Dr. Fauci Says Trump’s ‘Denial and Lack of Facts’ Contributed to Magnitude of U.S. Covid Death Toll



Dr. Anthony Fauci has been reluctant to blame former President Donald Trump for how the coronavirus devastated the United States so badly, but he said Tuesday that the former president’s denialism about the pandemic contributed to the death toll.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases spoke to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who asked if Trump’s actions contributed to the U.S. death toll, which crossed the 500,000 mark this week.

“Do you think that his denial and lack of facts contributed to this level of loss?” she asked.

I certainly think that that’s part of it,” Fauci said. “When you have such a common force, such a powerful force against you…you’ve got to do it together in a unifying way and not have any kind of political ideology divisiveness getting in the way of what we’re trying to do. That’s not the only thing that really was a problem, but that’s certainly in my mind, having lived through it, was something that I found really to be unfortunately damaging.”

From there, Camerota noted Trump’s minimization of the virus while he was in office, and she asked Fauci, “Do you think that his denial and lack of facts contributed to this level of loss?”

His answer:

I’m uncomfortable going back and directly criticizing, but it’s really almost self evident that when you’re trying to signal the country to really buckle down and address the kinds of mitigation strategies that we put forth — the wearing of masks, the physical distancing, the avoiding congregate settings, the kinds of things that I and many of the other public health people, who were there, trying to get the country to appreciate the this that we were trying to do all throughout the entire outbreak.

I mean, the thing that I remember very clearly is when we were trying to open up the country, open up the economy and to do it carefully with the gateway, the phase 1, phase 2, the phase 3. I was hoping that would see a uniform, unified approach towards all doing that together. And when signals come saying ‘this isn’t so bad, we’re in pretty good shape,’ when we’re saying we’re not, we being the health people, that was not helpful, because the people who wanted to deny that this is something that was serious when you get a signal from above that it might not be [so bad], then you don’t do the kinds of things you need to do.

Supreme Court Rejects Trump Effort To Shield Tax Records From NY Prosecutors

Above Adult Film Star Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaking in New York City, and U.S. President Donald Trump speaking in Washington…..

  • The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a last-ditch bid by former President Donald Trump to keep his financial records, including years of his tax returns, out of the hands of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.
  • The decision, the second time the nation’s highest court has weighed in on the matter, was announced in an order with no noted dissents. The news further imperils the ex-president, who is facing investigations in New York and elsewhere.
  • A spokesman for Vance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a last-ditch bid by former President Donald Trump to keep his financial records, including years of his tax returns, out of the hands of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.The decision, the second time the nation’s highest court has refused to block a grand jury subpoena for those confidential records, was announced in an order with no noted dissents.

    The news further imperils the ex-president, who is facing investigations in New York and elsewhere.

    The legal battle over Trump’s financial records, including personal and business documents dating to 2011, comes in connection with an investigation by Vance’s office into potential tax violations involving the Trump Organization.

    Vance’s probe originally appeared to have been focused on hush money payments made on Trump’s behalf to two women who have said they had affairs with him. Trump has denied their claims.

    But court records and news reports suggest prosecutors are now examining more serious allegations.

    A court filing last summer by Vance indicated that the probe could be eyeing possible “insurance and bank fraud by the Trump Organization and its officers.” In another filing, a month later, prosecutors suggested they might be investigating Trump for potential tax crimes.

    Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Congress in 2019 that Trump improperly inflated and deflated the value of his real estate assets for tax and insurance purposes.

    Vance’s filings appeared to reference Cohen’s testimony. One filing by prosecutors cited a  New York Times report Trump engaged in “dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud.”

    In a statement, Cohen said: “The Supreme Court has now proclaimed that no one is above the law. Trump will, for the first time, have to take responsibility for his own dirty deeds.”

    In late 2020, Vance’s investigators requested records from three towns in Westchester County, New York, as part of the probe. The records relate to Trump’s 213-acre Seven Springs Estate site, which sprawls across those towns.

    That property is one of several Trump assets that New York Attorney General Letitia James is eyeing as part of a civil investigation into whether the Trump Organization improperly inflated and deflated the value of certain properties to receive financial benefits from doing so.

    The Wall Street Journal reported this month that Vance’s office also is looking at loans Trump took out on Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, and three other properties in Manhattan: 40 Wall Street, the Trump Plaza apartment building and the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

    In a statement posted to Twitter, Vance wrote: “The work continues.”

    A spokesman for Vance, Danny Frost, said that the office would not comment further but indicated that it would quickly move to enforce its subpoena on the president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA.

    Mazars said in a statement that it was “aware of the Supreme Court’s order.”

    “As we have maintained throughout this process, Mazars remains committed to fulfilling all of our professional and legal obligations,” the company said. “Due to our industry’s professional obligations Mazars cannot discuss any clients, or the nature of our services we provide for any client, in a public forum without client consent or as required by law.”

