WASHINGTON – President Trump asked a simple question Tuesday: Why isn’t he getting credit for Dr. Anthony Fauci’s towering approval ratings, since he’s the head of Fauci?
The obvious answer: Because Fauci and Trump have treated the coronavirus in two completely different ways. Just look at his statements and actions from yesterday.
Trump downplayed the virus and tweeted: “Cases are increasing in the US. USA Because we are testing much more than any other country, and more and more. With smaller tests we would show fewer cases! ”
Fauci, by contrast, raised the alarm in his testimony before Congress on Tuesday. “We have been severely beaten,” he said yesterday. “It is a serious situation.” Fauci added that in some areas, “we have done very well,” citing New York as an example. “However, in other areas of the country, we are now seeing a disturbing increase in infections.”
Trump attended an indoor rally in Arizona, where most attendees, including Trump, wore no masks.
Fauci, meanwhile, urged the public to wear masks. “Everyone in the public health sector agrees that wearing a mask is beneficial. It may not be perfect, as we usually say, use it and don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It is always better to have a mask on than not to have a mask on. Both for acquisition and transmission. “
And yesterday, at his demonstration in Arizona, Trump focused on his re-election: “You are fighting an oppressive left-wing ideology driven by hate and seeking to purge all dissent.”
Fauci, on the other hand, focused on combating the coronavirus in states with increasing cases: “At this time, the next two weeks will be critical in our ability to address those surgeries that we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona and other states. “
It has become a common theme at First Read, but we have to say it again: The President of the United States, who faces the greatest challenge for the country in the past 75 years, refuses to lead.
And he gave that leadership to Fauci.
Tweet of the day
Throughout the campaign and the Trump presidency, entire cycles of news have been consumed deciphering what the president meant by some comment. It was a joke? Sarcasm? A threat?
And there is often a backlash from Trump’s allies during these news cycles: about how the media is caught up in technicalities … or can’t take a joke … or is taking it wearily “literally not seriously” .
But as cliche as it is to say that words matter, the precision of the country’s leader is very important when the consequences of an unexpected comment seem very real to you.
- “When the looting begins, the shooting begins” can be a wild statement if you personally do not plan to attend a protest, or if you do not have a child who is or is not a person of color. But the precise meaning is very important if you believe that statement puts you or a loved one at risk.
- “Talking in the locker room” may seem banal to some. But if you are a victim of assault, there is nothing accidental in the president’s words and the example he sets.
- Saying to the police “please don’t be too nice” could be just a riff if you’ve never worried that your son might end up in the back of a police car.
- “Slow down the speed of testing” can be a pointless joke if you’re convinced that Covid is over the top. But if you have a loved one at risk, being able to get tested can seem a lot like life and death.
- Injecting disinfectant may sound “sarcastic,” but if you are a senior looking for a way to protect yourself so you can see your grandchildren, you may want to know exactly what you are talking about.
Downloading data: the numbers you need to know today
2,352,721: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to the latest data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 29,228 more cases than yesterday morning).
121,831: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 788 more than yesterday morning).
28.07 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers from the COVID Monitoring Project.
84 percent: The proportion of ICU beds in use in Arizona hospitals as of Tuesday.
Almost 6 out of 10: The proportion of black Americans who say they believe George Floyd’s death will raise white Americans’ awareness of racial discrimination by police, according to a new Washington Post-Ipsos poll.
More than a million The expected total vote count in yesterday’s Kentucky primary, including about 800,000 mail ballots.
Two: The number of Trump-backed Republican candidates who lost to primary challengers in Kentucky and North Carolina last night.
24: The current age of one of those two victorious GOP primary challengers, Madison Cawthorn, who defeated the Trump-backed candidate in the race to replace Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Vision 2020: Progressives remain strong (so far) in last night’s primaries
In the Kentucky Democratic Senate primary, Amy McGrath leads Charles Booker by 4 percentage points, 44 percent to 40 percent, with just 10 percent of the estimated vote. Given that most of Fayette County (Lexington) and all of Jefferson County (Louisville) have not yet received a vote, that sounds like good news to Booker.
