Pandemic and Trump/Political News (mid-March through September 2020)
September 30: Reacting to the chaotic violation of agreed-upon rules at the first presidential debate – mostly by Donald Trump – The Commission on Presidential Debates proposes changes for the upcoming three events. The initial debate was marred by continuous interruptions, ignoring of time limits, belligerent personal attacks, and other unprecedented behavior. Numerous critics have branded the encounter between the president and Joe Biden as the worst debate in American history.
September 29: Presidential debate quickly descends into chaos, despite efforts of moderator Chris Wallace to maintain order and follow rules. Afterward, numerous critics blast Trump for refusing to denounce white supremacists, and for insisting that the upcoming election is "rigged" and being "stolen" by Democrats, among many other belligerent and baseless remarks. For weeks, he has been insisting that Democrats can win only by fraudulent acts.
September 27: Tax return data obtained by The New York Times reveals that Trump paid no federal income tax in 10 of the past 15 years, and paid only $750 in 2016 and 2017s. The president quickly brands the report "fake news."
September 26: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court, following death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a week earlie. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had quickly vowed that "Trump's nominee would receive a vote" in the Senate, prompting furious backlash from Democrats.
In 2016, McConnell blocked a Senate vote on President Obama's Court choice, Merrick Garland, on the grounds that a national election was to take place late that year. Now, Trump and the GOP-led Senate are eagerly trying to force such a vote, despite the brief time frame before the November 3 election.
September 24: Responding to a reporter's question, Trump expresses doubt that the November 3 election can be "honest." He also refused to commit to a peaceful transition if he should lose, stating once again that he will "see what happens." Continuing his claim that mail-in ballots lead to fraud, he added that “there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.”
September 22: Two senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have indicated that they oppose a rushed vote to seat a repacement for Justice Ginsburg, but other Republicans - including Mitt Romney - are set to comply with the president's call for a quick confirmation. Trump has vowed to nominate a woman, naming his choice later this week. The Senate has 53 Republicans, and a simple majority is needed for confirmation.
September 22: As total Covid-19 deaths in U.S. reach 200,000, Trump praises his own response to the pandemic, claiming that there might otherwise have been 10 times that many and, in speech to U.N. delebates, blaming China for "unleashing" the virus. Earlier, he'd given himself an "A+" for his response, versus a "D" for public relations related to the subject. The president also repeated a false claim that Covid-19 seldom affects young people.
September 21: Trump asserts that Congressional Democrats may have dictated the note left by Justice Ginsburg to her granddaughter, stating her wish that her replacement not be voted on until after the election. Despite total absence of evidence, the president names three Democrats as possible culprits: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and "Shifty Schiff" Representative Adam Schiff tweeted a response, writing that "this is low. Even for you." (CNN)
September 21: Department of Justice labels three cities – New York, Portland, and Seattle – "anarchy" jurisdictions. (CNN)
September 17: Biden campaign ad appears to show Trump, at a February 28 rally, calling Covid-19 a "hoax." CNN reports that as edited, the ad combines two brief video clips from his speech, 56 seconds apart, blending the words in a misleading manner.
September 16: Attorney General William Barr proposes bringing legal charges against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, for allowing establishment of a "police-free zone" within the city. At a college event, Barr compared a possible virus-triggered national lockdown to "house arrest," calling it the "greatest intrusion on civil liberties" in American history, apart from "slavery." (CNN)
September 14: At a California briefing on the wildfires that have devastated the West Coast, Trump disdained the position of climate scientists. "I don't think science knows, actually," he said.
September 13: Despite barring of gatherings with more than 50 people in Nevada, Trump holds huge indoor rally in Las Vegas.
September 13: Reacting to Biden's statement on Trump's alleged disparaging of fallen U.S. troops, the president warns that "now I can be vicious. I can be really vicious." Attacks on Biden include assertions that he is the "worst candidate in history," and "he doesn't know he's alive."
September 12: The New York Times reports that "political appointees" within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) have frequently asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "to revise, delay and even scuttle" Covid-19 reports that they considered "unflattering to President Trump."
September 10: Among other startling claims at campaign rally, Trump advises that Joe Biden "will destroy your protections for pre-existing conditions," whereas he would preserve them. Critics assert that the truth is precisely opposite: that Trump has consistently attempted to destroy those protections, whereas Biden has supported them. (CNN)
September 9: Based upon 18 taped interviews with the president, new book by Bob Woodward reveals that Trump knew about the imminent danger of Covid-19 in February, but deliberately chose to downplay the peril, saying he didn't want to "create panic." Joe Biden and other critics respond angrily to what they consider Trump's gross misleading of the public.
