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Trump’s talking health care again, with 2020 in mind



That leaves Trump with mostly rhetorical options — even if he insists otherwise — cognizant that voters consistently rank health care as a top priority and say Joe Biden, Trump’s presumptive 2020 rival, would handle the issue better than the president. Meanwhile, Trump is running for reelection having not replaced Obamacare or presented an alternative — all while urging the Supreme Court to overturn the decade-old health law. And millions of Americans are currently losing their health insurance as the coronavirus-gripped economy sputters.

“I think politically, the main objective will be to have something he can call a plan, but it will be smaller than a plan. Just something that he can talk about,” said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy organization. “But it’s almost inconceivable that anything can be delivered legislatively before the election.”

Trump has long stumped on his pledges to kill Obamacare, the law his predecessor implemented that expanded Americans’ access to health insurance, set baseline standards for coverage, introduced penalties for not having insurance and guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions. But conservatives say the law introduced too many mandates and drove up costs.

But after winning election in 2016, Trump failed to overturn the law in Congress — or even offer an agreed upon alternative to the law — despite holding the majority in both chambers on Capitol Hill. Democrats then retook the House in the 2018 midterms, essentially ending any chances the law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, would be repealed.

Even some conservatives said the ongoing failure to present a concrete replacement plan is helping the Democrats politically.

Republicans, said Joe Antos, a health expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, “spent basically 2010 to today arguing that the ACA is no good. After 10 years, clearly there are some problems with starting all over again. I haven’t detected very strong interest, at least among elected officials, in revisiting that.”

But the coronavirus pandemic has added pressure to address health care costs, and Trump has lagged behind Biden on his handling of the issue in polls. Fifty seven percent of registered voters recently polled by Quinnipiac said Biden would do a better job on health care than Trump, while only 35 percent approved of Trump’s handling of health care as president. And on the issue of affordability, a CNBC poll found 55 percent of battleground voters favored Biden and the Democrats, compared with 45 percent who preferred Trump and the Republicans.

“At this point, there are two huge issues, jobs and the economy, and health care, i.e., the coronavirus. If anything that’s simply been magnified,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster and strategist. “Given the fact that it’s one of the top issues, it’s not like there’s a choice but to talk about it. If candidates aren’t making statements and proposing solutions around that, it’s a requirement. Both candidates have to address it.”

Biden has campaigned on expanding Obamacare while also promising to implement a “public option” similar to Medicare, which is government-run health insurance for seniors. On drug pricing, he and Trump embrace some of the same ideas, like allowing the safe importation of drugs from other countries where they are cheaper. Biden also supports direct Medicare negotiation of drug prices, a Democratic priority that Trump supported during the 2016 campaign before reversing course.

“Donald Trump has spent his entire presidency working to take health care away from tens of millions of Americans and gut coverage for preexisting conditions,” said Andrew Bates, a Biden campaign spokesman. “If the Trump campaign wants to continue their pattern of highlighting the worst possible contrasts for Donald Trump, we certainly won’t stop them.”

The Trump administration insists it can point to several health care victories during Trump’s term.

Trump frequently notes the removal of the penalty for Americans who do not purchase insurance as a major victory, falsely claiming it is equivalent to overturning Obamacare.

Trump also signed an executive order last year to fight kidney disease to encourage home dialysis and increase the amount of kidney transplants, and he expanded telehealth medicine during the pandemic.

More recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a Trump administration rule expanding the availability of short-term health plans, which Trump has touted as an alternative to Obamacare but Democrats deride as “junk.” The plans are typically cheaper than Obamacare coverage because they don’t provide the same level of benefits or consumer protections for preexisting conditions.

A federal judge in June similarly upheld another Trump administration rule requiring hospitals to disclose the prices they have negotiated with insurers. Price transparency in the health care system has long been a significant issue, with Americans rarely having clarity over how much their treatments will cost ahead of time. Trump called the win “bigger than health care itself,” in an apparent reference to Obamacare. It’s unclear whether transparency will force down health care prices, and hospitals opposing the rule have appealed the judge’s decision.

