Hillary Clinton: I Would Have Done a Better Job As President Handling Coronavirus

Hillary Clinton took a swing at President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying she would have done a “better job” in managing the crisis.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Clinton even claimed she would have done a better job in handling the economic fallout.

“We wouldn’t have been able to stop the pandemic at our borders the way that Trump claimed in the beginning, but we sure could have done a better job saving lives, modeling better, more responsible behavior,” she claimed.

“I don’t think we necessarily should have had as deep an economic assault on livelihoods and jobs as we have,” Clinton added. “So I know I would have done a better job.”

RELATED: Hillary Clinton Says It’s Time For a ‘Real President’

She Crazy

She’s a two-time failed presidential candidate, failed to implement new health care as First Lady, failed to protect Americans as Secretary of State, but we’re supposed to believe she could have done a better job than Trump.

It’s hard not to imagine Hillary locking down the entire nation if she had the power of the presidency behind her, meaning an economy in utter shambles. She celebrated Governor Cuomo, after all, who has done the very same thing – ruined his state’s economy, led the nation in COVID-19 cases, and personally sent thousands of seniors to nursing homes resulting in their deaths.

While locking down Americans, she likely would have never shut down travel from China or other nations that were hotspots for the virus, meaning many more lives lost.

Not to mention, we know all about her crisis management skills from Benghazi. Perhaps she could have blamed the pandemic on a YouTube video.

RELATED: Rep Dan Crenshaw Lights Hillary Clinton Up Over Her Latest Attack on Trump

Fantasy Land

This isn’t the first time Hillary openly fantasized about being the President, and it certainly won’t be the last time.

Several weeks ago, Clinton criticized Trump’s coronavirus response by saying, “We need a real President.”

“Donald Trump isn’t responsible for the coronavirus,” she tweeted recently. “But he is responsible for the disastrous lack of leadership that has led to 122,000 deaths in the U.S. and counting.”

And in April, the former First Lady shared a Washington Post story and quote with her social media followers which falsely alleged the President took over two months to treat the pandemic seriously.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw slammed Clinton when she mocked the President for America becoming the leader in coronavirus cases, a fact only possible if you believe nations like China and Iran had accurately reported their numbers.

“Delete your account. This isn’t the time,” Crenshaw replied. “This can’t be the new normal, where American tragedy is applauded for the sake of political opportunism.”

Additionally, Clinton told the Hollywood Reporter that she would beat Trump if she were on the ballot again in November, but added that running again was “not in the cards.”

The post Hillary Clinton: I Would Have Done a Better Job As President Handling Coronavirus appeared first on The Political Insider.

CDC reports potentially significant outbreak of COVID-19 as cases reported coast to coast

On Friday, the first person died in the United States from the effects of an infection by the 2019 novel coronavirus. On Saturday, another case of apparent community spread was identified, this time in Chicago, half a continent away from previous signs that the virus may be circulating in Washington, Oregon, and California. Then came another case in Rhode Island (a traveler to Italy, not community spread).

But the worst news of the day came in a phone call from the CDC on Saturday afternoon. Though it has received little attention in a usually sensationalist media that seems suddenly concerned about saying anything at all that might raise a sensation, what the CDC said during that call indicated that the official number of cases of COVID-19 is likely to double almost overnight — and it’s happening in the worst place imaginable for a disease of this type.

The subject of that CDC press call on Saturday was the Life Care Center, a long term nursing facility near Kirkland, Washington. The cases there have not yet been confirmed by testing, but there are two “presumptive positives”—which, from the call, appear to be quick tests that returned positive values, but are waiting for lab confirmation. One of these positives is a health care worker at Life Care Center. The other is one of the residents there, a woman in her 70s. 

But those two aren’t alone. CDC officials and officials from Washington state indicated that another 27 out of the facility’s 108 residents are showing symptoms that may indicate COVID-19. So are 25 members of the staff. 

Considering the profile of COVID-19, with deaths and severe illness heavily slanted toward patients over 60 or those with other health issues, this sort of facility would seem to be the very worst case scenario. These are the people at highest risk for a poor outcome … and yes, that’s a euphemism. 

And the worst thing out of this worst thing may be that one of the Washington state officials made it clear that, had they been able to test earlier, they might have identified and isolated infections before the situation reached this point. Now there seems little to do but protect those not yet showing any symptoms, wait for test results, and hope that everyone there is just sharing a persistent cold.

