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  • In the coronavirus pandemic, carbon emissions have fallen, but climate change remains an existential threat news

    In a world desperate for good news about the coronavirus, a dip in global carbon emissions caused by the outbreak’s economic downturn might be seen as a silver lining. But climate scientists and policy experts aren’t encouraged.   

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:00:02 -0400
  • A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread news

    "I was aggravated," Peter Levine said of his son's decision to party on South Padre Island instead of heeding warnings about the virus.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 12:22:27 -0400
  • Trump berated a black journalist, telling her to 'be nice' and not 'threatening' at a coronavirus briefing, but she refused to take the bait news

    "I was quoting you directly from your interview with Sean Hannity," PBS' Yamiche Alcindor told Trump when he accused her of being "threatening."

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 21:50:39 -0400
  • Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life' as virus deaths rise news

    President Hassan Rouhani warned Sunday that "the new way of life" in Iran was likely to be prolonged, as its declared death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 2,640. The Islamic republic is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, which first originated in China. Iran announced its first infection cases on February 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 07:20:00 -0400
  • Australia government says growth rate of coronavirus infection slows news

    Australia's health minister said on Sunday there were "early, positive signs" of a slowdown in the growth rate in new coronavirus infections in the country, with the growth rate approximately halving over the past week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the slower growth in new inflections showed social distancing measures were working. "This time last week the rate of increase on cases was up around 25% to 30% a day," Morrison told a press conference.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 20:59:34 -0400
  • Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirus news

    Andrea Napoli didn’t fit the usual profile of a coronavirus patient. At 33, he was in perfect health, with no history of respiratory disease. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 15:49:04 -0400
  • Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prison news

    The death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19-related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 11:08:00 -0400
  • Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps? news

    A Facebook post warned users to be careful at the gas station because coronavirus is spreading "quickly" via pumps. This claim is partly false.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:54:02 -0400
  • Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal news

    (Bloomberg) -- The Kremlin’s sudden shift of ownership of multi-billion-dollar oil projects in Venezuela shields oil giant Rosneft PJSC from further U.S. sanctions but keeps Moscow firmly behind embattled President Nicolas Maduro amid a wider stand-off with Washington.“Russia is not walking away from Maduro and will seek to thwart U.S. efforts to depose him,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former diplomat and foreign policy analyst in Moscow. “Moscow is just shielding Rosneft from sanctions which could result in a blanket embargo on all Rosneft exports.”Fears of broader sanctions have grown after the U.S. in recent months slapped restrictions on Rosneft trading companies for handling business with Venezuela. More recently, the U.S. has hinted that it might step up pressure on the Russian oil sector to reduce production. That followed Moscow’s decision early this month not to deepen output cuts agreed with OPEC led Saudi Arabia to boost output, flooding the market and pushing prices to the lowest levels in decades.The administration of President Donald Trump has already reached out to Saudi leaders to reconsider their strategy, which has battered producers in the U.S. with low prices.Read: Putin and MBS Draw Trump Into Grudge Match for Oil SupremacyRosneft late Saturday announced it’s turning over its Venezuelan projects to an unnamed state-owned company in what it called an effort to protect its shareholders’ interests. Rosneft, which produces 40% of Russian oil and 5% of world output and has substantial exposure in the western financial system, can’t afford the risk of broad U.S. sanctions that could cripple its operations. Earlier this month, a Chinese company said it wouldn’t buy crude from Rosneft because of the risks caused by the sanctions on the trading companies.“As recently as February, the Venezuelan business was profitable, which offset the sanctions risk,” said Ivan Timofeyev, an analyst at the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “Now the desire to avoid sanctions coincided with the need to avoid losses” after oil prices plunged, he added.The Russian giant has already cut its exposure under multi-billion-dollar prepayment deals reached several years ago. Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA owes Rosneft only $800 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to the last available data, down from $4.6 billion at the end of 2017.Sanctions ProtectionThe latest Russian maneuver mirrored its strategy in 2018 when it used Promsvzyabank to set up a new banking vehicle to serve the defense industry after state-owned weapons producers came under U.S. sanctions, thereby shielding the country’s two largest banks, government-controlled Sberbank and VTB. Unlike those big lenders, which have significant exposure to western financial institutions and thus are at risk from sweeping U.S. sanctions, the new special entity operated largely out of Washington’s reach.While Rosneft may even push to have the recently imposed sanctions on the trading units lifted, risks remain.“Rosneft is trying to stay out of the firing-line but nothing stops the Americans from finding another pretext to sanction it,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group in Moscow that advises the Kremlin.“Russia understands that Maduro is in an awful situation, especially with oil prices at rock bottom,” he said. “But Putin’s psychology is that you should stick with partners in difficulty.”Maduro said on state TV on Saturday evening that ”President Putin sent me a message through his ambassador reaffirming their strategic and integral support to Venezuela in all areas.”Rosneft StakeFrolov said, “Moscow thinks that Maduro is actually winning the fight with the opposition and is likely to split it to the point where he would be able to win parliamentary elections this year.” Russia has backed Maduro even as the U.S. and its allies back opposition leader Juan Guaido.For Rosneft, the deal also could give management, led by Igor Sechin, its influential chief executive, greater control, since the company is receiving 9.6% of its own shares in the transaction. That may mean the government’s share in Rosneft falls below a controlling stake, according to Andrey Polischuk, Moscow-based analyst for Raiffeisenbank.Neither the company nor the government would comment on whether the deal will bring state ownership below 50%.“Sechin gets Rosneft shares and Putin gets the chance to trade with Trump,” said Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 23:00:00 -0400
  • An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado. news

