Beltway Insider: Trump’s Challenges, COVID-19, Jobs/Economy, GOP Convention, GA Murder, Bridgegate, Deaths

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President Trump, facing a pandemic, staggering unemployment, and a tough reelection battle, has moved ahead presenting a modified data driven business as usual approach, while simultaneously encouraging the reopening of state-wide economies passing those choices onto governors.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website, which tracked polls of likely or registered voters for the period ending April 11, 2020, remained constant at 43.4% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by 1.0 percentage point to 51.4%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

Trump's Tough Challenges

As the nation grapples with the expected second wave of the Coronavirus deaths, and prolonged estimates currently predict another three months, at minimum of daily deaths, President Trump, whose re-election campaign has become subverted by the COVID-19 fall out, is faced with few choices that bolster confidence in his ability to lead and is essentially squeezed on every side.

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The Pandemic, staggering unemployment, and the real possibility that the Republican National Convention, scheduled to be held at the Spectrum Center, in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August may be cancelled.

"This President is the "jobs President."  This President got us to a place where we had the lowest [un]employment rate in the history of this country, historic lows for black Americans, Hispanic Americans, the disabled veterans. As the President has noted, we had to put a stop to the economy.   This wasn't an economic catastrophe that organically happened.  It was decided upon by the President of the United States to stop the United States economy because we had to save 2.2 million lives — perhaps more, somewhere in that range — because American lives, that's what mattered most," said White House Press Secretary Kayleigh Mcenany.

The Pandemic Numbers

There are two factors that play into every pandemic decision from this point forward, the election and the economy. Every decision, no matter how it is presented, will when the veil is pulled back, have these two intertwined issues at the core.

The worldwide confirmed cases have increased by nearly 100,000 over the past week to 4.09million ith a global death toll of 282,000, an increase of 6,388. In the United States confirmed cases have increased by 25,562 over the past week to 1.36million and 79,341 deaths an increase of 1,556.

The restrictive precautions have proven effective in fighting the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 Surge

As states begin to reopen, the questions which are the minds of much of the population, center on the facts of the virus, which many believe they already know.

Did the virus lose it potency? Is it just as contagious as it was three months ago? How does it migrate as we have seen a clear migratory pattern? As there is not a preventative vaccine, only one that assists after infection and accelerates recovery time, what additional measures, outside of those presented, should citizens be taking? Is the shift in messaging now focused on self-preservation?

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Links to SARS

At this point the population understands the terms Coronavirus, COVID-19. A less common term novel coronavirus has been used to introduce the virus and largely left unused in the frequent medical briefs. Additionally, most references do not present any correlation to the SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the coronavirus plague of 2003.

Data collected and studied from the 2003 SARS coronavirus, while not conclusive or replicated in its exactness may be helpful to the science community as the virus is studied, and more so, provide real time assistance for communities across America who are planning to reopen and looking for guidance that just isn't available medically or scientifically yet.

Temperature fluctuation as a possible indicator of the shelf-life of the Coronavirus or COVID-19, the pandemic the world is enduring, and has been discussed although no conclusive evidence has stated temperature ranges prove the virus has a breaking point.

As both COVID-19 and SARS (2003) both deal with acute respiratory syndromes commonality may be the closest evidence available to determine the possibility of a temperature life range of the virus.

"In this study, we showed that high temperature at high relative humidity has a synergistic effect on inactivation of SARS CoV viability while lower temperatures and low humidity support prolonged survival of virus on contaminated surfaces. We and others have reported that infectivity of SARS CoV (SARS coronavirus) was lost after heating at 56°C for 15 minutes but that it was stable for at least 2 days following drying on plastic," K.H. Chan reported in The Effects of Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Viability of the SARS Coronavirus.

Unemployment/Job Numbers

The Bureau of Labor Statistic announced the grim news on the nation's economy this week. Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality.

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It is doubtful that anyone would want the staggering unemployment rate. The most realistic approach, announced or not, is to reach a point of understanding reopening will not produce an immediate re-surging which will in an equal amount of time reduce the unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels.

The road to recovery, may not take the years it took the 2009 recession, and it will not be as short as many are hoping.

Forty straight months, during the 2009 recession, unemployment remained cemented at 8%, which would be a dramatic improvement, and that was a drop from the double-digit numbers that many large metropolitan areas were experiencing. It was not until October 2012, that the economy began to move again.

North Carolina GOP Convention Concerns 

Looking back to the 2016 GOP convention held in Cleveland more than 18,000 people showed up to protest, 15,000 members of the media were in attendance, 16,000 hotel rooms, and thousands of law enforcement including all branches, FBI, Secret Service, state and local were needed to maintain order. Not to mention the boost to the hospitality and restaurant industry.