September 8: Campaigning in North Carolina, Trump advises rally attendees to become poll watchers on November 3, continuing to accuse Democrats of rampant voter fraud. "Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do," he warned. Election experts have long insisted that historically, voter fraud in U.S. is rare. CNN alleged that in his attacks on Joe Biden, Trump made "at least 10 false or misleading claims" on such topics as gun control, Covid-19 response, and border issues.
September 8: U.S. Department of Justice seeks to defend the president against defamation lawsuit initiated by one woman who claim he'd assaulted her in the 1990s. If so, taxpayers would be paying his legal costs. Trump denies ever having met the woman.
September 7: During impromptu briefing at White House, on Labor Day, Trump tells a reporter to remove his face mask; he declines. Instead of delving into labor issues, the president devotes much of the briefing to attacks on Joe Biden (calling him "a stupid person") and Kamala Harris, for questioning safety and efficacy of a vaccine that might be produced too hurriedly. He also suggests that top military officers promote wars to boost profits on defense-contractor companies. One CNN reporter notes Trump's "foul mood" during the briefing.
September 4: Trump asserts that coronavirus is "rounding the corner." Dr. Fauci and other top medical experts disagree.
September 3-4: In The Atlantic magazine, editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg reports that in 2018, Trump privately disparaged members of military who were killed or injured in action, calling them "losers" and "suckers." Joe Biden replies with fury, asserting that if the claim is true, his late son Beau was no "sucker." Although the story was based on four anonymous sources, its author has a sterling reputation as a journalist, and several major news outlets have corroborated the claim.
September 3: Trump urges North Carolina voters to cast mail-in ballots, but also go to polling places on Election Day. Facing immediate criticism and warnings from election officials that voting twice is a felony, the president advices that a second ballot could be submitted if an inquiry reveals that the mailed version has not yet been counted.
September 3: CDC officials announce that a Covid-19 vaccine might be available early in November, or even in late October. Critics are dubious about the timing, just before the November 3 election.
September 1: During visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin - site of shooting of Jacob Blake by police officer - Trump builds upon his "law and order" message and appears to defend 17-year-old who shot and killed two protesters.
September 1: Two Black pastors attending roundtable in Kenosha are asked by reporter if police violence is systemic racism. Trump interrupts to answer for them, with his own opinion. The pastors never get to answer. (CNN)
September 1: In Fox News interview, Trump equates police officer's use of excessive force to a golfer who "chokes" while trying to make a short putt. (CNN)
August 30: The New York Times reports that in 2017, U.S. Department of Justice secretly restrained investigation into Trump's ties to Russia.
August 30: Protests for racial justice take place around the U.S. and the world over the weekend. London's event, supporting Black Lives Matter, is called the "million peoplr march."
August 30: After Trump announces intent to visit Kenosha on September 1, some top officials, including Wisconsin's governor, urge him to cancel the trip. Critics fear that rather than instill calm, the president's harsh "law and order" tone will worsen the situation. In one of a storm of tweets, Trump referred to counter-protesters, many of them armed, as "Great Patriots."
August 29:Intelligence agency to halt briefings on election security to Congressional committees, despite warning early in August that Iran, China, and Russia plan to interfere in U.S. election. Trump cites information "leaks" as reason for the change. (CNN)
August 28: General Mark Milley, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, advises Congress that U.S. military will not help setlle any dispute over result of November election. (CNN)
August 27: Trump delivers 70-minute acceptance speech from White House, described by PBS' Amna Nawaz as "riddled with misinformation and misleading statements."
August 26: 17-year-old, arrested for shooting of three protesters (two of whem fatally) in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is under investigation for possible ties to a vigilante group. Earlier, a person claiming to head a militia sent warning to local officials that 3,000 backers were ready to take part in confrontation with protesters, backing the police. Protests have taken place daily, following the shooting of Jacob Blake -- shot seven times in the back by a police officer, according to video of the incident.
August 24 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revises testing guidelnes, stating that Covid-19 tests should not be necessary for person with no symptoms, even if they're been in contact with infected individuals. Critics charge that the revision resulted from pressure by Trump administration officials.