    He went viral for distancing from his wife and 1-year-old son. Days later, his house was destroyed by a tornado that hit Jonesboro, Arkansas.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:06:44 -0400
  • Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off news

    Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic. Thousands of migrant workers in India, left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country, are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:31:09 -0400
  • Trump's salute to Vietnam veterans meets with thanks – and scorn news

    On national holiday he declared, president who avoided draft salutes those who servedDonald Trump marked National Vietnam War Veterans Day on Sunday, with a tweet praising those who served in a conflict that involved US combat operations in Indochina from 1965 to 1973 .“You have earned our gratitude and thanks,” he wrote, “by your actions years ago and what you have done since returning home. The nation thanks you and your families for your service and sacrifice. We love you!”On Twitter on Sunday, Trump’s message to veterans met with a mix of thanks and severe scorn, given his track record regarding the Vietnam war.Trump instituted the official holiday in 2017. Now 73, he was of age to be drafted for a war in which fighting reached a ferocious peak in the late 1960s and 58,000 Americans were killed. He did not serve in any capacity.Trump received five deferments from service, four academic and one on dubious medical grounds.In 2015, as he ran for president, Trump said he could not remember which of his heels had been temporarily affected by bone spurs, calcium build-ups which might render a recruit unfit for active service. His campaign said it was both.Trump told the New York Times the spurs were “not a big problem, but it was enough of a problem”.“They were spurs,” he said. “You know, it was difficult from the long-term walking standpoint.”During the 2016 campaign, Trump was also revealed to have referred to avoiding sexually transmitted diseases as his own “Vietnam”.Neither revelation derailed Trump’s White House run – and neither did his public derision of John McCain, a senator and Republican presidential candidate widely revered for his service as a navy pilot and his endurance of five and a half years in brutal conditions in captivity in Vietnam.McCain died in 2018. Though he generally held the moral high ground when attacked by Trump, he did pass telling comment when speaking to C-Span 3’s American History TV in the year before his death.“One aspect of the conflict … that I will never, ever countenance,” McCain said, “is that we drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say they had a bone spur.“That is wrong. That is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.”

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 16:12:27 -0400
  • The Justice Department is reportedly investigating actions by US lawmakers who dumped stocks before the market plunged over coronavirus fears news

    The FBI has reportedly reached out to Republican Sen. Richard Burr as part of the investigation, which is in its early stages.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:38:58 -0400
  • Coronavirus deaths fall again in Italy but lockdown extension looms news

    The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy fell for the second consecutive day on Sunday but the country still looked almost certain to see an extension of stringent containment measures. The Civil Protection department said 756 people had died in the last day, bringing the total to 10,779 - more than a third of all deaths from the virus worldwide. "The measures that were due to expire on April 3 inevitably will be extended," Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia told Sky TG24 television.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 14:11:30 -0400
  • Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions news

