Trump goes golfing for 1st time since coronavirus was declared national emergency

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday went on his first golf outing since the White House declared a national emergency over the coronavirus in March, visiting his club in the Washington suburbs in a purposeful display of normalcy.

On a sunny spring day, Trump’s motorcade took him from the White House to Trump National Golf Club, and he was spotted wearing a white cap and white polo shirt.

It was his first time at a golf property since March 8, when he visited his club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

That was the same weekend when he met at his Mar-a-Lago retreat with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whose press secretary later tested positive for the virus.

On March 13, Trump issued a proclamation declaring the pandemic a “national emergency.”

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The U.S. diagnosed its first cases of the coronavirus in Washington state on Jan. 20.

Trump is eager to promote the idea that the United States is returning to normal, although the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak continues to rise and is expected to surpass 100,000 in the coming days.

Trump’s coronavirus task force coordinator, Deborah Birx, told a White House briefing on Friday that Americans over this Memorial Day weekend should “be outside, play golf, play tennis with marked balls, go to the beach — but stay six feet apart!”

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Coronavirus crisis: Donald Trump’s ‘game changer’ drug fails second test

The new study, which is being published in the New England Journal of Medicine had certain limitations. However, doctors reported that the use of hydroxycholoquine neither lessened the need for patients requiring breathing assistance nor the risk of death.

“We didn’t see any association between getting this medicine and the chance of dying or being intubated,” lead researcher Dr. Neil Schluger told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“The patients who got the drug didn’t seem to do any better.”

Among patients given hydroxychloroquine, 32.3% ended up needing a ventilator or dying.

This is compared with 14.9 percent of patients who were not given the drug.

Doctors were more likely to give hydroxychloroquine to sicker patients according to reports.

Therefore, researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center adjusted the rates to account for that.

The hospital concluded that the drug may not have hurt patients, but it clearly did not help.

Hydroxychloroquine is a drug which is more commonly used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

JUST IN: Lockdown could be lifted for those who have recovered from COVID-19

Last month, doctors at the US Department of Veterans Affairs reported that hydroxychloroquine did not help COVID-19 patients and might pose a higher risk of death.

That analysis of medical records showed a death rate of 28 percent when the drug was given in addition to standard treatments.

This is compared to 11 percent with standard care alone.

In the latest study, 811 patients got hydroxychloroquine and 565 did not.

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Because they were not randomly assigned to receive hydroxychloroquine or a placebo, “the study should not be taken to rule out either benefit or harm” for the drug, researchers said.

Randomized trials, the gold standard for tests of new therapies, should continue, they added.

But for now, “the guidance in our hospital has changed so we don’t recommend giving hydroxychloroquine to hospitalized patients,” said Dr. Schluger, chief of the division of pulmonary, allergy and critical care medicine at Irving.

Smaller studies, have suggested the drug could be useful in treating COVID-19 patients.

One hydroxychloroquine trial done in China, had suggested the drugs might be useful, “but these were tiny studies and not of good quality.

“People seized on them because patients were dying,” Dr. Schluger said.

Tensions between the US and China have been building after President Trump last week claimed the coronavirus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan.

This is something which Beijing has denied.

Over the weekend tensions between China and Washington came to an all high after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made similar claims.

The US official claimed there is “a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, China’s ambassador to the UK has previously attacked the British MPs and US President Donald Trump for criticising Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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On Politics: Does Biden Need to Turn the Flash On?


By Giovanni Russonello

Good morning and welcome to On Politics, a daily political analysis of the 2020 elections based on reporting by New York Times journalists.

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Where things stand

In a call with President Trump yesterday, governors raised concerns about the limited availability of coronavirus test kits. But he wasn’t particularly receptive. When Steve Bullock, the governor of Montana and a Democratic candidate for the Senate, told Trump that his state was on the verge of running out of tests, Trump replied that he had not “heard about testing being a problem.” The New York Times and other news outlets have repeatedly confirmed that many worried Americans who have symptoms of the virus are struggling to get tested. Trump has recently taken to highlighting the fact that the United States has tested more people than any other country — though it does not have nearly the highest testing rate per capita.

There’s something of a Democratic beauty contest playing out between Joe Biden and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, in spite of the apparent wishes of the guys involved. And Trump would love to keep it going. In an interview with Fox News, he seemed to be goading Cuomo into an improbable last-minute challenge to Biden for the presidential nomination. “If he’s going to run, that’s fine, I’ve known Andrew for a long time,” Trump said. “I think he’d be a better candidate than Sleepy Joe.” With the presidential race overshadowed by coronavirus coverage, the idea that Cuomo might take on Biden has become the closest that many people’s minds get these days to thinking about the nomination fight.

Indeed, in his daily remarks to reporters on Monday, Cuomo seemed to turn his attention from New York to the country at large. “You see this virus move across the state, you see the virus move across this nation,” he said. “There is no American who is immune to this virus. I don’t care if you live in Kansas, I don’t care if you live in Texas.” Biden’s few recent television appearances, meanwhile, have earned mixed reviews. He has often cut himself off or offered confusing statements, as Fox News has zealously reported.

In addition to endangering health professionals, the coronavirus and its effects are falling especially hard on the poorest Americans, particularly those in cities. In neighborhoods where many health care and service industry workers live, the obligatory use of public transportation puts a disproportionate number at risk: A Times analysis found that while public transit use has fallen drastically in hard-hit New York City, it has tended to remain at higher levels in some of the least wealthy areas, with heavy concentrations of nonwhite residents.

Photo of the day

President Trump inspected a coronavirus testing kit during Monday’s briefing at the White House.

Biden trails Trump badly in fund-raising. And now is a tough time to catch up.

Lots of us have plenty of time to be on the phone these days. Biden — who’s holed up in Delaware — is no exception. And, as Shane Goldmacher reports in a just-published article, Biden “is working the phones with top donors while cloistered” at home.

He’s seeking to make up ground after a grueling primary season in which he failed to match the fund-raising levels of most major rivals. And Trump, who’s waiting for him in the general election, has vastly more cash on hand than Biden.

We spoke to Shane about the difficulties of asking people for contributions during a pandemic, and how Biden’s fund-raising team is trying to meet the moment.

Take us back to early to mid-March: Where was the Biden campaign, just before the coronavirus ground everything to a halt? Unless I’m mistaken, Biden had a lot of momentum but he did not exactly have the most impressive fund-raising operation of 2020. Did he think he was on the cusp of a financial breakthrough before the virus hit?

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Opinion | Stop the Attacks on Anthony Fauci, and Listen to Him

Readers urge the country — and President Trump — to heed the infectious-disease expert.

To the Editor:

Re “Chief Scientist Draws Venom From the Right” (front page, March 29):

Please, President Trump, use the power of your office to silence the demeaning of Dr. Anthony Fauci by your conservative supporters. It is costing American lives! He and other medical professionals are giving us the facts — not sugarcoating them.

We need people to believe our scientists and listen to their recommendations so that we can slow down the spread of this very contagious virus. It is not a hoax, it is not a plot against you. You need to tell everyone that, loudly and clearly and now! That would be leadership.

Nancy P. Nemlich
White Plains, N.Y.

To the Editor:

One of the greatest impediments to our understanding of what is happening in the United States regarding the coronavirus is that Dr. Deborah Birx and even Dr. Anthony Fauci must always have to couch what they say in terms that are flattering to our intensely insecure president. If only they could “talk straight,” we would be far better informed and in a position to protect ourselves more effectively.

Ellen S. Hirsch
New York

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