Trump himself confirmed that his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has been racing round the country fighting legal cases challenging election results, had tested positive Covid-19. “@RudyGiuliani, by far the greatest mayor in the history of NYC, and who has been working tirelessly exposing the most corrupt election (by far!) in the history of the USA, has tested positive for the China Virus. Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!”
Giuliani said in a separate tweet that he is “getting great care and feeling good” and he is “recovering quickly and keeping up with everything.” While the country’s elites are indeed getting good care and morbidity levels are far lower than at the peak of the pandemic, Blacks and Hispanics are now know to test positive for Covid three times more than whites.
Giuliani once made Time cover as “America’s Mayor” in the aftermath of 9/11, but he is seen as a caricature in recent months with bizarre appearances replete with bogus election fraud claims that have become fodder for comedy skits. Parodies include his unhinged 100-minute press conference at which his hair dye began dripping down his cheeks and a state legislature hearing involving dodgy witnesses and loud farts.
The abandon with which Giuliani went around the country, maskless for the most part, arguing Trump’s case, has now raised questions about whether he was himself a Covid “superspreader.” The Arizona state legislature shut down for two weeks out of an “abundance of caution” after meeting with Giuliani during a 11-hour session during which he outlined claims about election fraud that have been discredited for the most part — even by Republican officials, and lately, even by people in the President’s inner circle.
They now include Attorney General Bill Barr, who is said to be on the verge of quitting or being fired after he said last week the Justice Department uncovered no widespread voting fraud during election. “There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that,” Barr told the Associated Press, referring to allegations against Dominion and other voting software used in the 2020 election.
Separately, Trump’s former adviser Kellyanne Conway too acknowledged that Biden has won the election and it was time for America to move on. “The president wants to exhaust all of his legal avenues, as he has made clear many times. His team is doing that, and that is his right,” Conway said in an interview with a news website “If you look at the vote totals in the Electoral College tally, it looks like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will prevail. I assume the electors will certify that and it will be official. We, as a nation, will move forward, because we always do.”
The latest setback for Trump came even as the pandemic continued to infect up to 200,000 people each day in the U.S. The country logged almost a million cases in just five days last week, and is on track to go past the 15 million mark. It took nearly a month for the first million cases after the pandemic was first reported early in 2020. According to CNN medical correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta, Covid 19 has now overtaken cancer and heart disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S., although many deaths are due to co-morbidity factors.
The raging pandemic continues to sow confusion and anger across the country, with one section believing life needs to go on as normally as possible for economic reasons and another believing it is important to hunker down to flatten the curve.
Even cities, which are mostly Democratic strongholds, are taking divergent approaches. While the Mayor of Los Angeles called Covid ” the greatest threat to life” the city has faced as he forces a lockdown on the city in the face of anger from business establishments, New York City has decided to resume in-person schooling for children following studies that show virtual learning is not working well.
“Close the bars and keep the schools open,” is the advice from Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
But restaurant and bar owners, already reeling under restrictions are up in arms even though studies show that changes in behavior (greater public engagement) and cold weather are behind the spike in Covid-19 cases. With winter setting in, outdoor open-air eating out is now difficult and the country’s $900 billion eating out industry, which employs 15 million people, is getting crushed.