    People still sit at outdoor cafes in the center of Sweden's capital. Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Standing at bars has been banned in Sweden, but restaurant customers can still be served at tables instead of having to take food to go.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 04:13:11 -0400
  • A Washington ER Doctor Was Allegedly Terminated After Publicly Criticizing His Hospital for Not Protecting Its Staff news

    He had repeatedly requested more medical supplies and more protective measures for health care workers

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 15:10:45 -0400
  • Trump says he is now considering quarantine for N.Y., N.J., Conn. news

    President Trump on Saturday said he is considering the idea of a quarantine in the New York tri-state area.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:23:39 -0400
  • Stay In the Lines With These Neat Science Coloring Pages

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    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:00:00 -0400
  • Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequences news

    Critics said Mexico's president was downplaying the coronavirus threat. But he has now shifted his tone.

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 00:09:35 -0400
  • North Korea says tested 'super-large' rocket launchers news

    Nuclear-armed North Korea successfully tested "super-large multiple rocket launchers", state media said on Monday, but leader Kim Jong Un was not described as commanding the drill as analysts say Pyongyang seeks to normalise its launches. With the world focused on the coronavirus pandemic and North Korea insisting it has not had a single COVID-19 case, the isolated state has carried out four such firings this month. Unusually, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) did not say in its report that Kim had directed Sunday's test.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:09:17 -0400
  • A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlines news

    The harrowing image shows the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients being stored in a refrigerated truck outside the ambulance bay.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:18:29 -0400
  • Fauci says that lifting lockdowns is 'a matter of weeks' and depends on the availability of 15-minute coronavirus testing news

    "If we need to push the date forward, we will push the date forward," Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN Sunday.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 12:12:11 -0400
  • Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sources news

    CARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:28:48 -0400
  • Hundreds at Louisiana church flout COVID-19 gatherings ban news

    Hundreds of worshippers attended services at a Louisiana church on Sunday, flouting a ban on large gatherings, angering neighbors and seemingly turning a deaf ear to their governor, who once again warned that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with new cases of the coronavirus. Assistant ministers and worshippers who stood outside the front doors and in the parking lot of Life Tabernacle told news reporters to leave, saying cameras would not be allowed on the property and they had been told not to talk to the news media. Across the street, Paul Quinn and other neighbors took pains to stay 6 feet (2 meters) apart from each other as they stood in a driveway and commented on their opposition to the services being held.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 13:51:45 -0400
  • Tornado tears through Arkansas city, prompting curfew and National Guard response news

    “I know there is property damage,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Just praying all is safe.”

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 21:14:00 -0400
  • France steps up coronavirus evacuations from packed hospitals news

    France on Sunday staged its largest evacuation of coronavirus patients to date from hospitals in the hard-hit east, increasing efforts to free up intensive care units as officials warned of an influx of serious cases in the coming days. Two specially equipped high-speed trains carried 36 patients from Mulhouse and Nancy toward hospitals along France's western coast, where the outbreak has been limited so far. Dozens of hospital workers, flanked by police and soldiers standing guard, spent hours installing four patients in each wagon in an operation that began before dawn.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 15:17:25 -0400
  • Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdown news

    Narendra Modi apologises for sweeping restrictions that have left many jobless and hungry.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 10:00:09 -0400
  • China sends medical aid to Pakistan to combat virus outbreak news

    China sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and supplies Saturday to help Pakistan fight the spread of the coronavirus in one of the world's most populous nations. In Iran, which is battling the worst outbreak in the region, state TV said Saturday another 139 people had died from the virus. China has sought to portray itself as a global leader in the fight against the outbreak, which began a few months ago in its Wuhan province.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 05:51:46 -0400
  • 'This cannot be our final bill': Pelosi looks ahead while Republicans want to see effects of $2 trillion coronavirus package news

    Pelosi has a list of items she says need to be addressed in a future coronavirus package. The GOP first wants to see how the current plan works out.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 08:47:02 -0400
  • Washington state bans non-immediate family members from attending funerals due to social-distancing recommendations news

    Gov. Jay Inslee announced the measures as part of his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" initiative. Washington had the first US case and death from COVID-19.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 19:19:00 -0400
  • Trump boosts virus aid, tells governors to be 'appreciative' news