And on Friday at the White House, Trump held an event to sign four executive orders aimed at slashing drug pricing. The move aimed to tackle a largely unfulfilled signature campaign promise — that he would stop pharmaceutical companies from “getting away with murder.”

“We are ending the sellouts, betrayals and broken promises from Washington,” Trump said Friday.“You have a lot of broken promises from Washington.”

But the orders appeared largely symbolic for now, as they were not immediately enforceable, contained notable caveats and may not be completed before the election anyway. For instance, an order requiring drugmakers to pass along any discounts directly to seniors requires the health secretary to confirm the plan won’t result in higher premiums or drive up federal spending. But the White House had shelved that plan last summer over worries the move might hike seniors’ Medicare premiums ahead of the election and cost taxpayers $180 billion over the next decade.

Conway disputed that Trump had not made progress on issues like drug pricing.

“President Trump is directing the development of therapeutics and vaccines, has delivered lower prescription drug costs, increased transparency in pricing for consumers and is committed to covering preexisting conditions and offering higher quality health care with lower costs and more choices,” she said.

Yet a number of Trump’s other health care initiatives have faced hurdles — especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The opioid crisis, which the president had touted as a top priority and campaigned on in 2016, is getting worse. Drug overdose deaths hit a record high in 2019 and federal and state data shows they are skyrocketing in 2020.

“The overdose epidemic will not take a back seat simply because Covid-19 has hit us hard, and that needs to be reflected in policy,” said Andrew Kessler, founder and principal of Slingshot Solutions, a behavioral health consulting firm.

The president’s plan to end HIV by 2030 has similarly receded during the pandemic. And Trump’s proposal on improving kidney care — an issue that affects roughly 15 percent of American adults — is still in its early stages and will not be finalized until next year.





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Entertaiment

Kanye West Breaks Down In Tears While Talking About Abortion At First Campaign Rally


Kanye West held his first-ever presidential rally at the Exquis Event Center in North Charleston on Sunday.

And like many expected, Ye gave a passionate speech. At one point, the rapper teared up when talking about his wife, Kim Kardashian.

He recalled a significant moment in his life when he and the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star learned they were expecting their first child together, North West. However, the 43-year-old star admitted that they both contemplated abortion.

“In the bible it says thou shalt not kill,” he began to describe. “I remember when my girlfriend [at the time] called me screaming and crying… . And I just thought to myself, ‘Please don’t tell me I gave Kim Kardashian AIDS.'”

“Then, she said, ‘I’m pregnant’ and I said, ‘Yes.’ …. she said ‘No.’ She was crying… [and] said she had to go to the doctor,” he continued.



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Celebrity

Talking Heads drummer dishes on ‘cold’ David Byrne in new memoir


Last year, the Broadway musical “American Utopia” charmed audiences. Spike Lee signed on to direct the film version. Amy Schumer became such a groupie, she saw it six times and made Jennifer Lawrence and Phoebe Waller-Bridge attend with her. Fans raved about the optimism of David Byrne’s feel-good show.

However, a former bandmate told The Post that Byrne made his colleagues in Talking Heads feel anything but good. “Talking Heads was a group effort and David was the front person . . . but there was a vast network [behind him],” said drummer Chris Frantz, whose memoir “Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina” (St. Martin’s Press), is out Tuesday. “As far as I know, he never acknowledged that.”

And, Frantz writes, things only got worse over time: “It seemed that the more successful Talking Heads became, the more cold and dyspeptic David became.”

The band formed in 1974 at the Rhode Island School of Design, quickly writing their signature song “Psycho Killer.” Frantz recalled how he and bassist Tina Weymouth, who would become his wife, played key roles in crafting the lyrics, with Weymouth adding the iconic “qu’est-ce que c’est” line.

Talking Heads' Chris Frantz (far left) says David Byrne (far right) wasn't fair to him, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison.
Talking Heads’ Chris Frantz (far left) says David Byrne (far right) wasn’t fair to him, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison.Getty Images

“Nobody knows these anecdotes,” said Frantz, “because David won’t tell anyone.”

Frantz writes about Byrne attributing tunes from the album “Remain in Light” to David Byrne, producer Brian Eno and Talking Heads, without naming his bandmates, and taking sole songwriting credit for the classic song “Life During Wartime,” even though, Frantz writes, it “began as a jam between Tina and me . . . David couldn’t acknowledge where he stopped and other people began.”

