As Coronavirus Deaths Rise, Trump's Task Force 'Winds Down'

Illustration for article titled As Coronavirus Deaths Rise, Trumps Task Force Winds Down
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There is an internet adage dating back at least a decade about the inadvisability of playing chess against a pigeon: no matter the outcome of the game, the verminous bird will knock over the pieces, defecate on the board, and strut around behaving as if it won. And true to conventional internet wisdom, America’s most notable shitting pigeon, President Donald Trump, appears to be preparing to shut down the administration’s coronavirus task force just as reported cases and predicted deaths are slated to double. If history is any indication, he will then declare the whole ineffective endeavor a monumental success in weeks of press conferences where the bobble-headed nuisance coos about what a great job he did.

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The New York Times reports that Olivia Troye, an advisor to Vice-President Mike Pence who assists in overseeing the task force, is telling people that efforts will “wind down” in the coming weeks, perhaps with no official announcement that the task force is disbanding. Also supporting this claim is the fact that Trump is no longer surrounding himself with task force officials in public briefings and has stopped linking those briefings to task force meetings. Anonymous sources say that shutting down the task force is, of course, the first step toward prematurely opening the country back up for business in service of every American’s constitutional right to die and kill for the Cheesecake Factory’s shareholders:

“A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations, said the task force will be winding down as the White House moves toward Phase One of Mr. Trump’s plan to “open up” the country. The focus now will be on therapeutics, vaccine development and testing, the official said.”

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But at least we still have another notorious shitting pigeon, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, leading his “shadow task force,” which will reportedly remain in operation. Goody. [New York Times]


One of those involved with the perhaps soon-to-be-disbanded coronavirus task force claims he was relieved of his duties after it was discovered he possessed knowledge about the scientific method. A former official for the Department of Health and Human Services says he was ousted from his position for refusing to award contracts based on political connections or endorse hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for covid-19. According to Dr. Rick Bright’s 58-page complaint, he was forced from his coronavirus response position when he suggested the HHS rely on science rather than bullshit:

“I insisted on scientifically-vetted proposals, and I pushed for a more aggressive agency response to COVID-19. My supervisor became furious when Congress appropriated billions of dollars directly to my office, and when I spoke directly to members of Congress,” the complaint says.

Dr. Bright says HHS officials were “fully aware” of coronavirus threats as early as January 2020 and that he became alarmed by their increasing reliance on the unvetted advice of pharmaceutical corporations to invest in treatments, including drugs and vaccines, with no evidence of their efficacy. [NBC News]

  • Really hope Jared Kushner’s “shadow task force” proves to be as fucking useless at being evil as it is at securing supplies for hospitals. [Washington Post]
  • Unsurprisingly, the anti-vaxxers are pro-coronavirus. [Washington Post]
  • Trump says Americans are “starting to feel good,” again, as predictions for covid-19 deaths double. [New York Post]
  • Trump says “loser type” anti-Trump Republicans, are, in fact glue, while reiterating that his position has been and remains rubber. [The Guardian]
  • The Biden campaign has unionized. Good for them! [Washington Post]
  • Meanwhile, Ohio has set up a website enabling corporations to more easily tattle on untrustworthy workers only pretending to be laid off so that they can still afford food and shelter while trying not to spread illness and possibly die. [Twitter]

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DISCUSSION

theghostofjimmadison
The Ghost of James Madison's Rage Boner

Hmm, so no coverage of the bizarre “Bay of Magats” invasion of Venezuela this weekend?

Apparently some Trump-linked “security firm” (they provided security for at least a couple of Trump rallies) was hired to lead a force of dissidents connected to opposition leader Juan Guaidó (who was apparently smart enough to get out of this idiot scheme early). The plan was to somehow kidnap Maduro and overthrow the government. They reportedly had as many as 300 ex-soldiers who fled to Colombia during Guaidó’s failed uprising, but it seems like only about 60 were part of the operation.

Remember after the Stoneman Douglas school shooting there was talk about hiring “ex-Green Berets” to train police and school security guards to defend schools in Florida? This was the same firm. In other words, thanks again, Florida Man.

It was such a clusterfuck that the AP broke a story about the operation on May 1, and they still decided to go through with it. And the Venezuelan government was aware enough of what was going on that that security forces were waiting on the beach when the boats arrived. Two U.S. members of the group were captured, apparently with all their U.S. identification on them:

Even more bizarrely, some of the captured equipment included an Airsoft rifle (note orange tip below).

I’m sure there’s lots more to tell about this, though I am not at all sure we’re hear any more.