    After days of pleas from governors across the country, President Trump took steps to expand the federal government’s role in helping produce critically needed supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic and warned the leaders of hard-hit states not to cross him.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:40:01 -0400
  • New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks news

    "The non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home," Cuomo said a day after the president decided against a mandatory quarantine.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 13:50:32 -0400
  • Migrants in Central American limbo as coranavirus relocation plans falter

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    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 21:27:51 -0400
  • 'Italy is closed': A reporter's account inside Rome, where coronavirus brought the city to a halt news

    NBC News' Bill O'Reilly reveals how rapidly the pandemic has changed life in Italy's capital.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 04:37:00 -0400
  • Venezuelan ex-general surrenders to US on drug trafficking charges news

    A retired Venezuelan general who was charged by the United States with "narco-terrorism" along with President Nicolas Maduro and other officials has surrendered in Colombia to US authorities, prosecutors said Saturday. "The national Attorney General learned that Mr Cliver Alcala surrendered to US authorities," the Colombian prosecutor said in a statement, adding there was no arrest warrant when he gave himself up. Alcala turned himself in on Friday to the Colombians, who in turn handed him over to US authorities, the El Tiempo de Bogota newspaper said.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:12:23 -0400
  • White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirus news

    The United States is preparing for a novel coronavirus epidemic that is national in scope."No state, no metro area will be spared," Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.Birx was clear that no area of the country will evade the effects of the virus, but said the sooner places react and instill mitigation measures, the easier it will be to "move forward."> WATCH: Dr. Deborah Birx says "no metro area will be spared" of the coronavirus outbreak. MTP IfItsSunday> > Dr. Birx: "The sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they have put in full mitigation ... then we'll be able to move forward."> > -- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 29, 2020Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also provided a sense of scale Sunday, but he said he doesn't want to be held to any prediction. Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that he's never seen an outbreak match the worst-case scenario of its models, and he believes that remains unlikely for the coronavirus, as well. Nevertheless, he thinks it's possible the U.S. could be looking at somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. > Dr. Anthony Fauci says there could potentially be between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths related to the coronavirus and millions of cases. "I just don't think that we really need to make a projection when it's such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong," he adds. CNNSOTU> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020More stories from Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Nearly a dozen Liberty University students report COVID-19 symptoms after returning to campus Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 13:29:00 -0400
  • Plane catches fire at Manila airport, killing all 8 aboard news

    A plane carrying eight people, including an American and a Canadian, burst into flames Sunday while attempting to take off from Manila’s airport on a flight bound for Japan, killing all those on board, officials said. The Westwind 24 plane, which was carrying six Filipino crew members and the American and Canadian passengers, was bound for Tokyo on a medical mission when it caught fire near the end of the main runway, Manila airport general manager Ed Monreal said. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the aircraft apparently encountered an unspecified “problem which resulted in a fire” as it rolled to take off, adding its chief investigator was on the way to the scene.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 10:57:54 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Trump extends US guidelines beyond Easter news

    He says social distancing should continue until at least 30 April as the crisis is set to peak soon.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 23:55:09 -0400
  • New York hospitals must allow partners in the delivery room for birth, Department of Health says news

    The new policy disputes controversial rules announced by some of the state's top hospitals banning visitors in response to the coronavirus crisis.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:33:10 -0400
  • Stunning photos show Pope Francis praying to an empty St. Peter's Square amid the coronavirus news

    Images from an empty St. Peter's Square during a prayer on Friday paint a stark portrait of how the coronavirus has affected the Vatican.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:35:42 -0400
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is spending £5.7 million to write to all 66 million people in the UK, urging them to stay at home to fight coronavirus news

    "The more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal," Johnson said in a letter

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 18:00:00 -0400
  • China defends against incoming second wave of coronavirus news

    A growing number of imported coronavirus cases in China risked fanning a second wave of infections when domestic transmissions had "basically been stopped", a senior health official said on Sunday, while eased travel curbs may also add to domestic risks. China, where the disease first emerged in the central city of Wuhan, had an accumulated total of 693 cases entering from overseas, which meant "the possibility of a new round of infections remains relatively big", Mi Feng, spokesman for the National Health Commission (NHC), said. Nearly a quarter of those came from arrivals in Beijing.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 20:22:41 -0400
  • 'This virus is no joke': Kentucky officials don't wait for surge of coronavirus cases to tighten restrictions news

