Dem Congressman Releases Document To Take Trump Down For Good

The Daily Mail reports that the Democrats continue their attacks on President Trump. This time they accuse the President of not managing the coronavirus adequately.

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and his administration deliberately underminded the response to the coronavirus to focus on getting him re-elected, a damning new report released on Friday from the House committee investigating the pandemic found.

The 46 page end-of-the-year report, written by the panel’s Democratic majority, harshly condemns the former president and his officials, noting ‘Trump Administration officials engaged in a staggering pattern of political interference in the pandemic response and failed to heed early warnings about the looming crisis.’

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‘These decisions placed countless American lives at risk, undermined the nation’s public health institutions, and contributed to one of the worst failures of leadership in American history,’ the report notes.

The report from the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis outlines:

How the administration blocked briefings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials on public health needs
Failed to implement a national strategy to combat the pandemic and alleviate critical supply shortages
Intentionally weakened CDC recommendations to churches regarding services
Failed to have essential fraud controls within the Small Business Administration (SBA) to guard critical relief funds against fraud
Purposely weakened CDC testing guidance
The Farmers-to-Families Food Box Program (Food Box Program), championed by Ivanka Trump, wasted taxpayer money and delivered rotten food
Neglected the response to the pandemic to focus on Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign
The report cites more than 430,000 pages of documents, interviews of key officials involved in the pandemic response, and public hearings on the matter as the source of its findings.

Some of its findings had been previously released throughout its investigations over the past year. But Friday’s report has new details of the Trump administration’s actions and it combines all its findings into one damaging document.

It reveals that Dr. Deborah Birx, who was the pandemic coordinator for Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, told the panel that Trump White House officials ‘were actively campaigning’ for the presidential election and that the narrow focus on campaigning ‘took people’s time away from and distracted them away from the pandemic.’

The report also charges the Trump administration published guidance for faith communities that ‘softened some very important public health recommendations,’ such as removing all references to face coverings, a suggestion to suspend choirs, and language related to virtual services.

Dr. Jay Butler, a former senior CDC official, said the May 23, 2020, guidelines that ‘what had been done [by the Trump White House] was not good public health practice,’ and acknowledged that the concerns he had about Americans getting sick and potentially dying.

He wrote in an email about the change that he was ‘very troubled on this Sunday morning that there will be people who will get sick and perhaps die because of what we were forced to do.’

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‘I was doing a lot of soul searching about whether or not I should have agreed to even make the change in the document,’ Butler told the committee. ‘Clearly, it was a directive, but that was a real struggle as I felt like what had been done was not good public health practice.’

He also said he wasn’t aware of any examples where the guidance had hurt the health of Americans but ‘that concern will haunt me for some time.’

The panel also revealed documents that showed Trump Administration officials purposefully weakened CDC’s coronavirus testing guidance in August 2020 to obscure how rapidly the virus was spreading across the country.

Birx told the panel that Dr. Scott Atlas, whose recommendations during the pandemic were questioned by other medical professionals, was involved in changing the CDC’s testing guidance to say that most asymptomatic people should not be tested even if they were exposed to the virus. She said that advice was contrary to consensus science-based recommendations.

Trump brought Atlas onto the Coronavirus Task Force after seeing him appear on Fox News.

The CDC eventually restored the science-based testing guidance on September 18, 2020, over the objections of senior White House officials, according to Dr. Birx.

Birx also revealed her frustration with some of the advice the president was getting as COVID cases spread around the nation, refusing to attend one meeting that included doctors that she said were part of a ‘fringe group.’

The doctors were pushing a ‘herd immunity’ theory that decried by public health experts, who have noted a previous infection of COVID doesn’t guarantee immunity.

‘I can’t be part of this with these people who believe in herd immunity,’ Birx wrote in an email released by the committee. She offered to go out of town to avoid it and save the White House embarassment.

‘These are people who believe that all the curves are predetermined and mitigation is irrelevant — they are a fringe group without grounding in epidemics, public health or on the ground common sense experience. I am happy to go out of town or whatever gives the WH cover,’ she wrote.

Birx also described how she was surprised to discover when she joined the COVID response team that no one from the federal government had contacted some of the largest diagnostic companies operating in the United States to help scale up testing efforts.

The Trump White House also blocked CDC’s requests to conduct public briefings for more than three months in early 2020 as the pandemic was gaining speed.

The order was a reaction to a February 25, 2020 briefing from then-CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who warned about the risks posed by the coronavirus.

Dr. Messonnier told the panel her briefing ‘angered’ then-President Trump and she received calls from then-CDC Director Robert Redfield and then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar that caused her to feel ‘upset.’

Another CDC official said the agency wanted to hold a briefing in April 2020 that would have provided information on the state of the pandemic, the new CDC recommendation to wear cloth face coverings, and new evidence of pediatric cases and deaths from the coronavirus, but the Trump White House refused the CDC’s request.

Former CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat told the Select Subcommittee that ‘many of us’ in the CDC felt muzzled by a Trump White House.

The committee also found that nearly 97% of the fraud prosecutions tied to COVID loan were from applications made during the Trump Administration’s implementation of the program in its first five months.

And almost 50% of those prosecutions involved government grants to fictitious, inactive, or inoperative businesses.

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The Small Business Administration under the Trump Administration failed to implement essential fraud controls to guard critical relief funds against fraud, the committee found, noting the Biden administration implemented such controls.

The panel also found the billion dollar Farmers-to-Families Food Box Program championed by Ivanka Trump wasted taxpayer dollars, delivered rotten food, and was used for Donald Trump’s political gain.

The Trump administration also used the Food Box Program for political advantage, the panel said.

In its findings, it revealed that in the six weeks leading up to the election, vendors employed by the program were ‘required include in all outgoing boxes a letter signed by President Trump in which he took credit for sending out the food, despite the fact that the boxes were to be distributed through apolitical nonprofit organizations.’