    Trump said in a statement that Vance’s investigation was partisan.

    “The Supreme Court never should have let this ‘fishing expedition’ happen, but they did,” Trump said.

    He added: “I will fight on, just as I have, for the last five years (even before I was successfully elected), despite all of the election crimes that were committed against me. We will win!”

    The ruling comes after The New York Times reported that Vance’s office had retained a former federal prosecutor, Mark Pomerantz, who has extensive experience handling white-collar fraud cases, to work on the Trump investigation.

    Reuters in recent days reported that Vance’s office issued a subpoena to the New York Tax Commission.

    People familiar with the municipal agency told the outlet that they expected the subpoena would demand income and expense statements that Trump’s company would have filed as part of requests for a reduction in tax assessments for commercial properties. The lower the assessed value a property has, the less the owner has to pay in property taxes on it.

    Joseph Tacopina, a leading New York criminal defense lawyer, told CNBC last week that Vance’s persistence in seeking the tax records suggests he strongly believes they would show criminal conduct.

    “Cy Vance is fighting way too hard for this case to fall down,” Tacopina said. “He seems to be on to something.”


Continue reading Supreme Court Rejects Trump Effort To Shield Tax Records From NY Prosecutors

Exclusive: New York City Tax Agency Subpoenaed In Trump Criminal Probe



(Reuters) – The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has subpoenaed a New York City property tax agency as part of a criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s company, the agency confirmed on Friday, suggesting prosecutors are examining the former president’s efforts to reduce his commercial real-estate taxes for possible evidence of fraud.

The subpoena issued to the New York City Tax Commission is the latest indication that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is looking at the values Trump assigned to some commercial properties in tax filings and loan documents.

Along with information already subpoenaed from creditors, the tax agency documents would help investigators determine whether Trump’s business inflated the value of his properties to secure favorable terms on loans while deflating those values to lower tax bills for those same properties.

New York City Tax Commission President Frances Henn confirmed the subpoena in response to an inquiry from Reuters.

The subpoena likely would compel the agency to provide detailed income and expense statements the Trump Organization would have filed as part of an effort to lower tax assessments on some of its commercial properties, according to people familiar with the commission’s operations. Trump’s holdings include Trump Tower and Trump Plaza.

Those filings typically would include valuations submitted by the company to challenge the market values assigned to Trump’s property by the city’s tax assessors, they added.

Subpoenas also have been issued to at least two creditors that helped finance Trump’s real-estate holdings, Deutsche Bank AG and Ladder Capital Finance LLC, Reuters has previously reported.

Vance’s office declined to comment on the tax commission subpoena. Deutsche Bank also declined to comment. Ladder Capital did not respond to a request for comment. A representative for Trump and a lawyer for the Trump Organization also did not respond to requests for comment.

Vance has not commented specifically on the focus of his investigation but noted in court filings that his office is exploring “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct” at the Trump Organization, including possible falsification of records as well as insurance and tax fraud.

Vance’s investigation is the only known criminal probe of Trump’s real-estate business. New York State Attorney General Letitia James is leading a separate civil probe into whether Trump’s company falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits.

The tax commission is New York City’s forum for adjudicating appeals of tax assessments set by the city’s Department of Finance, which manages property tax bills and collections. A spokeswoman for the New York City mayor’s office said the department had not been subpoenaed.

The tax assessments are based on a property’s market value, as determined by the department, so challenges require detailed documentation to show that the assigned value is not accurate, including revenue and occupancy data.

If Trump’s business claimed a substantially lower value for a property in its tax filings than it did in documents it submitted to creditors, the discrepancy could help back up a fraud charge, according to Daniel J. Horwitz, a white-collar defense lawyer who previously prosecuted tax and complex fraud cases during more than eight years in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

If there’s a “material difference” between the property values claimed in tax filings and the values claimed in loan documents, he added, “that’s fairly compelling.”


How Trump Offered Kim A Ride On Air Force One


President Trump’s meetings with Kim Jong-un were among the most eye-catching moments of his presidency.

In the third and final episode of a new BBC series Trump Takes On the World, directed by Tim Stirzaker, we discover new details about how these summits came about, and speak to those who were in the room when the two men met.

What they saw stunned even the most seasoned diplomats – not least when Trump offered the North Korean dictator a lift home on Air Force One.

Trump’s second summit with Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi, Vietnam, did not go to plan. As negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear programme broke down, Trump left abruptly, saying to the press: “Sometimes you just have to walk.”

But before he departed, the then US president did make one astonishing offer to Kim.

Matthew Pottinger, the top Asia expert on Trump’s National Security Council told us: “President Trump offered Kim a lift home on Air Force One. The president knew that Kim had arrived on a multi-day train ride through China into Hanoi and the president said: ‘I can get you home in two hours if you want.’ Kim declined.”