    Determined to slow the wave of cases seen in other states, Louisville’s mayor closed all playgrounds after he worried that some residents weren’t taking social distancing seriously.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:32:00 -0400
  • 'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-right news

    Angela Merkel's long-struggling conservatives have rebounded in the polls thanks to the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and widespread faith in the outgoing German chancellor's ability to manage the upheaval. Shaking off years of record-low popularity, Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is now enjoying approval ratings of around 32 to 35 percent, some six to seven points higher than just a few weeks ago. It's a surprise turn of events for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which as recently as last month was riven by internal turmoil and debate over who would be the party's chancellor candidate when Merkel bows out in 2021.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:10:44 -0400
  • No running water. No electricity. On Navajo Nation, coronavirus creates worry and confusion as cases surge news

    Coronavirus anxiety is running high on Navajo Nation — a sprawling reservation of 175,000 residents, scarce supplies and resources, and only four inpatient hospitals. Cases are soaring, and at least two already have died.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 07:00:34 -0400
  • With virus, cherished Mideast traditions come to abrupt halt news

    Under the sign “Take out only” and a tall bottle of antiseptic by his side, Mazin Hashim, 54, rearranged the coals heating a water pipe outside his famed cafe in Baghdad. No more evenings spent mostly by men in traditional coffee shops across the region. In a region where life is often organized around large families, communal meals and tribal rules, social distancing can be difficult.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 03:10:17 -0400
  • How Trump Learned to Trust Steve Mnuchin With His Presidency news