August 20: Heightening his claim of rampant voter fraud, Trump said in a Fox News interview that he intends to have "sheriffs and law enforcement" at polling places in November. Previously, the Trump campaign had announced that "tens of thousands of volunteers" will be assigned to poll-watching duty. Democrats charge that he is attempting voter suppression. (CNN)
August 20: In addition to decrying mail-in voting, Trump has expanded his allegation of a rigged election to include ballots inserted in a non-postal drop box. "So who is going to 'collect' the ballots, he asked, and what might be done to them prior to tabulation?" (CNN)
August 19: Asked by reporter about QAnon, which promotes conspiracy theories that claim progressives belong to a "satanic cult" of "pedophiles and cannibals," Trump says he doesn't know much about them, but "these are people who love their country." Furthermore, "they like me very much [and] I appreciate that."
August 18: Reacting to pressure from Democrats, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announces that heavily-criticized changes at Postal Service will not take place until after the November election.
August 17: CNN reports that voters in North Carolina are receiving absentee-ballot request forms with Trump's face on them, along with political slogans, sent by Republican committee.
August 14: Two top political appointees at Centers for Disease Control (CDC) resign. Both had been criticized by White House for insufficient loyalty. (CNN)
August 13: HuffPost reporter asks Trump if he "regret(s) all the lying you’ve done to the American people?” After asking who the journalist was referred to, the president turned to another reporter with a question. As of July, Trump had made more than 20,000 false or misleading statements, as compiled by The Washington Post.
August 13: Trump opposes supplemental funding for United States Postal Service, which needs it to ensure timely delivery of mail-in ballots. Critics blast the president for attempting to undermine the Postal Service for political gain.
Even though Trump insists (without evidence) that mail-in voting results in rampant fraud, CNN reports that he and his wife already requested mail-in ballots for the November 3 election.
August 11: Shortly after Kamala Harris is announced as vice-presidential candidate, Trump takes to Twitter to launch his first personal attacks on her, including claim that she and Joe Biden are "socialists" eager to move the country far to the left. Critics counter that both are "establishment" Democrats..
August 9: The New York Times reports that the White House has reached out to South Dakota's governor, inquiring about the possibility of adding Trump to the four presidents featured on Mount Rushmore. (CNN)
August 8: Citing lack of progress from Congress, Trump signs four executive orders related to economic stimulus, including a suspension of the "payroll tax." Paid by workers, that tax funds Social Security payments to senior citizens and the disabled.
August 8: Some 250,000 bikers are expected at the annual rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. Masks are not required, and few bikers are likely to take any precautions against Covid-19 infection.
August 8: Trump abruptly halts news conference whtn a reporter estions his claim to have signed the Veterans Choice bill. (CNN)
August 7: CNN 8/7: During impromptu news conference at his New Jersey golf club, Trump accuses Democrats of "cheating" on election, because of their attempted negotiation with Republicans regarding the stimulus extension. CNN's Daniel Dale calls this claim "nonsense."
Trump also says he intends to issue an executive order requiring insurers to cover pre-existing conditions, claiming that "this has never done before." President Obama included such a provision in the Affordable Care Act, which Trump and Republicans have been trying to kill for years, branding it unconstitutional.
August 7: Democratic proposal for $2 trillion compromise on stimulus payments is immediately rejected by Republicans, leading negotiators to "walk away" from a possible deal. Trump is being advised to issue executive orders on the subject. (CNN)
August 6: Trump's advisors "had to be careful what options you gave him," said one of them. As reported by CNN, they feared that if given any military options, the president might order an attack and start a war. They even "warned adversaries" of this concern.
August 6: Interviewed by Geraldo Rivera, Trump insists that he made no mistakes in his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. "I think we've done an unbelievable job," he said. (CNN)
August 6: Joe Biden, comparing Latinx to Blacks, said that unlike most African-Americans, Latinx are very diverse. Despite his history of racially-charged statements, Trump wasted no time hitting back on Biden.
August 5: "This thing's going away," Trump insists about the coronavirus. "It's going away now. Like things do." Furthermore, children are "almost immune from this disease." In real-world studies, kids of color have been found to be far more likely to test positive than white youngsters.
August 5: Trump warns that his opponent, Joe Biden (a devout Catholic), will "take away your guns" and religion, and "hurt God." He's "against God, he's against guns," Trump added.
August 3: Dr. Deborah Brix, the White House coordinator of coronavirus task force, warns that Covid-19 is "extraordinarily widespread." Trump quickly tweets attack on Dr. Birx for the first time, calling her "pathetic" and insisting that "we're doing very well ... we have done as well as any nation."
