Good Friday morning.
Here’s what is on the president’s agenda today:
- The president participates in an Easter Blessing with Bishop Harry Jackson
- 1:00PM Members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing
WHO, China coming under fire on multiple fronts
It’s about time. The U.S. gave $400M to the World Health Organization in 2019. By comparison, China gave $44M. It looks like our contributions might be changing soon:
U.S. agencies and departments that channel money to the World Health Organization have been asked not to send more such funds this fiscal year without first obtaining higher-level approval, two people familiar with the issue said.
Funding approval might come from the National Security Council or the White House.
“There will be many lessons to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic, including where and how the WHO system fell short in fulfilling its mission so that we can avoid future crises. We believe a full assessment of WHO’s performance would be appropriate after we have addressed the current pandemic,” a State Department spokesperson said.
The Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are also looking at the WHO and sent a letter to the organization asking it to detail its relationship with China.
In the letter, the lawmakers wrote: “Throughout the crisis, the WHO has shied away from placing any blame on the Chinese government, which is in essence the Communist Party of China. You, as leader of the WHO, even went so far as to praise the Chinese government’s “transparency” during the crisis, when, in fact, the regime has consistently lied to the world by underreporting their actual infection and death statistics.”
“On January 14, 2020, the WHO tweeted that “[p]reliminary investigations conducted by Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.”
The Department of Justice is also getting into the China mix, recommending “the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoke and terminate China Telecom Corp.’s authorizations to provide international telecommunication services to and from the U.S.”
“Today, more than ever, the life of the nation and its people runs on our telecommunications networks,” said John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security.
“The security of our government and professional communications, as well as of our most private data, depends on our use of trusted partners from nations that share our values and our aspirations for humanity,” Demers said in a statement.
The DoJ has reviewed previous authorizations for China Telecom’s “determined the company had failed to comply with the terms of an existing agreement with the department. China Telecom is a subsidiary of the People’s Republic of China state-owned telecommunications company.”
Good. Let’s go.
Senate Democrats block small business relief
On Thursday, the Senate Democrats “failed to approve an emergency funding infusion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a federal plan designed to extend loans to keep those ailing businesses afloat and workers getting paid.”
Democrats blocked a request from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to unanimously approve a $250 billion PPP replenishment to the original $350 billion fund, demanding more aid for hospitals and other needs be included.
“Just a few days after the program opened for business, $100 billion in loans have already been committed. That is 30 percent of the total funding, spoken for in just the first few days,” said McConnell, calling the Democrats’ blockade “political maneuvering.”
“This does not have to be, nor should it be, contentious. We don’t have to divide along the usual lines so soon after we came together for the country,” added McConnell. “To my Democratic colleagues, please, do not block emergency aid you do not even oppose just because you want something more.
Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen said McConnell’s move was a “a political stunt.”
“Yes, we need more money,” Van Hollen said, “But for goodness sakes, let’s take the opportunity to make this program work better for the very businesses it is designed to help.”
The Democrats and big government Republicans should not be allowed to bloat this bill with pet projects and snacks for their constituencies.
I want to call your attention to this: “Real Clear Civics”
RealClearFoundation, a nonprofit organization in partnership with RealClearPolitics, announced today the publication of a new website dedicated to renewing civic education in the United States. RealClearPublicAffairs: American Civics presents an authoritative and inspiring account of the civic history of the United States that avoids a blind chauvinism or a warts-only view of our country and its people. Above all, it seeks to explain, as the contemporary Irish poet Bono once said, why America is “one of the greatest ideas in human history—this idea that you and me are created equal.”
We are at a pivotal time in our nation’s history. Our political leaders have asked “We the People” to stay home from work and practice social distancing and good hygiene in the name of the common good. But what are these concepts—“People,” “nation,” and the “common good”? Our leaders explain that America and her people will overcome this public crisis because our country remains the greatest, freest nation of the world. But upon what ground is this American optimism built? Our American Civics page provides these answers. Rather than living by the constant fluctuations of the 24-hour news cycle, take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to understand your country—and your American self—a little better.