So, let’s look at a number that’s actually kind of nice to see.

COVID-19: Global Case Status

For the first time, the blue wedge here is actually larger than the orange—that is, the number of cases considered to be “recovered” have exceeded the number of active cases. The reason for this is also right there on the same chart. With a recovery period between 10-17 days, the “fat” part of the graph in terms of the original epicenter in China are now reaching the point where they reach an outcome. In a sense, cases before Valentines Day have now, with few exceptions, either ended in death or recovery. And as far as China goes, the number of cases logged after that date is less than what came before. 

However, there’s also a bad sign on this chart. At the very top of the graph, you can see that the overall slope for total cases has stopped flattening out and started to grow more steeply. This is because China is no longer driving the outcome. South Korea alone reported more new cases on Saturday than did all of China. Iran was not far behind. Here’s another look at the top 10 locations outside of China (and cruise ships).

COVID-19: Time sequence outside China

The growth of cases outside of China shows the appearance of those three new epicenters—South Korea, Italy, and Iran, though the order of these new sources is almost certainly not as they appear from the public information. Every indicator is that Iran is not only continuing to vastly under-report the true situation, but was harboring a significant number of infections for days or even weeks before the first case was reported. Iran has reported 54 deaths as of Satuday—more than Italy and South Korea combined.

What may be more interesting on the chart is actually those other countries up near the top:  Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In each of these nations, despite proximity and frequent travel to affected regions in China that made them all early locations for cases identified outside of the original epicenter, additional cases have not undergone exponential growth. That’s true in Japan despite dozens of cases of community spread (including a scary number of cab drivers in major cities). After an initial outbreak, Singapore now shows only 32 active cases.  Both of these countries show admirable management of the infection that has avoided the mistakes seen elsewhere. Worth studying.

Finally, here’s a warning of a different sort—these daily reports need to change.

The first of these articles on 2019 novel coronavirus appeared on January 23, when the number of cases in China was still in the hundreds, but 17 deaths had made it clear that what was happening near the city of Wuhan demanded attention. Chinese authorities had already instituted travel restrictions within the country, restricting travel in Hubei Province. However, there was something going on at the time—an impeachment—that definitely put the story on the back burner, and back pages, within the U.S. It wasn’t until a week later that the virus, and the disease it caused, got a regular daily post. That first one warned against the rumors and misinformation that was already spreading faster than the infection.

Since then, the series had gone through a lot of topics: Right wing efforts to paint the virus as the another reason for xenophobia, the difference between an epidemic and pandemic, the death of whistle-blowing doctor Li Wenliang, who became an overnight symbol for free speech and government transparency, and the first news that passengers aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess had been confirmed to be carrying the virus.

Even though most of those events were less than a month ago, they’re already receding into the early history of an event that is turning into something that’s exceedingly rare—a genuinely worldwide event. For the last three weeks, these articles have often been a grim exercise in watching the rising tide of numbers. That may be an interesting exercise in some ways, but hitting everyone with charts and graphs is likely of diminishing value as this becomes more about how 2019 novel coronavirus affects your town, family, and life. Look for some changes to the reporting to match that new focus.

Resources on novel coronavirus

World Health Organization 2019 Coronavirus information site. World Health Organization 2019 Coronavirus Dashboard. 2019-nCoV Global Cases from Johns Hopkins. BNO News 2019 Novel Coronavirus tracking site. Worldometer / Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak. CDC Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) information site. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Information on preparing yourself and your family

Some tips on preparing from Daily Kos. NPR’s guide to preparing your home. Ready.gov

News Wrap: Turkish, Syrian forces clash again in Idlib province

In our news wrap Monday, Turkish and Syrian forces clashed in northwestern Syria for the second time in two weeks. As Turkish trucks rumbled into Idlib province, officials in Ankara warned Syria's Assad regime to pull back. Also, U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called for protecting whistleblowers after President Trump ousted several key figures in the impeachment probe on Friday.

The NSC’s top Russia expert was sacked three weeks ago, but was the problem Russia … or was it Iran?

Andrew Peek is the son of a Fox News contributor frequently retweeted by Donald Trump. He formerly worked as an adviser to two Republican senators. Peek was also formerly the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council—a post he held for less than three months before being escorted out of the White House on Jan. 17 of this year.