    Over the last few weeks, the fate of Donald Trump’s presidency, the global economy, and millions of American lives have hinged on the man who executive-produced The Lego Movie.That man, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, might seem like an unusual point person to handle the widespread fallout of a global pandemic. But it’s an unusual moment, and Mnuchin—personally tasked by President Trump to represent him in high-stakes congressional negotiations over coronavirus legislation—has seemingly met it, earning the trust of both parties on Capitol Hill while so far retaining the confidence of his famously mercurial boss.Over the past week, as bipartisan talks in the Senate over a trillion-dollar coronavirus relief bill broke down into angry finger-pointing, it was Mnuchin who seemed almost above the fray, serving as a go-between for the two sides.“Part of power is title, part is knowledge, and part is situation,” said Jack Kingston, the former congressman and current Trump surrogate. “And [Mnuchin] checked all three boxes.”By the time a deal was reached on a $2 trillion bill to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, a rare show of affection between the Trump White House and Capitol Hill Democrats was on display: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) pointedly noted in a Wednesday letter that he had been “working hard on a bipartisan bill with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Trump.” Later, at the White House, Mnuchin effusively praised Democrats’ work on the package and the “enormous bipartisan support” it had. Democrats and administration officials were impressed at the final product. Many congressional Republicans were satisfied; some didn’t love what was in it; but the majority seemed simply relieved that Mnuchin was able to land the proverbial plane at a time when few can. “He has Trump’s ear and he can steer the president,” said a senior House GOP aide. “That’s important and something he has that McConnell or most Senate Republicans can’t claim.”That Trump—infamous for believing in his own brilliance—would entrust the fate of his presidency to Mnuchin is due, in large part, to a sense that Mnuchin’s motivations don’t conflict with his own. In conversations with various confidants and aides over the years, the president has frequently commended Mnuchin as someone who’s been steadfastly “loyal,” the single trait Trump values most in a top official or cabinet secretary. During the 2016 presidential run, the future president would tell people when introducing them to Mnuchin that he makes “the greatest movies in Hollywood” and how much Trump had enjoyed watching with his grandchildren a kids’ movie that Mnuchin had helped finance.“During the 2016 campaign and since he became president, I’ve repeatedly heard President Trump refer to Mnuchin as a ‘smart guy,’ a ‘winner’ who makes the ‘best deals,’ in finance and in Hollywood,” recalled Jason Miller, a former senior Trump adviser. “It is not surprising to me that the president is entrusting the secretary with what could be one of the defining moments of his presidency.” During the course of talks around a coronavirus-related economic package, Trump essentially took a back seat to his treasury secretary, aside from check-in calls with the congressional principals. The sheer size of the package dwarfs any other modern stimulative measure. And it contains provisions that are poised to increase Mnuchin’s own power dramatically. The treasury secretary will have control of a $500 billion pot of loans to companies hit hardest by the coronavirus—which he can award to the companies of his choosing.By Friday, that power had grown only greater after Trump signed an executive order allowing him to override a requirement that the inspector overseeing implementation of the new corporate fund report to Congress if he or she is not given information by the administration. Perhaps, it dawned on some Democrats, Mnuchin wasn’t to be trusted after all. “If I were Secretary Mnuchin I would start thinking about another line of work because he has just blown whatever credibility he built up with congressional Democrats,” said Jim Manley, the former top spokesman for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “This little bit of treachery is going to have lasting consequences.”* * *Mnuchin’s path to becoming a trusted broker for a government in crisis was not obvious, and it was bumpy at times. The secretary’s earlier engagements with congressional Democrats have been acrimonious, especially during the last time Mnuchin was a major player on the Hill: pushing for Trump’s 2017 tax cut bill.While the tax-cut effort was highly partisan and few expected it to earn Democratic votes—nor were they needed in order to become law—Hill Democrats recall radio silence from Mnuchin during that time, aside from a perfunctory call or two. “In some ways, it’s all relative with Mnuchin because we obviously, vividly remember how the ’17 tax bill went down,” said one Democratic aide. Whatever lingering bitterness there was seemed to disappear as talks over the first emergency bill to counter the coronavirus began last month. Democrats appeared to warm to Mnuchin as a rare commodity in the Trump administration: a high-level figure who actually seems to speak for Trump, is far less ideological than his peers, and instead shares his boss’ instinct to cut deals. And it’s not lost on some of them that the former investment banker and Hollywood mogul has, at the very least, some Democratic sympathies—he cut a check for Kamala Harris’ first Senate campaign in California in 2016.“Obviously, he’s a wealthy guy, he doesn’t wanna pay taxes,” said a Democratic aide of Mnuchin, “but I don’t think he’s ideological in the same way [former chief of staff] Mick Mulvaney is. You can deal with him in a way you can’t deal with other members of the administration.”To some Republicans, that perception became a source of anxiety during the marathon negotiations over coronavirus relief. The previous coronavirus bill, which passed last week and largely focused on shoring up the nation’s health care system, was negotiated primarily between Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). When those talks produced a bill many Senate Republicans panned, McConnell urged them to vote for it anyway and shift their focus to the third coronavirus bill.Yet again, though, the main interlopers on that bill ended up being a Democrat and Mnuchin. When talks between McConnell and Schumer broke down over the weekend, the secretary continued talks with the Democratic leader.Some Republicans watched anxiously as Mnuchin and Schumer huddled for several lengthy negotiating sessions on Capitol Hill, worried that him staying at the table as long as he did gave Democrats even more leverage. On Tuesday night, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took to the Senate floor to publicly beg Trump to yank Mnuchin and to tell Democrats to take what they’d worked on or leave it.Other Republicans fretted about what Mnuchin—whom people in both parties describe as a dealmaker, not someone concerned with the weeds of policy—might concede to Democrats in the name of getting something done. “I think the longer that Mnuchin stayed at the table, the less likely it was that McConnell would have been able to undercut him,” said a Republican source.But at that point, said some, Mnuchin of all people was best situated to bring the bill home. “If Chuck and Nancy are going to be difficult, we need someone who can handle that,” said a Senate Republican aide. “It clearly got to a point where it was more beneficial for Mnuchin to be the one doing that and maybe to be the slightly disinterested third person, compared to having McConnell and Schumer in a room.”—with additional reporting from Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam SteinRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 05:04:33 -0400
  • A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted sooner news

    Wei Guixian, a 57-year-old seafood vendor in Wuhan, China, was among the first 27 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:45:43 -0400
  • Fauci says coronavirus deaths could top 100,000 in U.S. news

    Dr. Anthony Fauci says the United States could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of viral infections from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 10:59:01 -0400
  • Rats swarm New Orleans' streets as coronavirus precautions leave them empty news

    With restaurants closed save for take-out service, far less food waste is being discarded in the city's alleyways, driving the local rodent population out into the open to search for scraps.

    Sun, 29 Mar 2020 13:34:44 -0400
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