July 31: "Nobody Likes Me," Trump whines, attributing his loss in popularity to his personality. Meanwhile, Senate leader Mitch McConnell suggests that Republican Congressonal candidates can distance themselves from Trump, if necessary for their own election prospects. (CNN)
July 30: Trump tweets suggestion that November election be postponed, even though he lacks authority to set voting date. Pushback is swift, even from some Republicans in Congress.
July 29: Trump requests that nearly 12,000 troops start to leave Germany, after decades of deployment there. Critics assert that the move, which will cost billions and take years, is motivated by the president's animosity toward Germany, a long-standing ally,rather than national security.
July 29: As Senate and House of Representatives fail to agree on extension of special unemployment benefits, an estimated 26 million Americans (including children) lack sufficient food. (PBS NewsHour)
July 27: Six mayors send letter to White House to remove unwanted, unwelcome federal agents from their cities. Supplied by the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies, the clandestine agents have clashed with protesters. Critics charge they are escalating tensions rather than easing them.
July 27: Republicans issue two-pronged proposal to provide economic stimulus payments to families: (1) issue $1,200 checks to most, but not all, Americans; and (2) continue special benefits for workers collecting unemployment benefits, but reduced from $600 to $200 per week.
July 25: Congress fails to renew $600/week unemployment benefit.
July 25: Federal agents in Portland have become active blocks away from the federal buildings they were charged with protect. "Walls" of moms and of veterans have lined up between protesters and the federal force. (The New York Times)
July 22: Portland's mayor is among those hit with tear gas, while speaking with protesters. A day later, Trump says he could send as many as 50,000 to 75,000 federal agents into American cities. After acknowledgin that they would have to be invited to help by local authorities, he adds that "At some point ... something stronger" will be necessary. (CNN)
July 22: Despite pleas from mayors and governors to keep clandestine federal agents out of their cities, Trump announces intent for "surge" of officials, starting with Chicago. Critics have blasted White House for excessive force employed in Portland, with unbadged, camouflaged employees from various federal agencies grabbing protesters off street and forcing them into vans, while releasing tear gas.
July 20: Trump tweets photo of himself wearing a face mask, and announces intent to revive coronavirus briefings. Despite rises in Covid-19 cases in at least 39 states, he continues to oppose a national requirement for wearing masks.
July 20: Unless Congress acts, supplemental unemployment benefits ($600 weekly) are scheduled to end on August 1.
July 19: Interviewed by Fox News' Chris Wallace, Trump claims U.S. has one of lowest Covid-19 mortality rates. According to Johns Hopkins University, it's the eighth worst, just behind France and Chile. Asked if he would accept November's election result, Trump declined to give a specific answer, stating that "you dont know until you see."
July 18: Trump administration seeks to cut billions of dollars from a relief proposal that includes funding for coronavirus testing and contact tracing. The proposal was drafted by Senate Republicans. (The New York Times)
July 18: CNN reports that Trump, citing Covid-19 concerns, plans to hold phone-based town hall meetings for supporters, substituting for traditional rallies. The area's U.S. attorney is calling for investigation.
July 17: Activists charge that masked, unbadged, camouflage-wearing federal officials have been arresting peaceful protesters in Portland, Oregon.
July 16: New Covid-19 cases in U.S. set record: 77,255 in 24 hours. More than 940 patients die in a single day, breaking another record. Earlier in week, Florida alone saw 15,299 new cases in one day.
July 16: Georgia's governor bars cities in his state from enacting their own laws requiring use of face masks.
July 15: Mary Trump's book, Too Mucn and Never Enough: How my family created the world's dangerous man, sells 950,000 copies on first day of availability.
July 13: As 37 states see increases in number of new Covid-19 cases, Trump steps up attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who many consider the most popular and respected medical expert on the virus. Trump continues to insist that the pandemic is under control and schools must reopen, while Dr. Fauci warns of even more dire outbreaks ahead and the risks of reopening too rapidly.
July 11: For the first time, the president wears a face mask in public, while visiting wounded service mambers at Walter Reed hospital. (CNN)
July 11: Only five states are showing a decline in number of new Covid-19 cases. Arizona has been hit hardest, followed by Florida and Texas. Trump and his allies continue to downplay the pandemic, but infections disease experts warn of dire weeks ahead. Number of new cases in U.S. reached record high twice in preceding week, according to CNN.
