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Old 03-11-2020, 09:08 PM   #281
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I believe the key phrase is "Everything is about the election now".

Politico.com

By ANITA KUMAR

03/11/2020 04:12 PM EDT

Updated: 03/11/2020 06:46 PM EDT


President Donald Trump is reluctant to declare an expansive emergency to combat the escalating coronavirus outbreak, fearful of stoking panic with such a dramatic step, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Instead, the president is expected to sign within days what the White House calls a more limited designation to allow the federal government to cover small business loans, paychecks for hourly workers and delay tax bills, giving him a way to begin boosting the economy without waiting for Congress to sign off on an economic stimulus package.

Any emergency declaration would go significantly beyond that move, bringing in the Federal Emergency Management Agency and freeing up funding and resources for states struggling to contain the rapidly spreading virus.

Trump’s concern at this point is that going further could hamper his narrative that the coronavirus is similar to the seasonal flu and could further agitate Wall Street, said the three people familiar with the discussions.

“The president isn’t persuaded because [an emergency declaration] contradicts his message that this is the flu,” said a Republican who speaks to Trump.

Health experts have rigorously disputed any assertion that the coronavirus is equivalent to the seasonal flu, noting it is much more lethal and particularly dangerous to the elderly and those with other health conditions.


Trump is walking a fine line as coronavirus cases in the U.S. sail past 1,000. As the president ramps up for a 2020 reelection campaign, he is trying to simultaneously signal calm to the American public, comfort businesses whose customers have disappeared amid self-isolation directives and ensure there‘s enough money to combat the still-new disease.

At the White House, some of Trump’s closest aides have debated whether an emergency declaration is needed to ensure those resources are available. But they have yet to make a recommendation to Trump, according to two the people familiar with the situation.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is pushing for the designation. But Vice President Mike Pence, who Trump tapped to lead the administration’s coronavirus response, is wary it could trigger an economic tailspin, they added.


There’s no deadline for a decision, but one of the people familiar with the talks said Trump's aides will not give the president a final verdict until Jared Kushner, the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, talks to relevant parties and presents his findings to the president.


The administration is “not comfortable with the optics of national emergency” because of how it might impact Wall Street, tourism and air travel, a former Department of Homeland Security official said.

“That’s a big deal to Wall Street, a big deal worldwide,” the former official said. “It would instill fear in the general public.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump has spent weeks trying to reassure the public about the outbreak, while the stock market shows daily declines not seen since the 2008 recession.

“We’re prepared and we’re doing a great job with it,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

To try to offset these losses — and a broader economic recession — Trump on Monday said he would propose a stimulus package that could amount to hundreds of billions of dollars. He is negotiating with Congress as House Democrats press ahead with their own bill.

Trump is especially sensitive to variations in the stock market, seeing it as a key talking point in his reelection campaign.

“Everything is about the election now,” said a former Trump adviser. “The economy is strong underneath but the market is the superficial barometer people watch. And if it’s all over the place, people lose confidence.”

Across the U.S., the coronavirus has now killed more than 30 people and health officials have warned that the situation will worsen.

HHS has taken the lead on the coronavirus response, making an agency-specific emergency declaration to unlock resources. The department declared a public health emergency in late January, allowing federal officials to tap money and other resources.

But that measure was limited in scope compared to a presidential declaration, which could either be nation-wide or just for states that have seen the biggest coronavirus outbreaks.


Such a declaration, made under the Stafford Act, would allow federal officials to help with numerous virus-related issues — transportation, shelters, mobile hospitals, public safety. It would also allow money to be used from FEMA's disaster relief fund, which has a balance of more than $40 billion.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday sent a letter to Trump urging him to declare a state of emergency.

“We strongly urge FEMA to stand ready to provide emergency protective measures to prevent and mitigate the spread of disease, save lives, and protect public health and safety, should any state request assistance," they wrote.

Craig Fugate, a FEMA administrator under President Barack Obama, said the Trump administration should be preparing to make the designation if the situation worsens, and eschew any optics concerns.

“You want to make sure you all have all the tools in your toolkit,” he said. “They shouldn’t be wringing their hands and worrying about what people think. I think the American public prefers to get bad information upfront ... [rather] than this tendency to downplay and worry about the economy.”


While the White House usually waits until governors ask for an emergency declaration and explain what help is needed, the president can act on his own.

“I believe the most logistical next step is if states are overwhelmed and their needs aren’t currently being met by HHS, the governors should request an emergency declaration from the president,” said Daniel Kaniewski, who served as FEMA's deputy administrator until January. “It has to be on the mind of many governors.”