In the New York Congressional primaries, it will take time to count absentee ballots, but this is where things are now:
In NY-16, Rep Eliot Engel, DN.Y., follows progressive challenger Jamaal Bowman by 25 percentage points.
In NY-17, the progressive Mondaire Jones has the great advantage in the race to replace the retired representative Nita Lowey, DN.Y.
In NY-12, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., holds onto a 570-vote lead over Suraj Patel. (Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report believes that pending ballots should be friendly to Maloney.)
In NY-9, Rep Yvette Clarke, DN.Y., has a dominant advantage over Adem Bunkeddeko.
On NY-14, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., had no problem against former CNBC reporter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.
In NY-15, Ritchie Torres has what appears to be a comfortable lead over Michael Blake and Rubén Díaz in the Democratic primary to replace retired representative Jose Serrano, DN.Y.
In VA-5, Cameron Webb, an African American UVA doctor, won the Democratic primary and will face Republican Bob Good in what could be a competitive race in the fall.
And in the surprise of the evening, 24-year-old Madison Cawthorn (who turns 25 later this summer) won the Republican primary to replace former Rep. Mark Meadows, RN.C., who is now the president’s chief of staff. Trump.
Trump, Meadows, and other prominent Republicans had endorsed another candidate, Lynda Bennett. Cawthorn would become the youngest member of Congress if / when he wins this Republican Party-friendly seat in November.
Ad Watching: Accentuate The Positive
A pro-Biden super PAC is launching a new round of television and digital advertising targeting state voters with an economic argument for the former vice president, reports Mike Memoli of NBC.
Unite The Country’s new $ 10 million campaign highlights Biden’s work as vice president overseeing the implementation of the 2009 stimulus program to help the United States recover from the Great Recession.
“We’ve been through this before,” recalls the broadcast ad, targeting Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
“14 million jobs created. The auto industry rescued. The longest sustained growth in the history of the United States.”
“He will do it again,” promises the announcement.
Unite The Country has dedicated its paid media efforts to such positive economic messages to boost Biden’s candidacy, while another super PAC, Priorities USA, has focused largely on anti-Trump messages. Unite The Country officials say making an affirmative case for Biden, especially in the economy, is vital as President Trump’s handling of the economy remains one of the few selling points for his re-election in the voter polls.
Democrats to block GOP police reform bill
Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they plan to block today’s vote on the Republican police reform bill that would allow debate on the legislation to begin. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the bill “deeply, fundamentally, and irrevocably flawed.”
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said this why the Republican Party was pushing to move forward with a procedural vote: “And this is the richest part of all, where they are going to blame Democrats for not wanting real reform. . And so the question is simply this: who do you trust in police reform in the United States? The NAACP or Mitch McConnell? Who do you trust in police reform in the United States? The ACLU or Mitch McConnell? Who do you trust in? The Civil Rights Lawyers Committee or Mitch McConnell?
You can read more about the Senate dispute here.
On the House side, the Democrats’ reform bill has yet to be voted on, even though Democrats have a sufficient majority to pass the bill without Republican support. So now it’s about who has the political capital to force action: Democrats who can pass a bill in the House and block Republican bills in the Senate, or Republicans in the Senate and President Trump who can avoid that any bill go to the Senate and end up on the president’s desk?
The cover: money talks
Don’t miss yesterday’s pod, when we saw how Joe Biden has improved his fundraising game in the coronavirus era.
ICYMI: What else is happening in the world?
At a virtual fundraiser with Joe Biden last night, Barack Obama said Democrats should feel a sense of “urgency” about November.
A federal prosecutor is expected to testify before Congress today that AG Bill Barr issued inappropriate orders based on political considerations, including pressure to close a deal with Roger Stone.
Trump’s family will go to court to try to block the publication of his niece’s critical book on the president.