July 10-11: Trump commutes sentence of Roger Stone, a personal friend convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the commutation "an act of staggering corruption."
July 9: Supreme Court rules that while Trump is not immune from subpoena in New York, U.S. Congress is barred from obtaining his financial records at present time.
July 8: Trump threatens to cut federal aid for schools that fail to reopen in the fall semester, after calling guidelines from Centers for Disease Control "very tough" and "expensive" to comply with. Despite his displeasure, CDC declines to revise them. (CNN)
July 8: Lt. Col. Andrew Vindman, a principal witness in Trump impeachment hearing, resigns from the military. His lawyer cites "bullying, intimidation, and retaliation" led by the president.
July 6: Fox News host Tucker Carlson launches cruel attack against Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), calling her a "coward" and "fraud" who hates America. One of several women being considered as a vice-presidential candidate, Sen. Duckworth lost both legs during the Iraq War, while serving as a helicopter pilot. CNN notes that her alleged transgression consisted of suggesting a national discussion on removing monuments to the country's 'founding fathers."
July 6: "Tell-all" book by Mary Trump, the president's niece, will be published on July 14, two weeks earlier than planned. Simon & Schuster has released back-cover text, in which Ms. Trump – a clinical psychologist writes that "Donald is much as he was at three years old: incapable of growing, learning, or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderate his responses, or take in & synthesize information." (CNN)
July 6: Supreme Court rules unanimously that Electoral College members who violate pledge to vote for a state's popular-vote victor may be punished.
July 4: Contradicting most medical experts, Trump asserts that 99 percent of Covid-19 cases are "totally harmless." Nearly one-third of states, especially in south and west, have shown increases in number of cases.
July 3: For two days in a row, number of new Covid-19 cases in U.S. sets record. Meanwhile, Trump heads to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota to "celebrate" July 4th with supporters. About 7,500 are expected to attend, with no social distancing arranged and face masks optional. Addressing the crowd, Trump charged that leftist protesters have undertaken a "merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children," intent on a campaign to "end America."
July 1: Responding to a plan to paint the words "Black Lives Matter" in large letters on the pavement ahead of Trump Tower in Manhattan, Trump calls that phrase a "symbol of hate," insisting that the action would be "denigrating this luxury Avenue." (CNN)
June 29-30: Dr. Anthony Faluci, the well-known infectious-disease expert, says he won't be surprised if the number of new cases daily reaches 100,000. As many states see new infections breaking records, Trump insists there are merely "embers that need to be put out," calling his leadership of the pandemic "phenomenal" and referring to himself in a tweet as "THE LONE WARRIOR." He is among few officials of either party who refuse to wear a mask or endorse wearing one. Covid-19 cases are rising in 36 states, and some are cutting back on re-opening steps. (CNN)
June 29: In one weekend, Trump retweets two allegedly racist videos. One shows a Florida senior citizen in a golf-cart parade, shouting "White Power." The second features a couple pointing weapons at what The New York Times describes as "peaceful black protesters." The first ad was deleted after three hours, as a spokesperson claimed Trump was unaware of the man's racially-charged words.
June 29: A Trump campaign ad, running on Facebook and Twitter, quotes three prominent Democrats, whose words appear to condone political violence. Dissecting the videos, CNN reported that each one took brief phrases spoken by the three Democrats, about completely different subjects, stringing them together – backed by video clips of violent behavior – to totally distort the meaning of what actually had been said at an earlier time.
June 26: Vice-president Pence declares that virus response and economy are going well, while total number of Covid-19 cases in a single day reaches record high. Several states that re-opened in recent weeks have now backtracked, imposing at least some of previous lockdown guidelines. (CNN)
June 23: At rally in a Phoenix megachurch, Trump speaks to what Politico called a "packed crowd" of some 3,000 students. Despite a local ordinance requiring face covering, few attendees wore masks. In his talk, the president described Democrats as intolerant, "totalitarian," and "vicious" in stifling dissents, adding that they let anyone vote, "even if they're not citizens."
June 20: Trump rally in Tulsa draws fewer than 6,200 supporters, according to that city's fire department – far short of the 19,000-plus that were anticipated. Protests near the site are peaceful. The Trump campaign had claimed that a million people sought tickets for the event. During his two-hour speech, Trump boasts that he had requested a reduction in Covid-19 testing, reacting to the large numbers of new cases that were being discovered daily. An administration official soon informed CNN that the president was "obviously kidding," but critics, including former vice-president Biden, expressed outrage.