An ‘unforced error’


Continue reading How Trump Offered Kim A Ride On Air Force One

Judge Rejects Detention Request For Kansas Proud Boys Leader

William Chrestman charged with conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer

A federal magistrate judge rejected on Friday the government’s request to keep the alleged leader of the Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys in custody pending his trial for the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Attorneys for William Chrestman, a 47-year-old Army veteran and union sheet metal worker from Olathe, Kansas, had blamed former President Donald Trump for the riot, telling a federal magistrate judge that the five weeks since then “have broken the fever dream.”

“The court finds no need to get dragged into the ongoing public debate about whether President Trump can or should be held accountable, criminally or civilly (or perhaps both), for inciting the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. That’s for other courts to decide … later,” U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara wrote.

In a 17-page decision, O’Hara ruled Chrestman could be released on a $10,000 bond to home detention with electronic monitoring. Prosecutors immediately filed a motion seeking to have the order stayed while they appeal the decision to the District Court.

He is charged with conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer and other federal charges stemming from the melee.

The judge also found that the record “discloses not just a strong, but an overwhelming case on the merits against the defendant. This court believes his ultimate conviction is highly probable, with a significant prison sentence to follow.”

Prosecutors sought to keep Chrestman in custody, arguing that he is a danger to the community and a flight risk. Defense attorneys countered that he won’t flee and argued that he poses no danger since he and the world around him have changed much since that day.

In allowing his release, the judge noted Chrestman’s family ties to the area and his lack of significant criminal history.

While in the abstract, the threat of continued riotous conduct if released obviously presents an extremely serious danger to the community, the government has not shown that Chrestman has engaged in any criminal conduct either individually or with the Proud boys before or after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the judge said.

The Associated Press


CNN Anchor Shocked At Report Of Gang Rapes Happening In Chinese Concentration Camps…

Via DailyCaller:

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota was left in shock Friday after hearing a report from correspondent Ivan Watson about the alleged treatment of Uighur women being held in internment camps in the Xinjiang region of China.

In her broadcast of “New Day,” Camerota prefaced Watson’s report with a background on the situation in Xinjiang.

Keep reading…

Joe Manchin Opposes Neera Tanden Nomination…

Via NBC:

WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Friday he will oppose Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, imperiling the prospects of a high-profile nominee of President Joe Biden.

“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others,” Manchin said in a statement.

“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” he said. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”

Keep reading…

POWER TRIP Fury As Texas Homeowners Hit With Eye-Watering Electricity Bills Up To $17,000 Due To ‘High Demand’ During Freeze


TEXAS homeowners have been hit with more than brutal winter storms – they are getting accompanying massive electricity bills.

Electricity bills for Texans shot up as high as $17,000 per month following a nasty winter storm that caused power outages and wrecked havoc.

The outages created a huge demand for heat, which drove up utility bills for many suffering residents.

Rates in Texas jumped from $50 to $9,000 per Megawatt in some instances as demand soared during the energy crisis, according to WFAA.

Dallas resident Ty Williams’ bill spiked from $600 last month to almost $17,000 so far this month, he told news station.

“How in the world can anyone pay that?” said Williams, who got his bill from the energy company Griddy.

Daily Coffee Tied to Lower Risk for Heart Failure


By Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporters
TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Fill up that mug: Having one or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day may reduce your risk of heart failure, new research suggests.

There was one caveat, however: Decaffeinated coffee doesn’t appear to provide the same protection as caffeine-rich blends.

“The association between caffeine and heart failure risk reduction was surprising,” admitted study senior author Dr. David Kao. “Coffee and caffeine are often considered by the general population to be ‘bad’ for the heart because people associate them with palpitations, high blood pressure, etc.”

However, “the consistent relationship between increasing caffeine consumption and decreasing heart failure risk turns that assumption on its head,” said Kao, who is assistant professor of cardiology and medical director at the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. His team published their findings Feb. 9 in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

Still, the findings can’t prove cause and effect, and they also don’t mean that coffee is any substitute for healthy living when it comes to your heart, Kao said.

There is not yet enough clear evidence to recommend increasing coffee consumption to decrease risk of heart disease with the same strength and certainty as stopping smoking, losing weight or exercising,” he said in a journal news release.

In their study, Kao and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 21,000 U.S. adults who took part in three major studies: the Framingham Heart Study, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study and the Cardiovascular Health Study. Participants were followed for at least 10 years.

In all three studies, drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day was associated with decreased long-term risk of heart failure.

In the Framingham Heart and the Cardiovascular Health studies, the risk of heart failure fell by 5%-12% per cup of coffee each day, compared with having no coffee.

The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study found that the risk of heart failure didn’t change with 0 to 1 cup of coffee per day, but was about 30% lower in people who had at least 2 cups a day.