Talking Heads made its debut at the East Village club CBGB in 1975 and soon grew a following. But while recording demos, Byrne tried to make Weymouth re-audition as bassist. She refused, and Frantz writes how Byrne told a producer, “I’m thinking of kicking Tina out of the band . . .” The power plays didn’t stop there.

On tour in Germany in 1979, Byrne insisted on doing interviews separately from the others. “When it was time for [the rest of] us to be interviewed, this reporter asked, ‘What are you going to do now that David Byrne is leaving the band?’ ” recounted Frantz. “We had no idea what he was talking about.” Byrne had apparently said he would be going solo, ­although it didn’t happen for several years. (Requests for comment were not returned by Byrne’s representative.)

“David told me on more than one occasion that he was jealous of Tina and I . . . of what he perceived to be advantages that we had in life,” Frantz said. “He perceived us as having more wealth [growing up], which we did not. His version of his life is a little bit skewed.”

Frantz attributes at least some of Talking Heads’ success to drug use. “Tina was never a big drug person,” Frantz said. “But the rest of us . . . helped ourselves to the generosity of friends and sometimes went out of our way to buy [drugs]. Sometimes I wonder if we would have been able to accomplish what we did if we did not have cocaine in our locker.”

Although the band had its only Top 10 hit, “Burning Down the House,” in 1983, a slow death spiral began the next year during an outdoor festival in New Zealand. “Four or five songs in, David walked off [stage] and everyone stared at me,” said Frantz. “I chased him down — and his excuse was that he didn’t want to play any more shows where people are standing in the mud. There was no mud, and I got him to finish the set. We [attended] a party afterward, but the party was sad. Everyone got the message.”

It was the final show on what proved to be Talking Heads’ last tour. After a hiatus, the band officially broke up in ’91.

Today, Frantz wants to be remembered for being as integral to Talking Heads as Byrne had been. “We were one of the greatest bands of all time,” he said. “And every person on stage was a star.”



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Wide-Leg Trousers, Rare Plant Shops, and an American History Reckoning: What goop Staffers Are Talking about This Month


GOOP 15

At goop, we’re always looking for perfect gifts to buy, great places to eat, and under-the-radar brands to shop. So when it comes to what’s new or the cool and obscure, we often turn to our coworkers for their advice and brilliant recommendations. Each month, we share the fifteen best things the goop team is currently obsessing over, including the books we’re reading, films we’re watching, and the voices we’re listening to.

1


(In)Visible Portraits

PORTRAIT MODE

“Black women’s stories need to be told, and I’ve been thinking about it more in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s killing. (In)Visible Portraits is a powerful documentary that celebrates Black women in America. While the documentary’s initial focus was to highlight Black mothers, first-time director Oge Egbuonu expanded the narrative into what it means to be a Black woman. She presents a new vision, one that captures the painful and powerful history of some of the most resilient and beautiful voices today.” —Amanda Chung, junior creative copywriter

(IN)VISIBLE PORTRAITS, available now on Vimeo On Demand


2

FOR OUR MAGIC

MAGIC IN MOTION

“Stress levels in the Twin Cities area may be sky-high right now, but For Our Magic cofounders Leeya Jackson and Safrat Shonibare won’t let being in financial and emotional survival mode keep Black people in the femme, queer, and trans communities from protecting their magic—that spark and glow that come from nurturing the body, recharging the spirit…and a really good eye-makeup palette. ‘We believe that Black folks deserve to survive as well as thrive,’ Jackson and Shonibare say of For Our Magic’s mission. ‘We know that folks impacted most financially and spiritually by COVID have been Black femme, queer, and trans folk.’ To make sure both wants and needs are being met, For Our Magic curates boxes stocked with self-care and beauty products from BIPOC-owned brands, then donates them to femme, queer, and trans BIPOC in the Twin Cities area. Every product in the box is either donated by or purchased from a BIPOC-owned beauty brand. On the site, brands can donate products, and White allies can make donations to help purchase products for the boxes and support a fund for financially impacted BIPOC in the beauty industry. To donate, nominate someone for a box, and share the initiative, check out For Our Magic online and on Instagram.” —Sarah Carr, associate editor