Even as it is not deemed reasonable and could potentially cause widespread exposure across many states, the expectation is that the GOP National Convention will be held as it will provide on the immediate the expected increase in visitors and revenue to North Carolina with 20,000 hotel rooms, of the cities 23,184 availability, expected to be booked.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, (D), will have the final say and announced recently "COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place. This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating."

COVID-19 Hot Spots

Nursing homes continue to be a hot spot in the spread of the coronavirus with spikes seen in deaths across the nation. New York state, which remains the epicenter has seen an increase in nursing homes cases on Hempstead Long Island, which prompted local elected officials to demand a federal investigation into the lack of transparency.

The Village of Hempstead has the most nursing homes on Long Island. Hempstead has the largest amount of nursing homes and coronavirus outbreaks in Nassau County. They will also be the problems with not being able to have proper burials due to the number of deaths at local funeral. 

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Native People Severely Undercounted in COVID-19 Cases

Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) today released best practices for methods to collect, analyze, and present public health data on American Indian and Alaska Native populations. The recommendations come amid growing acknowledgment that Native peoples with COVID-19 are being severely undercounted.

"We have already missed the opportunity to get an accurate count of COVID-19 cases in our Native communities during this current wave of the pandemic," said Abigail Echo-Hawk, Director of UIHI. "We . . .hope that we can get a fuller picture of this virus, and other health data, moving forward."

Georgia Murder

A father and son, Gregory, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, have been arrested in the February point blank murder of an unarmed black man, out for a Sunday afternoon jog, whom they shot from the back of a pick-up truck.

A video of the murder had circulated over the past several weeks, and Georgia residents, has initiated protests before the pandemic closed the government offices.

High profile interest, from many including Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden, forced media outlets to cover the story.

The video is graphic as Ahmud Arbery, 25, is visibly jogging, wearing a white shirt, in a traditional jogging position, along the road when he comes upon the pair, one on foot and the other in the bed of the pick-up. Arbury attempts to run around them, the father armed with a rifle, attempts to stop Arbury.

The two jostles over the weapon with Arbury attempting to keep the barrel pointing up. The pair were armed, the father was driving, and the driver side door was open before Arbury came upon them. They had stopped for an unknown reason. Arbury came upon them, attempting to jog around them. struggled with the father, who had stopped the vehicle as was looking for something and was executed by the son from the bed of the truck.

"The prosecutor, George E. Barnhill of Georgia's Waycross Judicial Circuit, noted that the McMichaels were carrying their weapons legally under Georgia law. He also cited the state's citizen's arrest statute, and the statute on self-defense. Mr. Barnhill argued that Mr. Arbery, who appeared to be unarmed, had initiated the fight with Travis McMichael, and was thus "allowed to use deadly force to protect himself,"' reported The New York Times.

Bridgegate Convictions Overturned

The US Supreme Court tossed the convictions of two former staffers under former New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, over failure to meet the legal requirement for a conviction under the Federal property fraud law.

The two Bill Baroni, who held the position of Executive Director of the Port Authority, which is the governing body over the vast transportation system between New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Kelly, former Christie Deputy Chief of Staff, conspired to "payback" the Fort Lee, New Jersey mayor for failing to endorse Governor Christie in his reelection bid by shutting down traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

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The pair were charged and convicted with under federal property laws in a case which came to be known as Bridgegate. The convictions were challenged and argued in the Supreme Court who tossed the convictions for failing to meet the legal requirement.

"The brief Supreme Court opinion was a complete rejection of the prosecution's theory of the case. No doubt the two officials acted wrongly, it said, and the jury heard evidence of "deception, corruption, abuse of power. But federal fraud statutes do not criminalize all such conduct." It is a crime only if the object of their dishonesty was to obtain government money or property," NBCnews reported.

The pair sought no monetary gain.


Across the world the death toll has continued to increase touching the known and unknown, families who grieve in silence and those whose deaths touches nations. The names of those lost to the coronavirus continue to increase, unknown children in the newest manifestation, first responders, members of the medical community, the neighbor, friend, spouse, parent, sibling. The names of the losses may not ever be known.

The entertainment industry lost three trail blazers this week: Magician Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, at one time the most successful stage shows in Las Vegas history died of complications to the Coronavirus.

Little Richard, the self-proclaimed "architect of rock 'n' roll" forever altered popular music, with his prowess on the piano, and his bravery to face white American while introducing black R&B to a new generation. He was 87.

Rap mogul Andre Harrell, founder of Uptown Records and mentor to Sean "P. Diddy" Coombs died this weekend. No cause of death was reported. He was 57. He also signed Mary J. Blige, as a teenager, making her the only female and youngest talent he signed.


For more information on President Donald Trump

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