An NSC director being hustled out of the White House under guard is very unusual, to say the least. Shortly after he was dismissed, stories indicated that Peek had been under investigation for some time, possibly even before he was asked to step into the role formerly held by Fiona Hill. But none of those stories explained exactly what Peek might have done to merit being marched off the property. 

And three weeks later, no one is talking.

The impression that Fiona Hill made on millions of Americans when she testified in the impeachment hearings against Donald Trump was one of a consummate professional—the epitome of the type of person anyone would want working at high levels of the American government. But Hill was replaced by the overtly political Tim Morrison, and after Morrison came Peek. And after Peek came security officers.

Peek first joined the Trump White House in a role at the State Department, where he worked on Middle East issues, particularly issues related to Iran. According to The Daily Beast, it was new national security adviser and former State Department official Robert O’Brien who selected Peek to come with him to the NSC after O’Brien assumed his new position in September, replacing John Bolton.

But if the investigation into Peek relates to something that happened before he came to the NSC, that leads to an obvious question: Is the subject of that investigation something that happened while Peek was in his role at the State Department? If it is, does that issue also involve O’Brien? Or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo?

Days after his departure, multiple sources indicated that Peek was removed for issues related to security, and possibly to an incident that result in the revocation of the clearance to handle classified information necessary for a role at the NSC. Considering the casual way in which the Trump White House has handed out clearance to staff who have absolutely failed to qualify for it, that seems severe. Or, as one expert indicated to TPM in the days after Peek was removed, “It could be a particularly egregious security violation.” Within the State Department and national security community, rumors flew. Whatever the truth behind them, the way Peek left his position definitely raised more than a few eyebrows.

But there is one rumor that has come up repeatedly, in this case expressed by National Iranian American Council organizer Reza Marashi. According to Marashi, “One of Trump's top Iran advisers got suckered into a honey trap, had their laptop/iPhone stolen and hacked before they woke up, and the White House refused to take precautionary measures regarding their security clearance.” While that statement doesn’t name Peek directly, the timing of the events and the subject of Iran would make Peek a possible candidate for the honey-trapped adviser. Other reports have featured Peek as being trapped by Russian honeys.

That one of the Pompeo State Department’s political appointees might have wandered into such a trap seems possible—though it should be noted there is nothing that directly connects Peek to this account other than timing and a lot of pointing fingers.

But if Peek’s removal comes courtesy of his having handed over classified U.S. information to Iran, that would reinforce the idea that the new wave of Trump-approved officials at lower tiers are proving every bit as incompetent as his more visible White House staff. On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Iraqi officials don’t believe that Iranian militias were behind a rocket aimed at an Iraqi base occupied by American forces on Dec. 27.

In response to that attack, Donald Trump ordered the bombing of multiple sites in both Iraq and Syria that were supposedly connected to Iranian-supported militias. In turn, those attacks generated fresh uprisings in Baghdad, including a very visible assault on the huge U.S. embassy compound. And that led directly to a U.S. attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani along with several Iraqi militia leaders. Which generated unrest in both Iraq and Iran, and brought a response that not only injured dozens of American troops stationed in Iraq, but brought about the accidental downing by Iran of a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing hundreds of civilians.

This whole spiral of disasters was set off on U.S. claims that the original attack had come from a specific Shiite militia group with ties to Iran. But Iraqi officials say that the rocket was launched from a Sunni area where militants were supported by the Islamic State. So as the U.S. and Iran began hurling military threats, the big winner may well have been ISIS.

Was Peek—a National Security Council member fresh off the role of Iran expert at the State Department—consulted following the rocket attack? Did he play a role in either the U.S. response on Dec. 27 or the Jan. 3 attack that killed Soleimani? Were U.S. officials particularly on guard over the idea that Iranian officials may have gained access to classified information, and did this contribute to a desire to make a forceful response? Was the whole idea of some impending action on the part of Iran based on the idea that Iranian forces had U.S. information in hand?

None of this is clear.

Why Andrew Peek was removed from White House grounds on Jan. 17 remains unknown, and the latest article from The Daily Beast doesn’t really say anything more than was already broadly acknowledged. But if Peek was the subject of a monthslong security investigation that began before he was named to a critical post at the National Security Council, it certainly seems possible that someone might have expressed some concern before he slid into Fiona Hill’s vacated chair.