of McCarthy's leadership team — just ask Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

A new CNN poll revealed that 59% of Republican voters believe that adherence to "the big lie" that Donald Trump won the 2020 election is "important" to being a Republican. (OMG!)

In just two decades, Schwarzenegger has gone from being the standard-bearer of the Republican Party to an outcast.

In what has become a familiar cycle, this iteration of the Republican Party will make a lot of noise, raise a lot of money, generate a lot of headlines, and ultimately lose.

It's what happened nationally in the 2018, midterms. It's what happened in the Louisiana and Kentucky gubernatorial races in 2019. It's what happened with the presidential race in 2020, and it's what happened in the Georgia Senate races that delivered the Democrats a majority in the Senate in January.

Time and again, Republicans have run to the extreme right, pandering to the politics of fear and division, only to lose. They have mastered the ability to seize defeat from the jaws of victory, leaving behind a party that year after year is growing more radical, and also becoming smaller and smaller.

As goes California, so goes the country, the saying goes. This second gubernatorial recall election should be instructive for Republicans nationwide. If recent history is any indication, the GOP will continue the failed cycle of learning the wrong lessons from defeat and continue its embrace of extremism and conspiracy that will serve to only alienate it further from the mainstream of this country.

Kurt Bardella is a senior adviser to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a former aide to California Republican Congressmen Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray. 

This was written for the Los Angeles Times.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Jealous politician Rand Paul is inappropriate in public Senate hearings

Americans who believe in science - and that should be everyone - should be shocked, disappointed and saddened about the outrageous disrespect the U.S. senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul is spewing toward Dr. Anthony Fauci

In my opinion, Rand Paul's inappropriate and rude public outbursts demonstrates jealousy towards Dr. Fauci.

Dr. Anthony Stephen Fauci is an American physician-scientist and immunologist serving as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President.

This opinion echo letter was published in Daily Citizen-News, a newspaper in Dalton, Georgia:

Dr. Fauci has dedicated his life to the well-being of others and is respected throughout the world for his personal integrity and scientific honesty.

I first met Dr. Fauci when he was a teaching consultant and I was a fellow in pulmonary disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham about 40 years ago. We were colleagues for a short while and being so impressed, I have kept in close contact with Dr. Fauci over the years as he has made huge contributions to the understanding and treatment of HIV/AIDS, SARS and other viral pathogens and now to COVID-19.

For 60 years, I have urged patients and friends to discontinue smoking. Often, this has occurred with positive results. But, at times, with rejection and tragedy. I understand the feeling that Dr. Fauci must have as so many have refused his advice to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.

But I have never endured the terrible insults suffered by Dr. Fauci, at the hands of some politicians (like jealous Rand Paul) and television journalists of late. In spite of some rejection of medical advice, I have always been treated with respect. 

As a fellow human and physician, I am grieved at the undeserved insults by Sen. Paul toward Dr. Fauci.

As a society, we owe Dr. Anthony Fauci a great deal of appreciation and respect. You can show this by getting your COVID-19 vaccination. Together, we can put an end to this pandemic.

Dr. Drayton Sanders, in Dalton Georgia

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Former guy COVID incompetence continues to be revealed

Denial and dysfunction overruled medical science during 2020, while the COVID pandemic spread!

Get a #COVID19 vaccine as soon as you can. You can take the lead and help stop the spread of this pandemic. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads from person to person. It’s your turn to do your part to help end the pandemic by getting vaccinated. #CDC #Coronavirus #PublicHealth #Science

Health article published in The Washington Post, by Dan Diamond:

Trump advisers privately warned of ‘critical mistakes’ as pandemic loomed: ‘From now on, the government must be honest,’ one adviser urged Trump in February 2020.

Senior advisers in the Trump administration in February 2020, privately discussed the government’s “critical mistakes” in preparing for the coronavirus, countering optimistic claims #FormerGuy Donald Trump made in public, according to emails obtained by the House select subcommittee on the pandemic.