“RealClear’s American Civics web portal gives students, teachers, and citizens-in-the-making a clear understanding of our nation’s founding principles and history,” said RealClearPolitics Publisher David DesRosiers. “We draw upon the best resources, research, and scholarly writing in order to educate and inspire a new generation of Americans.”
Housed at RealClearPublicAffairs—and found on the front pages of RealClearHistory and RealClearEducation—our civics portal unleashes RealClear’s curated approach in the service capturing the depth and breadth of important issues of public concern. Our ambition is to see this civics portal develop into the premier place for online learning about the American experiment in self-government.
Visitors will encounter the familiar RealClear format of daily news curation and multimedia resources along with subpages dedicated to exploring key themes such as equality, liberty, and race and slavery. Each subpage features essential readings, primary and secondary resources, podcasts and videos, and lessons plans and curricula for teachers. Additional subpages will be added as the site grows over the course of the year.
Renowned historian Wilfred McClay praised RealClear’s American Civics portal: “If we are to keep our republic, we need to do a better job of forming our people for citizenship. To that end, the RealClear republic of good sense has come along with this impressive new website, designed to be a gathering place for the best resources relating to that subject: history, government, economics, and current events, all in one place.”
RealClearFoundation is grateful for the support of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation (DDSF) in developing this effort. “The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation is delighted to partner with RealClear,” said Diana Spencer, President of DDSF. “This civics website will embrace American pride and patriotism, highlighting our history, our values, and our freedoms.”
Japan’s sudden spike in coronavirus cases after Tokyo Olympics postponement raises eyebrows
Beverly Hills orders residents to wear face covering even for walks through neighborhood
Can you get coronavirus twice?
Minnesota doctor blasts ‘ridiculous’ CDC coronavirus death count guidelines
Jerk. Nevada man charged with stealing 200 masks from VA hospital, prosecutors say
Minnesota doctor blasts ‘ridiculous’ CDC coronavirus death count guidelines
Fauci lowers U.S. coronavirus death forecast to 60,000, says social distancing is working
Liberty University pushes for criminal charges against journalists
US testing of 2nd possible coronavirus vaccine underway
White House will test reporters for coronavirus before briefings
General says coronavirus may affect more Navy ships
As coronavirus slams D.C. region, spy agencies tweak rules for contractors
CDC Still Hasn’t Explained How To Protect Elderly After Social Distancing Ends
Fox’s Hume slams Trump for ‘ridiculous tweet’: ‘Bragging, endlessly repeating himself’
Postmaster General warns that Postal Service will run out of money by end of fiscal year without aid
Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening
PETA Pushes Back Against Wet Market Supporters, Reveals Videos Showing Boiled Dogs
CAUTION: disturbing images China reclassifies dogs as pets instead of livestock
Chinese government reveals draft list of animals which can be farmed for meat
Michigan governor extends state shutdown through April
‘You can’t relax’: Vigilance urged as New York sees signs of coronavirus progress
Insurance companies reduce premiums amid coronavirus outbreak
Of course. James Carville says Republicans ‘will kill people to stay in power, literally’
Jerks. People are luring Instacart shoppers with big tips — and then changing them to zero
Ammon Bundy vows to defy stay-at-home orders for Easter gathering
Controversy in California after governor sends 500 ventilators back to national stockpile
Science Magazine Apologizes for Associating Chinese Virus with China
Biden releases plans to expand Medicare, forgive student debt
Pelosi calls for investigation into reports of mistreatment of pregnant women in DHS custody
Amen. Barr says Trump was right to fire intel watchdog, calls Russia probe ‘one of the greatest travesties’
AG William Barr: China Far Bigger Threat Than Russia, ‘One of Our Highest Priorities’ in Counterintelligence
And that’s all I’ve got, now go put on your hand sanitizer!