Background Briefing: May 7, 2020


Trump Rejects CDC Guidelines to Open Up the Country

We begin with a White House military aide who was President Trump’s valet testing positive for Covid -19 much to Trump’s annoyance, but although the president is a germaphobe who gets furious when anyone in the White House coughs or sneezes, he won’t let the staff wear face masks or practice social distancing. Andrew Noymer, Professor of Population Health and Disease Prevention at the University of California, Irvine whose research interests include mathematical models for disease transmission, health and mortality, joins us to discuss the growing numbers of infections and the rejection by the White House of the CDC’s guidelines for opening up the country.  And as Trump opens up the country exposing millions more to the virus, we examine the shocking statistics emerging at the moment with 25,000 new cases per day and 9/11 death counts expected in June of over 3,000 deaths per day. Furthermore the official death counts we get every day are likely to be undercounted by 25% or more as many die at home from Covid-19 in what is listed as pneumonia or other causes.


 Will Trump’s New Postmaster General Stop Mail-in Balloting?

Then we look into Trump appointment of one of his big campaign donors as the new Postmaster General now that a Democrat has resigned from the board of governors leaving it dominated by Republicans. Richard John, an historian at Columbia University who specializes in the history of business, technology and communications  who is the author of Spreading the News:The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse, joins us to discuss his article at The Washington Post, “The Founders never intended the U.S. Postal Service to be managed like a business: The mail delivery agency is supposed to serve the public good- not worry about profit.”  We assess whether having a crony as Postmaster General, Trump will be able to prevent mail-in ballots in November.

When Things Get Rocky, Trump Walks Away and He’s Doing it Now to the Country

Then finally we speak with John Stoehr, a contributing writer at The Washington Monthly and the editor and publisher or The Editorial Board where he has an article “Contempt for Trump’s Cowardice: A president without courage is a president without trust”. We discuss how Trump has always abandoned failed business ventures and marriages when things turned difficult and he is now doing it to the country. In an act of cowardice, he is walking away from responsibility for the mess we are in.