The Stafford Act allows for two declarations: an emergency, which is more narrow, and a major disaster, which is more expansive. Both designations put FEMA in charge of coordinating the response, according to five former DHS officials from the George W. Bush, Obama and Trump administrations. The agency has been preparing for such a possibility, they said.

The measure the president is expected to sign in the coming days seems intended to bypass FEMA while still accessing the funds in the agency's $40 billion disaster relief fund, the former FEMA officials said.

The Stafford Act, Fugate said, is "not designed to do that," adding, "Essentially what they are doing is transferring funds instead of going to Congress for a supplemental [spending bill].”

Another former FEMA official agreed. “It’s a tortured attempt to get programs authorized,” the ex-official said. “He’s trying to raid disaster relief fund.”

Trump has authorized some initial emergency coronavirus funding, signing a congressionally approved $8.3 billion package last week. But that money will inevitably run out.

Brock Long, a former FEMA administrator under Trump and executive chairman of Hagerty Consulting, said it’s too early to declare an emergency. Such a move, he said, could confuse Americans.


To this point, leaders from HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been the ever-present faces on television, telling Americans how to act. But an emergency would bring FEMA — and its parent agency, DHS — into the fold, potentially complicating communication efforts.

But that all changes, Long said, if Americans start to face a shortage of food or water, or can’t travel or communicate with each other.

Declarations under the Stafford Act have occasionally been issued for “virus threat” disasters, including West Nile virus.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said any emergency declaration would only be made after “very serious discussions among the task force.”

Last week, in response to a question by a reporter, Trump said he didn’t see an immediate need to declare an emergency.

"I don't think you'll need that, because I really think we're in extremely good shape," he said. "We're prepared for anything. And we can always do that at a later date if we need it."
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:15 PM   #282
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American Treasure Tom Hanks has Coronavirus.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:22 PM   #283
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American Treasure Tom Hanks has Coronavirus.
His wife has it too. Tom has diabetes, he lost quite a bit of weight so hopefully it's under good control. I hardly know enough about how that would be a factor with this virus, I just know that it's bad for diabetics.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:35 PM   #284
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His wife has it too. Tom has diabetes, he lost quite a bit of weight so hopefully it's under good control. I hardly know enough about how that would be a factor with this virus, I just know that it's bad for diabetics.
There is a degree of immune system impairment with diabetes, also when your ill your blood sugar can be a bit more erratic, when your very ill even more so, it can become a bit of a vicious cycle.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:37 PM   #285
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Oh man.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:40 PM   #286
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Welp... anyone have any Netflix suggestions for the foreseeable future?
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:41 PM   #287
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Welp... anyone have any Netflix suggestions for the foreseeable future?
Iran gave every person 100GB of free internet to keep them entertained...
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:42 PM   #288
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https://twitter.com/TheHoopCentral/s...215021569?s=19

He has now tested positive
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:46 PM   #289
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definitely glad now that i didn't buy a ticket for the raptors-pistons game on saturday from that random dude on reddit this afternoon.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:49 PM   #290
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There is a degree of immune system impairment with diabetes, also when your ill your blood sugar can be a bit more erratic, when your very ill even more so, it can become a bit of a vicious cycle.
Thanks, i know that because diabetes is in my family. I was just wondering if Tom could have mitigated effects as a diabetic from this virus because his weight is so good and I assume his diabetes management too. He's a type 2.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:55 PM   #291
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The owner of a Greek and English football team tested positive for Corona then half the Arsenal team have had to go into isolation as they were hanging out with him.

And now one of Juventus' players has tested positive... That's probably the last football we will be seeing for a good long while.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:10 PM   #292
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https://twitter.com/LegionHoops/stat...122027008?s=09

Seeing the team doctor spring onto the court to find the refs is not something I've ever witnessed before.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:14 PM   #293
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Forget the 18,000+ fans I'm attendance, most of whom would not be close enough to Gobert to be infected.

There are literally hundreds of team staffers who would have had close contact with him over the past few days.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:20 PM   #294
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https://twitter.com/statmuse/status/...461530112?s=19
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:25 PM   #295
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I’m very curious how important second and third degrees are in contact tracing. I suppose that all depends upon the still uncertain transitivity of the virus whilst a patient is asymptomatic.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:40 PM   #296
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Fred Hoiberg in the Big 10 tournament tonight

https://twitter.com/RobinWashut/stat...205423617?s=19
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:52 PM   #297
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Fred Hoiberg in the Big 10 tournament tonight

https://twitter.com/RobinWashut/stat...205423617?s=19
He is now in the hospital
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:55 PM   #298
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but i already took next thursday off to watch day one of march madness
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:00 PM   #299
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Word
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:05 PM   #300
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I've officially been told to stay away from the office until further notice. Sooooo vacation day!

Ugh this is a mess
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