June 19: In morning Tweet, Trump threatens activists planning to protest at his Tulsa rally, promising rougher treatment than they may have faced at previous events. Despite having declared acceptance of "peaceful protesters" not long ago, he now lumped them with "anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes." (CNN)
June 18: Revealing book by former national security adviser John Bolton to be placed on sale June 23. Early comments describe some of its contents as "explosive." Another book, to be published in July, was written by Dr. Mary L. Trump, a niece of the president who has a doctorate in psychology. Titled Too Manu and Not Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, to's said to focus on Donald Trimp's early years.
June 14: Protests continue in cities across the country. Some events are promoted, with evident irony, as marking Donald Trump's 74th birthday. Through the past week, massive "Black Lives Matter" demonstrations have been taking place not only in U.S., but in France, England, Japan, and other nations.
Please Click Here for brief report on Chicago protest.
June 12: Police shooting of black man in Atlanta sparks intense protest, destroying the Wendy's drive-through restaurant where the incident occurred.
June 12: After strong blowback from critics, Trump reschedules rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma for Saturday, June 20. Initially, the event was set for a day earlier; but June 19, dubbed "Juneteenth," celebrates the end of U.S. slavery. In 1921, a white mob killed hundreds of black residents of an affluent neighborhood, known as "Black Wall Street." Trump wants the venue to be packed, stating that social distancing would not look good. Face masks will be available, but not required.
June 11: General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apologizes for joining in Trump's photo-op in front of a Washington D.C. church, after federal officers had used force to clear the path of peaceful protesters. Not only did Gen. Milley walk with the president, he wore a battle uniform.
June 9: Trump tweets baseless allegation that Martin Gugino, a 75-year-old protester who was hospitalized with serious injury after being pushed to the ground by two Buffalo, NY police officers, might be an "antifa" provocateur. The president also suggested that the assault may have been faked. According to friends, Mr. Gugino was a gentle, longtime activist with ties to such peace-seeking non-profit organizations as the Catholic Worker Movement. Except for Mitt Romney, no Republican Senator called out the president for what critics are condemning as a shockingly irresponsible assertion. (The New York Times)
June 8: National Bureau of Economic Research announces that the U.S. has been in recession since February, following the longest economic expansion in the nation's history. (CNN)
June 8: Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), walking with protesters honoring George Floyd, stresses the importance of understanding that "Black Lives Matter."
June 7: Retired general Colin Powell, former secretary of state under George W. Bush, declares that Trump has not been an effective president, as reported by CNN. Powell also charges that the president lies "all the time." He did not support Trump in 2016, and will vote for Democrat Joe Biden in November. Several days earlier, legendary conservative columnist George Will joined the small but growing group of noted Republicans who will not support Trump's re-election.
June 6: The Washington Post says protests over death of George Floyd are not only "broadest in U.S. history," but "are spreading to white, small-town America."
June 6: Nationwide protests for racial justice continue into second weekend, along with a memorial service in George Floyd's North Carolina birthplace. Recent protests have been accompanied by far less looting and violence, but critics continue to decry chaos in Washington D.C. when federal officers used tear gas and flash grenades to drive peaceful protesters away from area where Trump would be walking. Because of massive crowds and lack of social distancing, health experts advise protesters to be tested for Covid-19.
June 5: Retired general John Kelly, Trump's former chief of staff, warns that voters must consider each presidential candidate's character and ethics, making sure that they "represent all of their constituents, not just the base."
June 4: Trump uses Twitter to share letter written by his former lawyer John Dowd, which refers to protesters at the White House as "terrorists." Citing no evidence, Dowd claimed that "the phony protesters ... were not peaceful and are not real." They use "idle hate-filled students to burn and destroy." (CNN)
June 4: In cities across the country, protesters gather to honor George Floyd, 10 days after the 46-year-old was killed by a police officer's knee pushing down on his neck. The Rev. Al Sharpton delivers a eulogy at a memorial service in Minneapolis, asserting that racism has effectively "kept your knee on our neck." Most recent protests for social justice have been peaceful, avoiding the violent actions that marred a number of events in the days – and especially, nights – following Mr. Floyd's death.
June 3: Retired Gen. James Mattis, previously Trump's secretary of defense, issues harsh denunciation of the president's call for using force against protesters, and for proposing use of active-duty military to deal with demonstrations.
