As Greg Sargent calls out, the White House has exactly the kind of rapid, through and robust COVID-19 testing protocols that Donald Trump refuses to make available for the American people because they're not necessary for the rest of us serfs.
Katie Miller, the wife of adviser Stephen Miller, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The infection of Ms. Miller, a close adviser to Vice President Pence, means potential exposure to President Trump’s inner circle — so reporters are raising questions about White House internal testing policies.
The White House has indicated to reporters that Pence and many members of his staff have been getting tested daily, and Pence and Trump appear not to have had contact with Katie Miller recently.
Meanwhile, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany sought to reassure the news media that the White House testing procedures are sound. I wanted to draw attention to this quote from McEnany:
“We have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe, which means contact tracing," McEnany told reporters during Friday’s news briefing. "All of the recommended guidelines we have for businesses that have essential workers, we are now putting them in place here in the White House. So as America reopens safely, the White House is continuing to operate safely.”
The careful reader will note a jarring juxtaposition here. McEnany claims both that the United States is reopening safely and that the White House is operating safely. But only one of these two — the White House — actually has the sort of testing regime the White House itself is now implicitly acknowledging is a prerequisite to safety.
The rest of the country largely lacks this level of testing — because Trump doesn’t want to take the steps necessary to stand up a robust federal testing regime.
The rub here is that the guidelines by themselves (which McEnany referenced) aren’t enough. Equipment and resources are also necessary.
Trump, Pence and their aides have access to rapid and regular testing, which is also given to those who meet with them. They have access to the resources that enable the very sort of safe testing regime McEnany described here.
It’s true that the fact that Miller tested positive — as one of Trump’s valets did earlier this week — shows that having robust testing isn’t absolutely foolproof. The coronavirus can still get in. But as Philip Bump notes, having that intensity of testing is exactly what prevented it from spreading.
Trump and his staff get tested and tested regularly. We on the other hand get to wait in line for tests that just aren't available and never will be.
And remember, Trump's own rabid base is being told testing is not needed to be a Real American Warrior and to go back to work without a mask. They either don't notice the ridiculous hypocrisy or they are glad to die for the God-Emperor of Stupid.
And if you still think we don't need testing:
How do we fix the U.S. #SupplyChain in the wake of #COVID19? It might be more complicated than you think. We examined travel paths of mobile devices from some of the nation's top #meatpacking plants and what we saw was eye-opening... (data courtesy of @xmodesocial) pic.twitter.com/aCYuq1n3jT— Tectonix GEO (@TectonixGEO) May 6, 2020
These plants have hundreds of sick workers each. These workers have traveled all over the Midwest. Cases and deaths will continue to rise. And Donald Trump is both mentally and emotionally unable to lead the country out of this disaster...a disaster the White House now officially believes is over.
In a week when the novel coronavirus ravaged new communities across the country and the number of dead soared past 78,000, President Trump and his advisers shifted from hour-by-hour crisis management to what they characterize as a long-term strategy aimed at reviving the decimated economy and preparing for additional outbreaks this fall.
But in doing so, the administration is effectively bowing to — and asking Americans to accept — a devastating proposition: that a steady, daily accumulation of lonely deaths is the grim cost of reopening the nation.
Inside the West Wing, some officials talk about the federal government’s mitigation mission as largely accomplished because they believe the nation’s hospitals are now equipped to meet anticipated demand — even as health officials warn the number of coronavirus cases could increase considerably in May and June as more states and localities loosen restrictions, and some mitigation efforts are still recommended as states begin to reopen.
The administration is struggling to expand the scale of testing to what experts say is necessary to reopen businesses safely, and officials have not announced any national plan for contact tracing. Trump and some of his advisers are prioritizing the psychology of the pandemic as much as, if not more than, plans to combat the virus, some aides and outside advisers said — striving to instill confidence that people can comfortably return to daily life despite the rising death toll.
On Friday, as the unemployment rate reached a historically high 14.7 percent, Trump urged Americans to think of this period as a “transition to greatness,” adding during a meeting with Republican members of Congress: “We’re going to do something very fast, and we’re going to have a phenomenal year next year.” The president predicted the virus eventually would disappear even without a vaccine — a prediction at odds with his own science officials.
A White House spokesman defended the status of testing by pointing to comments in mid-April by two of the medical professionals on the task force, Anthony S. Fauci and Adm. Brett Giroir, saying there have been enough tests to safely reopen the country.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also backed the administration’s response, saying, “President Trump is committed to a data-driven approach to safely reopening the country. His steadfast leadership has saved American lives, and the American people recognize his leadership.”
Some of Trump’s advisers described the president as glum and shell-shocked by his declining popularity. In private conversations, he has struggled to process how his fortunes suddenly changed from believing he was on a glide path to reelection to realizing that he is losing to the likely Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, in virtually every poll, including his own campaign’s internal surveys, advisers said. He also has been fretting about the possibility that a bad outbreak of the virus this fall could damage his standing in the November election, said the advisers, who along with other aides and allies requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
The president is also eager to resume political travel in June, including holding his signature rallies by the end of the summer in areas where there are few cases, advisers said. Trump’s political team has begun discussions about organizing a high-dollar, in-person fundraiser next month, as well as preliminary planning about staging rallies and what sort of screenings might be necessary, according to Republican National Committee officials and outsider advisers. One option being considered is holding rallies outdoors, rather than in enclosed arenas, a senior administration official said.
Officials also are forging ahead with the Republican National Convention planned for late August in Charlotte, albeit a potentially scaled-back version.
We are being sacrificed for Trump. We are being told to accept 2,000 deaths a day as the New Normal, and that toll is going to increase dramatically over the next few weeks as the true cost of "re-opening the economy" becomes bloodily apparent.
When do we say hell no to this?