Trump’s ‘Protective Bubble’ Scales Up: CNN

Trump Air Force One

President Donald J. Trump disembarks Air Force One on his arrival Saturday, June 20, 2020, to Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Okla. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Should Trump reconsider his decision of not wearing a mask? Comment below. 

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  • These states have the most people wearing masks
  • Conservatives sue over Florida mask rules

Measures to protect Trump from virus scale up

June 26, 2020

CNN – Measures meant to protect President Donald Trump from catching the coronavirus have scaled up dramatically.

As he seeks to insert rival Joe Biden’s health into the presidential campaign, Trump has voiced escalating concern about how it would appear if he contracted coronavirus and has insisted on steps to protect himself, even as he refuses to wear a mask in public and agitates for large campaign rallies where the virus could spread.

When he travels to locations where the virus is surging, every venue the President enters is inspected for potential areas of contagion by advance security and medical teams, according to people familiar with the arrangements.

Bathrooms designated for the President’s use are scrubbed and sanitized before he arrives.

Staff maintain a close accounting of who will come into contact with the President to ensure they receive tests.

While the White House phases out steps such as temperature checks and required mask-wearing in the West Wing — changes meant to signal the country is moving on — those around the President still undergo regular testing.

And even as Trump attempts to put the pandemic behind him by encouraging reopening and downplaying the new surge, there are signs of the still-raging pandemic even within his orbit.

This week, the virus again struck members of the President’s staff, this time a collection of campaign aides and US Secret Service personnel who had been working on Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa.

And CNN has learned a third White House staffer who was recently in Trump’s vicinity also tested positive.

According to two sources familiar with the matter, the staffer is a senior economic official who was in the Rose Garden with Trump during an event this month … Read more. 

Should Trump reconsider his decision of not wearing a mask? Comment below. 

The Northeast leads the country in mask-wearing

June 26, 2020

CNN – Scientific evidence suggests that wearing a face mask can help stop the spread of Covid-19. New polling confirms that some regions of the country are taking that message to heart more than others.

Specifically, residents of the Northeast (led by New York) said they’re wearing masks at a significantly greater rate than the majority of the country.

That’s the finding of an aggregation of more than 6,000 respondents from Ipsos Knowledge Panel polling done for Axios (Axios/Ipsos poll).

Over the last month and a half (May 8 to June 22), a fairly stable 48% to 51% of Americans told the pollster that they wore masks at all times when leaving home. Other pollsters, who have asked analogous questions during the same period, have shown similar numbers overall.

In the Axios/Ipsos polling, you can clearly see how much ahead of the curve New York (among the 28 states for which we had at least 75 respondents) and the Mid-Atlantic (see here for all Census division subsets) portion of the Northeast are when it comes to mask wearing. Of the over 750 Mid-Atlantic respondents, 64% say they are always wearing masks when they go out. As Ipsos did in a recent poll with the Washington Post, they were able to drill down to the state level in some instances too.

In New York, 67% say they’re wearing a mask at all times when they leave their house. That’s the highest percentage for any state for which there were at least 75 respondents polled.

Indeed, the Acela corridor more generally is leading the country in wearing masks. At least 60% of residents in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland indicated that they were always wearing masks.

New York and the surrounding areas were hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic a few months ago, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there is a clear movement to stem any recurrence of that.

The only other state in the country where more than 60% of residents said they were always wearing masks was California (64%). Read more. 

Conservatives file lawsuit challenging Orange Co., Florida face mask order

June 22, 2020

Three Central Florida conservative Republicans, Rep. Anthony Sabatini, John Stemberger, and Charles Hart, filed a lawsuit Monday morning challenging Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings‘ executive order that everyone wear face masks in public.

Sabatini, Stemberger, who is president of the Florida Family Policy Council, and Hart, who is chairman of the Orange County Republican Party – but who joined the suit as co-counsel saying he was doing so as an individual and not on behalf of the party – filed the suit in Circuit Court in Orange County.

Last Thursday, as Orange County’s COVID-19 caseload skyrocketed with almost daily records for newly-recorded cases, Demings signed an executive order requiring everyone in Orange County to wear face masks in public, with a few exceptions. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who said he would honor it in Orlando, and Dr. Raul Pino, Orange County’s health officer with the Florida Department of Health, who endorsed the order as necessary to try to slow Orange County’s outbreak, supported the move.

In a phone interview, Hart, a lawyer, called the order “massive government overreach” and contended it was a violation of the right to free speech.

At a press conference in Orlando Monday morning, Stemberger, counsel in the suit, charged that Demings order is not clear, and, among others, leaves church pastors wondering if they, too, must wear masks while preaching.

Demings said Thursday he was hoping people would voluntarily comply with the order and that it would not be enforced with any criminal penalties. However, he held open the prospect that if the public health crisis worsens and there are specific businesses openly flaunting the order he might reconsider.

Stemberger said the lawsuit would be dropped if Demings changed the word “require” to “recommend” for masks … Read more. 

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