(CNN) – While the United States surpasses the tragic mark of a quarter of a million deaths from covid-19, your president is angry in the White House for a choice that he lost fairly and obstructs the effort of his sucesor, Joe Biden, to fight against pandemic it gets worse quickly.
The presidente Donald Trump He is obsessed with his failed and threadbare election challenges and spreads lies about voter fraud in tweets, rather than using his platform and power to tackle a health emergency only in a century, which he falsely claimed the nation had overcome.
No has appeared at a public event for days and he has prohibited any member of his administration from speaking to Biden’s team. Additionally, as part of the president’s unproven quest to challenge the election, his administration is withholding millions of dollars in funding and access required by transitional laws.
Trump’s outrageous presidency has conditioned the world on his incessant disobedience to the duties of office and his disregard for the national interest. But it is an extraordinary and unprecedented scenario that, in the world’s oldest democracy, a president refuses to admit the clear outcome of an election in which Americans voted to oust him from the White House.
Many of Trump’s legal challenges, in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Michigan, are based on the idea that isolated problems or unproven accusations of fraud should require the removal of hundreds of thousands of legally cast American votes. The results of a voting audit in a key state won by Biden, Georgia, are expected to reaffirm Biden’s victory on Thursday, further closing off one of the president’s unlikely routes to stay in power.
While the legal challenges seem doomed to fail, the strategy appears to be to create enough fog around the voting so that Republican state legislatures can step in to elect pro-Trump delegations to the Electoral College. If that fails, as is overwhelmingly likely, discrediting the election will at least ease Trump’s humiliation and could be political fuel for a future career.
That all of these constitutional gimmicks coincide with a pandemic that Trump ignored, denied, and downplayed and that is killing many thousands of Americans a week, only adds to the surreal sense of political purgatory in Washington caused by an outgoing president putting on an ego. injured ahead of the health of hundreds of millions of Americans.
Trump cancels Thanksgiving
Trump, who is not in the mood to mingle with his Mar-a-Lago crowd, canceled his Thanksgiving trip to Florida. His press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, who receives a taxpayer salary but answers reporters’ questions despite speaking on Fox News and on the Trump campaign, said a president who played golf twice last weekend he works hard for the American people and he is too busy to have a vacation.
However, Trump’s free schedule has no space to warn the country about the threat of the new wave of covid-19, which has been exacerbated by his own refusal to endorse the wearing of masks and social distancing. By many metrics, the US is far worse off than it was in the early stages of the pandemic.
Washington’s latest drama unfolded after an official told CNN’s Kylie Atwood that the president’s recent foreign policy measures – withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and applying new sanctions on Iran – were designed to start so many fires abroad that would be impossible for the new Biden presidency to shut down.
The administration also refuses to answer questions about these issues that could have cascading consequences and put American lives at risk.
Biden on Wednesday made his strongest call yet for Trump to officially launch a transition, warning that failure to do so would delay delivery of vaccines.
«Soon we are going to be behind by weeks and months to be able to put together the whole initiative related to the greatest promise we have with two pharmaceutical companies that arrive and find 95% effectiveness, efficiency in vaccines, which is a huge promise. “Biden said Wednesday.
The president-elect spoke via an online link with a Minnesota nurse, who described dire scenes in ICU wards where staff had to reuse N-95 masks until they fell off their faces.
“I myself have held hands with dying patients crying out for their families that they cannot see,” Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, told Biden when her voice broke. “I have cared for my co-workers as they fight for their lives with a ventilator, and knowing that they got sick because of the hospital or the government has not protected them.”
Turner apologized for getting emotional. Biden, wiping away a tear and showing an empathy that the current commander-in-chief has not been able to show, replied, “No, you touched me.”
Health experts warn that the continued delay in including Biden’s team in the program will complicate the enormously difficult logistical task of administering the vaccine.
“This is the most disturbing health event we’ve had in a century … It didn’t have to be that bad,” former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday. at night.
“It is very important that the transition runs smoothly because this will be the most complicated vaccination program in US history and will span two administrations,” Frieden said. “The sooner the current administration starts talking openly and in detail with the incoming administration, the better, smoother the transfer will be and the more we can protect people.”
But Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar made clear Wednesday that there would be no such contacts until Trump decides to order the General Services Administration to initiate a transition.
“We have made it very clear that when GSA makes a determination, we will ensure full and cooperative career planning and transitions,” Azar said during a briefing. “We follow the guide.”
Moncef Slaoui, the senior advisor to the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine program, said Wednesday that the group conducts weekly COVID-19 vaccine distribution trials to plan every move “to the minute.”
“It’s really being planned as an army operation,” Slaoui told CNN’s Richard Quest. “We have selected warehouses with more than two or three football fields, again with refrigeration, with automation, capable of dispatching and distributing millions of doses weekly.”
States in the firing line
While the president is absent, the burden of leadership falls once again on states and cities that are implementing ever more stringent measures to try to control the rapid spread of the virus this fall. The New York City Chancellor of Schools announced Wednesday that schools will remain closed until further notice.
“Given the recent increases in transmission, we have reached a point in our city’s infection rate that requires all students to transition to remote learning,” Foreign Minister Richard Carranza told families in a letter.
The governor of Michigan initiated a new set of restrictions that will extend over the next three weeks, banning indoor dining in bars and restaurants, closing movie theaters, casinos and group gym classes, and asking all but essential workers to work. from home.
“We have to follow epidemiology, public health experts, and make decisions to combat the spread before our hospitals are overwhelmed and before we have 1,000 deaths a week in Michigan,” Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in “New Day »From CNN. “Because that’s what modeling tells us where we are going right now.”
In Minnesota, Democratic Gov. Tim Walz announced a four-week “call back” banning face-to-face meetings with people outside of every home, restricting bars and restaurants to takeout and delivery, and closing gyms and entertainment venues. .
“We are at a breaking point. As hospitals approach the crisis of turning away new patients, continuing as things are is simply not sustainable, ”said Walz when announcing the new restrictions. “The actions announced today will help prevent more families from losing a loved one and ensure that our hospitals can treat those who become ill.”
The nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, commented Wednesday that he is pained by the denial he’s seeing across the United States and that he hasn’t been able to speak to Biden’s team: “I wish we could do that. ».
“Even in some of the really affected states, we hear that people even deny that there is a problem as their hospitals fill up,” Fauci told the USA Today editorial board.
He said he was frustrated by those who still claim that Covid-19 is like the flu.
“There are a quarter of a million deaths, 11 million infections,” Fauci said. “The flu is not even close.”
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