June 1: White House security forces attack peaceful protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, and what are dubbed "flash bangs," clearing the area so Trump can walk to a photo-op at a nearby Episcopal Church, where he is pictured holding up a Bible. (CNN)
June 1: During conference call with state governors, Trump declares that many of them are "weak," demanding that they escalate use of force in order to "dominate" protesters. If they don't, he warned, they would look like "jerks." CNN reports that Trump has deemed himself the "law and order president."
May 30: In a tweet, Trump threatens protesters at White House with the prospect of "the most vicious dogs, and ominous weapons, I have ever seen." He also denied knowing that his earlier comments about "looting" and "shooting" had a racist origin. In an early response to protests that began in Minneapolis, following the brutal death of George Floyd, the president referred to protesters as "THUGS" (his capitalization). (CNN)
May 29: As Trump's feud with Twitter continues, the president turns to Facebook and Instagram to deliver threatening message to Minneapolis protesters: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." CNN, whose crew members had been arrested, describes Trump's words praising the Minneapolis police as "glorifying violence."
May 28: Following death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man held to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer, protests break out and turn violent, soon expanding into several additional cities. As the officer's knee pressed on his neck, Mr. Floyd repeatedly cried out, "I can't breathe," and was heard calling for his deceased mother.
May 27: Twitter places "fact-check" label on two of the president's tweets. In response, Trump threatens to "strongly regulate," if not "shut down," social media platforms. (CNN)
May 25: On Memorial Day, for the 266th time in his presidency, Trump plays a round at one of his golf courses - his first such outing since March. During his 2016 campaign, he often attacked former president Obama for playing golf rather than working at the White House.
May 21: Trump tours Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where all visitors are required to wear a face mask. Though he'd brought a dark blue mask along (evidently featuring the presidential seal), he refused to wear it when any cameras were present. According to CNN, company chairman Bill Ford said wearing a mask is "up to him." Dana Nessel, Michigan's Attorney General, called Trump's failure to be masked "incredibly disrespectful" to the state, warning that in the future, he would no longer be welcome.
May 20: Latest predictive model determines that if lockdown had taken place a week (perhaps two weeks) sooner, some 36,000 lives might have been saved. Trump quickly responded, insisting that he was among the first to grasp the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and take action. By action, he referred to his order to bar Chinese persons from entering the U.S.
May 20: All 50 states have partially reopened, or plan to do so by Memorial Day. State rules vary, but such businesses as restaurants and gyms may be permitted to operate, albeit with certain requirements about such protective measures as face-mask usage, social distancing, and limited occupancy in a facility. Critics continue to insist that reopening too soon will permit the number of infections to increase, paving the way for a "second wave" later in 2020.
May 16: Trump fires Stephen Linick, Inspector General for the State Department, claiming that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told him to do so. This was the fourth firing of an IG in recent weeks.
May 15: Trump revives "Obamagate" conspiracy theory, charging that agents for the former president had spied on Trump's campaign and demanding an investigation.
May 14: In past week, another 2.9 million workers apply for unemployment benefits, bringing total to 36 million.
May 14: Nearly every state is at least partially reopening, despite warnings from top medical experts that doing so too soon is likely to produce disastrous escalation of Covid-19 infections. Meanwhile, protesters, some of them armed, are demanding that the country reopen fully so people can go back to work and resume receiving paychecks.
May 12: Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell claims that Barack Obama failed to leave the incominig president a plan for dealing with a pandemic. CNN reports that he actually left a "69-page playbook." Later in week, McConnell admits his mistake.
May 12: Supreme Court hears case that could require the president to release his tax returns. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, cases are dealt with via phone and video, not in the courtroom in Washington.
May 7: Trump announces that the coronavirus task force is expected to disband soon, having been so effective at dealing with Phase 1 of the government's response to the pandemic. In an editorial, The New York Times described this reaction as a declaration of "mission accomplished," calling to mind President George W. Bush's comparable declaration regarding the Iraq War. Early in May, the U.S. Covid-19 death toll topped 70,000. Facing blowback from critics, Trump modified his statement, indicating that the task force would simply be refocused.
May 5: Writing for The New York Times, Charles Blow notes that flow of migrants, worldwide, has been shrinking considerably – including those crossing Mexico to reach the U.S. border.