FOR OUR MAGIC


3

THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI BY AKWAEKE EMEZI

NOVEL TIME

“I will tell anyone who will listen, and even people who won’t, to preorder this book before it comes out later this summer. Reading The Death of Vivek Oji is a vivid, propulsive experience, almost as if you were watching a movie on fast-forward. The story opens with the death of a teen named Vivek in a town in southeastern Nigeria. It moves through time and characters as you, the reader, try to put together Vivek’s life, death, hopes, worries, joys, and loves. It’s about loss, yes. But also about freedom and our capacity to imagine what it’s like to be someone else—or perhaps, more so, what it’s like to simply experience them as they are.” —Kiki Koroshetz, wellness director

THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI BY AKWAEKE EMEZI, Bookshop, $24


4

POSTPARTUM PANTY Mommy Matters

MOM’S THE WORD

“Mommy Matters is the for-profit arm supporting Saving Mothers, a global charity that focuses on reducing maternal mortality rates in marginalized communities. Support by donating directly to Saving Mothers or by purchasing the mesh postpartum panties (the ice-pack pocket is brilliant) and pregnancy pillow. Also important to note: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saving Mothers has redirected its efforts toward providing new mothers with essentials like formula, diapers, and disinfectant products.” —Alexis Antoniadis, social media manager

POSTPARTUM PANTY, Mommy Matters, $23


5

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY: FROM EMANCIPATION TO THE PRESENT

LESSON PLAN

“Yale offers an African American history course on its website that is available to anyone who wants to understand this critical part of our country’s history. Or for anyone, like me, who needs a reeducation because what was taught to them in school was not nearly adequate. Professor Jonathan Holloway, PhD, an American historian and a former dean of Yale, covers emancipation to the present day, pulling from poems and texts, media, and images to answer the question: What does it mean to be a citizen? The lectures are available in video form and as written transcripts or audio recordings, if you want to treat it more like an article or a podcast (each lecture is around forty-five minutes). I’m excited to do the suggested reading, listen, and learn as much as I can.” —Leah Bedrosian, research scientist

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY: FROM EMANCIPATION TO THE PRESENT, Yale University, free


6

THE DEEP

CURIOUS QUESTIONS

“A friend of mine recently turned me on to this new newsletter called The Deep. It calls itself a ‘questions company’ that wants to help people dive deeper, explore complex ideas, and have more meaningful conversations. The questions—like ‘Without your memories, who would you be?’ and ‘Can people fundamentally change?’—are designed to cultivate empathy and human connection, and there aren’t any right or wrong answers. As a company, The Deep is trying to do the opposite of what other brands do: It doesn’t try to tell you what to think; instead, the Deep asks, ‘What do you think?’ The messages aren’t frequent—they feel a bit mysterious—but they stay on my mind for days.” —Jessica Robinson, director, brand partnerships and marketing

THE DEEP


7

MINOR FEELINGS: AN ASIAN AMERICAN RECKONING BY CATHY PARK HONG

MINORITY REPORT

“I graduated twelve years ago with a degree in American literature. I read Nathanial Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, some Walt Whitman, lots of Emily Dickinson, and many more White ‘American’ voices. Minor Feelings is a thrilling and important new entry into this genre—Cathy Park Hong knits together untaught US history (with sources) and intimate accounts of her life as an immigrant child. I’ve never felt more seen. As the Black Lives Matter movement crescendos around us, I’ve been reflecting on the detrimental impact of the model minority myth. As Hong writes: ‘the model minority myth was popularized to keep Communists—and Black people—in check. Asian American success was circulated to promote capitalism and to undermine the credibility of Black civil rights…. There’s no discrimination, they assured us, as long as you’re compliant and hardworking.’ The history of BIPOC in America is twisted together and impossible to untangle. We’re one complex knot. Hong’s story is a challenge to American readers to step away from the solipsism of an often toxic Western lens and open up to the potential that what we learned in history class was intentionally abbreviated. This book should be required reading for all students of American literature because America is so much more than the White-lived experience. It’s painful, rich, and colorful. It’s sacred and human. It’s long overdue. And it’s time for a reckoning.” —Diana Ryu, chief of staff