“In truth we do not have a clue how many are infected in the USA. We are expecting the first wave to spread in the US within the next 7 days,” adviser Steven Hatfill wrote to Peter Navarro, the president’s trade director, on Feb. 29, 2020. “This will be accompanied by a massive loss of credibility and the Democratic accusations are just now beginning. This must be countered with frank honesty about the situation and decisive direct actions that are being taken and can be seen in the broadcast news.”

Hatfill, a virologist who began advising the Trump White House in February 2020, blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for rolling out flawed coronavirus tests and urged Navarro to begin purchasing additional testing supplies, and to develop alternative ways to immediately screen for virus infections and deploy additional emergency response staff. 

His warning to Navarro came hours after Trump boasted of his administration’s “pretty amazing response" to the coronavirus.

We have 15 people [infected] in this massive country, and because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could have had a lot more than that,” Trump said at a political rally in South Carolina, where he charged that Democrats were “politicizing the coronavirus. … This is their new hoax.” (#FormerGuy delusions!)

After receiving Hatfill’s message — accompanied by an admonishment that “from now on, the Government must be honest” — Navarro privately warned Trump in a March 1, 2020, memo that the federal response was “NOT fast enough” and that a “very serious public health emergency” was looming. Trump continued to downplay the virus’s risks in public, assuring Americans the pandemic was being contained and that his government was being “totally proactive” in its response.

“We are, really, very highly prepared for anything,” Trump said in a March 6, visit to the CDC, inaccurately claiming that “anybody that wants a test can get a test” — amid testing shortages that would persist for weeks.

Using personal email accounts, Navarro and Hatfill strategized on White House memos about virus preparations and discussed plans to scale up the U.S. health system’s coronavirus response in March 2020, such as a “crash program” to boost access to N95 masks.

“These exchanges add to the growing body of evidence that the Trump Administration knew the significant risk posed by the coronavirus but failed to execute an effective strategy to reduce the loss of American lives,” Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) wrote Tuesday to Navarro, requesting all documents in Navarro’s possession related to the government’s response last year.

Clyburn also said he is seeking details on Navarro’s compliance with federal records law and Trump officials’ use of personal email accounts. According to Clyburn, the subcommittee has obtained more than 80 messages related to the government’s coronavirus strategy that Navarro sent to other White House staff using a personal ProtonMail account.

The Democrat-led panel had previously opened a probe into Navarro’s “haphazard” management of more than $1 billion in hastily arranged coronavirus supply contracts last year, and has been investigating political 
interference by Trump officials at the CDC and other agencies.

“The Select Subcommittee seeks to understand what the leaders in the Trump Administration knew, when they knew it, and how their decisions may have contributed to the catastrophic loss of life,” Clyburn wrote Tuesday.

Hatfill told The Washington Post that he stood by his private predictions about the nation’s lack of pandemic preparedness and claimed that Trump had been misled by bad advice from Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who became a foil for Navarro. 

Hatfill also said federal officials often played down the risks of public health crises.

“Historically, the government has been reluctant to fully inform the public in hopes of quelling panic,” Hatfill said in a statement, criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

Navarro did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The former White House official on Tuesday is set to announce a new memoir, “In Trump Time: A Journal of America’s Plague Year,” which will be published by conservative outlet All Seasons Press and has already been posted for preorder on Amazon. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Post.)

Emails released by the subcommittee show that Navarro and Hatfill collaborated on a planned May 2020, presentation to encourage the use of hydroxychloroquine (!) , an antimalarial drug, as a treatment for covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. 

Fauci and other health officials resisted their efforts to promote the drug, citing a lack of evidence that it worked to fight the virus — a source of frustration for Navarro and Hatfill, who repeatedly attacked Fauci in the emails for his “outrageous bias” and other alleged mistakes. The feud spilled into the news media, although the White House later distanced itself from some of Navarro’s public criticism of Fauci.
"Navarro and Hatfill repeatedly attacked Fauci in emails"

The two men also received a July 2020, plea to help a mask manufacturer known as VPL to deal with scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which Hatfill forwarded to a White House official. The email did not mention that the new company had been the subject of a ProPublica investigation the previous month.

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