Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has come under fire from far-right and ultra-conservative groups supporting Trump for what they perceive as efforts to undermine the president on the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reports. An emerging effort is underway to discredit the top infectious disease expert on Twitter and other social media platforms employing the hashtag #FauciFraud, which has been tweeted as much as 795 times a day, according to the Times. Groups point to a flattering email Fauci sent to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2013 as well as Democratic resistance to Trump's stated plan to prematurely end social distancing measures by Easter. Fauci's candid characterization of the difficulty in getting the president to understand the grave threat of the fast spreading coronavirus has drawn the ire of conservative groups such as Judicial Watch and the talk show YourVoiceAmerica.
In a signing statement, the president undermined a key safeguard Democrats had insisted upon as a condition of approving $500 billion in corporate relief in the $2 trillion law. read more
President Donald Trump again bashed the Democratic governors of Washington and Michigan on Friday, saying they "should be appreciative" of the federal government and that he's told Vice President Mike Pence -- who heads the White House's response to the coronavirus pandemic -- not to call them. read more
The White House chose the week the United States became the epicenter of a historic pandemic to virtually stop policing big polluters, privatize a bedrock federal food safety job, advance a mining road through a pristine swath of northern Alaska and revive a regulatory rollback so difficult to defend that the Trump administration abandoned the effort last year at the peak of a high-profile fight.
On Thursday afternoon, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would suspend enforcement of bedrock clean air and water laws, leaving the fossil fuel, chemical and agribusiness industries to police themselves amid a historic public health crisis.
Hours later, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed a waiver allowing a private company to take over inspection duties at a Tyson Foods beef slaughterhouse.
On Thursday night, [Donald] Trump shifted blame for coronavirus's spread to Democratic governors, making it clear he recognizes little obligation to do all he can to avert a truly calamitous number of American deaths. Among the governors Trump singled out was Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. ... Whitmer recounted that the most recent delivery of masks, gowns, face shields and gloves from the federal government's national strategic stockpile that was earmarked for a Michigan hospital on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis -- in southeast Michigan -- was woefully short of what is needed. "With the exception of the gloves, that allotment is barely enough to cover one shift at that hospital," Whitmer said. "Not even a whole day's worth of shifts. One shift." read more