MINOR FEELINGS: AN ASIAN AMERICAN RECKONING BY CATHY PARK HONG, Bookshop, $24


8

KAMALA AND MAYA’S BIG IDEA BY MEENA HARRIS

DARE TO DREAM

“This inspiring children’s book is written by the real-life niece and daughter of its main characters, Kamala and Maya Harris, respectively. It’s the story of two little girls with a big idea who never give up hope even after a bunch of grown-ups shut it down. With perseverance, creativity, and excellent organizational skills, the sisters make their idea into a reality that makes life better for their entire community. Kids will love it, and I promise you, parents will love reading it to them.” —Kate Wolfson, executive editor

KAMALA AND MAYA’S BIG IDEA BY MEENA HARRIS, Bookshop, $17


9

JOSE WIDE-LEG COTTON-BLEND CARGO TROUSERS

FANCY PANTS

“My love for casual cotton trousers is endless. I am always looking for a fresh pair. These from Wales Bonner—a London-based, primarily menswear designer—are going to be my go-to this summer. I love the subtle utility details and chic wide legs.” —Ali Pew, fashion director

JOSE WIDE-LEG COTTON-BLEND CARGO TROUSERS, Wales Bonner, $238


10

SANSO LOS ANGELES

POTS AND PLANTS

“Sanso—which is Korean for oxygen—is a beautiful ceramics studio and rare plant shop on the Eastside of LA. The ceramics are absolutely gorgeous: Think simple, clean lines and neutral hues, a minimalist’s dream. You can also mix and match the planters and bases. The rare plants are just as stunning—works of art in and of themselves. But I think a big part of what makes the shop so special is the people who work there. Every time I visit, I feel taken care of. The team is so knowledgeable and passionate about helping people grow and nurture their plants. In the past, I’ve gotten mixed messages about how best to keep your plants happy, but because of the staff’s expertise, all my Sanso babies are thriving. They are able to ship some of their ceramics and are working on making more pieces available online. Be sure to check out their Instagram for plenty of soothing plant inspiration.” —Cait Moore, senior programming manager

SANSO LOS ANGELES


11

LHC x HAAS BROTHERS COLLECTIBLE TIN AND CAKE

BAKE SALE

“After the sudden loss of her brother in 2018, my friend Liz Roth was forced to look inward and reevaluate. A lot of her personal growth came from baking at home. So when I saw Roth transform her kitchen into a cake factory in order to make a difference during COVID-19, I knew I had to support her. It’s my favorite type of cake (olive oil with a dust of powdered sugar), and 12 percent of the profit from each cake goes to a different charity each month, like Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and Covenant House California. Besides being insanely delicious—yes, I finished it in one afternoon—the women behind it, Roth and Jaymie Wisneski, have become their own charitable brand all in the name of the give-back. I’ll eat to that.” —Kelly Egarian, director of private clients

LHC x HAAS BROTHERS COLLECTIBLE TIN AND CAKE, Little House Confections, $88 (100 percent of the profits from this collaboration will go to the NAACP)


12

13TH, now streaming on Netflix

INCARCERATED NATION

“I just watched Ava DuVernay’s 13th (which was released in 2016). It’s one of those documentaries that stayed with me for days. Duvernay makes the powerful argument that mass incarceration is simply an extension of slavery. The documentary examines the Thirteenth Amendment and exposes why the American prison system is disproportionately filled with Black people. Her investigation of Reagan’s war on drugs, Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill, and mandatory sentencing laws reveals how detrimental these policies have been to people of color. It expertly links the past to the present, and we are faced with the fact that slavery is very much still alive and thriving in the form of the prison industrial complex, where privatized prisons profit from forced labor. My jaw was on the floor for the entire film. By the end, I was infuriated. I felt duped by what I thought I’d learned in school. This should be required watching.” —Justine Baldwin, editorial project manager

