Day: April 28, 2020

Background Briefing: April 28, 2020


How Trump Ignored Intelligence Briefings When the Virus Could Have Been Stopped

We begin with revelations in today’s Washington Post of the more than a dozen times in January and February Trump was warned in classified briefings about the threat of the coronavirus which he ignored, spending most of February downplaying the threat and only in mid-March as the stock market tanked with cases surging in New York, did he ban travel from Europe. Greg Miller a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning national security reporter with The Washington Post and author of The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy joins us to discuss his latest article at The Washington Post “President’s intelligence briefing book repeatedly cited virus threat“. We discuss the growing alarm and frustration of top intelligence officials and briefers who saw the looming threat and understood the urgent need to deal with it before it was too late, being unable to reach the world’s most powerful leader who does not trust experts or science and acts on is own self-serving and self-aggrandizing set of facts. So instead of trusting his own experts, Trump chose to believe his friend China’s Xi Jinping who was covering up China’s culpability at the time and the possibility that the virus was accidentally let loose because of lax containment at a Level 4 virology lab in Wuhan which was working on viruses in bats.


Blue States Subsidize Red States Like McConnell’s Kentucky

Then we examine the war of words between New York Governor Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader McConnell over which states are the makers and which are the takers. With Blue States being hit hard by the pandemic because of urban density, instead of offering help, McConnell told them to declare bankruptcy and we will speak with Mike Lofgren who spent the last 16 of his 28 years working in Congress as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget Committees. He joins us to discuss how Blues States subsidize Red States like Kentucky which takes out of the U.S. treasury $138 billion more than it puts in, prompting Cuomo to inform McConnell, “Your state is getting bailed out — not my state”.

The Fed’s $500 billion to Big Corporations While 26 Million Americans Run Out of Money and Food

Then finally we speak with Graham Steele, the Director of the Corporations and Society Initiative at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business who was a member of the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Minority Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking. He joins us to discuss the $500 billion the Fed will be spending to buy corporate bonds without requiring big companies to preserve jobs or limit buybacks, dividends or executive pay. This at a time when 26 million unemployed Americans are running out of money and food.