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DNC on Unemployment Claims

In response to today’s announcement of 2.4 million new unemployment claims, DNC Deputy War Room Director Daniel Wessel released the following statement:

“It didn’t have to be this bad. Trump’s failure to act early on severely exacerbated this crisis and significantly worsened its impact on the economy. Nearly 39 million Americans have filed for unemployment and yet Trump and Republicans have checked out of this crisis, seeing no urgency in acting to provide additional relief. This is a complete and utter failure of leadership that puts Americans’ lives and livelihoods on the line.”

FAILED TO ACT: Trump’s intelligence officials warned about the threat of coronavirus in November and briefed him at the beginning of January. Trump had ample lead time before coronavirus reached the United States, but he failed to prepare or assemble a coherent response.

ABC News: “As far back as late November, U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China’s Wuhan region, changing the patterns of life and business and posing a threat to the population, according to four sources briefed on the secret reporting.”

CNN: “That day came on January 3, the first day the President's daily briefing included information the US intelligence community had gathered about the contagion in China and the potential it had to spread, including to the US, according to a person briefed on the matter.”

Washington Post Fact Checker: “The president spent nearly two months issuing confusing and contradictory signals — leaving the bureaucratic machine of the U.S. government to chart the course for the coronavirus response ...  The missteps that went unmanaged were ignored by leaders at the highest level of government and allowed cases to go undetected, contributing to the spike in the virus’s spread.”

FAILED TO TEST: Trump ignored warnings and failed to ramp up testing. Trump says “we have prevailed” on testing and “if somebody wants to be tested right now, they’ll be tested,” yet the U.S. still lags behind other countries in per capita testing, experts say testing is a mess, and more than half of U.S. counties don’t have a single testing site.

NPR: “Despite warnings about supply shortages by health experts and governors at least as early as February, the federal government took until late April to ramp up domestic production of swabs — a universal ingredient in the most common type of COVID-19 test.” 

Associated Press: “The U.S. has tested far fewer people than all other countries combined. It also lags dozens of countries in testing its population proportionally… The total number of tests performed country to country is a poor measure of success because populations obviously differ hugely. On a more telling measure — the proportion of a country’s population that gets tested — the U.S. was not only late getting started but is still way behind.”

CNN: Coronavirus testing in the United States is disorganized and needs coordination at the national level, infectious disease experts said in a new report released Wednesday. Right now, testing is not accurate enough to use alone to make most decisions, including who should go back to work or to school, the team at the University of Minnesota said. ‘It's a mess out there,’ Mike Osterholm, head of the university's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), which issued the report, told CNN.”

Axios: “More than half of U.S. counties don’t have a single coronavirus testing site, according to a recent report by Castlight, a health software company. Why it matters: That leaves a wide swath of the country — particularly rural areas — vulnerable to undetected coronavirus outbreaks, especially as lockdown measures ease. Asking people to travel long distances to get a coronavirus test is both unrealistic and potentially dangerous.”

FAILED TO SECURE SUPPLIES: Trump ignored early warnings that hospitals lacked sufficient supplies. His failed response contributed to shortages across the country, and now instead of addressing these shortages he is pretending they don’t exist.

Politico: “Seven days before Donald Trump took office … The Trump team was told it could face specific challenges, such as shortages of ventilators, anti-viral drugs and other medical essentials, and that having a coordinated, unified national response was ‘paramount’ — warnings that seem eerily prescient given the ongoing coronavirus crisis.”

Washington Post: “Mask shortage for most health-care workers extended into May, Post-Ipsos poll shows”

The Guardian: “Survey finds 87% of America’s nurses forced to reuse protective equipment”

DOWNPLAYS CRISIS: Instead of doing more to fight the virus, Trump continues to downplay the virus and is declaring victory as infection rates continue to rise in dozens of states and new hotspots emerge.

Axios: “Several Southern states are seeing a rise in new coronavirus cases, moving them further away from an important target for safely reopening parts of their economies.”

NBC News: “Trump's claim that cases are falling everywhere is contradicted by his own task force's report, obtained by NBC News, showing the virus spreading far from the coasts.”

NBC News Fact Check: “President Donald Trump falsely claimed Monday that the coronavirus is abating in the U.S., despite data showing that the virus is on the rise in some states and a lack of testing leaves experts unsure about infection rates elsewhere.”

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