13TH, now streaming on Netflix


13

CARTIER WOMEN’S INITIATIVE

THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

“Cartier’s Women’s Initiative is a huge international business competition that supports social-impact-driven companies led and owned by female entrepreneurs. The CWI has not only granted millions of dollars and created thousands of jobs through its program; it’s also turned a spotlight on companies with great causes to support over the years. The program recently announced its winners for 2020, and they include Stephanie Benedetto with her New York–based company Queen of Raw. Benedetto’s mission is to combat waste: She created an online marketplace for businesses to buy and sell deadstock fabrics and textiles as a sustainable alternative to destroying them. I recommend checking out the other winners and their inspiring businesses—all socially conscious and, did I mention, female-founded?” —Sandra Slusarczyk, associate fashion editor

CARTIER WOMEN’S INITIATIVE


14

GLOW PACK by Goldthread

DRINK MORE PLANTS

“I’m hooked on the plant-based tonics from Goldthread. The founder of the company, William Siff, is a clinical herbalist, an ethnobotanist, and a licensed acupuncturist who wants to inspire people to drink more plants, so he created these drinks with only the good stuff: adaptogens, herbs, and spices. The flavors are tasty, and I love that you can get them in ‘power packs.’ The glow pack includes a green minerals drink with nettle leaf and chlorophyll, and it’s paired with a turmeric drink with ginger root and cinnamon chips. Goldthread also has great drink recipes on its Instagram.” —Samantha Saiyavongsa, assistant editor

GLOW PACK, Goldthread, $30 for a six-pack


15

YVONNE ORJI: MOMMA, I MADE IT!

COMEDY HOUR

“Any time spent reading about how much I loved Yvonne Orji’s new HBO comedy special Momma, I Made It! is time you could be spending 1) watching it, 2) laughing in a way you probably have not in a while, and 3) kicking off a vastly improved and more joyous hour of your life. Orji—you may know her from Insecure—is one of the greats. I would also definitely watch a spin-off show with her parents; I hope HBO gets on that.” —Jessie Geoffray, senior editor

YVONNE ORJI: MOMMA, I MADE IT!, now streaming on HBO


We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page.





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Lifestyle

Talking to Your Kids about Racism—and Other Stories to Read Now


Every week, we corral compelling wellness stories from around the internet—just in time for your weekend reading.

  • The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus

    The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus

    The New York Times

    Early testing results suggested racial disparities in who was most likely to get sick and die from the coronavirus. New federal data obtained by The New York Times from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paints a clearer picture of how systemic racism shapes public health: Nationwide, across cities, suburbs, and rural towns, Black and Latinx people in the United States are three times as likely to be infected with and twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than White people. Native Americans and Asian people are also disproportionately affected. This data-driven report explores the underlying causes.

    READ MORE

  • There’s a Right Way to Talk about Racism with Kids—and Most White Parents in the US Aren’t Doing It
  • How I Became a Police Abolitionist

    How I Became a Police Abolitionist

    The Atlantic

    “We called 911 for almost everything except snitching,” writes human rights lawyer Derecka Purnell. “Police couldn’t do what we really needed. They could not heal relationships or provide jobs. We were afraid every time we called. When the cops arrived, I was silenced, threatened with detention, or removed from my home…. Yet I feared letting go; I thought we needed them.” In this op-ed, Purnell, through the lens of her own journey toward abolition, shares what society would look like without policing. “When people dismiss abolitionists for not caring about victims or safety, they tend to forget that we are those victims, those survivors of violence,” she writes.

    READ MORE

  • California’s San Quentin Prison Declined Free Coronavirus Tests and Urgent Advice—Now It Has a Massive Outbreak



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Breaking New

Biden: Trump should ‘stop talking and start listening to the medical experts’



Trump set the Easter goal earlier Tuesday on Fox News. It’s a date that few health experts believe will be sufficient in containing the spread of coronavirus.

“Look, we all want the economy to open as rapidly as possible. The way to do that is let’s take care of the medical side of this immediately,” Biden said in an interview with CNN.

The former vice president said he could envision some parts of the country and some sectors being ready to return to work on Trump’s timeline.

“But the idea that we’re in a position where we’re saying, by Easter, he wants to have everybody going back to work? What’s he talking about?” Biden said.