May 1: Trump moves to remove Christi Grimm, Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. In her capacity as an overseer, according to The New York Times, Grimm had issued a report "revealing the dire state of the nation's pandemic response." Grimm was not the first overseer of the administration to be removed from duty. Additional Inspectors General would soon face a similar fate.
April 20: Trump tweets his intent to issue Executive Orde to "temporarily suspend" all immigration to the U.S., citing the "invisible enemy" as the motivation for this decision.
April 19: Protests erupt around U.S., seeking to "reopen" the country quickly, halting shelter-in-place orders. Some protesters are armed. Critics chastise Trump for fomenting the protests, tweeting two-word exhortations to "Liberate" three states (Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia) from restrictions on daily life, contradicting recommendations from medical experts.
April 14: Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker says he has "given up" on receiving assistance from the federal government to deal with the pandemic. "We have gotten very little help from the federal government," he added. The president has insisted that the states, not the federal government, are responsible for dealing with the Covid-19 virus. (CNN)
April 14: Trump announces that the U.S. will halt funding for the World Health Organization, pending an investigation into the global body's early responses to the Covid-19 crisis.
April 13: In what CNN calls a "grievance-fueled appearance," Trump "lashes out" at media, state governors, and others with a startling level of anger and venom, reacting to critics of his "handling" of the coronavirus crisis. "Trump erupts in Covid-19 briefing," the headline read, claiming that he, as president, has "total authority" to control re-opening of the country. His briefing included playing a video that CNN described as "propaganda-like." Scrutiny of his statements and actions in January-February, into early March has been growing.
"Everything we did was right," Mr. Trump insisted, adding that "the president's authority is total." Legal experts were quick to disagree, based mainly on actual wording in the Constitution.
April 12: The New York Times reports that "Trump was warned early and often" about the development of the coronavirus, before finally taking it seriously. According to the paper, the president "was slow to absorb the scale of the risk and focused on his message and the economy." A related article spelled out specific missteps in the administration's early responses.
CNN quoted Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top medical adviser to the president, admitting that "earlier mitigation efforts in U.S. would have saved lives."
April 9: In third week of shutdown, following Super Tuesday primary vote, another 6.6 million workers file for unemployment compensation, bringing the three-week total to a shocking 16 million.
April 7: During his daily press briefing, Trump revives the debunked claim of massive voter fraud, especially in California. Some recent op-ed pieces have brought out the prospect of Republicans acting to postpone, or cancel, the November election.
April 7: Senator Bernie Sanders suspends his presidential campaign, leaving former vice-president Joe Biden as the presumptive Democrat nominee.
April 6: Amid growing criticism of White House delay in taking Covid-19 virus seriously, Trump announces his hope to halt U.S. funding for the World Health Organization. The Washington Post claims that intelligence agencies formally warned Mr. Trump in early January, but adequate response did not emerge until 70 days had passed. Officials assert that as early as November 2019, the administration was warned about the prospect of a pandemic resulting from the virus emergence in China.
March 29: U.S. House Speaker criticizes Trump's response to the coronavirus crisis. As the president "fiddles," Nancy Pelosi said, "people are dying." (CNN)
March 25: CNN reporter Jake Tapper shows tape of Trump statement from February, asserting that the president gave Americans a "false sense of security" regarding the coronavirus. Critics have alleged that Trump continued to deny the dreadful prospects of the expanding virus through February, not taking it seriously until mid-March.
March 25: More than 200 people die from Covid-19 - the deadliest day yet- New York City has become the epicenter of the crisis, in terms cases and death. (CNN)
March 25: Trump states that he wants to see businesses open and people back at work, "raring to go," by Easter. Churches should be "packed" with people on Easter Sunday, he says, at least in some parts of the country. Nearly all public health experts reportedly warn that a forced return to normalcy, easing back on "social distancing" and other steps to try and keep the virus at bay, would be disastrous.
March 24: Following several days of tense negotiations in Senate, Trump signs bill for "stimulus" plan that will distribute $2 trillion to American workers as well as to business, in attempt to compensate for job losses and massive business downturn. Individuals and families should receive checks by early May (if mailed); or sooner, if direct deposit is used.
March 17: A string of proposals to deal with the virus and its economic repercussions emanates from the White House and government officials. The list includes the possibility of sending a check to every American, to help pay bills during the crisis as layoffs mount. Plans to "bail out" corporations that are suffering huge losses, including airlines and hotels, also emerge as the stock market sinks.
Later, when the program to send $1,200 checks is enacted, Trump insists that his signature be included on each paper check.
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