“The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus,” the AP reports.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention submitted the plan this week as a way of trying to control the virus, but White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed.”
Politico: “For six weeks behind the scenes, and now increasingly in public, Trump has undermined his administration’s own efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak — resisting attempts to plan for worst-case scenarios, overturning a public-health plan upon request from political allies and repeating only the warnings that he chose to hear.”
“Members of Congress have grilled top officials like Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield over the government’s biggest mistake: failing to secure enough testing to head off a coronavirus outbreak in the United States. But many current and former Trump administration officials say the true management failure was Trump’s.”
New York Times: “Meadows’ arrival almost surely signals more changes to follow, as most of Mr. Mulvaney’s deputies and others on his team are expected to leave, too, possibly including Emma Doyle, his top lieutenant, and Joe Grogan, the domestic policy adviser.”
After Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who is in his mid-40s, told CNN that older Americans and those with underlying medical issues should “think very carefully” before taking long flights or going into big crowds, he was reminded that all three men currently running for president—Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—fall into that at least one if not both of those categories, the Daily Beast reports.
Asked host Jake Tapper: “Should those three stop traveling? Should they stop holding rallies?”
Without answering that question directly, Adams said that he has been reminding President Trump to wash his hands frequently, adding “But speaking of being at risk, the president, he sleeps less than I do and he’s healthier than what I am.”
CNN: “The people who spoke to CNN Business said that they believed the Washington Examiner’s editor in chief, Hugo Gurdon, handed down the order because he was afraid such stories would lead to the network blacklisting Examiner staffers. Prior to January 1, the Examiner had published some stories critical of Fox News. But since then, the stories have been almost uniformly positive for the network, including several articles touting Fox News’ ratings success.”
Politico: “Joe Biden surged to the top of the presidential primary, temporarily calming widespread fear about running with Sen. Bernie Sanders at the top of their ticket. Candidates handpicked by the national party advanced in Senate primaries in North Carolina and Texas. And their long, uphill quest to get Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to run for Senate is looking increasingly likely to pay off ahead of Monday’s filing deadline.”
“It’s still a significant challenge for Democrats to recapture the chamber, and they have to run the table in a series of competitive races, many in red-leaning states President Donald Trump won in 2016. But with Montana potentially expanding the target list, party officials are growing more upbeat about their chances.”
Wall Street Journal: “Saudi Arabian authorities detained two of the kingdom’s most prominent figures for an alleged coup attempt, further consolidating the power of the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and clearing away once-formidable rivals to the throne.”
“The detentions occurred early Friday morning when guards from the royal court wearing masks and dressed in black arrived at the homes of the two men, took them into custody and searched their homes, according to people familiar with the matter.
“Putin, sadly, has got all of our political class, every single one of us, including the media, exactly where he wants us. He’s got us feeling vulnerable…on edge, and he’s got us questioning the legitimacy of our own systems.” — Former White House Russia adviser Fiona Hill, quoted by CNN.
“In his new book, Front Row at the Trump Show, Jonathan Karl, the chief White House correspondent for ABC News, reports the surprising fact that one of those calls on Trump derangement came from inside the White House,” Maureen Dowd reports.
“Karl recounts that when Mick Mulvaney became acting chief of staff, he took senior White House staffers to Camp David for a weekend retreat. He recommended they read a 2011 book, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, by Nassir Ghaemi, director of the mood disorders program at Tufts Medical Center.”
As Karl writes: “The new acting chief of staff seemed to be saying President Trump was mentally ill — and that this was a good thing. The corollary to that theory: Don’t try to control the man in the Oval Office. What you think is madness is actually genius.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson will endorse Bernie Sanders for President at a Michigan rally, ABC News reports.
“Sanders supported Jackson’s 1988 presidential bid and helped Jackson score a primary win in Vermont. Now, as concerns mount about Sanders ability to garner the support of black voters, Jackson is returning the favor.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders told NBC News that if Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar didn’t drop out, he would have won Maine, Minnesota and Massachusetts on Super Tuesday.
Said Sanders: “The establishment put a great deal of pressure on Pete Buttigieg, on Amy Klobuchar who ran really aggressive campaigns. Well, I know both of them. They work really, really hard. But suddenly right before Super Tuesday they announced their withdrawal.”
He added: “If they had not withdrawn from the race before Super Tuesday, which is kind of a surprise to a lot of people, I suspect we would have won in Minnesota, we would have won in Maine, we would have won in Massachusetts. The turnout may have been a little bit different.”
Again, Bernie, if you can only win in a fractured field with 30% of the vote, then you don’t deserve to be the nominee because you are showing no interest in expanding your base to include the entire party, rather than the far left fringe. Compromise. Coalition. Allies. You don’t seem to know what these words mean.
Joe Biden told ABC News that he doesn’t believe President Obama’s lack of endorsement hurt his campaign, adding: “I don’t think it is time. He and I talked about this from the very beginning. I have to earn this on my own.”
The real reason is that Obama has to remain neutral until the end of the primary in order to be a peace maker.