Biden said Trump is “not responsible for the coronavirus” but that the President is “responsible for the delay in taking the actions that need to be taken.”

He said Trump should have invoked the Defense Production Act earlier and used its powers to require companies to rapidly ramp up production of medical equipment like masks and ventilators.

“He says he’s a war-time president — well God, act like one. Move. Fast,” Biden said.

Biden has been off the campaign trail for two weeks as the pandemic has forced candidates to cancel rallies and fundraisers and order staff to work from home. His campaign converted a room in his Wilmington, Delaware, home into a broadcast studio, and Biden began a media blitz Tuesday.

In the interview, Biden said he has not been tested for coronavirus because he has not exhibited any symptoms, and that he is following medical experts’ advice — including keeping distance from his grandchildren when they visit and ensuring everyone who enters his house, including the Secret Service, wears gloves and masks.

At one point in the interview, Biden coughed into his hand. Tapper told Biden that doing so was “kind of old school” and that he should cough into his elbow.

“Actually that is true,” Biden said. “But fortunately I’m alone in my home. But that’s OK. I agree. You’re right.”



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L.A. mayor asks Trump administration for aid on homeless, two sides talking


(Reuters) – The mayor of Los Angeles has written to the Trump administration to formally request federal assistance with the growing numbers of homeless on the city’s streets, a letter that shows he and Housing Secretary Ben Carson have had negotiations on the issue.

FILE PHOTO: Nov 20, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a press conference to introduce Los Angeles as the site for the 2020 MLS All-Star game between the Liga MX all stars against the MLS all stars at Banc of California Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The letter from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to President Donald Trump, dated Jan. 9 and made public on Friday, seeks federal aid to “move our unhoused neighbors into shelter, build permanent housing” and supply services to the homeless.

“I appreciate Secretary Carson reaching out to me,” Garcetti says in the two-page missive.

“During our conversation he expressed a commitment to working with cities nationwide to help accelerate our progress in addressing this emergency by investing in strong, humane and lasting approaches that can help get people off the street and save lives,” Garcetti said.

The constructive tone is a sharp contrast to Trump’s rhetoric on Twitter and during previous visits to California, slamming public officials for the growing homelessness crisis.

On a visit to San Francisco and Los Angeles in September, Trump said conditions including trash, defecation, and hypodermic needles left by homeless people were hurting the prestige of those cities.

Earlier this week Carson posted two tweets that also referenced talks between the city and his office, mentioning Garcetti and Kathryn Barger, chairwoman of the Los Angeles County Supervisor’s office.

“The homelessness crisis in California has been an entrenched problem for a longtime. Per the request of @MayorOfLA & @kathrynbarger we look forward to a new partnership that will benefit our fellow citizens,” Carson said on Twitter.

An estimated 130,000 people are homeless somewhere in California on any given day, more than any other state, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. California is the most populous state in the United States, home to about 39.6 million people.

In September, Carson rejected requests from California for more money from the Trump administration to fight homelessness, blaming state and local leaders for the crisis.

White House officials are said to be readying a plan to crack down on homelessness in Los Angeles and other major California cities.On Thursday California Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to create a $750 million fund to help house the homeless and directed the state to immediately start setting up tents and trailers as emergency temporary housing.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Culver City, California; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Daniel Wallis



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Celebrity Entertaiment

Whoopi Goldberg Tells ‘View’ Cohost Meghan McCain to ‘Stop Talking’


Not having it! Whoopi Goldberg reprimanded her View cohost Meghan McCain when the duo got into a heated exchange centered on President Donald Trump’s impeachment on Monday, December 16.

During Monday’s discussion, fellow cohosts Joy Behar and Abby Huntsman debated the issue of Trump, 72, refusing to not go under oath during the impeachment proceedings. Sunny Hostin then made a comparison between how former President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment was handled in contrast to how the current Republican-led Senate seems to be treating the trial against Trump. However, McCain interrupted Hostin to state that debating the ethics of it all isn’t her responsibility.

“My job here is not to litigate the ethics of it. I’m an ABC political analyst along with being a View cohost,” the Dirty Sexy Politics author, 35, said at the time. “My job is to analyze the politics of it.”

