Trump Attributes COVID Death Toll To ‘Blue States’ In Defense Of His Response
While defending his administration's handling of the pandemic in comparison to other nations, President Donald Trump said: "If you take the blue states out we're at a level that I don't think anybody in the world would be at."
Trump Blames Blue States For COVID-19 Death Rates
President Donald Trump blamed "blue states" for increasing the nation's death rate from coronavirus, suggesting that if "you take the blue states out" of the equation the United States would be far more competitive with other countries. Trump has long blamed Democratic leaders for a variety of ills, including "Democrat-run" cities where protests against police have occasionally turned violent. But his remarks Wednesday were his most explicit politicization yet of the handling of COVID-19. (Fritze and Jackson, 9/16)
The Washington Post:
Trump Blames Blue States For Coronavirus Deaths, But Most Recent Deaths Have Been In Red States
For months, President Trump has been scrambling to deflect criticism for the breadth of the coronavirus pandemic toward whatever target might be available. During a news briefing Wednesday, he returned to one of his favorites: Democratic leaders. He pointed to a graph that the White House first unveiled in the spring, showing two estimated ranges of possible death tolls depending on the extent of efforts to contain the virus’s spread. “This was a prediction that if we do a really good job, we’ll be at about 100,000 and — 100,000 to 240,000 deaths, and we’re below that substantially, and we’ll see what comes out,” he said. “But that would be if we did a good job. If the not-so-good job was done, you’d be between 1.5 million — I remember these numbers so well — and 2.2 million. That’s quite a difference.” (Bump, 9/16)
Virginia Democrat Blasts Trump's 'Appalling' Remark About COVID-19 Deaths In 'Blue States'
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) blasted President Trump on Wednesday after Trump blamed “blue states” for the nation’s death toll from the coronavirus. Beyer said Trump’s remark at Wednesday's White House briefing was “quite simply one of the most appalling and inhuman statements ever uttered by an American President.” (Klar, 9/16)
In other Trump administration news —
The Washington Post:
A Scrapped Plan To Ship Masks To Americans. A Standoff With Amazon Amid Pressure From Trump. New Documents Detail USPS’s Spring In Crisis.
The wide-ranging headaches that so troubled the USPS in April ultimately foreshadowed a summer of upheaval, thrusting the once-venerated mail service into a political maelstrom months before a presidential election. Newly disclosed details of these struggles are laid bare in nearly 10,000 pages of emails, legal memos, presentations and other documents obtained by The Washington Post from American Oversight, a watchdog group that requested them under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents, which mostly span March and April, depict an agency in distress, as its deteriorating finances collided with a public-health emergency and a looming election that would be heavily reliant on absentee ballots. (Romm, Bogage and Sun, 9/17)
Testing Deal Promoted By White House Failing To Fix Lack Of Covid-19 Screening Strategy
A deal for 150 million rapid coronavirus tests the White House promoted last month as a potential game-changer in battling the pandemic fails to fix the lack of an overarching strategy for a new phase of testing the nation needs to embrace, multiple health experts and state and local officials say. The Trump administration's purchase of the new Abbott Laboratories antigen tests, which can detect the virus in 15 minutes, was hailed by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany as a major development that would help Americans get back to work and school. (Devine and Griffin, 9/17)
McEnany Tells CNN Reporter To Come Work At The White House For Details On Health Care Plan
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday would not divulge details of a health care plan President Trump has been promising for months, telling a reporter she should take a job in the White House to learn more about the proposal. Administration officials faced questions a day after Trump said during an ABC News town hall that the vague health care plan he's been promising will be rolled out dating back to last year is "all ready." But three administration health officials have testified that they were not involved in crafting the plan, and McEnany would not specify who has worked on the proposal. (Samuels, 9/16)
Exclusive: Internal Documents Show Officials Waved Red Flags Before Trump's Tulsa Rally
Oklahoma health officials raised red flags before President Trump’s indoor rally in June, warning there could be significant spikes of coronavirus cases and deaths from the event, according to internal state documents. Dozens of emails obtained by The Hill through a state freedom of information request reveal growing angst within the Oklahoma public health department in the days leading up to the June 20 rally. (Cusack, 9/16)
The Washington Post:
Ten Days: After An Early Coronavirus Warning, Trump Is Distracted As He Downplays Threat
In explaining why he repeatedly misled the American public about the early dangers posed by the novel coronavirus, President Trump has argued that he did not want to engender panic — and suggested that his actions showed he took the looming pandemic seriously. But a detailed review of the 10-day period from late January, when Trump was first warned about the scale of the threat, and early February — when he acknowledged to author Bob Woodward the extent of the danger the virus posed — reveals a president who took relatively few serious measures to ready the nation for its arrival. (Parker, Dawsey and Abutaleb, 9/16)