The official position of the Trump regime on COVID-19 is now "It's all Communist China's fault!"
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow at a rapid pace in the U.S., the White House is launching a communications plan across multiple federal agencies that focuses on accusing Beijing of orchestrating a “cover-up” and creating a global pandemic, according to two U.S. officials and a government cable obtained by The Daily Beast.
The cable, sent to State Department officials Friday, lays out in detail the circumstances on the ground in China, including data on coronavirus cases and deaths, the local business environment and transportation restrictions. But it also issues guidelines for how U.S. officials should answer questions on, or speak about, the coronavirus and the White House’s response in relation to China.
The talking points appear to have originated in the National Security Council. One section of the cable reads “NSC Top Lines: [People’s Republic of China] Propaganda and Disinformation on the Wuhan Virus Pandemic.”
“Chinese Communist Party officials in Wuhan and Beijing had a special responsibility to inform the Chinese people and the world of the threat, since they were the first to learn of it,” the cable reads. “Instead, the... government hid news of the virus from its own people for weeks, while suppressing information and punishing doctors and journalists who raised the alarm. The Party cared more about its reputation than its own people’s suffering.”
If this sounds like the Trump regime is projecting its sins onto Beijing, that's because they are. It doesn't mean Beijing didn't lie about COVID-19 and allowed it to escape globally and that they endangered the globe, but it doesn't let Trump off the hook for the same thing, you know?
The cable was disseminated to officials at a time when the administration is engrossed in a communications battle around how to disseminate the flow of crucial health information to the American public while at the same time deflecting criticism that the White House was unprepared for the pandemic and that President Trump is at odds with members of his coronavirus task force.
One of the results of those internal deliberations appears to be a renewed focus on underscoring China’s missteps. Two U.S. officials working on the administration’s coronavirus response said the White House is pushing federal agencies to stick closely to the national security council’s talking points, especially when senior officials take to the podium, to ensure continuity with President Trump.
“These talking points are all anyone is really talking about right now,” one official said. “Everything is about China. We’re being told to try and get this messaging out in any way possible, including press conferences and television appearances.”
It's also a ready-made vehicle to attack Joe Biden with for being "soft on China" the way "soft on Russia" is a problem (and Trump is soft on Russia, and it's a problem.) Expect Trump to attack China relentlessly and for Chinese-Americans (and Asian-Americans in general, because racist prick Trump voters can't tell a Laotian from a Laplander) to bear the brunt just like American Muslims have since 2001 and black folk have since 1619.
It's comically obvious, and it will work to keep Trump slavering hordes on his side through the deaths and the economic collapse. He'll need it too. He's the least liked incumbent since Truman at this point, and Truman literally nuked two Japanese cities. CNN's Harry Enten (formally Nate Silver's numbers guy) gives Biden in 2-in-3 chance at this point.
Of course, Hillary had even better numbers...and lost.
Oh, and top of everything else, Sen. Rand Paul, the lone Senate vote against the COVID-19 packages so far, has now tested positive for the virus and most likely has exposed several members of Congress to it.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced on Twitter Sunday.
Why it matters: He's the first U.S. senator to test positive. According to his office, Paul is asymptomatic and was not aware of making direct contact with an infected person.
Paul, a licensed physician and notorious deficit hawk, was the only senator to vote against a bipartisan $8 billion deal to provide emergency coronavirus funding earlier this month.
He sought to introduce an amendment that would take the funding from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, but it was voted down 80-16.
Paul may be considered a high-risk patient for coronavirus. In August 2019, the senator tweeted that he had part of his lung removed during surgery after it was damaged in a 2017 assault by his neighbor.
What they're saying:
"Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person. He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time. Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul."— Rand Paul's office on Twitter
But senators have come in contact, particularly Republican senators.
The Senate is set to vote on a massive "Phase 3" coronavirus relief package on Monday. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have proposed a resolution calling for remote voting, which could potentially be prioritized now that a senator has officially tested positive for the virus.
Bet this will get passed.