Whoopi Goldberg Tells View Cohost Meghan McCain to Stop Talking
Whoopi Goldberg and Meghan McCain. Shutterstock (2)

Hostin, 51, attempted to interject once more to clarify that she was “not” referencing McCain when making her point. Yet, McCain asked that her colleague allow her to wrap up first, saying: “Just let me finish. I let you talk, let me finish.”

Goldberg raised her voice in an attempt to help move the show into a commercial break, but McCain continued to talk over the 64-year-old Academy Award winner. The conservative panelist then complained that the View was seemingly not interested in featuring “a conservative perspective on this show ever,” but this remark caused Goldberg to scold McCain in response.

“Girl, please stop talking!” Goldberg said, causing McCain’s jaw to drop in shock. “Please stop talking now.”

A frustrated McCain simply told Goldberg that it was “no problem,” and added that she “won’t talk the rest of the show.” To the audience’s surprise, the Nobody’s Fool actress bluntly said: “I’m OK with that. I’m OK with that, if you are going to behave like this.”

Fans of The View are quite familiar with the cohosts ability to butt heads when debating over current events. Last month, Goldberg shut down speculation that the onscreen tension between the show’s stars translates into feuds behind-the-scenes.

“Here’s the thing, I don’t often have much to say,” the Sister Act star said during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers. “I’ve been there for almost 10 years. Everyone has what they need to do, and folks, when it’s women they say, ‘You know, they’re fighting.’ You know, if we were fighting, you’d actually know it. We’re like old broads. We’re like, ‘Pow!’ We’re not like, ‘Stop it, you’re so mean to me.’ We don’t do that.”






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‘SNL’ shows how people are talking about impeachment at holiday dinner


Aidy Bryant dressed as a magical snowman opened NBC’s variety show on Saturday saying that it’s almost Christmas and “folks in America seem more divided than ever.”

“But if we listen in to some dinner conversations tonight, I bet we’d find out we have more in common than we realize,” Bryant’s snowman said. “And now we can listen because I hacked into three Nest home cams.”

The first holiday dinner “SNL” took audiences to was in San Francisco.

“I’m so happy everyone flew here for the holidays, and I’m even more happy that they did it, they’re impeaching Trump,” Cecily Strong’s character said at the dinner table.

The next dinner was in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Well, they did it. They’re impeaching Trump,” Beck Bennett’s character said. “I’m sorry, it’s a disgrace. What crime did he even commit?!”

The final dinner “SNL” looked in on was in Atlanta.

“Dad, c’mon, you’re going to rile everyone up,” Chris Redd’s character said.

“Well, I’m just asking, do y’all think ‘Bad Boys III’ is going to be good or what?” Kenan Thompson’s character said to his family.

Redd’s character said he’d rather talk about politics instead.

“Oh, you mean how Trump is definitely getting impeached and then definitely getting re-elected? I’m good,” Thompson’s character responded.

The sketch then bounced around each of the three dinners in the cities showing the differences between each.

“I just don’t understand who on Earth could vote for Trump after this,” the family in San Francisco said.

Then the family in Charleston could be seen saying “how could anyone not for Trump after this?”

The sketch then cut to the Thompson’s character in Atlanta asking his family, “who do you think is going to get voted off ‘The Mask Singer’ next week?”

“SNL’s” cold open then ended with Bryant’s snowman.

“Now, those three families may seem different, but you see they have one important thing in common: they live in states where their votes don’t matter,” she said. “None of them live in the three states that will decide our election.”

Aidy Bryant as the Snowman and Kate McKinnon as Greta Thunberg

Climate crisis activist Greta Thunberg, who was played by Kate McKinnon, then appeared on screen to warn people about climate change.

“I also have a Christmas message,” McKinnon’s Thunberg said. “In 10 years, this snowman won’t exist! Her home will be a puddle. Santa, reindeer, the North Pole, all of it, gone! The ice caps will melt and elves will drown.”

McKinnon’s Thunberg then wished the audience a “merry maybe our last Christmas to all.”

Bryant’s snowman and McKinnon’s Thunberg then said the show’s signature opening, “Live from New York… It’s Saturday night!”



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